Canada's History

Great Canadian


When my copy of Canada’s History arrives in the mail, all other reading is put aside while I enjoy the contents. Meeting Robert Thomas Riley in the October-November 2021 issue [“Life of Riley,” by Susan

Riley] was an extra-special and heartwarmi­ng read.

I wish to extend my grateful thanks to Susan Riley and her cousin Nancy for sharing how the memorable and honourable life of her great-grandfathe­r has continued through generation­s of this remarkable man’s descendant­s. How truly special it must be for all their extended family to be related to such a noble man who contribute­d so much to his community and country.

I’m sure I am not alone with my feelings of gratitude as we have been able to meet and discover the contributi­ons of another remarkable Canadian. Jean McGinley Innisfil, Ontario POW story prompts memories While reading “Barbed Wire Ballads” in the October-November 2021 issue of Canada’s History, I was reminded of my early childhood in southern Alberta.

One incident that is still clear in my mind is the memory, when I was a six-year-old, of riding with my uncle, who was taking a load of coal to Internment Camp 133 in Lethbridge, Alberta.

I also recall him getting a ship in a bottle that had been made by a POW and admiring it many years later. At that time my grandfathe­r also had POWs working in his potato field and possibly also in his sugar beet fields.

I do not recall if they were paid, but I am certain that one of my aunts would have fed them well. Brian Preston Portland, Ontario Editor’s note: Internment Camp 133, establishe­d in November 1942, was the second-largest POW camp in North America during the Second World War, housing more than thirteen thousand German prisoners.


I thoroughly enjoy reading Canada’s

History. Your October- November 2021 article “Barbed Wire Ballads” was of great interest, as it related to music playing a part in bolstering soldiers’ spirits in the Second World War.

Let us not forget the lowly banjo, which played a part in raising the spirits of First World War soldiers serving in the British Army, including those of my paternal grandfathe­r, who migrated to Canada in 1916.

When Victoria Day arrives each May, my late grandfathe­r James Melbourne comes to mind, as he was part of the Albert E. Swadkin’s Banjo and Mandolin Orchestra. Upon request the group had played on the London stage for Queen Victoria. Diane Unger Cooks Creek, Manitoba

Recognized at last

It is refreshing to read the other side of the history of the Yukon Gold Rush of 1897– 98 [“Reconsider­ing the Gold Rush,” by Charlotte Gray, August-September 2021].

Chief Isaac’s story is finally being recognized. One wonders how he could alone take on the early government authority in the territory in 1896–97. Pat Ellis Whitehorse, Yukon

 ?? ?? Robert Thomas Riley
Robert Thomas Riley

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada