Portraits Page 2 Great Canadian Portraits
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The Personal Trunk: Paul Wickson RCA - 1859-1922 - 1

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Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Only once in a lifetime will you ever come across an estate sale collection from a Canadian painter that rivals the intimacy of this fabulous assortment of the personal memorabilia of Paul Wickson RCA one of Canada's top Victorian and Edwardian artists.

Paul was born in York, Canada West, returned with his family to the UK where he grew up, and got his art education, before returning to Canada, in 1885, on his own at the age of 26. He married into the Hamiltons, a leading family in Paris, Ontario, where he lived for the rest of his life, painting major commissions for Canadian and American pictorial publishers.

This fabulous steamer chest, which belonged to him, has got to be the most wonderful Canadian immigrant steamer chest in existence, bar none.

It was built in England, and originally belonged to his grandparents, James (1793-1869), and Jane Wickson (died 1875), and accompanied them and their brood - including James' father Arthur - to Canada in 1834.

It has bullet-proof provenance-to-die-for, unlike most immigrant trunks which are anonymous. A very few have a "supposed" name attached, mostly by word of mouth of some antique dealer... for what that is worth.

Not this fabulous chest. One of the children, 10 year old Sarah, who came to Canada with this trunk, and probably sat on it, saw to that.

Sarah Wickson, (who died in 1918, at 94) Paul's aunt, who would go on to play a big role in his life, wrote a note memorialzing its fabulous history.

James & Jane Wickson Immigrant Steamer Chest, 1834, York, Upper Canada
Orig. plate - Image Size - 48 x 80 x 47h cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll
James Wickson's name, in fading and degraded paint is still legible on the lid as J Wickson, and the destination York, Upper Canada, as Toronto, and the Province of Ontario were known as then. (While James was underway, he was unaware York had become a city and been renamed Toronto that very year; UC became Canada West in 1841, and Ontario in 1867.)

The Wickson children were a literate group, with Sarah being a very accomplished artist and Mary a diarist (her diaries from 1859 and 1869, would be edited by Jackson Armstrong, a descendant, as "As Seven Eggs Today: the Diaries of Mary Armstrong.")

Arthur became a minister and the father of artist Paul Wickson, so Sarah was Paul's aunt.

Very likely she took possession of the old steamer trunk - others probably didn't give a hoot for that "damn old wooden box." They had moved on to more modern "with it" possessions. (See Norman Hamilton's trunk below.)

It shows the classic old wrought iron strap, spear or spade hinges, and at the bottom the lidded document or valuables box.

The large and ornate key is still with it. It happens when one family safeguards its historic memorabilia items, in this case, for some 150 years.

Sarah passed it all on to her nephew Paul, a kindred spirit she called "Arthur's little boy." He, like her, had a natural talent as an artist and she probably had an affectionate tie with the budding artist. And later as a man, when she arranged his marriage to her step-daughter, Elizabeth Hamilton in 1885.

The chest spent the next 100 or so years, in fact decades after he died, in the Wickson house in Paris, Ontario.

The lid shows the construction, with the rivets - all rose head - marking the location of the strap hinges and the locking mechanism.

The construction of the box is oak. It must already have been the family strongbox and spent a few years in England before going to Canada, as worm holes dot parts of the lid.

The edges, where worm damage and general rough handling in transport had degraded the wood, has been reinforced with dove-tailed framing.

But this was done in the 19th century, possibly by Paul who might have used it for travelling himself.

The blacksmith hand-wrought handles are surrounded by tiny holes where worms tried to dent the mighty English oak. Without success. This box is undamaged, tough, and very heavy. As strong as any iron strongbox.

The edge of the lid has taken a considerable beating over time. The later "edge molding" is still clearly ancient and might have even been added to an old trunk by James Wickson before embarking for Canada. Or later by Paul Wickson to make it serviceable again, and repair the worm damage that had weakened the edge of the lid.

The lock is a massive thing at 12 x 19 x 3.5 cms., and the key, also huge, more the size for a house door.

Two bolts on the lock have been changed. Probably the threads were stripped. Someone wanted to continue using the chest as a strongbox. Luckily the original old bolts have been preserved by someone with an eye to history and can be put back into their old places. Though the replacements probably put in by Paul, are themselves now, historic artifacts.


















And deep down, wedged in the cracks, tiny leftovers from family possessions the box once held: beads of various kinds, colours and sizes, a tooth from a comb, a tiny wheel from a watch, and miniscule sea shells. Many are "feminine" items, probably from a far earlier time. No girl or woman could move this very heavy trunk around by herself.

Below, Sarah's mother Jane, Paul Wickson's grandmother, whose valuables came to Canada in this trunk in 1834.

Right Sarah Wickson's artistic talent shows up in the view of Paris she drew probably in the 1890s.

Behind the church, on the top right of the hill overlooking the Grand River, is Hamilton Place, with its white columns, her home after she married Norman Hamilton - Paris' leading entrepreneur, in 1865.

It's where the chest would sit for over 100 years.

Sarah drew the scene years after the photo (c 1880) was taken from the same perspective, clearly showing Hamilton Place.

