Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

31 January, 2012

BREAD OF LIFE FOR THOSE WHO HUNGER

U. S. Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, World War One flying ace.
I periodically review some of my father's literary work.  He was not highly educated from an academic standpoint but I never cease to be amazed by the breadth of his knowledge and the depth of his faith.  He did not have the luxury of a typewriter in those days, of course, and every word was written by hand with pen and ink while sitting at a family heirloom secretary in the living room of our home in Dresden.
A. Kenneth Wright

I was especially taken the other day by one of his columns published exactly 63 years ago by the Chatham Daily News.  In this particular "Voice of the People" piece entitled "Bread of Life" he referred to the biblical account of children of Israel and a gathering of thousands being fed from five loaves of bread and two small fishes and thusly emphasized  how God looks after His people.

What impressed me most was that he incorporated a Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker story to illustrate his point.  Here's how he related it.

"Many will recall the experience of American flier ace Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his associates who crash landed from their assault plane in the mid-Pacific, October, 1941.  All they were able to salvage from the wreckage was two life rafts.

"After days afloat in the ocean with no food or water, they became desperate.  They decided to try prayer and it was then that a sea gull landed on Capt. Rickenbacker's shoulder.  The bird was caught and cleaned.  The crew ate the gull and used the intestines for bait to catch fish which they also ate.  Then rain began to fall and they were able to collect the fresh water in receptacles and rags.

"In time Rickenbacker and his crew were rescued and to a man they gave full credit to God for answering their desperate prayers while hopelessly afloat in the Pacific.

"To have that sense of spiritual well-being that all mankind hungers and thirsts for, one must embrace Christianity in a serious, personal way.  Food for the body to sustain life does not suffice.  To satiate the instinctive human longing for spiritual well-being, one must turn to Jesus who proclaimed to the children of Israel and the gathering crowd: 'I am the bread of life.'

"It is of vital importance how we as a people, conduct ourselves and how we as a nation carefully choose our course to insure that we are on God's side.  No one needs to tell Canadians what is right and what is wrong.  We go into the year 1949 well read and with our eyes wide open.  It is up to us to decide if we are for or against the word of God and the teaching of Jesus Christ."

Two years later Ken Wright, who often signed off on his newspaper submissions with the pen name "Columnite", passed away at 52 years of age.  I was only 14 at the time.  He left me a legacy -- "From each and all we glean much that helps a little as we go about our daily duties."  I often wonder how seriously the writings of father and son have been taken over the years.  Somehow it doesn't really matter.

Heredity can be a mysterious thing, but we take it along with us on whatever path we choose in the journey of life.  The pride and faith of parent and offspring is mutual in the partaking of the bread of life -- and the written word.

28 January, 2012

RISE AND FALL OF LORD'S DAY LEGISLATION

As an illustration of the Victorian Sunday, consider the following illustration, "Toronto: Sunday preaching in the park," published in 1879. "Canadian Illustrated News, Vol. 19, No. 21, Page 329. Reproduced from Library and Archives Canada's website Images in the News: Canadian Illustrated News."

In feeding a very curious nature, I spent considerable time this week looking into the history of municipal elections in Ontario. (I know, I should get a life.)  Quite by accident I stumbled across the following notation from City of Toronto archives.
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"City parks had to be closed on Sundays until August 1938, when they were opened providing that competitive games were forbidden (except, for some reason, tennis) and "no apparatus shall be used," which meant that swing sets and other playground equipment were chained and locked. Movie theatres were allowed to open on Sundays as of May 23, 1961. Beverage rooms were allowed to open on Sundays starting in 1962." 
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That note would seem extreme to any young person reading it today, but for those who grew up in the period, it was definitely a fact of life.  I was immediately taken back to a time in my youth (1930s and '40s) when, in my family, The Lord's Day was strictly observed.  I well remember my mother relaxing rules of the Sabbath to allow me to play baseball on Sundays and how half guilty I felt in doing so.  If we happened to lose a game on Sunday, which was rarely the case, I accepted it as God's way of levelling punishment on me because I was the pitcher in the game.


To this day, I try to avoid doing work of any kind on Sunday and admit to a degree of annoyance when I hear the rattle of neighbours' lawn mowers or the sounds of hammers and saws coming across back yard fences.  I still feel somewhat uncomfortable shopping on Sundays.  In many ways, I am very much a product of my upbringing, I guess.


When Canada was acquired by Great Britain in 1763, English laws prohibiting work and entertainment on Sunday came into effect in the new colony. In 1845 the province of Canada passed its own law forbidding anyone in Upper Canada "to do or exercise any worldly labour, business or work of one's ordinary calling", except for certain works of necessity or charity. At Confederation, when the British North American Act created our two-tier legislative constitution (federal and provincial), Sunday closing laws came (or seemed to come) under provincial jurisdiction.


