Page 70u23,2 Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
Go to Great Collections List
Use Internet
Explorer
More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.
For Related Items/Info - USE OUR BOER WAR SEARCH ENGINE
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Extremely rare and fabulous is the Boer War First Canadian Contingent wedge cap which belonged to James McKerihen.

Wedge caps are the hats the men wore most of the time, around the barracks, aboard ship, on fatigues, in the evening, or when lolling about camp between campaigns. (Pith helmets were worn on the march, or during battles. So, since most of the time was spent between these two activities, wedge caps were the usual hats of the men.)

This one is fabulous because it is one of the rare few which was actually on campaign in South Africa that have survived, and is named to an actual soldier who was there; he has written his name inside.

It also retains its original CANADA badge, not to mention the original moth holes...

James Reid Dill McKerihen was born in 1877 and was 22 when he became one of 33 members of the Queen's Own Rifles (QOR) Militia Unit of Canada (Toronto), who volunteered and was picked to fight in the Boer War. James was a Reinforcement Recruit for Canada's First Contingent. He kept his collection of Boer War memorabilia together until he died sometime in the 1960s.


Wedge Cap, Pvt. JRD McKerihen, C Co, RCR - South Africa 1900
Orig. wool - Size - 30 cm oa flat
Found - Toronto, ON

The cap is made of thick khaki coloured wool, and is lined with silky ribbed material of the same colour.

Inside, at top left can be seen the twisted wire with which James has secured his CANADA badge, and on the bottom, the spot where he has signed his name, PTE. McKerihen C Co R.C.R. in ink to prevent theft.

Unlike pith helmets, which were big, bulky, and awkward things, and interfered with daily life, wedge caps were small, flat, easy to carry around, and were warm on those cold days aboard ship or on African winter nights.

James' cap badge is still attached to the hat, exactly the way he wore it over a hundred years ago. It allows us a good view of a real Boer War Canadian cap badge instead of the repros that are out there (though it has the stem on the Maple Leaf broken off.)

It sports two 15 mm buttons of horn, not brass, at the front, in button holes.

Below James' colleagues from the RCRs, aboard the Sardinian, bound for South Africa, in November, 1899. James would follow the regiment early in 1900 and join it in time for the battles of Zand River and Doordrecht, before marching in triumph into Pretoria, June 5, 1900.

They were the best of Canada in 1899 - the Heartbeat of a Nation - and they look it, enough to strike fear into the heart of any Boer... Every one of them was a civilian volunteer - not a career militarist - willing to answer their country's call in a time of need, then return to their prime motivating passion, a life in some civilian pursuit.

The men are wearing the wedge cap they were issued, worn by some, at a most recommended rakish angle. They seem to have brass buttons up front, probably 13 mm British buttons, like those on Private Wynn's cap bottom.

Few seem to wear cap badges; one who does, up front, sports a small CANADA badge of collar dog size.

None of the wedge caps featured on this page have any chin straps, or places where they might have been, though photos of the time show Boer War soldiers wearing wedge caps that have them.

Boer War Memorabilia - Pvt. JRD McKerihen, C Co. RCR, 1900 - 2

1 2 3 4 5 6
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous and rare named Queen's Own Rifles wedge cap that belonged to James McKerihen, who was one of 33 members of the regiment who were picked to go to South Africa.

James wore this hat as a member of the QOR on parade as he trained in the armouries in downtown Toronto, prior to leaving for South Africa.

James' QOR badge dates from 1882, when the battalion became "The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada." Previously - since 1862 - the unit had been known as "The Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto" and used an earlier badge below.

From the QOR's formation, in 1860, its badge featured a large #2, honouring it as the second unit to be set up as a recognized Canadian Militia Battalion. (The first was in Montreal.)

Unique parts of James' wedge cap are the flashy red pompom and the red pin striping. But on the inside James used a ratty piece of wire to hold the badge on. There are no buttons on the front.

Below, two of several postcards produced in the Boer War era showing the QOR training outside the magnificent Toronto Armouries.


Wedge Cap, Queen's Own Rifles, Pvt. JRD McKerihen, C Co, RCR - South Africa 1900
Orig. black wool - Size - 30 cm oa flat
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Another fabulous Victorian Queen's Own Rifles wedge cap that belonged to Pvt. FB Andrews of F Company. Obviously these two privates, though serving in different companies at the time, knew each other.

This wedge cap also features the QOR red pinstripes and the badge adopted in 1882.

Inside, instead of the makeshift wire that James McKerihen used, Pvt. Andrews used a match stick through the lugs.

The front of this cap features a single black 13 mm "Beaver" button inscribed "Canada Militia," firmly held in with a brass wire, whereas James had no buttons at all on his. There is no sign that another button was ever there.

A special feature of this wedge cap is that it was accompanied by a large cabinet card of FB Andrews, who once wore this cap as he trained with his colleagues at the downtown Toronto armouries.

Victorian wedge caps are nice; named ones are fabulous; accompanied by a photo of the owner, they are priceless.

Below, a glorious view of Toronto's greatest desecration of a historic site, the fabulous home base of the Queen's Own Rifles, opened in 1894 and torn down by a non-caring government in 1963 to make way for a totally disposable and unmemorable concrete and glass court house.


Wedge Cap, Queen's Own Rifles, Pvt. FB Andrews, F Co
Orig. wool - Size - 28 cm oa flat
Found - Burlington, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Postcard, The Armouries, Toronto, c 1905
Orig. pc - Size - 9 x 13 cm
Found - Barrie, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous named Victorian wedge cap which once belonged to Sgt. John Baker of the 36th Peel Regiment, another Canadian militia unit, from north of Toronto, Ontario.

Though its original badge is long gone it is fabulous nevertheless because it came directly from the family, along with a treasure trove of uniform and military artifacts, from Jack's time in the militia in the years before World War I.

These include his Boer War era bugle, and his militia uniform dress reds, and a fabulous pastel portrait of Jack decked out in his finery.

He later served in World War I.

Sadly Jack was killed in the fighting, one of 65,000 Canadian civilian volunteers who gave up their lives so that others could live on in peace.

Go to John Baker

Jack's wedge cap features two 13 mm "Canada Militia" beaver buttons.

Sadly it is missing the Peeler badge shown below, which once fitted into the two holes that remain in the side of the cap. But the illustrated badge is from another of John Baker's hats.

The interior also shows material breakdown.


Wedge Cap, Sgt. John Baker, 36th Peel Regiment, Canadian Militia, c 1910
Orig. wool - Size - 29 cm oa flat
Found - Cookstown, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Staff Sgt. John (Jack) Baker, c 1910 (detail)
Orig. pastel - Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Cookstown, ON
prov estate of Norm & Alice Baker
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A lonely relic from a time past is this British Army wedge cap that belonged to a Private Wynn who fought in the Boer War and later emigrated to the US.

But it gives us a comparison of the wedge caps that British Tommies wore in South Africa.

This one features two brass buttons in two button holes.

It also has two brass rimmed holes in the sides.

The hat is stamped J&B Pearse & Co. 28 Floral St., Covent Garden, London.

During the nineteenth century all porcelain and chinaware for the Canadian market, including all those that featured Canadian scenes, was manufactured in Britain and sent to Canada.

Likewise for all the uniform tunics, pants, hats, equipment, and badges etc. for the Canadian Militia. So all the wedge caps shown here were made in the UK.

The only one to boldly show a manufacturing stamp is this one, designed for the UK not the Canadian market. Probably to avoid annoying Canadian sensibilities these "Made In" stamps were avoided on Canadian targeted products.

That was about to change thanks to one William Scully of Ontario...


Wedge Cap, Pvt. Wynn, c 1900
Orig. wool - Size - 29 cm oa flat
Found - Charleston, SC
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous Canadian Militia forage cap named to Sgt. John Baker of the 36th Peel Militia (see above.)

The dress uniform of Canadian militia units included a finer hat than the wedge cap used for everyday wear.

This was the peaked cap worn by John Baker during regimental dinners and occasions of state in Shelburne, Cookstown, and Barrie, Ontario around 1910.

This hat is important for another reason. It is one of the earliest military hats manufactured in Canada by Canadians for the Canadian market.

William Scully, born in Ontario, had been importing all manner of British military goods to Toronto since 1877. (It is very likely it was he who imported the two QOR wedge caps above.)

Just after the Boer War, in 1905, he approached the Canadian Minister of Militia, Frederick Borden, to see if the government would procure Canadian produced product, provided it was of a quality equal to the British. Encouraged by the response he imported machinery and set about manufacturing military and police clothing, badges, and equipment in Toronto in January, 1906.

He moved to Montreal in 1908 where the firm still prospers.


Forage Cap, 36th Peel Regiment, Canadian Militia - Sgt. John Baker, 1909
Orig. forage cap - Size - 27 cm
Found - Cookstown, ON


Go to William Scully Montreal

You may note in its clever advertising logo - featuring a dot before Since 1877 - the firm appears to claim - or does it? - a longer manufacturing pedigree than it has a right to...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A spectacular charcoal portrait of a nineteenth century Canadian militiaman from John Baker's 36th Peel Regiment.

The portrait dates from around 1885 and shows the standard uniform of the time. The white pith helmet, which the British adopted in 1878, started to be used by the Canadian militia in the 1880s.

Everything he is wearing, helmet, helmet plate, tunic and pants, badges, leather pouches and belt, and rifle and bayonet, were all made in the UK and imported through middle men like the young William Scully of Toronto, ON.

After the Boer War, due to the entrepreneurial spirit of William Scully most of these items would be made in Canada, and often carry the name Scully Montreal.


Canadian Militiaman, 36th Regt., Shelburne, ON c. 1870
Orig. charcoal - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Palgrave, ON




Go to 36th Regiment


William Scully Ltd. became the first firm to produce regulation headdress and badges in Canada and remains in the forefront of the business supplying uniforms, insignia, and equipment for military, police, and civilian clients.

