This and That About Canadians Here and There

December 1 1926


This and That About Canadians Here and There

December 1 1926


This and That About Canadians Here and There

IN Sir Hugh John Macdonald, K.C.M.G., K.C., Winnipeg’s famous police magistrate and son of one of Canada’s great statesmen, is found a peculiarly fitting symbol of the merging of the past in the present. The grim building on Rupert Avenue, where he daily holds court, admirably lends to this merging effect.

For, to represent 1926 with its high speed efficiency, there is a tall, angular structure that rears its height against the sky on the banks of the Red River, a stream in whose depth has been mirrored many a hardy adventure. Before you get to this smoke grimed building, there is an old time livery barn, now very gimcrack looking. Between the livery stable which has settled back upon itself as though forever renouncing ambition, and the heating plant, which rises proudly into the blue, is the police station where Sir Hugh John sits daily.

It is a queer jumble of the past and the present. Smells and dime choes of the days when Indians paddled through muddy streets mingle with the steady chug-chug of the heating plant and the roar of street cars. Into this environment Sir Hugh John daily makes his way to take up his magisterial duties; walking, and, furthermore, as briskly as many a much younger man.

The fact that he walks daily is mentioned purely because it is one of his lifelong habits, and one to which he attributes his present remarkable energy, remarkable when it is considered he was seventy-six years old this year. The mercury has to snuggle low indeed on Sundays

before he will miss his walk with one of his old time cronies.

Before we go further, however, let us agree that it is, or was, a commonplaceof biographers, of no matter what incompetence or otherwise, to ascribe to the persons undergoing their attentions, virtues of a startlingly shining nature. Some modern biographe rs-, have made this custom passe, but there are still enough left of the old order to make the average reader elevate a susfall like leaves in

picious eyebrow when the encomia fall like leaves in autumn.

In the case of Sir Hugh John Macdonald, one is compelled by strict adherence to truth to emulate those whose works are now becoming targets for superior and knowing sniffs. For, without a shadow of a doubt, there is no individual in Manitoba, perhaps throughout the west, who so holds the confidence and trust of the people. There seems to be magic in the name even. People who have never seen him affectionately dub him “Old Sir Hugh John.” And they take as much pride in announcing his age and activities as if he were a dear member of each of their families.

His life is fairly well known. Born in Kingston, Ontario, March 13, 1850, he was educated at Queen’s College and the University of Toronto and called to the bar in 1876. In 1866 he enlisted as a private in the 14th battalion at Cornwall, during the Fenian invasion, was an ensign under Wolseley in the 1st Ontario Rifles in 1870 and was a member of the force sent to Red River. He came to Winnipeg in 1882, and entered into partnership with J. S. Tupper. His third enlistment was in 1885, as a captain in the 90th Battalion in the North-West rebellion.

Plis political career has been as distinguished as his military life. He sat as a Conservative for Winnipeg in the House of Commons from 1891 until his resignation in 1893. In the Tupper administration he was appointed Minister of the Interior and resigned with his leader in 1896. In his own province, as leader of the Conservative party he earned a name for being an eloquent and brilliant man in debate. He was knighted in 1913. His present wife was Agnes Gertrude, daughter of S. J. Van Koughnet. His first, Jean King Murray, died in 1881.

Thus, briefly, the outline of his life, starting as a soldier at the age of sixteen. To-day he sits on the bench of the criminal court, a revered, almost loved figure. Those who come in constant contact with him are the warmest in their admiration for the picturesque old man. He has a charm about him that is evasive but none the less palpable. The interest he has for the public grows with his increasing years. His activities as a police magistrate, naturally, throw him into prominence almost daily, but this does not altogether account for the hold he has on the public imagination; does not explain the regard for him people have tucked away inside them, as they tuck away fond recollections of a happy holiday.

Perhaps it is the color of his long and varied life that throws a glamor over him. He has been known as a fighter, both on the hustings and in the field. Additionally, he is also known as a man of scrupulous fairness, meeting blow with blow, but ready to sink to his knees and succor the foe in his hour of distress. Perhaps it is these things that make him the revered figure he is.

