September 2008


One of the interest groups of the Faculty Women’s Club is the Heritage Group. Now I am sure that in this very relatively newly settled part of the globe you could say that the word heritage is a bit of an oxymoron. But the group has been going for five years or more and somehow the conveners have managed to find something of interest for the seven outings held during each year for all that time.

Outings take place monthly, always on a Friday which is not a convenient day for me, but after missing all of last year’s meetings I decided I would try to make the effort to attend more often this year.

This past Friday the historic town of Fort Langley, where British Columbia settlement began in 1827 with a Hudson’s Bay Company post, was our destination, an hour’s drive from Vancouver, to visit the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum, one of the largest Agricultural Museums in Western Canada.


Overall view of the museum from the mezzanine level. Rather chaotic.

An early cropduster, a 1941 Tiger moth, hangs above all.

Originally it was planned to be onsite at the University but ultimately an offsite location was chosen and the Museum was officially opened at Fort Langley in 1966 by the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robert Billinger. It is run by an Association, all volunteers and the majority of those involved in this enterprise are for the most part retired mechanics, machinists, millwrights, etc. who use their skills to restore the museum’s artifacts, all donated, for there is no budget for acquisition.


I imagine this wheelbarrow is just like they used in the Middle Ages
for it surely is very rudimentary.

Carl, a volunteer, conducted nineteen of us around the museum which consists of several very large buildings. The collection seemed just like a big hodge podge of articles, but there is a sort of organization and he managed to point out some of the highlights and demonstrate some of the restored working machinery and we did find it of great interest, most of us not being of an agricultural background.


An early combine harvester which went from farm to farm, even
over the USA border one time and was refused reentry by customs.
Of course the farmers smuggled it back over at night.

They also collect household items of interest and many were of the era when we most of our group were young. I guess much of what we discard these days will reside in museums of the future or will we just look at photos on the internet I wonder.


Early high tech washing equipment. The one on the right is electric.
I guess it beats washing clothes in the river and pounding
them on the rocks.

The washing was hung over the stove in the farm kitchen
where the warmth was.

No electricity of course, so kerosene lanterns were the norm.
We had one of those for blackouts, a regular occurrence in my youth.

The iceman cometh, on a regular basis. We had an ice chest until I was about twelve
when we finally got a Kelvinator refrigerator.

A 1919 Model T truck, used to cart the milk cans about
on the farm.

Err, a two-headed calf which lived for three weeks was pointed out
to me by another volunteer at the museum
as something of interest.

After thanking our tour guide and making a donation to the Museum we continued on, taking the small Albion car ferry over the Fraser River to lunch at a pub overlooking the river and the ferries coming and going. This free ferry, part of the road system, saves a 42 mile journey to get from Maple Ridge to Fort Langley but soon will become part of the history of the area as a bridge, now nearing completion, replaces it.

One of the two ferries which run from 4.45 am to 1.15 am each day.
This image is not mine but from here.

History is where you find it and this group does its best to scout out interesting things from the past in this neck of the woods which has a very short history in scheme of things, unless you look at it from the First Nations’ point of view. But that’s another history. We did have a very enjoyable outing and we learned something new. What more could you ask?

One of the interest groups of the Faculty Women’s Club is the Heritage Group. Now I am sure that in this very relatively newly settled part of the globe you could say that the word heritage is a bit of an oxymoron. But the group has been going for five years or more and somehow the conveners have managed to find something of interest for the seven outings held during each year for all that time.

Outings take place monthly, always on a Friday which is not a convenient day for me, but after missing all of last year’s meetings I decided I would try to make the effort to attend more often this year.

This past Friday the historic town of Fort Langley, where British Columbia settlement began in 1827 with a Hudson’s Bay Company post, was our destination, an hour’s drive from Vancouver, to visit the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum, one of the largest Agricultural Museums in Western Canada.


Overall view of the museum from the mezzanine level. Rather chaotic.

An early cropduster, a 1941 Tiger moth, hangs above all.

Originally it was planned to be onsite at the University but ultimately an offsite location was chosen and the Museum was officially opened at Fort Langley in 1966 by the then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robert Billinger. It is run by an Association, all volunteers and the majority of those involved in this enterprise are for the most part retired mechanics, machinists, millwrights, etc. who use their skills to restore the museum’s artifacts, all donated, for there is no budget for acquisition.


I imagine this wheelbarrow is just like they used in the Middle Ages
for it surely is very rudimentary.

Carl, a volunteer, conducted nineteen of us around the museum which consists of several very large buildings. The collection seemed just like a big hodge podge of articles, but there is a sort of organization and he managed to point out some of the highlights and demonstrate some of the restored working machinery and we did find it of great interest, most of us not being of an agricultural background.


An early combine harvester which went from farm to farm, even
over the USA border one time and was refused reentry by customs.
Of course the farmers smuggled it back over at night.

They also collect household items of interest and many were of the era when we most of our group were young. I guess much of what we discard these days will reside in museums of the future or will we just look at photos on the internet I wonder.