John Baker's forage cap is stamped William Scully Montreal, 1909.

The peaked forage cap is often associated with World War I, when it was part of the everyday uniform of officers and common soldiers.

It is quite rare to see it on images of just a few years before, during the Boer War, when everyone - officers and men - wore pith helmets or wedge caps almost exclusively, except when officers posed for formal studio portraits in dress uniform.

But the peaked forage cap had been around since the Crimean War period of the 1850s where it is common to see photos of officers and NCOs wearing them.

In 1878, the shako, which in various forms, had been the common headdress of British soldiers, was replaced by the spiked pith helmet. The Foreign Service Model version was painted khaki and had a dome ventilator instead of a spike.

So pictures from the Zulu Wars (1879), the First Boer War (1882), the Sudan Campaign (1898), the Second Boer War (1899-1902) feature the pith helmet on officers and men alike.

After the Boer War the peaked forage cap made a somewhat sudden reappearance to its dominance during World War I when it was everywhere on everybody and for the first time on privates. It was probably quite a recruiting attraction, to make the men feel that they looked just like officers... or maybe tram conductors...

Canadians always lagged behind the British example in changing their military - make that civilian too - dress codes.

Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

No Canada! - This rollover illustrates why politicians are held in almost unanimous contempt by Canadians, and more so all the time, according to polling results. Wherever one travels in Canada, no matter which language, race, creed, or colour you encounter, one comment always elicits a welcome recognition of common ground and shared experiences: anything disparaging about any politician. (Question Period in the House of Commons reminds Canadians, daily, that there is nothing so beneath contempt that it cannot issue from the mouth of a politician.)

And Canadians watch angrily and helplessly knowing that they pay their salaries, expense accounts, pensions, with their hard earned tax dollars...

The treatment of Lester Pearson above is typical politics. Politicians, even - especially - at the highest level, appear mean, nasty, malevolent, mendacious (Globe & Mail editorials - Canada's only national newspaper - openly say the Prime Minister is lying and dishonest), and utterly self-serving, always ready to put down the achievements of any Canadian not part of their partisan clique.

And in foreign affairs kill, rather than talk to, people they have differences with - make that non-white, non-Judaeo-Christians, making virtually the entire world a possible candidate for attack to advance the secret and not-so-secret political agendas of the special interests that fund them.

Read the universally despised xenophobic foreign policy of the United States, which Canadian politicians seem hell-bent to follow.

But not the Canadian public. A BBC poll (May 2008) shows that only 27% of Canadians have a positive view of the United States, while a whopping 62% of Canadians view the US negatively, which is a jump of 6% over the past year. Another Environcs poll shows over half of Canadians consider the USA a negative force in world politics; and only 21% think Iran is a similar threat to world peace.

"These are stunning figures," sputters a clearly agitated Jack Granatstein in the Globe and Mail, showing that in spite of his pro-war lobbying - and that of fellow sputterer David Bercuson - the Canadian public is not buying what this dynamic duo is selling even though they are given prime editorial real estate on the op ed page to sell their wares.

No wonder these two professors are mad. These old guys can be forgiven; they have spent their entire lives preaching to impressionable young kids cornered in classrooms; so they like to think of themselves - like the Pope - as infallible. They're completely thrown off to have their highly partisan arguments rejected by the most educated and most highly schooled electorate in Canadian - if not world - history.

But we'll see these pouting pro-war profs back on the op ed page again, spouting the usual reactionary rot because, like in the best Banana Republics, in Canada the ruling class follows its own interests in promoting a disgraced foreign policy disapproved of by the vast majority of the citizens of the country.

Bercuson is among many pro-war lobbyists that the Canadian Forces actually funds, with Canadian taxpayer dollars, to go to Afghanistan to gather his propaganda material, and then in a side deal, have it published on the op ed page of the Globe. Another reason why those who practice journalism are considered by most Canadians to be on a respect level somewhere lower than that of lawyers.

THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST

Below, Lester's nose is behind that wall of nineteenth century dinosaurs who believe it's forever the white Christian's duty to make war on non-Christian, non-white peoples of the world...

As a columnist wrote on the Pearson cover-up - "Who knows what the motive is, but it is interesting that with the world watching, you would not want that legacy in the back ground of your press conference, unless it was a legacy you weren't proud of."

It's a shocking indictment of the top leadership of Canada that they use their power and influence to put a bag over Lester's head instead of showcasing the political genius of a Great Canadian in promoting world peace.

But then that is not what they're all after. It's those millions and billions of success fees that fawning friendship to Americans can put into their pockets and that of their friends and business associates as they bring Canada more and more into line with the xenophobia and racism that are the hallmark of American domestic and foreign policy.

The rogues gallery: Condy standing inches from Lester's shrouded statue, assures a smiling US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, "These guys aren't like other Canadians. They're on our side!"