At the very moment these photos were taken, the trunk is in the house above the river. An earlier photo shows Norman's mill bottom right.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
A Parisian couple in their Sunday best wave at the marvel of the age, the train steaming from London to Hamilton, as cows, feigning disinterest, prefer to graze, or drink in the pure waters of the Grand River.

John Claude Whale (1852-1905) painted it while sitting near the big house in the bottom right of the photo above probably in the 1860s.

The Whale family was already a very busy group of portrait and landscape artists in the area when Paul Wickson showed up on the scene in 1885. They had already been painting for some thirty years.

Their painting efforts did not really compete, or they managed to divide their passions. The Whales did genre landscape commissions and close-up portraits of the emerging middle classes; Paul came to specialize in farm animals and people in action.

This painting showing the train trestle visible just behind the Wickson house when the pylons were still wooden. In the 1870s photo they are already limestone piers.

This fabulous painting once belonged to His Eminence Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter (1912-2003), the Archbishop of Toronto a man who also had a passion for Canadian heritage.

Go to those Whale boys
The Great Western Crossing the Viaduct, Paris, Ontario c 1870, John Claude Whale
Orig. oil on canvas - Size - 21" x 34"
Found - Bowmanville, ON

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Provenance-to-die-for, is this handwritten note from Sarah Hamilton (1824-1918) - Paul Wickson's aunt - who was along for the fabulous trip from London (UK) to York (Canada West) in 1834 that she documented in such fine detail.

Most Canadian antique chests have no names; a few have "word-of-mouth names," for what that's worth; some have "antique dealer invented, or painted names;" a sparse few more have real, but sadly unknown names.

There is not a single chest, anywhere, that can rival the pedigree of authenticity and documented travels of this fabulous Canadian heritage trunk.

Everything about this chest is traceable and provable.

It has a real painted name of a known person.

It's life history - and the route by how it got to Canada - is known and documented by a historical personality who accompanied it.

It was owned by a famous celebrity, one of Canada's top artists, Paul Wickson RCA.

A fabulous extra: portraits of the people associated with the chest are available.

And its entire line of ownership - mostly the family for 150 years - is documented.

So, absolutely, it stayed clear of antique chest forgers and antique dealer invented provenance...

Provenance Note, The Wickson Trunk, Sarah Hamilton (1824-1918)
Orig. letter - Image Size - 11 x 16 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll
The James Wickson family boarded the barque Drymo, under Captain DP Upton in London, for New York, where they boarded a steamer taking them up the Hudson River to Albany. There the chest was loaded on to a canal boat on the Erie Canal for Oswego, on the shore of Lake Ontario. They took a ship across the lake to York, Upper Canada (Toronto.)

The Drymo is listed, in the New York American, still on the Boston run, five years later, in 1839.

In 1894 the Bostonian Society held an exhibition of large paintings of the historic ships of Boston, including one of the Drymo.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous c 1842 Joseph Heard painting of a barque that was identical to the Drymo that carried the Wickson family chest to Canada.

No doubt they encountered the storms of the North Atlantic and saw drifting icebergs as Heard depicted in his fabulous painting.

They never knew it, but that very same year another famous Canadian artistic family - the Stricklands? - was beating its way, aboard a similar ship, towards a new life in Upper Canada.

In fact, they would win fame under their married names: Susanna Moodie, and her sister Catherine Parr Traill.

Go to those Strickland Girls

The barque was the workhorse of the Golden Age of Sail in the mid-19th century.

It's distinctive sail plan usually involved three masts, sometimes four, with the front ones being square rigged. The aftermost mast was always fore and aft rigged, with sails more in line with the keel, than across it.

The Atlantic crossing was the easy part of the journey to Canada. You just sat, waited, barfed your guts out during North Atlantic storms, and worried as the ship traveled thousands of miles, hoping it would not encounter fires aboard that sank other ill fated ships: (SS City of Montreal, 1887), or run into the Nova Scotia shore at night (SS Hungarian 1860 - all 205 dead, SS Atlantic 1873 - 562 dead) or just totally disappear in gales (Huronian 1902).

The tough part began when you reached land, in a continent were all roads were primitive, local, and not connected. Canals were the highways of the time to get you and your goods to your destination.

Ship in Stormy Arctic Waters c 1842 - Joseph Heard

Orig. oil - Image Size - 48 x 68 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Just over a century later the Atlantic passage for immigrants was done in relative style, except for the barfing, for which there was no cure... except the airplane, which wiped out the last of the immigrant ships by 1960.

Go to Steamer Scythia
The Wickson trip from New York, was by steamer up the Hudson River to Albany, then by canal barge over the storied Erie Canal to Oswego, and by steamer to York.

This was still a hostile frontier in 1834. The War of 1812-14 had drenched the border lands in blood. In 1837-38, 1866, and 1870, Americans would invade again, at various points along this border.

For Canadian security, at Kingston, Fort Henry, the biggest fort in the entire map area was being built, and Colonel By was constructing an inland canal - the Rideau - to allow a safe transportation route for Canadians far from the hostile American border.

