||June 2010 issue
Woe isn’t Wallaceburg
Holy Deliverance movie portrayal of my hometown! I understand the artistic views of photographer Brent Foster, but the
pictorial about Wallaceburg, Ont., in the April issue does not help a community that is struggling with the
current economic situation.
Forty years ago, I married the boy
next door here in Wallaceburg. About
six years ago, we were forced to move
to Alberta for work because of plant
closures here, but our intention was
always to return to our roots. Last July,
we moved back to semi-retire in our
beloved hometown. We have an excellent
library and museum and a huge art
and music community that is always
raising funds for charity organizations.
Wallaceburg is going to be the new location
for a conveyor belt company relocating
from Alberta, and other industries
are coming, thanks to the innovative
Wallaceburg Community Task Force.
Your journalist/artist should have
taken a fairer view of a broader selection
of people in Wallaceburg to give us a
realistic presentation of people who are
not drinkers, partiers or people living on
The photography by Brent Foster
and the essay by Ray Robertson on
Wallaceburg were beautifully and
thoughtfully done. As someone who is
from a similar area in southern Ontario,
I could relate to every aspect of this small
rural community that was portrayed.
Although tough economic times have hit
Wallaceburg, this story is a reminder that
some things never change, and really,
I have an exciting update to the story
“My home town,” given developments
in Wallaceburg since your photos were
taken last year. The town was, indeed, hit
hard during the recession, but through
our community organizations and institutions,
the people have shown leadership
and innovation and developed new strategies
and skills and are promoting and
building a new sustainable economy.
As a direct result, two manufacturers,
Advanced Emissions Technologies and
Precismeca, have come to town. The
Farmers of North America, an organization
dedicated to improving farming
profitability, has brought in barge
shipments to the Wallaceburg port on
the Sydenham River. The Southwest
Regional Credit Union and a new radio
station, CKXS FM 99.1, have set up
shop. The new Wallaceburg Kinsmen
Community Centre and the Acorn
Dinner Theatre provide social and
cultural activities. A variety of new retail
operations, as well as facade improvements
funded by a community
improvement plan, are bringing life to
downtown streets. New houses are being
built and sold on once vacant lots. And,
yes, the farm fields of Chatham-Kent are
still rich, and the boating, fishing and
turtle soup are great around here!
Randy R. Hope, Mayor
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Imagine my excitement in seeing Tim Smith’s article and pictures (“Sewing goodwill,” April 2010) about the 280 quilts for Haiti sewn by the women at Airport Hutterite Colony, near Portage la Prairie, Man. As a Haitian-born art therapist in Montréal, I have been involved in many creative community projects with women here and in Toronto and Ottawa, many of whom have arrived from Haiti after the earthquake. We are creating an art quilt that will be sold in a silent auction to raise funds so I can bring this creative program to women in Haiti so they can also have the opportunity to create their own images.
Pascale C. Annoual
I fail to see what the writing of Emily White (“In Habitat,” April 2010) has to do with geography. Sure, she is sad (I think) about leaving Toronto to the point where she does not appreciate the natural beauty of Newfoundland, but her inner pouting and external pouting to her partner? That’s not geography and I’m just not interested. Compare Ms. White’s whining to the kind-hearted and good spirited work of the Hutterite women of Portage la Prairie, Man., shown in the “Mosaic” section of the same issue. I’ll take the Hutterite approach to life any day.
Peter Van Katwyk
Excellent article on one of the world’s most capable blue water navies. To all the men and women of the Canadian Navy, keep up the great work and happy 100th!
The “Naval namesakes” poster-map included in the April edition of Canadian Geographic is very informative about the history of the Canadian Navy. However, there are a number of ship’s names missing or mislabeled. My father served on some of these ships during his career in the navy. The destroyer escorts were of the River class, of which HMCS Fraser, St. Croix, Skeena and Columbia, to name a few, are missing from the list on the map. HMCS Saskatchewan, Kootenay, Restigouche, Yukon and Ottawa (1, 2 and 3) were also River-class ships. I look forward to the celebrations in May and June as a chance to thank the men and women of the Canadian Navy on its 100th anniversary.
On the map titled “Naval namesakes,” is there an error in the name of one of the towns in eastern Ontario after which one of the naval vessels was named? On the inset map of southern Quebec and eastern Ontario, the ship is listed as HMCS Carlplace with the properly spelled town name of Carleton Place in brackets below it. Likewise, in the list titled “Namesake Ships,” Carleton Place is identiﬁed as Carlplace. Was this simply a typographical error or was there some other reason for it?
The map “Naval namesakes” includes only those Navy ships that were named for Canadian communities. As the map’s introduction explains, “As part of the celebration of its 100th anniversary, the Canadian Navy has given some 300 memorial plaques to communities, regions and First Nations whose names have graced its ships and military structures. This map commemorates the recipients of these plaques.”
The Navy’s rationale for its selections is as follows: “Early in the project, it was decided that“precise”communities — cities, towns, villages — would be retained for a plaque. Also included were First Nations communities, whose members are often found in several locations yet are part of one large group. Ships named for counties, large regional areas, rivers and other geographical features were not included.”
The HMCS Carlplace is indeed named for Carleton Place, Ont., and the ship’s spelling is correct. In a handful of cases, ships were named with a variation on the community name if an older ship already had been so named. For example, the frigate named for Verdun, Que., was the HMCS Dunver, because a British Royal Navy destroyer named Verdun was in service at the time; this was done to avoid duplication of names in allied navies and confusion in communications. — Ed.
* Letters may be edited for length, accuracy and liability.
Where do you get most of your geographic knowledge?