Left to right: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mad Max Bernier whose chief accomplishment to date (wow look at that pun) seems to have been to dump his wife for a stunning babe (shown in all the papers) whom he brought in a low cut blouse to the swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall. He has not topped his opening performance since. Though we admit, we have not checked with her...

(UPDATE MAY 2008 - Turns out, she's a biker babe with a penchant for (married one, shacked up with two others, tsk,tsk) biker mobsters with criminal records, one of whom was even murdered by the mob. She has a penchant for hooking up with losers - sorry Max. Turns out he left more than DNA at her place, but also, she told the press - after he dumped her suddenly when the Opposition Liberals discovered her unsavoury past; revenge is sweet all around - classified government documents in an unsecured location. No not Grand Central Station but the next busiest place, her bedside table where all her other mob pals could read them, in between, you know what... It was the last of a string of gaffes by this witless minister and his resignation was accepted by the Prime Minister who had picked him as the best person in all of Canada for the position in the first place...)

Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, widely perceived as hapless and inept loser in the run for the party leadership so given a Ministerial consolation prize of a newly created Ministry that is easily the most useless and unnecessary in probably the most peaceful and geographically isolated country in the world. (It was done - what else is new - to impress the Americans.)

Super actress - Mammy - Hattie McDaniel "I hope I shall always be a credit to my race." At the 1939 Oscars for winning for Best Supporting Actress as the servant to Scarlett O' Hara ("Lawdy, Lawdy, Miss Scarlett"). She was also the first Black woman to sing on the radio; Condy sings for Dubbya, so lots more parallels...

Defence Minister Peter MacKay whose biggest claim to fame was to be dumped by his girlfriend MP Belinda Stronach the minute she was offered a cabinet post by the opposition Liberal Party. His most famous quotes, in the House: "Bitch," and on the farm finding solace with his pet, "At least dogs are loyal." Has said nothing memorable since.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous memento of a Canadian civilian Officer Cadet J Bowes, who volunteered to serve his country in a time of need, as a member of the Royal Flying Corps during World War I.

Peaked forage caps notwithstanding, wedge caps were still common during World War I, especially among pilots of the RFC, badge below.

The white flash on Cadet Bowes' wedge cap signifies a cadet pilot, either one who was in training, until he reached the age he could legally enlist, or a rating who was seeking to move up to officer status.

Judging from his teenage looks, Bowes had not enlisted previously as anything else and was seeking to start his military career as a trainee pilot in the RFC.

Support for this is that, on the back, his mother Mrs. Bowes is noted as paying to have his picture framed this way.

Hopefully it was not in his memory, as RFC pilots did not last very long.

Canada had no Air Force at the time so Canadians who wanted to fly had to join the British Royal Flying Corps. Below a Canadian RFC recruiting poster.

Prime Minister Lester B Pearson (1897-1972)

One who joined the RFC, during World War I, was later Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Lester B Pearson, who had already volunteered, and served three years in various theatres of war (since the age of 17), when he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.

His flying instructor told him his name, Lester, was too sissy for an airman and insisted on calling him "Mike" instead, probably in homage - and jest - to famous British air ace Mike Mannock. ("Mike" was injured in a crash during his first flight after which he was sensibly relegated to being a flying instructor...)

For the rest of his life his friends called him Mike, but the self-confident future Canadian Prime Minister stuck to using Lester.


Lester Pearson, better than any other Prime Minister, exemplified the best of the Canadian persona during the 20th century.

He was tough enough to sign up for active war service as a teenager, when his country called - unlike the notorious American war service shirkers John Wayne and Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, and all their daughters...

But later in life Lester was equally resolute in being a sissy to take a principled stand for international peacekeeping - not war mongering - as the central role for Canada in the world during the 20th century, which a predecessor, Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier had already hailed as "Canada's Century."

Unlike leading pop cult figures Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis, and top Canadian General Hillier, all of whom subscribe to Chairman Mao's dictum that power comes from the end of a gun, Lester believed civilized debate is infinitely more preferable, and more successful most of the time, to solve social and political problems between men of different races, colours, and creeds. Quite the opposite to these men all of whom have careers that are defined by using violence to make social change and wipe out undesirables.

Their legacies are the piles of corpses they leave behind, make-believe for the actors (though they have inspired countless schoolyard and college executioners in the US), but for the General, real bodies of men, women, and children in Afghanistan, and scores of wasted lives of young Canadian Forces personnel.

No Canadian young service personnel died on Mike's watch. Quite the contrary, Mike helped found the United Nations and NATO as stabilizing forces, and brokered the peace that ended the Suez War of 1956.

It's a good thing Mike is dead.

He would have been appalled to see NATO, which he saw as a countervailing force for peace in Europe - white Christian European soldiers standing guard over their home turf - actively exporting violence - for the first time in history - by sending shooting soldiers to conduct war outside Europe, specifically targetting non-white, non-Christian peoples.