A quiet Sunday was the social custom in Protestant Canada (Roman Catholics were mellower about it). If water had to be drawn or potatoes peeled for Sunday dinner, many made sure to do it on Saturday evening. Laundry was not hung out to dry on Sundays. "Even the irreligious usually went to church on Sunday; the religious went more than once" (Grant, The Church in the Canadian Era, p. 10), and "a great many Canadians spent the rest of the sabbath reading religious books or periodicals."


 In 1903, in hearing an appeal of a decision about the Sunday operations of the Hamilton Street Railway, the Privy Council in England struck down all Canadian provincial Sunday closing laws, on the grounds that these constituted criminal legislation, which by the BNA belonged exclusively to the federal government. In response, a campaign, joined not only by Protestant churches but also by Roman Catholic hierarchy and the labour movement, was organized to persuade the federal government to enact Lord's Day legislation. It was considered a huge victory against powerful commercial interests when the federal Lord's Day Act was passed in 1906. It prohibited sport, entertainment, and almost all commerce on Sundays, although it permitted provincial governments to make exceptions.
Sentiment began turning against Lord's Day legislation in the 1960s. In that decade Parliament passed amendments to the Lord's Day Act to permit cultural and recreational activities, agricultural and trade shows, scientific exhibitions, and horse racing. In 1985 the Supreme Court of Canada voided the Lord's Day Act as an infringement of the freedom of religion section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982. The following year, however, it upheld the provincial Retail Business Hours Act of the Province of Ontario on the grounds that this had a purely secular intention. However, in 1992 the Ontario government repealed the section of this act dealing with Sundays, and most other provinces have also done the same with similar laws.


Our Sunday-go-to-meetin' forefathers must be turning over in their graves.

26 January, 2012

LET NEGATIVITY GO, SEEK POSITIVE DIRECTION

I have been experiencing a lot of negativity lately.  I think we all go through periods like that.  You know -- distrust, disappointment, misunderstanding,  misconception, disagreement, irritation, frustration, inadequacy, disenchantment, helplessness, aloneness.  It is a long list but it can be any one of the forgoing, or in any combination thereof.

Rosanne's comment the other day (reported two posts ago) to the effect that she was "tired of being a good person" and was going to become "a rotten person like everyone else", has been a factor for me in a rationalization of all of this.

Strangely, interaction with other people (or lack of same) is more often than not at the root of much of the negativity we experience.  I think that it is fair to say that we (and others), are not always as kind as we/they should be.  Even those with open minds and generous hearts can sometimes act selfishly and thoughtlessly or put up barriers that prevent deserved mutual progress. Things and people are not always as we would have them be, like little pieces fitting conveniently into the jigsaw puzzle of our lives.

When there is negativity in our world, it is imperative that we understand that it is not the end of the world as we perceive it.  Neither should we assume that we must have done something wrong to provoke it, nor should we blame someone else for how they have acted toward us in a given situation.

Sometimes we take things too seriously and it serves as a road block in moving forward in a positive way.  But look for positive direction we must. It may not be exactly where we expect to find it but it most certainly exists, somewhere out there.

Periods of negativity should not be interpreted as signs of permanent disadvantage.  When we literally dispense with them, let them go, everything seems so much brighter and lighter.


25 January, 2012

I LIKE POPE'S "SLOW DOWN" MESSAGE

I was particularly interested in an Associated Press story this morning out of Vatican City, indicating that Pope Benedict XVI is asking everyone to quiet down, even going so far sometimes as to tune out social media chatter.

In his annual communications message released Tuesday, Benedict extolled the sounds of silence.  He said a little bit of quiet makes people better listeners and better communicators by giving them time to think about what they are hearing and saying.  In a world inundated by tweets and 24-hour news coverage, that precious time to reflect gives words greater value, he added.

"Joy, anxiety and suffering can all be communicated in silence; indeed, it provides them with a particularly powerful mode of expression," he explained in a written message.

The Pope has in recent years used his annual communications message to comment on social media.  He urged priests to blog and Catholics who spread the faith on Facebook and other social networks, to be respectful of others.

This year, he turned his attention to the need to occasionally tune out information overload from social media to allow time for greater reflection.  He called for striking a balance between silence, words, images and sounds.

The 84-year-old Benedict is obviously in tune with the times and sensitive to the downside of addictive electronic communications.  This is one Protestant who will be following his advice.  I plan to slow down considerably and will definitely extend my previously-announced inspiration-fishing expedition.  This may come as a relief to certain Facebook and virtual history friends.