Early high tech washing equipment. The one on the right is electric.
I guess it beats washing clothes in the river and pounding
them on the rocks.

The washing was hung over the stove in the farm kitchen
where the warmth was.

No electricity of course, so kerosene lanterns were the norm.
We had one of those for blackouts, a regular occurrence in my youth.

The iceman cometh, on a regular basis. We had an ice chest until I was about twelve
when we finally got a Kelvinator refrigerator.

A 1919 Model T truck, used to cart the milk cans about
on the farm.

Err, a two-headed calf which lived for three weeks was pointed out
to me by another volunteer at the museum
as something of interest.

After thanking our tour guide and making a donation to the Museum we continued on, taking the small Albion car ferry over the Fraser River to lunch at a pub overlooking the river and the ferries coming and going. This free ferry, part of the road system, saves a 42 mile journey to get from Maple Ridge to Fort Langley but soon will become part of the history of the area as a bridge, now nearing completion, replaces it.

One of the two ferries which run from 4.45 am to 1.15 am each day.
This image is not mine but from here.

History is where you find it and this group does its best to scout out interesting things from the past in this neck of the woods which has a very short history in scheme of things, unless you look at it from the First Nations’ point of view. But that’s another history. We did have a very enjoyable outing and we learned something new. What more could you ask?

VIEW

The first thing that sprang to mind for this week was the book, A Room with a View. So here is the view from my hotel room in San Diego earlier this year, looking at a corner of the harbour with the Star of India, part of the Maritime Museum, at the bottom of our street.

Daytime

Sunset, different but just as beautiful

Every time you come to my blog you have a great view of Vancouver in my header. So maybe you were expecting that. Well I would not want to disappoint you so a view towards the North Shore mountains.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

VIEW

The first thing that sprang to mind for this week was the book, A Room with a View. So here is the view from my hotel room in San Diego earlier this year, looking at a corner of the harbour with the Star of India, part of the Maritime Museum, at the bottom of our street.

Daytime

Sunset, different but just as beautiful

Every time you come to my blog you have a great view of Vancouver in my header. So maybe you were expecting that. Well I would not want to disappoint you so a view towards the North Shore mountains.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE


Remember this photo, in the fullness of Summer? See below for the Autumn view.
My Hot Cocoa rose.

Yes the old scientist has returned from his journey to Australia to see his three siblings so my freedom is over. Just kidding of course, since I freely “follow my muse” whenever I like whether he is here or not, as does he. But I don’t believe he would think much of dinner appearing on the table at 9.30 pm as was my wont when he was away. He always starts to mutter a bit if it does not appear by 8pm so I shall have to change my solo dining habits.

His journey out was horrible, fifteen hours in a totally packed aeroplane, in a middle seat. It was no fun at all, but the return journey was great as the plane was only half full and he had three seats to himself. He landed here just after 7am so I did not think much of being at the airport at that unearthly hour. Anyway, it seems his sister who was in very poor health is feeling a bit better and they had very good visits over several days. However her long-term prognosis is not good but she takes each day as it comes. She is a woman of strong faith and she was an Anglican minister’s wife and no doubt this stands her in good stead. However he felt his older brother was not in very good health which he had not expected so it was lucky he got to spend some time with him too.

His brother has always been a brilliant pianist although he was a Mathematics teacher and he owned a 1914 Steinway full sized concert grand piano which his, and of course the old scientist’s, father, a professional musician, had purchased during the thirties and refurbished then. Over the years it had moved with him whenever he did and he would buy a house depending on whether this treasure would fit in. Sadly when he and his wife moved into a retirement community several years ago, there was no room for the piano so he gave it away to someone who no doubt appreciated it and bought a Yamaha baby grand. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease not long afterwards and it seems he does not play very much now as the illness has affected his playing.

The old scientist very much enjoyed driving around the state of NSW and north to Brisbane where his brother lives, although it was a little difficult to stay on the “right” side of the road which is the left side in Australia and he said he gave the odd person a scare on occasion. He continually had to remind himself, keep to the left, keep to the left.

He seems to have enjoyed his sudden unexpected to trip to Australia, although not the journey and we will be making it in early March as we fly there, firstly to take a 17 day cruise from Sydney south to Tasmania then around New Zealand and back to Sydney. This will be followed by a visit to see some friends and the relatives in Australia.

Do you think they will have developed teleporting by then? Well perhaps we will win the lottery and travel first class instead of economy, even business class. Can anyone tell me why it costs $12,600 to fly business class from Vancouver to Sydney while it costs $1700 economy? Double I would definitely pay but 6 times the price? I don’t think I can justify that.

Still lots of blossoms but not so beautiful now that Autumn is
here. I don’t think we had nearly enough Summer
I’m not ready for Winter!


Remember this photo, in the fullness of Summer? See below for the Autumn view.
My Hot Cocoa rose.