(The Suez War, incidentally, was the precursor of things to come, with the white Judaeo-Christian alliance - Britain, France, Israel - attacking the non-white Muslim "hordes" of the Middle East - Egypt that time - because they controlled economic assets (the Suez Canal Zone that time) which the whites wanted. It should be clear to non-white peoples of the world that the so-called civilized and Christian nations don't have the slightest compunction from attacking any of them to get any economic advantages their industrial elites want. Though, in future, these would learn to spin their greed better, loudly bilboarding their war machines, instead, of being in a fight against terrorists, veils, burqas, Muslim religious extremists etc. But mind you, only in countries close to those oil reserves...)

Lester was the finest international statesman Canada ever produced.

Lester Pearson's role in ending the Suez conflict would win him Canada's only Nobel Peace Prize, and the respect of the World, a hallowed honour no present or waiting-in-the-wings Prime Minister of Canada has a hope of achieving.

Hell, OK we admit it, they're not even interested... Pleasing the American military industrial complex offers far too many benefits.

Besides the United Nations has become widely reviled, by the same group, as just too full of Black, Brown, and Yellow faces who vote the wrong way all the time - not at all like the good old days of the 1940s and 50s when the white guys ran the world the way they liked... and the non-whites were too cowed to protest...

Thanks to these regressive interests, Canada, in the 21st century, is well on the way to entrenching the same kind of xenophobic foreign policy - targeting non-white, non-Christian Muslim peoples of the world - that has animated US overseas initiatives since the collapse of the Cold War, and the loss of the countervailing influence of the USSR against American military aggression around the world.

Other Canadian Prime Ministers - All are too frightened - or too greedy? - to risk alienating the power of high finance, and the international lobbying influence of the American armament manufacturers, to continue Lester Pearson's peacekeeping foreign policy that gained Canada unrivalled respect from peoples around the world in the 20th century.

Promoting war and armaments expenditure offers so much better payback, as Canadians discovered recently by the disclosure that former Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in sacks of $1,000 bills (the favoured currency for underground mafia and drug lord transactions) in various hotel rooms from an unsavory international arms dealer. (In fact $1,000 bills have been withdrawn from circulation exactly because only crooks and creeps used them to conduct illicit financial transactions that they did not want to see the light of day or the probing nose of the taxing authorities.)

To a Parliamentary Committee, in December, 2007, Prime Minister Mulroney admitted taking cash was an error... He erred in counting too...

Hardly one error; it was compounded more than once, on many levels, and multiple occasions...

The jump from one mindless mistake, to a clear pattern of cover-up, possible illegality and immorality seems hard to avoid: Prime Minister. Mulroney accepted sacks of cash three different times, in different hotel rooms in Canada and the US, and each time, he admitted, he departed from standard practice, and he did not, for some curious but unknown reason: submit a written invoice, submit a written report for work done under the contract, offer a written receipt, deposit the money in a regular bank account, so it could earn huge amounts of interest - but where also a paper trail would start - did not declare it for taxes, and could not produce, on any level, private records logging its expenditure... And all, he admitted, clear departures from the way he usually did business!!! He would have us believe he treated hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash with no more seriousness than random coins in a child's piggy bank...

The Prime Minister said he kept hundreds of thousands of dollars in various safety deposit boxes. He confessed that there is absolutely no paper trace of any kind that these payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash ever passed through the hands of Prime Minister Mulroney.

The Prime Minister only declared the payments, finally for taxes, many years later, as government investigators were closing in, and threatened to uncover the payments while investigating the activities of the armaments dealer who had handed over the sacks of cash. Even here the Prime Minister refused to make his tax records available to Parliament as a possible check to verify what seems to be the only existing documentation that could support his statements. But no deal...

Instead, the clearly evasive Mulroney asked the Parliamentary Committee, and the Canadian public, to accept at face value, solely the word of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, known, for decades, to most Canadians as "Lyin' Brian."

In 1994 a heavily researched book "On the Take" analyzed his tenure as Prime Minister of Canada. Though he has sued others for libel he has never sued the author of the heavily documented book or its sequels.

Former Prime Minister Mulroney remains the most reviled politician in Canadian history. Though he had won back to back majorities - name any politician who wouldn't go for a third? - he inexplicably resigned early, refusing to fight the next election, as publicity about his dealings became known, and opted to gallantly pass the baton to a woman who would take the fall for him. Kim Campbell was the unelected Prime Minister for only a few months, and remains the only woman ever to hold that office in Canada. Thanks to the old boy's club which runs Canadian politics...

Canada falls woefully short of accepting women for the top office behind several Muslim countries who have already elected women Prime Ministers, years ago... Maybe someone should invade Canada and free our womenfolk like the Canadian Army - that bastion of feminism - is apparently hard at work doing in Afghanistan.

The next election, a few months after Mulroney resigned, destroyed Canada's most venerable political institution, the Conservative Party of Canada, which had created Canada, and produced many of its leading statesmen, reducing it to two seats - TWO SEATS IN ALL OF CANADA. The party disappeared, being absorbed into the Reform Party of Canada, a western Canadian rump of anti-central Canada Conservatives and religious extremists, allied to entrenched American military and oil lobbyists.

