It was a week in which the iron grip of winter and the mailed fist of Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski combined to shake the resolve of Poland's Solidarity trade unionists. Screened by a news blackout and operating against pockets of resistance which were isolated by draconian martial law measures, the country's hated militia and police achieved some success.
As 1981 ended, the lenten tedium and oppressive conformity of Canadian life had vanished. With all the fervor of born-again agnostics, Canadians in every region, occupation and economic circumstance spontaneously and angrily challenged their governments, their bosses and their banks.By Peter C. Newman8 min
Claude Auchinleck, 96, one of the last surviving supreme commanders of the British armed forces in the Second World War. Though Auchinleck led the 1941 to ’42 North African campaign that halted German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt, he was fired by Prime Minister Winston Churchill for refusing to mount an immediate offensive.
It was a very good year if you owned a lot of bank stock, had seasons tickets to the Edmonton Oilers and didn’t get your mistress’ name in Peter Newman’s book. It was a very bad year if you were Nelson Skalbania, who got not only Vince Ferragamo but all his ladies identified in the book.By Allan Fotheringham4 min
When 70 victims of the biggest— and least noted—fraud in Canadian history gathered in a Montreal hotel room last week, their mood was grim. It was not lightened by their dawning realization of just how vulnerable Canada is to financial scams.
Amere 110 metres separated the two soldiers as they eyeballed each other suspiciously from their small white guard houses. The silence of their vigil was not unusual—for seven years no words have been exchanged across the narrow strip of land on the Golan Heights that separates Israeli and Syrian troops.
In Canada, 1981 was a year that resounded to the sound of numbers spewing forth—patriated but not seasonably adjusted—in computerized blips from supermarket cash registers and in staccato bursts from service station gas pumps. The totals were metrified morsels, but for most Canadians they added up to a giant racket in their daily lives.By Robert Lewis4 min
For scientists, it was a year bruisingly similar to most in recent times. They were applauded for trying to make life better, then given the back of the hand by environmentalists and others when their discoveries were misused. It was a year when the long-trumpeted and even longer-arriving communications revolution gingerly stuck its silicon toe into the marketplace and the new video discs and hightech gadgetry dotted department-store shelves.By THOMAS HOPKINS4 min
In the world of the arts, as almost everywhere else, 1981 was a year of retrenchment. Government funding continued to dry up while patrons’ shrinking dollars trickled to the nation’s producers. In many cases, however, less became more, and patient audiences were rewarded with recessionary gems such as the CBC’s You’ve Come a Long Way, Katie, starring Lally Cadeau, Francis Mankiewicz’s Les Bons Débarras, the ambitious Toronto Theatre Festival and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet, featuring lithe Evelyn Hart.
Movies, in the minds of the great masses who watch them and are nurtured by them, are the cheapest cab fare to the Golden City of the imagination. The movies of 1981 were the ultimate escape, doling out adventure without any bruises. Raiders of the Lost Ark, a tale of lost treasure whose hero, Indiana Jones, could have been Errol Flynn’s ghost, found even greater treasure at the turnstiles.By LAWERNCE O'TOOLE3 min
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