The capital for "Canada," which at various times would be at Niagara, York, Kingston, and Montreal, was finally moved to Bytown, just to keep a safe distance from the war-mongering Americans.

Go to Civil War Butchery

Iraq and Afghanistan are not the only countries who have felt the wrath of the American gene pool. (Only 26 years later, the Americans started their own famous Civil War - which in the 21st century is, by far, the Americans' favourite reenactor event - where they butchered each other in astronomic proportions. In fact far more American soldiers were killed - almost 700,000 - than in all other American wars combined...

Now do you know why Bytown (Ottawa) is off in the Boonies where nobody lived...?

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure At the very moment the Wicksons were underway there had been a powerful transformation in the political life of York, the town they were heading for.

The city - in fact the entire province - was being run by a small Family Compact of the rich and the super-rich - sound familiar? - and the people were super angry about their loss of control in what was supposed to be some kind of democracy - sound familiar? A crusading journalist, William Lyon Mackenzie, using the very type shown here, in a paper he owned, was calling for the people to rise up and demand their democratic rights.

When York became incorporated as a city, in 1834, and renamed Toronto, the citizens chose Mac as the city's first mayor.

Thanks to the calumny of journalists, 150 years later the tables have turned completely. The people living in the rural areas, democratic "revolutionaries" in Mac's day, today are mostly pro-war, right-wing reactionaries, and overwhelmingly vote for policies favouring their "betters," the rich and the super-rich, who have total political control. The big cities now have the educated liberal anti-war types who demand fair play for everyone in a decent society without favouritism for the rich. And they're hated for it in rural areas where cities are viewed as the haven for liberals, socialists, immigrants, foreigners, non-whites, criminals, and free-loaders of all kinds, in short, the source of all their problems.
The precipitous fall from grace, of journalists in western European countries, is universal and absolute. In poll after poll, the public ranks journalists beneath contempt - that's right, below lawyers, if you can believe? All, of course, are in the employ of the rich and super-rich, and their writing makes this transparently obvious even to a high school kid.

Only three years later countless farmers followed this journalist/publisher in armed rebellion against the super-rich and powerful exploiting classes. Literally putting their lives on the line for a man they respected mightily. Quite a number were later hanged for doing so.

It was the last time Canadian citizens could/would ever follow any journalist anywhere, except, perhaps, to a bar or a whorehouse (read the Chicago Tribune's Kim Barker's account of how, for years, she and her coterie of international scribes in Kabul, Afghanistan, constantly frequented brothels for all night booze, snorting, and sex sessions. Now do you know why Canadian gal calumnists, Rosie (The Star), Christie (the Post), and Maggie (the Globe) repeatedly went back to Kabul...?)

Seeing how powerful the press was, under Mac, the rich and super rich bought all the media and stocked it with fawning toadies and calumnists eager to spout the owner's line, not the citizenry's. No wonder Mac is scowling when he hears what happened to his profession.

Read all about how Mac was the Last Decent Canadian journalist.

Go to Mac and the Rebels of 1837

Chromolithograph (1880) and Type Face (1830s) - William Lyon Mackenzie
Orig. chromolithograph & type face
Image Size - 18 x 24 cm
The Canadian Portrait Gallery - John Charles Dent - 1880
Found - Toronto, ON

Here is how the rich and super-rich lived at the time, while ordinary Canadians lived in log cabins hacked out of the wilderness.

Go to Allan MacNab You Scoundrel

Read how today, the rich and super-rich are desecrating public buildings by plastering them with their names on huge tax written off memorial monoliths.

Go to the Cookie Monster Runs Amok

Where is Mac when we need him?
Noting provenance is extremely important for all family antiques, to prevent valuable information about the origins of heritage items getting lost in the mists of time.

On the bottom of a second leather trunk - a very fine antique with a to-die-for provenance, from the same estate - the collector detailed how all the Wickson items on this page came into his possession.

Milan Obradovic's parents bought them all, along with the Wickson house, in 1980. They passed them on to him in 1999.

Sadly Milan died and his widow put it out to auction.

The ornate and very heavy leather trunk originally belonged to Norman Hamilton left whose daughter Elizabeth Paul would go on to marry, but many years after her father had died. It has a brass NH on top.

It has an extremely thick straw filled lid and very thick and solid wooden sides and bottom. It is very, very heavy. But in keeping with Norman's elevated station in life, as the richest man in Paris, far more "with it" than the old Wickson family chest.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Elizabeth S (Hamilton) Wickson (1864-1948) - Paul Wickson RCA, c 1886
Orig. oil - Image Size - 40 x 60 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll
An absolutely fabulous large oil that Paul Wickson painted of his wife, Elizabeth Hamilton, a member of Paris, Ontario royalty, as the daughter of Norman Hamilton.

This was clearly painted with much love, and is certainly a high point in Victorian Canadian portraiture by a master at the peak of his power.

There are many Canadian portraits of people from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Only a very few are as powerful as this one. And sadly, the vast majority of subjects are anonymous, their identities lost to history.