During the present Conservative Government's administration, Canada's armaments budgets have ballooned astronomically as it acquired billions of dollars of military hardware from international armaments manufacturers - mostly Americans.

In their wake the Canadian Auditor-General has earmarked hundreds of millions of cost overruns in military service contracts - catching companies routinely doubling, or more, the original cost estimates. No one gets fired for this; no contractor is taken to court or asked to fulfill the original contract; no civil servant is shot or hauled on to the carpet for being asleep on the job, over and over again. OK, OK we agree you can't shoot them all... The military industrial complex just sends in its bills - hey any amount will get by - and the Conservative Government orders them to be paid, no questions asked, no accountability or contract compliance demanded. And the military lobbyists take their millions in success fees, the practice widely followed today in Canada, according to the one man who should know, military arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber, who paid off both a Premier and a Prime Minister of Canada.

He told the Parliamentary Committee bluntly, on national television, that the same bribery that he conducted was taking place "as we speak" and involved, in 2008, the same people he had paid millions to earlier, to shepherd lucrative armaments contracts to the Federal Government.

Hey the Liberals made off with millions before. Now it's our turn after a long drought. Besides it's only Canadian taxpayers who get fleeced and they're a bottomless pit...

Those military lobbyists sure know how to earn their "success fees" with their former pals in government and the Civil Service, raking off millions to make it all happen.

A Great Canadian economic model; rape and pillage the public purse, with impunity. Not for education; not for health care; not for social services; not for for environmental projects. Oh, c'mon, how naive can you be?

Just for guns and bullets and bombs to kill people with. But, thank God, not white people or Jews or Christians... We'll grant you that; those military lobbyists do have standards...

They just target non-white, Muslims in the Third World in Afghanistan, and ultimately Iran.

The "pretend" threat to world peace, which Canadians are now fighting and dying for, is the pajama-clad Taliban, and their insistence that Afghan Muslim women cover their faces...

In fact, as everyone knows, the real deal is to set up Afghanistan as a launch pad for the coming American invasion of Iran, allowing US Forces to invade in the classic encircling "pincer" movement, simultaneously through the front and back doors, with their armies from Iraq and Afghanistan, and so forcing the Iranians to fight a two-front war in order to protect their homeland from the inevitable American attack... (So don't look for US troops ever to leave Iraq... It ain' t gonna happen; the US has built the world's largest embassy complex in Baghdad; it's like Vatican City in Rome. It's a certainty: the US army will sit on the Iraqi oil fields during the lifetime of anyone alive today.)

And another message is coming in loud and clear, as Canada piles up a horrific arsenal of military weapons and delivery systems.

All the US, British, and Canadian military planners already have coordinated invasion plans for Iran ready to put into practice at a moment's notice...

When the Iran invasion comes, Canadians will be in the front lines shooting their way into another Muslim country... That's why we need for the Canadian Forces to stay till 2011 and beyond, as General Hillier unabashedly projects. Ignore the canard about training the Afghan army; they need to be there when Bush or his successor orders the inevitable invasion...

It will take a century before Canada will ever recover from this damage to Canada's reputation, and loss of face and credibility among the vast concourse of non-Christian, Brown, Black and Yellow peoples of the world, whom God placed in the greatest abundance on the Earth.

It's a good thing Lester is dead.

His legacy for the Nation has been debased by lesser men, with meaner motives...

He would be pleased about one thing though...

Canada is only being debased by the politicians and their Schreiber-subservient armaments lobbyists, with their bags of $1000 bills...

The people of Canada are firmly on Lester's side... but powerless...

Ah, they say, if only Canada were a Democracy, instead of a Banana Republic run by a General and his military lobbyists...

All will end their days, deservingly, raking it in, in Directorship Heaven, on the boards of the military industrial complex to whom they provided such loyal service...

Thanks to them, Canada has dropped to her lowest level, ever, during the entire 20th and 21st century, in the esteem of the world - the vast concourse of non-white, non-Christian Black, Brown, and South Asian Peoples, whom God placed in the greatest abundance on the planet.


Propeller Tip Frame, RFC Cadet Bowes, World War I

Orig. oak - Size - 29 cm
Found - Hamilton, ON

A highly unique and most evocative frame to set off a portrait of the flyer in the family, is this tip from an old oak propeller.

The back of the photo bears the writing: "J Bowes RFC," and "Mrs. Bowes 35 Brige St." with the amount for "98 cents on Delivery," and is clearly of a Canadian flier.



Unfortunately Canadians who enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps did this directly, sidestepping the Canadian Government completely, and so leaving no paper trail that one can follow in the Canadian Archives, to narrow down his identity.

SHAME ! - Unfortunately though the Canadian Archives has wonderfully posted all Canadian servicemen and women's papers online in downloadable format FOR FREE, the British Archives is back in the stone age and publishes nothing free online whatsoever on the 5 million Brits who served and or died in its wars.

