READERS who have been refreshed and re-energized by a vacation may be able to stand up to the blow, but those who are jaded should lie down for a while before turning to page 11 of this issue. On it Wilfrid Sanders records some of the things Canadians don’t know. The result is quite a shock. Mr. Sanders is head of the Canadian Institute of Public Opinion, a branch of the Gallup Poll. The sources of his information are actual questionings of cross sections of the Canadian public.
Five of every 100 Canadians of voting age couldn’t tell the interviewers offhand that Ottawa is the capital of Canada. A few months before the last election the poll found that one third of the adult population could not name even one member of the Dominion Cabinet, apart from the Prime Minister.
Now we realize that we were guilty of a serious omission in connection with the cover of our own July 1 edition. Signalizing Dominion Day, the design was The Arms of Canada. We should have said so. We didn’t, and a lot of people have written to ask what the cover was all about.
^Other readers who recognized the design want to know the meaning of the Arms. Full details are in a booklet, “The Arms of Canada,” issued by the Department of the Secretary of State in 1937. It explains that soon after Confederation a Great Seal was required, and a design was approved in 1868. This design displayed the arms of the four confederated provinces — Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scótia and New Brunswick. As things happened, it wasn’t used for the Great Seal, but it was gradually adopted as the Arms of Canada. From time to time other provinces joined the Confederation, and their arms were added. The thing became a jufnble. So a committee was appointed to recommend a new design. It did, and in 1921 the design was approved by the Canadian Government and authorized by His Majesty the King.
0If you have the July 1 issue handy, you might like to refer to it as we go along.
As Canada was founded by men of four different races—French, English, Scottish and Irish—the arms of all four mother countries are incorporated on the centre shield. At the top is the Imperial Crown. Under it the lion holds in its right front paw a red maple leaf, which latter, during the first Great War, was used as a symbol of sacrifice.
The upper two thirds of the shield show the Royal Arms, and, at lower right, the old Arms of France. On the bottom third of the shield there is the green three-leaved sprig of maple, the Canadian emblem. The lion and the unicorn, the former holding the Union Jack and the latter the ancient banner of France, are called “supporters.” The motto at the bottom of the design, “A mari usque ad mare," means“From sea to sea,” and alludes to the fact that Canada stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is taken from the Latin version of Psalm 72:8—“He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” Hamish of the Composing Room, to whom we patiently explained all this, wanted to know how the whole thing got started and why such designs are called “coats of arms.” Heraldry was simply a form of picture-writing, worked out in the Middle Ages to afford a means of recognitipn. And the symbols were worn on coats. Just as people today wear on blazers a crest denoting that they belong to The Asthma Valley Riding and Tiddleywinks Club.
0The subject matter of this number’s cover design is obvious, but, anticipating enquiries, the young lady’s name is Audrie Arnold, Toronto. She is 23. And she is married. Her career as a professional model began when a local newspaper photographer snapped her on a Toronto bathing beach. The photographer who made our cover picture is William McCullagh, also of Toronto.
01n the outskirts of New York City there is being constructed an airport so immense that in describing it even Merrill Denison’s vocabulary is strained to the utmost. The story of “Idlewild” is on page 12, and if it doesn’t stagger you, nothing else will. Incidentally, the total length of its runways, 87,000 feet, reminds us of another whopping big feat. It has to do with reconversion of the vast system of concrete airfields built in England for the RAF and the U. S. Army Air Force. If stretched end to end the runways would make a 30-foot road from Moscow to Chicago.
®NEXT ISSUE: Beverley Baxter will discuss the results of the British election ... J. F. C. Smith, Maclean’s architectural editor, deals with the increasingly difficult problem of housing . . . Thelma LeCocq introduces you to “The Amazing Mr. Rank,” the British film magnate who has Hollywood agog . . . Arthur Mayse describes a unique sports event—B. C.’s Salmon Derby . . . Cabled dispatches from our correspondents in Europe .. . Backstage at Ottawa, Washington Memo . . . Fiction by Eleanor Coates, J. and A. Marx and Clyde Ormond.
And may we remind all those interested that Maclean’s short story contest closes September 1.
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