Not this one, it was in the Hamilton house for over 100 years.

It is elevated, again, among other fine Canadian painted portraits most of which were sold for commercial profit, painted with an understandably limited emotional commitment from the artist.

This painting came from the deepest wellspring of emotion of the artist, and was kept by Paul Wickson as among his most cherished personal possessions until he died. The family kept it for the next 70 years.

In all a real painting, of a real person, born of real, deeply held passions, by a fine artist at the top of his game, and who kept it close by, for the rest of his life...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Cabinet Card, Elizabeth (Hamilton) Wickson, c 1885
Orig. photo - Image Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll

The person who inspired the painting, as she looked in a family cabinet card, probably taken about 1885, the year she married Paul Wickson.

Her mother Sarah Wickson, who arranged it all, had watched her own brother "Arthur's little boy," grow up and then make waves, as a young man in England, with his art.

With her step-daughter Elizabeth in tow, she visited her brother Arthur and his family in England and introduced Liz to Paul, then 26.

When Paul saw those eyes, sparks flew, but they lived continents apart.

Sarah suggested that Paul come to Paris, Ontario, and paint the Canadian countryside.

Paul probably had other ideas.

He considered it, for a few minutes, then decided to move to Canada to pursue matters. He married Liz there in 1885, and lived and painted in the fabulous Hamilton house on the hill till he died in 1922.

On the back of the card someone has written, then crossed out Sarah, and replaced it with "Liz."

Below the etchings with which Paul wooed and wowed the impressionable colonial gal from Paris, Ontario, where almost all the houses were just wooden frame and clapboard construction.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous drawing, which Paul was especially proud of, from a time he was starting to make a mark in England with his artistic talents.

Artists from time immemorial have been testing their skills on depicting the human body with all its intricate lines and shadings.

Paul clearly excelled at this ultimate test for any artist. (Except the Group of Seven which found this subject too difficult, opting to try their talents on rocks and hills.)

This drawing won Paul Britain's "National Bronze Medal" in 1879 when he was only 20 years old...

No doubt he showed it to Elizabeth when she was introduced to him in England in 1885.

"Oh, would you like to see my etchings?" we can hear him say, to the properly prim Victorian girl from the backwoods of Canada.

Paul proudly had it framed and brought it with him to Paris, Ontario, in 1885. It hung in Hamilton Place during his lifetime.

And no doubt visitors who asked what it was were informed that no, this was not just a colonial Canadian award but a British honour, won in competition with the best entrants from the United Kingdom.

Drawing, National (UK) Bronze Medal Winner, Paul Wickson 1879
Orig. oil - Image Size - 40 x 65 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll

These large drawings were also made by Paul when he was training to be a painter in England.

They show what an extremely talented artist he was.
















Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Of course when Paul wasn't in love, he painted for a living, like other artists.

Paul, being an urban dude, painted portraits of his wife.

Farmers of 19th century Canada, too, wanted pictures of things they took the most pride in - their animals of course - and Paul made a living painting horses and cows for the local ruralites.

No horse portrait Fred Coburn or Manly Macdonald ever painted can match this prancing trio. OK, Art Hider could. And perhaps Suzor-Coté might have matched it, once or twice. Don't even mention the Group of Seven; they wouldn't know one end of a horse from another...

Paul thought it was pretty good too, so he kept it all his life. After he died, in 1922, the family kept it.

With the coming of the noisy and smelly tractors, everyone recalled fondly, the time in the 1880s when all you heard in the fields was the snorting of prancing steeds, the dull clumping of hooves on soil, the snapping of leather straps, the clinking of harness rings, and the dull scraping as the iron blade cut into the ground and folded over the soil.

It's all there! Can't you hear it? So lovingly and accurately captured by Paul Wickson.

The Good Old Days, in all their glory... Painted by a Master Artist, at the top of his game.

Teamwork, Plowing in Spring - Paul Wickson RCA, c 1895
Orig. oil - Image Size - 36 x 50 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A very rare item to find, indeed, is Paul Wickson's diploma from the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts entitling him to membership in Canada's top artistic society.

It showed that Paul Wickson was judged, by the highest names in art in the land, to be the equal of any artist in Canada.

It is personally signed by none other than Otto Jacobi who, decades earlier, had been selected for the prestigious honour to paint a Canadian scene, as Canada's official gift for Prince Edward during his official visit to Canada in 1860.

Go to Otto

Membership in the Society allowed Paul to add the letters RCA after his name, "in consideration of your skill in the art of Painting."

This fabulous and ultra-rare document is still in its original frame and glass, just the way Paul proudly hung it in his home.

Paul Wickson's Diploma, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, c 1890
Orig. oil - Image Size - 39 x 50 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Paul & Elizabeth Wickson/Milan Obradovic Coll
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A spectacular and large pitcher of another of Queen Victoria's daughters, whose husband became Governor-General of Canada and founded the National Art Gallery.

