Opening Notes

Opening Notes

BARBARA WICKENS September 23 1996
Opening Notes

Opening Notes

BARBARA WICKENS September 23 1996

Opening Notes

BARBARA WICKENS

Cleaned-up campuses

Canadian universities are justly proud of their rich histories and time-honored traditions. But there is one campus custom that appears to be going the way of the stubby beer bottle: the alcohol-driven, party-hardy frosh week. Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is one of several universities that now ban alcohol at all frosh week events. Others have introduced strict debauchery limits. Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Que., once famous for its raucous revelry, has, according to dean of student affairs Tom Nowers,

“outlawed all drinking games.” In an apparent effort to underscore the importance of being earnest, students at the University of Calgary are asked to recite the “frosh oath,” in which they “acknowledge the university as a place of education and scholarly inquiry.” At Toronto’s York University, many freshmen spent frosh week learning what scholarly inquiry is all about: this year, 95 per cent of newcomers attended academic orien-

tation, a four-day, 16-hour marathon of lectures and seminars on note-taking, essay writing and stress reduction. But not all the fun has been flushed out of frosh week. For the third year running, engineering students at Concordia University in Montreal ran their Great Toilet Race—a cross-campus marathon of revved-up, refitted porcelain.

From sea to sea to shining sea

What started as an interest in an obscure House of Commons bill has become a labor of love for a Dartmouth, N.S., couple. Since November, 1994, Harvey Adams, 55, a sea captain, and his wife, Barbara Schmeisser, 46, a historian, have been lobbying to have the waters of Hudson Bay and James Bay, along with the adjacent Foxe Basin, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, designated as the Canada Sea. The couple, who

are not proposing to eliminate the existing names, took on the project after reading about Toronto-area MP W. F. Maclean’s unsuccessful private member’s bill of 1903 proposing renaming Hudson Bay as Canadian Sea, to demonstrate Canada’s sovereignty over the waters then being plied by U.S. whaling ships. Adams and Schmeisser thought something

similar would today be an ideal way to promote Canadian unity. “I am hoping to bring the attention of Canadians to the inland sea existing right in the heart of Canada,” says Adams. The proposal would have to receive approval from several geographic advisory committees, as well as from all the provincial and territorial governments that border the affected waters. “Our goal,” says Adams, “is to have the Canada Sea by the year 2000.”

A cut above in the courtroom

Justice may be blind. But it is not entirely insensitive to matters of cut and fabric. That, at least, is one explanation for a new niche in the fashion trade: designer wear for lawyers and judges. The development is the brainchild of Vancouver designer Beverli Barnes, who has opened an off-theshelf boutique featuring courtroom robes, vests, shirts, dresses and skirts. Although tradition places tight restrictions on what officers of the court may wear to work, Barnes’s clients complain about the fit, finish and fabric of conventional courtroom garb. So she replaces polyester blends with Egyptian cottons and lightweight wools and takes extra care over such details as buttons. “I like classic clothing that’s not going to go out of style,” she adds. At $143 for a shirt and up to $2,000 for a judge’s silk robe, even her well-heeled clients may share that view.

Wanted: Loises

The only thing they had in common was their name. That was enough, however, to rally 60 women—all named Lois—from as far afield as England, California and British Columbia to the first Lois Link convention in Charlottetown earlier this month. The link was forged last summer when Lois Whidly of Orange, Calif., visited Prince Edward Island and decided to track down another Lois. Whidly was thrilled to meet Lois Campbell, who called up 10 more Loises. The Lois movement has mushroomed and a second convention is now in the works. With luck, they will stick to the anecdotes and not delve too deeply into the meaning of their name—battle maiden.

All is cricket with India and Pakistan

For much of the time since Britain carved Pakistan and India out of its empire in 1947, those neighbors have been close to war. One effect of that animosity has now spilled over into Canada, where their national cricket teams are clashing this week. It took International Management Group, a Cleveland-based sports management company, five years to set up the Toronto matches. “For political reasons, Pakistan and India cannot play in their own countries,” says Ravi Krishnan of New Delhi, IMG’s manager of marketing and sales for India. But the potential audience for such a match is so huge that IMG arranged an annual event that will be known as the Sahara Cup, named for a New Delhi financial institution. The five matches, featuring such great players as Pakistani’s Waqar Younis and India’s Sachin Tendulkar—who are to cricket what Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux are to hockey—will begin at 9:30 a.m. Toronto time, so that millions of people can watch during prime time in Pakistan and India. Aware of the potential for troublemaking, organizers have sealed off much of the neighborhood where the matches are being played, issuing passes to local residents and allowing match ticket holders in only by bus from a central car park. The planners could only hope that ancient feuds would be left behind to allow a sporting rivalry to flourish in Canada.