October 1 1937


October 1 1937


A GREAT many people in Edmonton must have been intrigued by a recent classified advertisement in the Journal of that city. A lot of them cut it out and sent it to Parade, so that the payment problem had to be settled by means of the earliest postmark.

It was a tiny ad, but it has its thought-provoking qualities:—

"LOST - On Seba trail, pants for Chrysler car. Ph. 81942. Reward.”

It is conceivable that a person would be mighty upset if his car lost its hood or its muffler. He would know if his car needed new shoes or if its coat was getting a bit shabby, but it's dollars to doughnuts that the average motorist would never know the difference if his car did lose its pants, on a trail, highway or country lane. One wonders, considering that ad, if anyone ever found those pants. If so. did the finder recognize them for what they were? Did the car owner get them back? And what did he do in the meantime? Did he drive the car around without any pants, or what?

Heavy weather has delayed the sailing of ships. Strikes, accidents, red tape, women and a thirst for liquor have delayed the sailing of ships.

But this is the first time, we believe, that a love for Shakespeare had something to do with a large freighter being still tied up at her berth after the scheduled sailing time had passed.

And 1,200 movie patrons in a Saint John, N.B., theatre can attest to this.

) Docked at her Long Wharf berth, on the east side of the harbor, the 9,000-ton British freighter. Magdapur, had completed loading cargo for London, England.

The sailing time had been posted near the gangplank. Came the zero hour when the ship was to cast off lines and point her bow toward Fundy. The pilot was there. Everything was ready. Then it was discovered that the third engineer wasn’t on board.

A good, industrious, sober young man was the third engineer, a credit to the British merchant marine and not given to delaying ships, especially when tide conditions necessitated a sharp sailing time.

The police and the hospitals were tried, but without success. Then one of the officers experienced what is known as an association of ideas.

He remembered that the young engineer’s quarters bristled with volumes of Shakespeare. And "Romeo and Juliet” was playing at one of the local theatres.

It was a long shot.

The theatre was ’phoned and some 1.200 patrons saw a notice flashed on the screen requesting Third Engineer— to return to his ship at once.

He did . . .

Information supplied to readers of the Free Press Prairie Farmer via a cartoon feature entitled, "Do You Know?”

“Early Pullman cars were for men only and had triple births.”

The Music Festivals of Saskatchewan give one a pretty good idea of the temper of the people in the drought areas. The southern festivals represent a population spread over an area of 35,000 square miles and the northern district covers a like area. Competitors often travel 100 miles to the nearest festival, of which a dozen are held at local points during the year, with finals at Saskatoon and Regina or Moose Jaw, involving over 7,500 competitors. They’ve been holding these festivals for a quarter of a century, and if you think bad times in the wheat belt have made the people regard music as a luxury that can well be left over until a better day, then you don’t know the sort of people who live in Saskatchewan. It has meant a lot of grit and self-denial but this year’s festivals were, if anything, better than ever. Music plays a big part in the community life of the West. The people of the dry belt have had to give up a lot of things in the past eight years. But they haven’t given up music, and it isn’t just a matter of whistling to keep up courage either. Take, for example, the opening local festival this year, in Assiniboia, during the last week in April. The district was enveloped in a blinding dust storm but 350 competitors, most of them in their teens and under, arrived by cars and trucks, including three brass bands composed entirely of children under eighteen. The 75-piece band from Bengough was trained by a farmer who hasn’t had a crop in several years and has devoted his energies to teaching the youth of the district to play some instrument. A string ensemble from Mazenod included a brother and sister who had never had any tuition but who played a violin and piano sonata that won enthusiastic comments from the adjudicators.

In Shaunavon, hard-hit by drought, many little moneymaking schemes were contrived to ensure the 1937 festival. One boys’ choir received a mark of ninety-two. Businessmen of Shaunavon encourage music in the rural schools, see to the transportation and entertainment of competitors— some of whom travel the thirty-five miles from Gull Lake in dust storms blowing across a veritable desert. In Carlyle, Swift Current, Wolseley and at the southern provincial festival at Moose Jaw, the young people of the drought belt showed that the communities of the most stricken areas are still united in courage and hope by the magic of music. Winters when the mercury goes to forty below, summers when the mercury rises to 100 in the shade, years of depression, eight years of crop failure in the South —and the festivals under the paternal guidance of the Saskatchewan Musical Association and the educational authorities still go on, revealing talent and enthusiasm that would mightily astonish any visitor looking for that spirit of defeatism. You can’t defeat that kind of Canadians. The drought may have desolated the land but it hasn’t dried up the springs of courage in the hearts of musicloving Westerners.

Bright sayings of children are nearly always, only conditionally funny. The condition is that they have been said by your own children. Juvenile bon mots that send fond parents into hysteria have a way of falling flatter than a bride’s layer cake when repeated over the bridge table later on. Perhaps this one has a head start over thousands of such stories because it isn’t really a Bright Saying at all. Perhaps, too, because it is more than merely amusing. But it concerns the youngster living on a farm outside Shaunavon, in the heart of the prairie drought belt, who concluded her evening prayer, with solemn sincerity; “—and God Bless Mother, Father, Grand-dad and Granny and take care of them. And, oh God, do take care of yourself too for if anything happens to you—well, we’re just sunk, that’s all! Amen!”

Unsympathetic reporting contained in a dispatch to the Regina Leader-Post:

CHAPLIN.—David Ball, Valjean. son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Ball, is a patient at the Herbert Hospital, following an accident experienced while raking hay north of Valjean. Considerable damage was done to the rake in the mix-up which resulted in a compound fracture of the right leg and numerous other bruises to the body.

More joy from the printer:—

"Mackenzie was knighted for his feet, but returned to Canada, formed Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Company and waged war upon his former associates.”—Regina Daily Star.

“D. M. Dierks, Acting County Judge, tempered justice with mercy in the case of Sol Lesser, charged with wishing without a license.”—Montreal Herald.

Maybe it wasn’t meant that way, but there is a strong suspicion of a dirty crack in the fact that the United Church choir sang "Have Thine Own Way,” when a visiting clergymán’s address “engaged the audience past the hour of closing,” as reported by the Ranier correspondent of the Brooks (Alta.) Bulletin. At any rate it was more subtle than; "How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?”

Premier William Aberhart, of Alberta, uses the Strand Theatre in Edmonton for his Sunday evening Prophetic Bible Institute meetings. We aren’t suggesting that there is any connection, but the other Sunday evening, posters advertising the theatre’s next movie attraction were up. And they read:—