Go to Louise's Lover

Pitcher, Marquis of Lorne & Princess Louise - 1878
Orig. pitcher - Size - 20 cm
Found - Napanee, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Without fear, we'll go out on a limb here, and say the arrival, in Halifax, of the Marquis of Lorne and Princess Louise - Queen Victoria's daughter - produced the first uniquely Canadian glass memorabilia items ever made. (As opposed to just decorative glass.)

We have seen no earlier memorabilia glassware.

Though glass items mushroomed for Queen Victoria's jubilee in 1885. But they were still not uniquely Canadian; their captions doing service for the entire empire.

This fabulous butter dish, with the medallions of the royal duo on it is only one type.

We have seen large covered glass candy dishes, and large glass creamers which, beside the medallions, also note Halifax and the date of the royal arrival in the harbour in 1878.

Most were in clear glass; others in swirling purple slag glass.

Alas, many are orphan pieces, with either the top or the bottom, badly damaged or missing altogether.


Commemorative Butter Dish, Marquis of Lorne, Princess Louise, Arrival in Halifax, 1878
Orig. glass - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous, more typical Canadian blanket box or mule chest, from the 19th century.

This one came from the Elder estate so its provenance comes from an auction where the family's possessions were sold off.

But unlike the Wickson chest, no one knows which Elder originally owned this box, or built it, or where, or when.

Still being an Elder item it has a provenance above the vast majority of such blanket boxes.

Mule Chest, Robert James Elder Estate
Orig. plate - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Fort Erie, ON
This chest came from the estate of Robert James Elder, the wealthy found of the Elder Carriage Works, the first carriage business in southern Canada. It provided carriages for the Eaton's company.

The Canadian pine chest dates from a time when huge pine boards were available. The four sides of the box are all "one board" each, not glued together, unlike the lid, which is.

The dove tailing is finer than on the Wickson chest.

The interior shows a multi-layered document box, with finely dove-tailed drawers with leather pulls below.

And showing heavy use of documents and writing utensils stored there, there are ink spills all over the sides and interior.

Alas, the original forged hinges are long gone leaving holes where they once were, replaced by a more serviceable modern hinge.

That's never a good thing, but if it keeps the box serviceable, instead of being thrown out or dismantled, that's a plus.

There is a large master drawer down below.

Colloquially called blanket boxes these chests which are all over Ontario are actually called "mule chests."

Blanket boxes had a one room interior.

Mule chests had dual level storage, a large box on top for blankets or bulky items, like hats, and a large drawer below that for smaller items, like gloves, or shawls, etc.

So mule chests allowed more sophisticated sorting of possessions for storage.

Whereas a simple box would do fine for Canadian farmers who would just throw everything into a heap and slam down the lid.





Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Signed Boer War Duffle bag, Otto Moody, 2 CMR - 1902
Orig. canvas - Size - 39 X 59 cm
Found - Wibaux, MT
A fabulous signed duffle bag - not a wooden trunk - issued to Canadians who went to the Boer War in 1902.

Otto was taking no chances on having it stolen; he signed it boldly on two sides, as well as the bottom.

But one suspects this brash signature was also part of the growing up ritual of a young boy of 18, wanting to identify himself as a fully grown partner, among military men embarking on a dangerous mission.

This duffle bag has seen it all: was in the hold of the Milwaukee, the train from Cape Town to the front, and on who knows how many wagons; accompanied the Canadian Mounted Rifles as they chased Generals Koos de la Rey, and President Steyn across the Western Transvaal.

This bag is surprisingly small, about half the size of duffle bags issued in later wars.

The signature allows a benchmark that helps identify other duffle bags from the period, which have no signatures.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Signed Boer War Duffle bag, FM Little, 2 CMR - 1902
Orig. canvas - Size - 39 X 59 cm
Found - Wibaux, MT
Among Otto's effects was this second duffle bag signed by FM Little, Trooper #196, a 2nd CMR chum who hailed from London, Ontario.

No doubt these bags overheard many conversations between the pals as they packed and unpacked their bags on campaign.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fine personal metal military trunk used in World War I by Col. D Douglas Young who commanded the Canadian Cavalry Training Brigade.

Metal Chest, Lt. Col. D Douglas Young, RCD
Orig. plate - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A World War II officer's chest, that Major Henry J Lyons took with him aboard the White Star Liner Britannic, in 1958, on his way from Scotland, via Liverpool, to Toronto, Ontario.

Henry had probably campaigned with it during the war, and when he moved to Toronto, rather than throw out his trusty companion from the high point of his life, he brought it along.

Wooden Chest, Major Henry J Lyons
Orig. wood - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Rockway, ON
Trunks, chests, and duffel bags play such an important role in the transitions in people's lives that one tends to form and hold a tight attachment to them.

Invariably, long after they have outworn any possible usefulness, people still hang on to them, desperately, like life itself, and leave it up to the next generation do with them what they will.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Of course the world's impression of Canada, in the 21st century, is that Canada's major export around the world is soldiers packing trunks or duffle bags, full of explosives to shoot off among women, children, and men in Muslim countries.

The world was not pleased, and when Canada asked for a seat at the most august governing table in the world - at the Security Council of the United Nations in October 2010 - it was soundly rebuffed, the first time that happened in seven tries for Canada, since the UN was formed in 1945.

