Time now to hear from Geraldine. She is the voice of Mount Pleasant keeping readers of the Observer up to date on issues influencing the local community, the country and the world.
Geraldine reports the assemblies at the Coffees Are Us Restaurant are suspended for the time being. In lieu, Frank Springer organizes on line meetings using Zoom. He is a native of Mount Pleasant, a graduate of FDC University at Mount Pleasant, I T Manager at the Credit Union and fourth generation member of the Springer Family. His Great Great Grand Mother established Springer’s General Store and was the first Mount Pleasant Post Mistress.
On most occasions the gatherings are informal……no agenda and no minutes, just plain talk. Of late topics were less than fun and certainly not uplifting. Frank took it upon himself to add a kernel of structure, introducing a starting point entitled DIDJANOTHAT……? Participants are required to start a conversation with DIDJANOTHAT……? For example DIDJANOTHAT raccoons are now making their homes in our fair city or DIDJANOTHAT Mrs. O’Leary’s cow did not kick over a lantern that stared the disastrous Chicago fire in 1871?
Celine Langlois, owner of the Bonbon Boutique went first. Readers will recall that Celine and her partner Yves arrived in Mount Pleasant from Flanders. Her Belgian family established a chocolate dynasty now present across the world. She offered the following….DIDJANOTHAT a visit to Labrador is fascinating? Examples….You know you’re in Labrador when the lady proprietor of the Tackle and Gun store is wearing a dress made with camouflage material; You know you’re in Labrador when the lady at the hotel desk lends you her car for the day when all the rentals are booked; You know you’re in Labrador when locals call their place The Goose, short for Happy Valley Goose Bay and refer to Newfoundland as the Island….that is “I am just back from the Island”. You know you’re in Labrador when all of the houses are surrounded by a truck, two snowmobiles, and a sea worthy boat, an ATV, a holiday trailer and a car; You know you’re in Labrador when a fellow ferry passenger tells you his fishing license is for sale with a valuation of one million dollars.
Larry Quong followed, fairly bubbling over with enthusiasm. Larry is Mount Pleasant’s Top Cop as he describes himself. Larry has a long history in law enforcement including The Royal Canadian Mounted Police where he was assigned to accompany senior politicians across the world. Larry’s Great Great Grand Father arrived in Canada, recruited by the C P R during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. His story…..DIDJANOTHAT there is an island in the middle in of one of the great lakes which keeps the territory from being submerged by pumping water into the lake? DIDJANOTHAT on the same island a pheasant hunting festival is held annually? Ample evidence is on display with NO SHOOTING notices surrounding the school yard. The island’s founder came from Holland where he engineered systems to recover land from the sea.
Donald Smith was the third participant. While Don is new to the forum he has lived in Mount Pleasant for twenty three years. He the Dean of History at FDC University. His specialty is the early explorative years in the northern extremities of our continent. His contribution….DIDJANOTHAT one of our country’ citizens is the first explorer to reach the North Pole unassisted? Don said that for century’s adventurers were driven to undergoing untold hardships, searching for a passage across the northern perimeter of our continent. Coincidently the honour of travelling to the furthest most northerly location would result in fame and fortune. The geographic North Pole target was the moon landing of the day. The most intense rivalry came down to Cook and Peary. Both claimed success but substantive doubt remains as neither provided irrefutable evidence of reaching their goal. Little recognition is given to a great current explorer from our country who completed the first authentic, unassisted return trip to the North Pole. The evidence is beyond doubt. Of great interest to Dr. Smith is a photograph of a geophysical instrument showing ninety degrees north.
Hana Waldowski was called upon by Frank. Hana is the Editor of the Observer newspaper…. her roots are in Poland. In 1945 at the end of World War 11 her Grand Parents were left homeless and without citizenship….named Displaced Persons, a description which is an understatement to end all understatements. They settled in Mount Pleasant. Hana’s DIDJANOTHAT apart from Alaska there is only part of the United States north of the forty ninth parallel of latitude? The area is a small pocket of land totaling about six hundred square miles and a population at last count of one hundred and twelve. The enclave is surrounded by Manitoba on three sides. Hana followed with DIDJANOTHAT a bird called the Ancient Murrelet lays two eggs in a dug out far from the sea and the mother leaves them on their own? Upon hatching the chicks make their own way to the ocean and reunite with their parents by following the sound of their call.
The forum included much discussion, laughter and comradery. Frank put everyone on notice for a repeat….same time, day and coordinates one week hence. The ongoing caveat…the DIDJANOTHAT….? had to be authentic.