Thursday, March 11, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Wednesday, March 10, 2010)

Celebrating the city's 100th birthday dominated the news cycle in all media on Wednesday.

Front page, headline story
HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY!-- It's everything Prince Rupert in Wednesday's media offerings as the Daily News provides a comprehensive look at the city's past, present and future ambitions. A 32 page edition that provides a wide range of articles celebrating the city's 100th Birthday.

Among some of the items in the Wednesday centennial edition is a review of the latest in literature efforts for Prince Rupert, an illustrated history of the city going by the title of Prince Rupert: An Illustrated history, the 184 page publication traces the changes to the city from the dreams of Charles Hays' to the realization his quest for a world class port on the Pacific ocean.

A glimpse behind the statues of Charles Hays and the Mariner's Park mariner is provided in the Wednesday paper, as well as the remembrances of one of the city's oldest residents, Charley Callbreath, who has one extra year on the city he calls home now and offered up his memories since relocating to Rupert in the fifties.

The Sports section highlights the 1964 PRSS Rainmakers as the sports achievement of the century, a team that featured some of the most recognizable names in basketball in the province now, but back in 1964 were but an unknown northern BC team that went south and brought home provincial glory.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for March 10, 2010 )

Happy 100th Birthday!
Glimpses of a Century
An illustrated history of Prince Rupert
The man behind the statue
Around longer than Rupert
A youthful outlook
Losing time in 2010
Friends in the neighbourhood
Prince Rupert’s mayor also marks 100 years in the city
Once a Rupertite, always a Rupertite
History through Shenton eyes
Across the water from Prince Rupert
Decoupaging Prince Rupert’s history

The Northern View
Happy 100th birthday Prince Rupert-- The Northern View provides its salute to the city's 100th birthday as well, featuring a review of the days activities across the city (see article here)

A look at Prince Rupert’s pre-incorporation development -- Looking back at the early days of the city's development, highlighting some of the key moments as the city began to take shape on the north coast. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Happy 100 Prince Rupert!-- TV 7 features the thoughts of Mayor Jack Mussallem who has very personal ties through his family history with Rupert's centennial (see article here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
No new items were posted to the Daybreak North website for Wednesday.

The Daily News
Happy 100th Birthday!
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 

Former Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo shares her thoughts on Prince Rupert

With 300 guests seated at the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation’s Celebrity Dinner held on March 6, Campagnolo was the evening’s featured speaker. She shared the podium with CBC News Anchor Gloria Macarenko, who was back in Prince Rupert to emcee the event for the second year in a row.

To introduce Campagnolo, Macarenko recalled herself as a nine-year-old Conrad Street Elementary School student in Prince Rupert.

She was involved in theatre, along with a group of fellow students who were putting on performances for kindergarten classes and at the Seniors homes.

“In comes a beautiful woman from CHTK radio, to interview the theatre group that were going around and performing in the city. The woman that was doing the interview was Iona Campagnolo. She worked for CHTK radio. It was in the late 1960s and I was in grade three at the time.”

Macarenko remembered feeling the excitement “of this beautiful articulate woman coming in to interview a small theatre group like ours. It made such an impact on me.”

Outlining Campagnolo’s many accomplishments, Macarenko singled out the role of Lieutenant Governor as one that would have had its challenges.

“It was kind of ironic. Here was someone who was always known to speak her mind. Lieutenant Governor is a vice regal position. Essentially you are muzzled. You have to adhere to very strict protocol,” Macarenko said. “It’s a very official position and you have to say the right things at the right time and you just knew she was dying to say something else.”

After thanking Macarenko for the introduction, Campagnolo, paid her respects to the Tsimshian First Nations who have made the North Coast their home for thousands of years and throughout time.

“Now when I used to say that years ago, there’d be intakes of breath all around the room, and now you notice even the Prime Minister says it,” Campagnolo said, sparking laughter from around the room.

Complimenting Macarenko, Campagnolo said, “People are proud of you Gloria, because you don’t forget where you come from.”