Yet a week before the vote Canadian pundidiots in the media assured everyone that the word from canvassing scribes around the UN Assembly was that Canada had it in the bag for the seventh consecutive time.

Our own expert, was alone is predicting quite correctly, more than two years before, when Canadian PM Stephen Harper started spending millions on his campaign for a seat, that Canada would fail to get the votes.

It was every bit as bad as we forecast, with the chill at the UN so bad that during the vote Canada abruptly dropped out of the race rather than suffer a total humiliating defeat at the hands of the world body.

The Canadian establishment had shown its racist roots to the world, and the vast majority of non-Christian, non-white People of the World, whom God put in greatest abundance on the planet, were not amused.

It was a horrific slap in the face for Canada and Canadians who remember Canada when once it stood for decent and humanitarian values, under Prime Ministers inspired by Nobel Laureate Lester B Pearson, instead of Texas six-gun cowboy George Bush, and his clone, the terror of Muslim wedding parties, drone fanatic Barrack Obama.

Alas, Canadians have no one to blame but themselves for the fact that that's the world's opinion of Canada since 2001, when Canada started to send over the first of some 2,000 soldiers to shoot up Afghanistan, to ape - and please - US President George W Bush and his corporate cronies in the oil patch and war industries.

This trunk is testimony to a previous kinder, gentler Canada that the world fondly remembers - now in the distant past - when the Government of Canada only sent CUSO volunteers, and UN Peacekeepers, not gunmen with orders to shoot to kill, to Muslim countries.

This is an Arab dhow Captain's chest, used in the mid 19th century on the East African coast, during the slave trade days.

It was brought back from Zanzibar by two CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) teacher volunteers in 1968 during the afterglow of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lester B Pearson years.

Go to That Sissy Lester

The removable tray once held a dhow captain's money, papers, writing utensils, worry beads, etc.

Its lower compartment is still full of bags of cinnamon bark, and cloves. Cloves stud three Zanzibar oranges.

In fact, the smell of cloves and cinnamon is totally overwhelming in Zanzibar, no matter where one goes on the island. When the chest is opened memories of Zanzibar overpoweringly waft into the room.

(Ok, we admit it, just like Canada aped a US president to shoot up Afghanistan, in 2006, so in the 1960s, Canada aped US President Kennedy, after he founded the Peace Corps.

But observers note optimistically, that perhaps there is a change coming, in blindly aping the US. They point to the "follow me effect" of the powerful Jewish lobby in Canada, and how the Harper government is now - even more so than Obama - more slavishly following any foreign policy lead, at all, suggested by the Israeli war department.)

Arab Dhow Captain's Chest, mid 19th century, Zanzibar, East Africa

Orig. teak - Size - 37 x 56 x 27h cm
Found - Zanzibar, Tanzania

At the time this chest was in use, in the 1860s, Zanzibar was famous for its export of spices - cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg - and Black African slaves, men, women, and children.

Some 50,000 slaves would pass through Zanzibar slave markets annually. This chest saw it all, heard it all... the shouting, the weeping, the wailing...

And the welcome clink of coins that it all brought for the dhow captain who gladly took his percentage from the resulting human misery.

Fast Forward to 2011 - Very much like the weeping and wailing of the women and children in Afghanistan - mourning their tens of thousands of dead - is accompanied today by the gloating cackling of political lobbyists and war contractors in Ottawa, for whom human misery only means hundreds of millions in success fees and percentage rake offs for successfully promoting billions in death dealing war contracts.

Your Canadian tax dollars at work...

Food For Thought - At least in slave trading days, death was only an unwelcome by-product; dead men can't work. In Afghanistan killing people was the Canadian purpose.

As top Canadian general Rick "the Killer" Hillier pomposited proudly, the job of the Canadian Forces was "to be able to kill people."

Thousands of undereducated and listless young men, primed with thousands of hours on "KIll, Kill, KIll" video games, eagerly signed up in answer to his call, and were deployed, to "do it" to Muslims he referred to as "detestable murderers and scumbags." Eh?

They'll be getting a typical gun-toting monument soon... Courtesy of the corporate bosses whose war they promoted. The overwhelming majority of Canadians had steadfastly opposed this war from the beginning.










Great Canadian Heroes of an earlier age. Joan Goldi and John Goldi took a huge cut in pay for two years, by only working for "local wages," put their "real careers" at home on hold for two years, and got no credit for two years' high school teaching experience under the UK based O levels, when they came back.

They didn't go to "serve" overseas in Canada's Peace Corps packing weapons, didn't have murder in their hearts, and didn't demand medals, "danger pay," a Day of Remembrance for their fallen colleagues, or a monument, for their two full years of teaching service in a remote place in a developing nation.

The Canadian Government only puts up monuments for people who carry guns and are willing to use them on people...

Below most of the Canadian CUSO contingent on Montreal's City Hall steps before flying off to East Africa in September 1966, in the cargo hold of a Canadian Yukon four propeller military transport plane. (Their ears were still ringing three days after they left the plane.)

