February 1 1936


February 1 1936


ANY WESTERN city might be expected to support

a Prairie Schooner Club, but you’d be forgiven for showing surprise over the fact that in Winnipeg.

Edmonton and Calgary there are branches of a club organized to perpetuate the memory and traditions of the old ocean clipper ships.

It is the Cutty Sark Club, named after that famous queen of the seas and founded by the Old Man of the Winnipeg Watch—Charles F. Gray. Three generations of Gray’s family have been on the Cutty Sark. In 1871, five years after the Indian Mutiny, his father sailed her out of Woosung. In 1894 Gray boarded her in Sydney Harbor, Australia, when she was loading wool for a voyage home via the Hom. And in 1922 Gray and his young son visited her in the London docks when, renamed the Ferraria and re-rigged as a barquentine, she flew the Portuguese flag.

Between times. Gray sailed on many a stately full-rigger. He took to the lifeboat from the Oronsay, foundering in North Atlantic.

It was in 1932 that he got the idea of forming a Cutty Sark Club. There were seventeen old salts at the first dinner. Now there are eighty-five members in Winnipeg alone. To be eligible, a man must have served some time in sail. Purely steamboat men are not considered. The club meets once a month, when yarns are spun, experiences swapped and sea chanties sung. It exchanges letters with correspondents in ports such as Shanghai. Foochow, Woosung. Swatow, Hong Kong, Singanore, Rangoon, Mandalay, Adelaide. Perth. Suva, Fiji and Yokohama.

At a recent dinner, a reporter guest mentioned that he came from Sydney, Australia, and wanted to know if any of the members ever had been there. The Old Man asked those who had to stand up. The entire audience rose.

The officers of the club are the Old Man (as captains are known to all crews) the First Mate, the Second Mate, the Purser, Assistant Purser, Bo’sun, Sailmaker and Carpenter.

The influence of pet life in Forest Hill Village, exclusive Toronto residential section, as related in the Morning Smile department of the Mail and Empire.

In a house in Forest Hill Village dwells a cat named Twinkie, 15 years of age—a daughter somewhat older, and a maid very considerably older. Recently the maid called attention to the fact that Twinkie was beginning to show his age. “One eye is turning red and the other green.” she remarked. “Oh,” said the daughter, “port and starboard lights, eh! He’s getting to be quite a nautical cat.” “Oh, no.” said the maid, “he’s not naughty so long as you let him out regularly.”

Distinctions in Victoria extend even to the grunt and groan vaudeville which goes by the name of wrestling exhibitions. Clyde Cook, Australian character actor, playing the lead in a motion picture being filmed in the British Columbia capital, discovered this fact recently.

■ Mr. Cook, with several other actors, accepted an invitation to attend a grip and grapple show at the Tillicum Club.

He went directly Irom the set, wearing his makeup as a tugboat sailor. Hardly had he been seated at the ringside than a burly bruiser who was acting as an usher approached.

“Here you,” he shouted. “Get outa there, ya bum.”

The movie star blinked.

“I mean you,” thundered the bouncer, pointing a bolognalike finger at Cook.

“Eh, I say. . .”

“Out y’come,” and the usher seized the club’s guest by the collar and yanked him down the aisle. “Get up there in th’ gods where y’belong.”

Only the intervention of his more appropriately attired companions and the production ot the ringside seat stub saved the actor from the further tender ministrations of the bouncer.

The vicar of a North Toronto church recently preached on “Life Begins at Forty.” When he finished, the choir rose and sang “The Radiant Mom Has Passed Away.”

Montreal is a double university city. But does it know its books? Recently a lady entered a bookstore in the city which delights to refer to itself as the metropolis. She wanted a book on America to send as a Christmas gift to a friend in England, a book that would give her friend a picture of life today on this continent. “Ah,” replied the bright young thing who attended to her, “I know the very book for your friend.” And hurrying off she returned a minute later with Charles Dickens’s “American Notes.”

Another shopper had an equally curious experience. His son and heir is a Wolf Cub, or member of the junior order of the Boy Scouts, and he wanted to get the lad a copy of Kipling’s “Jungle Book,” which gave Lord Baden-Powell his ideas for training Wolf Cubs. “Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ —urn—stories of animals for young folk,” murmured the clerk. “No, we haven’t got it, but say, here’s an animal book the kids all think is swell.” And. shades of Akela and Old Balou, he handed the prospective purchaser a book with lurid pictures, which told how A was an Antelope, B was a Bear, and so on and so on.

Patrons of Saint John’s old Opera House—one of the stands of the old school which has taken on Talkies as a means of livelihood between occasional road shows—sat on Christmas night watching a feature thriller—“Night Alarm.”

Fire-engines, with sirens screaming, rushed across the screen. Smoke-eaters climbed to dizzy heights on swaying ladders and boldly attacked the curling flames. The hiss of water and the pounding of axes were so realistic that imaginative persons in the audience said they almost smelled smoke.

Next morning when they picked up their morning papers they discovered that while they had been watching the picture the previous night, their own city firemen had answered a quiet alarm from the Opera House and extinguished a blaze in the unoccupied second balcony.

Vancouver Island continues to head the Coast League of Fish Tale Producers. According to a Canadian Press dispatch presented in the Vancouver Province. Seagull Chiselling is the latest Victorian sport. Says the correspondent:

“Chiselling on seagulls is the latest pastime for some residents of Ross Bay. Vic King, one of Victoria’s prominent merchants, was on his back verandah looking lazily out to sea. Suddenly a seagull swooped down into the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Up it rose with a two-pound rock cod in its beak.

Flying high over Vic’s backyard, the gull dropped its prey on to the rocks, a favorite method of writing ; ‘finis’ for the poor fish. Over the rail of the verandah went Vic. He and the gull reached the fish at the same time, but one shoosh was enough, and Vic’s chiselling was a huge success.

This ought to be brought to the attention of that new falconry club in Ontario.