Holding up her arm she showed off a carved First Nations silver bracelet, saying she always wears it as a talisman to remind people she’s a northerner.

Warming up the audience, Campagnolo said it was ironic that the missing time capsule had fallen victim to time. “One of these days it will show up you know,” she reassured everyone.

As a young woman, Campagnolo arrived in Prince Rupert when she was a teenager, to attend high school. Her family lived at North Pacific Cannery and she had the choice of going into Prince Rupert or off to a school down south.

She boarded with Mary Anne Way, a music teacher. “She was blue stocking feminist, she could play Chopin, she built many houses in Prince Rupert, starting in 1913. She sold them. She thought a woman could do anything. Guess where I got that from?” Campagnolo said as she looked out into the crowd.

Way taught her Chopin, Shakespeare, and how to speak properly. “When I think about her, I think about people who made this town.”

She recalled her first day of living in town, and walking down the Fifth Avenue hill, past Service Park. Where the college is today, was Alder Park, and Campagnolo saw prisoners working in the grounds.

As she approached Third Avenue she saw a large military conveyance was going by down the street, stuffed full of American soldiers. “They were shouting their heads off and on their way out to Sixth Avenue, which they had paved. That was their legacy to us, because we still had many long streets that were made of boards.”

During World War II, Prince Rupert enjoyed an important strategic location, being closer to Asia and she remembered travelling in a boat through the submarine nets at the entrance of the harbour, installed by the Canadian Army for protection.

There were long lineups for everything during the war. There were army and navy personnel and workers – both men and women – from the drydock. Some restaurants had signs in the window that read “off limits to military personnel”.

Hearing stories later from people about that time, Campagnolo described it as so busy that people lived as if there was no tomorrow. “And for far too many, there was no tomorrow. We had many local heroes,” she recalled.

Recalling flying brothers Albert and Cedric Mah that flew over the hump into Burma, she said, “Cedric Mah was probably the handsomest man you ever saw in his sort of flying tiger coat. White fur on the inside, leather on the hip side, and flying colours on the side. What a uniform it was. There were lots of Chinese Canadians who fought for our side during the war and we wouldn’t let them vote.”

Many First Nations people fought in the wars too, she added.

“There were so many people that came here before, during and after the war - the wonderful vitality and energy they brought from so many different places.”

It took over 50 years, Campagnolo said, but the community finally got the Performing Arts Centre.

“I am so happy that it was named for Mary and Pete Lester. You know I always thought Pete left the earth rather than have it named after him.”

She listed artists, and athletes and commented on how famous the City has been for its food.

“The Haida always say when the tide is out, the table is set. May it always be so,” she said.

Calling attention to the many gardeners of the City, she credited the Prince Rupert Garden Club for putting her on the path to politics 40 years ago. “We had parks in those days your worship,” she said.

“We had a beautiful park in the middle of Prince Rupert. It was a lovely place with totem poles, fountains, grass and trees. So our garden club - I was president at the time - decided we would fight the idea of putting a mall over the park. We fought tooth and nail and we won for fifteen years before the mall was there.”

It was because of that fight, she was nominated for school board and then she was on her political way.

“My life is tied to this City - and even though I’ve been long gone, part of my heart is here. This is where I had my babies and where I lived for many, many years.”

According to Campagnolo, Prince Rupert has often been a misinterpreted town.

“Many of you will remember the documentaries out of here. They inevitably featured a sinking fish boat, credited us for being ‘worse for drunks’ and perhaps some other miserable expression. And yet that isn’t a picture of this town at all. If someone flies in and flies out, then the heart of this town is not part of those stories.”

“Generations of people have fearlessly and confidently debuted and built and fought for tomorrow and we have had a good life in this town,” she added.

“I really came here tonight to talk to you about the second century. I believe the second century is going to be a great one.”

For several reasons, she suggested. “Firstly, the economy. High praise for those who have contributed to the development of the harbour over the decades. Tourism will expand exponentially as people take to the ease and comfort of North America.”

Believing that container traffic is bound to be ongoing due to the cost efficiency of the port’s closer proximity to Asia, Campagnolo said there’s no doubt about China’s hegemony in the world.