See if you can pick out:

- John Goldi (white shirt & tie top right) and Joan, whose resignations at the end of the school year - in protest over missionary policies - were to be responsible for triggering the biggest school strike in Uganda history, in the remote north, near Idi Amin's home town. Some 400 high school students refused to go back to class, if the duo left, and were milling about outside the residential school. It really did make the headline in Uganda's top newspaper and brought a cabinet minister and a convoy of armed soldiers hundreds of miles to plead with the duo to "please help to get the students back into class." He promised changes if they only stayed on. They agreed; nothing changed; they quit a term later and spent the last year at another remote school.

- John Mvoi, and the girl from a prominent Saskatchewan family, who confessed privately, at orientation that he was first "Darkie" - apparently a word she brought from out west - she'd ever seen, and who was soon to discover that there were even more of "them" over there... Within months she and her husband would quit, return to Canada, where his lawyering, connections, and political contributions (CBC source) would ultimately enable him to become a federal judge.

- the man who famed Lord's Resistance Army Leader Joseph Kony enthusiastically said, "Was the best teacher I ever had." Joseph and his rebels went on to kill tens of thousands of people in northern Uganda. We're not sure what to make of all that...

- Lynn Dalziel, who would shortly be killed in an accident on the treacherous East African roads. She would become the first CUSO humanitarian aid worker to die in the field, in a list that now numbers some 42 people.

Now we know why the Canadian Government never puts up a memorial to the thousands of young Canadians who served their country overseas, and who asked for nothing more than just a chance to do their bit, to help out the less fortunate...

The political elites and their corporate cronies only laugh at people with fool notions like that...

(A private group has put up a small memorial to over 70 Canadian Aid Workers who have died overseas, in a corner of an Ottawa park.)

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

CUSO East Africa Contingent, Montreal City Hall steps, September 1966
Orig. photo - Size - 20 x 26 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous reminder of Canada's racist past, which is of course, never far under the surface, and which has come back with a vengeance in the 21st century, as Canada joined a coalition of white European Christian soldiers (CWILLKILL) in a race war to shoot up Muslim countries. (George Bush and Obama's Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing.)

In two rural auctions these not-so-rare banks - hell Whitey thought they were a hoot - turned up. But no one dared to use the "N" word, even though it's historically accurate. Too close to the truth.

You press the lever, and the hand puts the coin - like a slice of water mellon - into the mouth. The eyes roll, and everyone laughs...

We Kid You Not - In 1966, during the CUSO orientation, done by black African instructors, in Montreal, a lawyer's wife, going as a teacher from western Canada, was quite overcome with the experience, confessing to us, breathlessly, that "I've never seen a Darkie before." The couple lasted only a few weeks in Africa, till they aborted their two year contract, and returned to Saskatchewan, where they were more comfortable. No Darkies there, in those days... We wondered who, in CUSO, could possibly have vetted these two?

Jolly Nigger Bank - c 1890
Orig. bank - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Jarvis, ON

As late as 1926 canning machines in Victoria BC were labelled as "Iron Chinks" because so many cannery workers were Japanese and Chinese.

With this corporate mentality it was easy to lock up loyal Japanese - yep even Canadian born ones; after all they don't look right - in concentration camps in World War II, and steal their property.

In fact Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau's own wife, a Sinclair from British Columbia, had a family fortune that was built on stealing - the word's entirely appropriate - Japanese "Chink" property during the war.

So it was merely second nature for corporate Canada, to fall in line behind George W Bush and to lobby strongly for Canada to join a race war in a coalition of white European Christians against the Muslims of Afghanistan and Iraq in the 21st century. They finally succeeded with the Harper Government in 2006.

To usher Canada into a new century and show that the old racism is never far below the surface; we just have to find the Right government to bring it back to life...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous old litho found in an attic in a small town in Ontario, still in its original frame and extremely wavy glass.

Though Canada grew no sugar cane, and had no need for sugar cane plant steam engines.

But the print must have struck a chord with someone, sometime.

A prominent part of the "Highly Improved" advertising for this machine promised: "The Steam Kettles are simple, easily managed by Negroes."

It reminds us that Canada had a slave past for hundreds of years and that Blacks have a real history of discrimination in Canada that people of colour - like Aboriginals, and more recent non-white immigrants - are daily in a struggle to overcome.

But unlike in the past, when racism was on the streets, today it's systemic racism, among the educated elites in the establishment - politics, corporations, and the media - who victimize people most egregiously.

Highly Improved Steam Engine, 1842 - Sitllman & Co. New York
Orig. painted lithograph - Image Size - 58 x 73 cm
Found - Palgrave, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Judge for yourself what Black people in Canada have to contend with, when Canada's top so-called "liberal" paper routinely publishes extra large pictures of Black people who are only "charged" with crimes, on its front page.

Hey! This guy hasn't been found guilty.

It's pretty clear, if you missed it, that there is no presumption of innocence at John Cruickshank's Toronto Star, if you're Black.

Here is a usual, recent picture, that shows his racist editorial policy in full flight.