24 January, 2012

Rosanne, sobbing uncontrollably over a situation where her faith in humanity was sadly tarnished:  "I'm tired of being a good person.  I trust people and try to live by the rules, and what does it get me...Nothing!  It's just not fair!  From now on, I'm going to be a rotten person like everyone else."

I had to agree, there was a degree of truth in what she was saying.  Things are not always as they seem when initially presented to us.  We are often the victims of perception.

I pray that "the good" in Rosanne eventually prevails.  There are not enough good people in this world today!

22 January, 2012

19 January, 2012

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME ALONG THE WAY?: A GOOD QUESTION FOR WHICH I HAD NO ANSWER

Shakespeare wrote both comedies and tragedies.  There were funny moments even in his saddest stories and vice versa.  But, then, the best humour is black humour.  If we can laugh about what makes us cry, we are half way to healing even the harshest reality.

Have you ever had someone ask you a pointed question for which you did not have a reasoned answer?  Well, it happened to me last night.

We were watching American Idol on TV and I commented on one father who had displayed enthusiastic support and confidence in his contestant son, a very talented singer.  I happened to remark that my father had that kind of faith in me too before he passed away when I was only 14 years of age.  "No one ever believed that much in me I again," I half lamented.

"You had so much potential, Dick.  With your abilities, you should have been a millionaire," responded a very biased Rosanne who then added:  "Where did it all go wrong?"

Her out-of-the-blue, frank but honest comment resonated in my mind.  I was stunned into silence.  Try as I may, I could not come up with a rational answer.  Some 12 hours later, I still do not have an answer.  Wish I did!

I'm not sure if I want to laugh or cry over the irony.

18 January, 2012

Just a little something special...



THANKS MICHAEL!

ME AND MY SHADOW(S)

Something that I read this morning got me thinking about "being followed".  Some of the things that follow us in life are ultimately avoidable while others -- well, they just keep following us where ever we go.

For instance, I have a four-legged 15-pound "follower" at my heels at all times.  No matter where I go, my miniature rat terrier Lucy is right there behind me.  Many times I do not realize that she is there until I stop quickly for some reason, or take an unexpected step backwards.  I really do not know what I have done to deserve such a faithful pursuer but it is a special, almost indescribable and unconditional gift in life that only a dog lover can appreciate.

A fact of life, however, that is common to all of us is the shadow that is our constant companion.  We can make our shadow vanish by immersing ourselves in total light or total darkness.  We all have an option to make our lives so gloomy that all shadows merge into one great shadow.  But that is hardly a solution, nor advisable.  Neither is it wise to position ourselves where light can reach our lives from one direction only...That will cast even stronger shadows!

I often think that we should be a little more conscious of the kind of shadow that we are casting.  I doesn't help that we often dwell too much on dark or dismal aspects of life at the expense of all that is bright and positive.

Walk on the bright side my friends.  Let your shadow be the best possible reflection of yourself.

16 January, 2012

SUBSTANTIATING A NEED TO EAT SOMETHING

Rosanne (with pangs of hunger etched on her face):  "Please Dick, I need some substanense!"

Me:  "Would you settle for some sustenance?"

Rosanne:  "Okay...!"

12 January, 2012

RACIAL DISCRIMINATION: NOVA SCOTIA APOLOGIZES 64 YEARS AFTER THE FACT

Still not too late for my hometown


History is filled with tales of injustice. It is only on rare occasions -with the clarity of hindsight and benefit of careful thought and measured reason - that a society comes together to undo the wrongs of the past.
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Sixty-four years after the fact, Viola Desmond was last year offered an apology by the government of Nova Scotia for racial discrimination she was subjected to by the province's justice system.  The report of the belated apology was forwarded to me last week by a Facebook friend who no doubt anticipated my interest.

By means of background, this is Viola's story.

On November 8, 1946, she was driving through New Glasgow, N.S. when her car broke down.  While repairs were being made Viola decided to catch a movie at a nearby theatre.  She bought her ticket and went to sit in the ground level of the theatre, unaware of a policy allowing African-Canadians to sit only in the balcony.  She was told to move and refused as there was no notice of the segregation policy posted in the theatre.

The theatre manager called a policeman and together they physically carried the woman from the theatre, injuring her leg and hip in the process.  She was taken to the local jail and held overnight.  The next day she was brought before a court and charged with tax evasion, of all things.