To even see any name, let alone records - forget downloading anything - you have to hand over credit card details, online, for starters, and then pay a private agency $150 a year to search for anything at all. And then they may not even have what you paid all that money for. Over 60% of British service personnel records was destroyed in bombing in WWII.

It is abominable, beyond belief, that a supposedly civilized Government can find billions of dollars to bomb and shoot Muslim men, women, and children, in Iraq and Afghanistan, but can't fund the basic publicizing of its veterans' records for their family, friends, and fellow citizens.

Instead, no doubt for a very large cash settlement, the British Government has turned its personnel records of the millions who served and hundreds of thousands who died, into a tawdry money making operation for a ruthless contractor, ancestry.com, who demands credit card details just to make basic inquiries, wants $150 to release even the most elementary information, and bills automatically for additional $150 yearly increments if you forget to end the contract.

How many hundreds or thousands of people - how forgetful we all are - who have failed to terminate the contract will find themselves docked, automatically, another whopping amount which they won't be able to get back?

To get the printed out records of one veteran, which in Canada you can get instantly in high resolution format for FREE, you will end up having to pay a minimum of $200 to $300 US in the UK... or more...

No wonder the glory that once was Britain is as tatty, these days, as the tacky reputation of the tawdry Royals and the disgraced and deposed George Bush sidekick, war-monger, and human rights violator, Tony Blair.

FIRST IN WAR & FIRST IN PEACE

Below a world class standard setter of diplomatic behaviour that Britain has long abandoned, the Canadian example of what personified the best in international leadership during the 20th century: the career of Nobel Laureate, and Canadian Liberal Prime Minister, Lester B Pearson.

He gave -

- T he Liberal Party Principled and Moral Leadership

- Canada an Honest World Class Diplomat and a Thoroughly Decent Prime Minister


- The Canadian Public its Own National Maple Leaf Flag

- The People of the World a Nobel Laureate

- The Congress of Nations a Gold Standard of Leadership from a Multi-cultural Canada, in a World where Black, Brown, and Yellow Peoples outnumber, by far, the old boy's club of white Judaeo-Christian males who have always wanted to continue ruling the world and controlling the destiny of other peoples, by rolling over, with their vast military industrial juggernaut, anyone who disagrees with them.


Lester was fifty years ahead of his time; when Canada was ruled and run by white Christian Anglo-Saxons, he dared to break the mold, and dedicate Canada to a multi-cultural model when most Canadians could not foresee a time, when hundreds of thousands of brown, yellow, and black immigrants would swell Canada's population with a rich variety of religions.

So it's a good thing Lester is dead...

He would be appalled to see how regressive Canada has become in its foreign and military policy.

At a time when the non-white, non-Judaeo- Christian, and especially Muslim populations, have mushroomed in Canada, the racism that drove nineteenth century slavery and Imperial conquest has resurfaced with a vengeance, as the same club of white Judaeo-Christians are once more turning their death dealing military might on non-white, non-Christian peoples in Third World countries who control something they covet, access and control over their oil-rich territories.

As the Muslim world stands aside, enraged, but powerless to prevent the wars against its countries and peoples.


Would that other Canadian Prime Ministers had the personal, moral, and political courage of that "Sissy Lester."

Don't count on it...

The Toronto Globe pointed out that when Prime Minister Stephen Harper set up a press conference to welcome US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Ottawa in February, 2007, it was organized in the foyer of the Canadian Foreign Affairs Lester B Pearson Building, where the pride of the place was displayed, a statue of Nobel Laureate Lester B Pearson, a long-time star of its diplomatic service, in which he had spent most of his life.

As a deliberate slap in the face of this great man, and to signal to one and all that Pearson's "peace-keeping" model was out of favour, that henceforth, making war "US style" was in, a huge wall was set up to cover the display area that noted the accomplishments of this great Canadian. (Yes they could have set it up on the other side but they deliberately did not want to showcase the highlight of the foyer.)

The Globe published a picture that showed the Pearson statue in total shadow - the photographer supplied the light for the photo - nosed up against a gigantic obliterating wall, on the other side of which Condy would feel comfortable, with real Canadian warriors, instead of being exposed to, and offended by, a Canadian sissy and peace-monger like Lester...

(Condy, you may remember is the pretend shuttle diplomat who, following strict orders, went back and forth during the late Israeli/Lebanese War, in a brazen mock effort - what an actress - to broker a cease fire (which the Lebanese, the UN, Mankind, and the Muslim World were desperate to get) just to give the Israelis the extra time they had asked the US for in order to obliterate over 1,200 "insurgents," who turned out to be, as the entire world knew beforehand, overwhelmingly Lebanese civilians, and mostly women and children.

The point of the exercise had not been to wipe out grass roots insurgents, which even the village idiot knows is an impossibility, but to send a deadly message to the Muslim world.

How many women and children are you willing to lose until you bend to the white Judaeo-Christian order of the universe?