Compare sizing of white faces in the news on the same page.

An accused Black is featured as the top news story. Arch establishment criminal Conrad Black never got this big a face blow up on the Star's front page.

And inside, the paper is no better, with the Star's Raging Racist-in-Residence, Right Wing fanatic Rosie diManno, diverted briefly from her rants against Muslim patriots fighting to oust foreign troops from Afghanistan, turned loose on strident column after column on crime by non-white immigrants.

If you were Black or a new Canadian, how would you like your kids exposed to a steady diet of this vile kind racist propaganda stuff?

No picture at all would have been fine, thanks, or one the same size the white guys get.

With racist media promotion like this, is it any wonder that kids are mercilessly taunted by schoolyard bullies, like the white kid from Ottawa, featured on the same page, who saw no option but to hang himself, to get away from the agony of daily life in a bullying society?

But it's all part of the same racist "pro-war in Afghanistan" policy, pursued by John Cruickshank with his Right Wing agenda to ingratiate himself with the Establishment's ethnic cliques who initiated and promoted the war against the Afghans.

It's all part of how Canada has degenerated mightily as a civil society in the 21st century, after Ottawa political elites started to declassify selected groups of human beings so that exterminating them would no longer be a human rights abuse or crimes against humanity.

Thanks to ALL the media owners who promoted the war against the Afghans - and Muslims, wherever you are - that the vast majority of Canadian citizens opposed.

And that, to their great credit, despite the best that media right wing fanatics - like Cruickshank, Rosie, Christie, Maggie - could do, they never wavered in their singular opposition to CWILLKILL' s war against the Muslims.

Lest We Forget: NATO killed only Afghan women, children, babies, and men - Muslims all.

Canadians did the shooting; Afghans did the dying. Rosie, Christie, Maggie, and JC, did the justifying...

Canadian media values - OK racism - exported overseas...

Is it any wonder the World - except Israel - hates Canadians...?

Toronto Star Front Page (Internet Edition), Oct. 19, 2011
Orig. news story
Found - The Worldwide Internet

What a complete and shocking turnaround from Canada's world reputation in the 20th century.

In 1968, returning CUSO volunteers Joan and John Goldi spent three months backpack touring Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

Wherever they went they met Americans who were notoriously using the Canadian flag on their backpacks, to disguise themselves, because the US government's constant war-mongering made it a pariah state everywhere in the world, and its citizens targets.

In contrast, the Canadian flag, Canada, and Canadians, no matter where they travelled in the world, were held in great esteem .

In the 21st century Americans have moved on from the mass murder of Vietnamese to Muslims. They have been joined by gleeful fellow conspirators Israel and Canada.

The Canadian flag has now become worthless as protection, as now even Canadians are hiding it in shame and frankly, for self-protection, when they travel in the Middle East, in non-Christian, non-white, or Muslim countries.

In October 2010, the 192 members of the United Nations - the non-White, non-Christian peoples of the World, whom God placed in the greatest abundance on the planet, made it known in no uncertain terms that they would vote massively against Canada's attempt to get a seat at the Security Council. It was Canada's 7th request at the world body - all six previous attempts, in the 20th century had been successful.

Canada's Conservative Government, perceived - at home, and now abroad - as utterly racist, hung its head in shame, quickly withdrew its application, and slunk away in disgrace. Mankind had now confirmed Canada as a pariah state, a status it now shares - in the eyes of the world - with the US and Israel, as the world's biggest Human Rights abusers.

Germany, once a pariah state, famous for "Deutschland Über Alles," unveiled a stunning banner "For Europe - For Germany," at Chancellor Merkel's CDU congress in November 2011, firmly placing national self- interest behind dedication to a group of foreign nations. Which is why Germany is widely considered, in worldwide polling, as the "most respected country," even though it's led by a right winger...

Just as Canada backslid, big time, also switching its priorities from "For the US - for Canada," to "For Israel - For Canada."

In November 2011, Canada's Minister of Defence closeted with Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak to receive his talking points on how the Canadian government will back up Israel after it launches its attack on Muslims in Iran. A scenario we had predicted four years ago, before Hilary Clinton threatened Iran with, "We will obliterate you."

Predictions are so easy. As long as there is a Muslim standing, the Americans, in collusion with Israel, will knock him/her down, while the Canadians smile and clap... and ask how they can be of assistance...

The Most Stunning Makeover in World History - Once the most hated nation in the world - it took 75 million deaths to turn her around - Germany, is today, rated the most popular. For one thing, Germany refused to be drawn into a racist conflict to fight and shoot Muslims in Afghanistan, with the fervour of the Americans, the Dutch, the British, and the Canadians. Friend and foe, both, took notice.

And the World Turned Upside Down - And the Jews, who had won the overwhelming sympathy from the world - more than any other Nazi victims - have squandered that good will with a passion. With Israel's aggressive attacks on Muslims - killing thousands of civilians, women, children etc., in Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Iran coming next - they have pulled out all stops since, to easily move Israel, in the eyes of the world, to inherit Germany's old status as the pariah nation of record.

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