Yes the old scientist has returned from his journey to Australia to see his three siblings so my freedom is over. Just kidding of course, since I freely “follow my muse” whenever I like whether he is here or not, as does he. But I don’t believe he would think much of dinner appearing on the table at 9.30 pm as was my wont when he was away. He always starts to mutter a bit if it does not appear by 8pm so I shall have to change my solo dining habits.

His journey out was horrible, fifteen hours in a totally packed aeroplane, in a middle seat. It was no fun at all, but the return journey was great as the plane was only half full and he had three seats to himself. He landed here just after 7am so I did not think much of being at the airport at that unearthly hour. Anyway, it seems his sister who was in very poor health is feeling a bit better and they had very good visits over several days. However her long-term prognosis is not good but she takes each day as it comes. She is a woman of strong faith and she was an Anglican minister’s wife and no doubt this stands her in good stead. However he felt his older brother was not in very good health which he had not expected so it was lucky he got to spend some time with him too.

His brother has always been a brilliant pianist although he was a Mathematics teacher and he owned a 1914 Steinway full sized concert grand piano which his, and of course the old scientist’s, father, a professional musician, had purchased during the thirties and refurbished then. Over the years it had moved with him whenever he did and he would buy a house depending on whether this treasure would fit in. Sadly when he and his wife moved into a retirement community several years ago, there was no room for the piano so he gave it away to someone who no doubt appreciated it and bought a Yamaha baby grand. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease not long afterwards and it seems he does not play very much now as the illness has affected his playing.

The old scientist very much enjoyed driving around the state of NSW and north to Brisbane where his brother lives, although it was a little difficult to stay on the “right” side of the road which is the left side in Australia and he said he gave the odd person a scare on occasion. He continually had to remind himself, keep to the left, keep to the left.

He seems to have enjoyed his sudden unexpected to trip to Australia, although not the journey and we will be making it in early March as we fly there, firstly to take a 17 day cruise from Sydney south to Tasmania then around New Zealand and back to Sydney. This will be followed by a visit to see some friends and the relatives in Australia.

Do you think they will have developed teleporting by then? Well perhaps we will win the lottery and travel first class instead of economy, even business class. Can anyone tell me why it costs $12,600 to fly business class from Vancouver to Sydney while it costs $1700 economy? Double I would definitely pay but 6 times the price? I don’t think I can justify that.

Still lots of blossoms but not so beautiful now that Autumn is
here. I don’t think we had nearly enough Summer
I’m not ready for Winter!

Today was the annual meeting of the Faculty Women’s Club Book Circulation group of which I am a longtime member. I written about this several times before and it is such a brilliant idea I don’t understand why there are not more groups like it but it is the only one I know. From this post last year:

It’s run by two convenors who, in the month or so before the meeting, choose and buy 2 copies of 17 books. Often Canadian bestsellers, often not. Some fiction, some not. We each pay $25 to cover the cost of the books and at the end of the year we have a draw and get to keep one. We get a list of the 17 people in our subgroup and the dates to exchange each book and every three weeks or so we pass the book on. Each time you pick up your book from the same person and another person picks up from you and it is arranged so that we live close to each other. So you get to read 17 books for the price of one and get to keep a book as well.

Today we returned the last book we read for this past year, for me this was What the Psychic told the Pilgrim by Jane Christmas. This book opened with the very intriguing sentence: Impulse is intuition on crack.

What followed was the story of her journey, in celebration of her 50th birthday, following the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a centuries-old pilgrimage route stretching 800 kilometers (500 miles) from southwestern France across the Pyrenees almost to the northwestern shore of Spain.

While by no means the best book I have ever read I found it a highly entertaining and informative read, especially since I have never been to Spain. Now why is that I wonder? But all those little interesting facts she included made her a woman after my own heart. Did I tell you she was travelling with a group of other women? However this did not go well and she completed the journey without them.

The exciting part of the meeting is the lottery draw for the book each member gets to keep. Names are drawn from a container and it depends on how early your name is drawn how likely you are to get your first choice or even your second or third choice. Today my name came up very early so I was able to get my first choice, a book I did not read during the year since I was out of town when it was my turn to read it.

I am definitely looking forward to reading Infidel, the autobiography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born former member of the Dutch parliament who faced death threats after collaborating on a film about domestic violence against Muslim women with director Theo van Gogh, who was himself assassinated. A very controversial lady so it should be an interesting read.

Last of all the books for this post is the one I received as the first book of this year’s choices, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, by Kate Summerscale. In it the author recreates the story of the 1860 murder of three year old Saville Kent in the English countryside and the subsequent investigation by Scotland Yard detective Jonathan Whicher. It was an investigation which lead to his undoing as a detective but he became the model for Sgt Cuff in Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, considered the first mystery novel. I don’t know how easy this will be to read given the age of the victim but the reviews of this fictionalized true crime story all seem to be five stars.

So three books for one post today. We shall see, we shall see and I’ll let you know what I think later.

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