The same tactic worked well during the Boer War.

The Boers sued for peace after three deadly years not because they were defeated - the commandos were still having successes in the field - or because 4,000 Boer fighters had been killed, but because some 28,000 women and children had died, corralled in cramped and unhygienic British concentration camps where they inevitably died of sickness, malnutrition, and lack of health care and proper food.

There is no getting around the fact that Lord Kitchener "won" the Boer War for the British by killing women and children...

That Condy clearly revels in using the same tactics is why she is so reviled in Human Rights circles, as well as by leading Black US civil rights activists, like Harry Belafonte.

She is an accomplished pianist and has played for President Bush at White House receptions.

Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, Condy played piano while Lebanese women and children burned...


What an indictment of what passes for Democracy in the Great Republic, that in the 21st century a black woman can aspire to top political offices only if she is as comfortable with racism, and racist killing, as her white masters...

So who says slavery was abolished in the USA?

The lowly field hands have just been educated more and dressed up better to fit the changing times.

And the banjo has been replaced by the piano.

The mind set of Blacks like Condy who want to "succeed" is still Plantation and doing Massa's bidding...

A much lamented casualty of another Canadian Boer War mounted force, the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, Lt. John Burch of Nova Scotia, posed proudly for what would prove to be his last picture before being killed a few months later on July 16, 1900.

His wedge cap sports large brass buttons and a giant CANADA badge, similar to James Kerihen's, which flops the hat over on its side, and is probably why, except for photo ops, most troopers opted for no badge or a small substitute collar dog instead.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous portrait of another Canadian Boer War volunteer, Trooper GS. Palmer of Troop 3, Sqd A, Strathcona's Horse, which is doubly fine because he has signed a dedication on the back. His wedge cap features a chin strap, possibly because, since he was in a mounted force, at the gallop these hats would go flying off regularly without one...

Like James' cap his features two buttons of horn in button holes, but curiously, no cap badge...


Photo, Trooper GS Palmer, Strathcona's Horse - 1900
Orig. photo - Image Size - 13 x 19 cm
Found - Brecon, Wales, UK

Actually John's poem, far from being an anthem to peace, which generations of schoolchildren have been taught to memorize mindlessly, is a jingoistic call to "Take up our quarrel with the foe" and keep the war going, and damn you if you fail, that is, "If ye break faith with us who die"... It springs not, from a philosophical realization of the futility of bloodletting and war, but from grief and anger over the death of a very close friend - by whose graveside John actually wrote it - and a desire to exact a pound of flesh from the Germans, in revenge... And if you fail to follow through, "We shall not sleep, though poppies blow, in Flander's Fields."

A very fine war poem, but definitely not a paean to Peace...

Below John a few months before he died (Jan. 18, 1918) of pneumonia, which he contracted as a doctor in Boulogne, France.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous original charcoal drawing of what is almost certainly Canadian Boer War artillery officer Lt. John McCrae, who would become Word War I's famous warrior/doctor poet and composer of "In Flander's Fields," here shown in his Boer War era militia getup, and wearing a wedge cap similar to Palmer's.

Again, since his artillery battery was likely charging across the veldt, when in action, his cap sports a chin strap.

This portrait, in its original frame and wavy glass, came from a US estate auction, across Lake Ontario, where it appeared listed as "A British Mounted Trooper."


Framed Portrait, Lt. John McCrae, c 1898
Orig. charcoal - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Rochester, NY

The 1899 photo left of John McCrae in Guelph, Ontario, in his militia uniform, before leaving for South Africa, again shows him wearing the same kind of wedge cap with chin strap, at the same rakish angle as the trooper in the charcoal portrait above.

(Comparing the way the wedge cap sits, with all the wildly varying possibilities shown in the RCR group photo above, where hardly two are worn tilted sideways or forward the same way, makes the similarity in the two pictures uncanny.)

Likewise another photo right, of John taken in South Africa, adds further supporting evidence that the charcoal is, indeed, of McCrae.

He wears the khaki issue Canadian Contingent wedge cap, like those of McKerihen and Palmer, the same way, and this time also, like in the charcoal portrait, sports a similar moustache, and an unruly lock of hair...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Bugler Williams (QOR Seconded to RCR) at Paardeberg
Orig. Great Canadian Historic Site
Found - Paardeberg, RSA

After Colonel Otter, the most famous member of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada was Bugler Douglas Williams of Toronto, who, at Paardeberg, though bullets were flying thick and fast about him, "leapt on an anthill and blew the charge" on Bloody Sunday, Feb. 18, 1900, Canada's worst day of casualties of the entire war. Here, wearing his wedge cap and sporting a giant badge - as young boys are wont to do, and was the style at the QOR, he is shown at the scene of his triumph, the anthills on the exact spot on the battlefield at Paardeberg where the Canadians charged and died for Queen and Empire. On that day this field was littered with hundreds of dead and dying men; it was the worst day of casualties for the British Army during the entire war.