“There’s no doubt at all. I told someone eighteen months ago, if I was 50 years younger I’d go there and work.”

Rupert’s growing demands will see an expansion of the northern railway, she predicted. “There will be huge traffic in the next 100 years that we have not experienced.”

Climate change, is the second major thing, she feels that will become a benefit to the North Coast. She thinks it will offer the world an alternative to a changing earth for citizens looking for climate comfort.

“People will create technologies to survive the changing climate, but naturally many young people will move. I like to call them climate migrants and I like to think the Viviers family might be a forerunner.”

The third thing she suggested, that will allow Prince Rupert to look advantageously to the next century, is Vancouver.

“There’s no escaping the fact that Prince Rupert has lost many a battle to the great pull of the politics and population to the ever-expanding mega-tropolis.”

Praising Vancouver for its hosting of the Olympics, and the fact that it was the people who helped to make it a success, she also believes that Vancouver will become a different place afterward.

“I have no doubt. I want to talk to you about a metaphor. I have no doubt that the restrictive barrier that separated the people from the Olympic cauldron, even though there was a way to sort of access it to take pictures, is a metaphor for the future of Vancouver. Inside were members of the Olympic family, happily sitting around having their pictures taken, while outside there were people who could not access it.

I think that many people are going to find it very difficult and hard to access Vancouver, with the increasing costs of living there.”

“As Vancouver becomes a “delightful and marvelous Queen Bee”, reserved to the privileged and preserved by a workforce that will live beyond their boundaries - and this isn’t something new, I have been saying this since 2000.”

Campagnolo sees this as a bonus for Prince Rupert, because as the population shifts and people seek new places to live, the city will have much to offer.

By its second century, she forecasted, the city will have a vibrant economy, based on historic affinity to the global super state of China. It will have a growing population, due in part to climate change, and shift in the province.

“In two hundred years from now Prince Rupert will host several hundred thousand citizens, pushing the city across and around the harbour over the first major bridge and God knows, maybe you will be able to drive to the airport,” she added.

Jokingly, she suggested beauty industries would grow and mud would be extracted from Salt Lakes for spas. “We can have our own spas,” she said as more laughter erupted.

“Tourists will come from all over. Grizzlies in the Khutzmateen will be tired of being photographed. Whales will be free. The warmth of this place will be continued to be found among the population and what rain does fall will be worshipped.”

Concluding, Campagnolo said it will also continue to be known that the greatest asset to Prince Rupert is its people.

“We know that we come from all parts of the world that we call home and we work together. I was thinking of Peter J. Lester standing in front of a fire engine in 1958 reading the riot act. Two things happened. The R.C.M.P. got lessons in sensitivity for diverse populations. Secondly, Canada repealed the riot act.”

“There are so many wonderful people who have done their job. Looking ahead to the future, I think of many of them. This is a place you can be yourself. I used to say, we can accommodate the roundest peg in the squarest hole without worrying about it.”

As a small girl, she recalled standing by the train-track and seeing the mayor of Prince Rupert returning from Winnipeg.

“She had just been named one of Canada’s most important women, Mayor Nora Arnold. There she was in her black suit, expertly coiffed with her silver hair and her black hat. A whole lot of men were running around, calling her “your worship” and I said to myself, “that’s for me”.”

Smiling, Campagnolo said Prince Rupert is a society where everyone contributes to the whole.

“We know that the future is ours if we continue to work together as a community. Somehow I feel that Sir Wilfrid Laurier was a century early on that auspicious day on August 22, 1910 when he said, “I have no doubt that some day Prince Rupert is destined to be one of the very great cities of the North American continent. He was right - just a hundred years away.”

Commenting on a statement made by a Globe & Mail columnist recently, who suggested that - because of the Olympics - Canadians have become a tribe at last,

“We were always a tribe,” she exclaimed. “We learned a lot from the First Nations, who have been here forever and a day, about how we’re deemed to share across all those different lines. One of the things we learned is that the family lived together and worked together and family is the most important thing.”

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