Watching him on the bench, dealing with the pitiable little tragedies that come before him daily one cannot help but marvel silently at the curious alertness of his mind for so advanced an age. Frail as the man is physically, there seems to be some inner glow that gives him a remarkably virile aspect. Time may have scoied his face deeply with its unrelenting finger, but it is his eyes, bright blue, and reflecting a mellow and kindly wisdom, that hold the attention. His justice is always tempered with that mercy which a judge has to exercise so guardedly. That his decisions, difficult as they frequently are, are given with discretion, is attested by the fact of the whole hearted admiration tendered him by the peoples of the prairies.

Florence Minden Cole, Feminist

IT IS a seeming paradox that the Province of Quebec -Iwhich still lags far behind the sister provinces in bestowing full citizenship rights on women should be able to boast of a galaxy of the most brilliant leaders in the feminist movement on the continent.

The explanation lies in the fact that the lances of the once militant sisterhood elsewhere in the Dominion and Great Britain have long since been laid aside, victory being won, while in our French-Canadian province the battle is still raging in full fury. The citadel of man’s stubbornness and—shall I say?— intolerance continues to stand impregnable against the most desperate assaults. Even the bestowal of Canadian-wide franchise on the fair sex in federal contests has not paved the way to a similar privilege in provincial elections in Quebec.

One of the best known workers and speakers for the cause of women in that province is Mrs.

Florence Minden Cole, who this year represented Montreal women at the big International Suffrage Congress held at the Sorbonne in Paris to which over forty different countries sent delegates. From

Paris she returned to London to represent Montreal at the convention of the Empire Commonwealth League, whose membership is composed exclusively of women of British citizenship. Her oratory is not unknown in the great metropolis for she has addressed many gatherings there since the distant day when she carried a banner to the gates of Westminster under the leadership of Mrs. Pankhurst.

Mrs. Cole is blessed with the crusader’s spirit. She is the daughter of the late Mr. Justice Trenholme, member of the King’s Bench in Montreal for many years, and she is the widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Minden Cole, D.S.O., who served with much distinction with the Canadian artillery during the war. Her strong sense of justice was probably inherited from her judicial father, but her keen and unflagging desire for equality of opportunity for the sexes was awakened and fostered by her own early experiences.

When, as a young girl, she announced her intention of becoming a lawyer, she was confronted with the statement — still true — that women were not admitted to the Bar of Quebec.

During the memorable suffragette agitation in England before the war, reverberations of the storm reached as far as Canada. Many a wordy battle for and against votes for women was waged on Montreal platforms about the same time and there and then Mrs. Cole developed into a most effective and convincing exponent of the woman’s cause. She is so single-minded in her support that she refuses—and urges all her sisters to refuse—to allow political sympathies to interfere. She has stated frequently that until the women of her province get the provincial franchise and other measures of justice she will not ally herself with any political party. In her opinion women should form themselves into a separate party and support only those men who will espouse their claims.

Later after a wide experience of badlyplanned houses and apartments, she decided to study architecture chiefly with a view to improving domestic conditions for the women workers. Another disappointment met her when she was informed that McGill University refused to admit women to its architectural course. Then she turned to journalism for a time and she still contributes occasionally to British reviews.

After the war in which her gifts as a speaker and organizer were much in demand for recruiting and in connection with patriotic fund work, a succession of heavy personal losses prevented her from taking an active part in the woman’s movement, but during the past winter she again assumed her fighting armor.

“It is doubtful if women in the other provinces of Canada realize the disabilities under which the women of Quebec suffer,” she explained to me. "First and foremost, there is the ridiculous position by which they have the federal %'ote and not the provincial vote, which is vastly more important as affecting the home. Quebec women are not eligible for school boards and “We tried again recently to redress the appalling injustice by which Montreal women with property qualification lose their civic franchise if they marry. A delegation from the Women’s Club of Montreal went to Quebec City in March to present their grievances once more to the Legislature and Legislative Council. I called the attention of the Committee which heard us, to the lack of British fair play in taxation without representation. All went well with this small and belated matter of justice until it reached the Upper House, where it was killed off without a word of explanation to the delegation. We are going back next year to learn why.”

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A Page About People

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they are debarred from any active participation in the education of their children.

When the women of Quebec Province finally achieve their full emancipation, Mrs. Cole who is endowed with a very magnetic personality will undoubtedly be one of the first of her sex to enter the legislative halls of the Ancient Capital.

A Pioneer in Science

WORLD recognition, particularly in the field of science, is seldom attained by men still in their twenties. G. Harvey Cameron, of Saskatoon, recently became famous overnight when the results were published of experiments with a phenomenon called “penetrating radiation of the atmosphere,” in which he and others assisted Dr. R. A. Millikan, head of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

In June at the age of twenty-three, Mr. Cameron received his doctor’s degree for his work in connection with these experiments.

“Of what use is a baby?” Faraday once countered, when he was asked what use his discoveries in electricity were. Practical use of the new rays remains to be found, but it has been shown that the earth is constantly bombarded by rays whose wave-lengths are probably ten million times that of ordinary light. This hitherto unknown radiation is believed to be connected with the emanations from radio-active material.

The first step toward discovery of the phenomenon was taken in 1903 when two physicists, McLennan (Toronto) and Rutherford, reported that the race of leak of an entirely enclosed electroscope could be reduced by as much as thirty per cent, by surrounding it with walls of iron or lead a couple of inches thick. This proved that the normal leak of an electroscope is due in part to rays that are able to pass through a centimeter or more of lead and then ionize the gas inside the electroscope.

Elaborate tests were made in Muir Lake in 1921 when Mr. Cameron with others assisted Dr. Millikan in experiments with balloons and aeroplanes and finally 300 pounds of lead were carried to the top of Pike’s Peak, the highest in the United States, and the electroscope surrounded by this to measure the absorption.

It was found that when the electroscope was sunk deep into the lake the presence of the penetrating rays was noticeable to the depth of some sixty-six feet. This penetration is equivalent to a passage through six feet of lead. Verification of the Muir Lake experiments were made at Lake Arrowhead at an altitude of 5,125 feet. 300 miles from Lake Muir.

Dr. Millikan and Dr. Cameron obtained definite proof that“There is an extraordinary hard radiation coming into our atmosphere from outer space.” Further, since at all altitudes at which they have experimented they have found no measurable variation in the intensity of these rays at any time between midday and midnight, they conclude that these rays shoot through space equally in all directions.

By the use of a formula of probable though not of certain reliability, the observed absorption can be translated into frequencies or into the inverse of frequencies, wave-lengths. By doing so it was found that the hardest observed rays had a frequency of at least fifty times that of the hardest gama ray, a thousand times that of the average X-Ray and about ten million times that of ordinary light.

Dr. Cameron is now assisting Dr. Millikan in further experiments in an expedition to the Andes Mountains. On Peru or Bolivia they will experiment in lakes situated 16,400 feet above sea level, hoping to find verification of their findings in North America. This trip will take three to four months and is being undertaken under the auspices of the Carnegie Research Fund.

Harvey Cameron has had a brilliant career from the time he was a student at Saskatoon, having won honors at both collegiate and university. He has been a student with Dr. Millikan for the past four years.

From the Ranks to a Bishopric

WHEN the Synod of Nova Scotia assembled last year to elect a coadjutor bishop for the diocese of Nova Scotia, the general public, and the Synod for that matter, looked to either Dean Lloyd or Archdeacon Armitage being elected. At the eleventn hour the news flashed out that Rev. John Hackenley had been selected. And then the people wanted to know who John Hackenley was. They have found out since. Everybody in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island knows him. They know him as one of the most powerful preachers in the Anglican communion, as a man of rare gifts, eloquent, sincere; indeed his sincerity is almost childlike. For John Hack-

enley was an every day parish priest of the church, laboring at the time of his elevation in the town of North Sydney, and for some years before that in a part of the province inhabited almost entirely by fisherfolk, an environment not distasteful to him, for he loved the water and boats and the plain people. To leave the strenuous work and its hardships and withal, its joys and its sorrows was, in his case, akin to sacrifice. His was a case where the office sought the man.

Bishop Hackenley was born in England, born to the cloth, for his father was a priest of the church who came v.o Nova Scotia when the subject of this sketch was only a year old. So the boy grew up a Nova Scotian, attended a Nova Scotia Theological college, Kings, at Windsor, and in the course of time entered the ministry. Since his consecration he has been travelling through the province and also Prince Edward Island, which is part of the diocese of Nova Scotia. He has met with a wonderful reception, not only from his own people, but from the members of other denominations, for his principles are broad and deep and sound. Occasionally he preaches in one of the Halifax churches, but as yet he is without a cathedral or even a pro-cathedral, as it will require an act of parliament to make him a member of the chapter of All Saints, the Anglican cathedral of the diocese.