The "crime" she committed was sitting in the main section of the theatre while paying for a balcony ticket which was cheaper.  The retail tax was calculated based on the ticket price so the authorities decided she owed one cent in tax for the pricier entrance fee.  She was found guilty, fined $20.00 and forced to pay the theatre's six dollars in legal fees.  Viola paid the fine but challenged the decision in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

She had not been told her rights when arrested, nor informed that she could hire a lawyer or question witnesses during her trial.  Despite these and other errors of law, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction.  The publicity surrounding the case and pressure subsequently applied by the fledgling Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and others, led to the province repealing its segregation laws, but not until 1954.

In delivering the province's apology, Premier Darrell Dexter called Ms. Desmond a visionary, pioneer and Canadian hero.  "On behalf of the Nova Scotia government, I sincerely apologize to Viola Desmond's family and to all African-Nova Scotians for the racial discrimination she was subjected to in November 1946..." he added.  She was also given a royal pardon.

However, all this was too late for the victim.  Not long after the incident she closed her Halifax beauty parlour and moved to New York where she died in 1965 at the age of 50.

Upon reading this sad story, I was immediately reminded of my attempt to generate interest in an apology for African-Canadians who suffered well- documented discrimination in my hometown of Dresden during the first half of the last century.  Reaction to my suggestion in the form of several Letters to the Editor published in the Chatham Daily News was minimal and mixed. Generally, I think, I was considered an excrement disturber who had his nerve in opening old wounds needlessly.  There was an overriding consensus that, if racial discrimination existed all those years ago, it was no longer an issue in the community today.

My contention was that each generation should assume at least partial responsibility for the mistakes of the former and that apology can go a long way toward healing festering ills and deep resentments.  My remarks were directed in particular, to the current regional council of Chatham-Kent which encompasses Dresden.  I still think that I was right in what I attempted to do.

It has been pointed out that one quite striking feature of the politics of the last half-century has been the escalation of demands for redress, issued by groups who see themselves as the victims of historic acts of injustice.  Present-day governments and their citizens are being asked to bear responsibility for the actions and policies of earlier generations, and to take a variety of steps to correct the harm and injustice that they perpetrated.   Not all such demands have been successful, but many have been, and the costs incurred have in some cases been considerable.  The claims in question have been very diverse, both in terms of who is making them and in terms of the acts singled out as standing in need of redress.

So let's return to the question whether the idea of inheriting responsibilities makes sense at all.  Why do we find ourselves pulled in opposite directions on this question, sometimes wanting to affirm and at other times to deny that we can be held responsible for what our ancestors did?  We can understand this, I believe, in terms of a conflict between liberal and communitarian intuitions.

On the liberal side, we are drawn to the idea that we are only implicated in responsibility when as agents we have made some causal contribution to the outcome for which we are being held liable, and behind that stands the idea that we want to be in control of what happens to us: if we are held responsible for what other people, past or present, have done, then in one important respect we lose control of our lives.

On the communitarian side, we find ourselves identifying with other people or other groups of people, and feeling vicarious pride or shame in what they do.   With pride and shame comes responsibility..  Alasdair MacIntyre has expressed this well:

"…we all approach our own circumstances as bearers of a particular social identity. I am someone’s son or daughter, someone else’s cousin or uncle; I am a citizen of this or that city, a member of this or that guild or profession; I belong to this clan, that tribe, this nation.  Hence what is good for me has to be the good for one who inhabits these roles.  As such, I inherit from the past of my family, my city, my tribe, my nation, a variety of debts, inheritances, rightful expectations and obligations."

In other words, the communitarian intuition that supports the idea of inherited responsibility runs straight up against the liberal intuition that we can and should choose the relationships from which responsibilities spring, and this intuition is as firmly embedded as the other.

To justify taking responsibility for the past, we need to do more than simply point out that de facto people do often feel pride and shame in what their ancestors have done, and are sometimes willing to bear the resulting ramifications.  We need to find arguments that will support the communitarian intuition, or at least its consequences, to the detriment of the liberal one.

In Dresden's case, I am not so naive as to expect to influence the thinking of those who are too young to remember racial discrimination in their midst.  I had hoped, however, that those in my age bracket who witnessed racial injustices first-hand in the 1930s and '40s, talked about it over the supper table, and felt the helplessness of adolescence in doing anything about it, would now act on hindsight and find it in their hearts to join hands with others of like mind and say to their friends of colour: "I am so sorry for what you and your family had to go through in our time.  On behalf of our generation, and generations past, I apologize."

Unlike the Province of Nova Scotia apologizing for one ugly act of racial discrimination and segregation 64 years ago, we are talking about blanket discrimination for hundreds of blacks in the Town of Dresden for more than a century.  I rest my case.

06 January, 2012

SHINING NEW LIGHT ON IMPERFECTIONS

I received an interesting and revealing note from Wabi Sabi Love advocate Arielle Ford.  I have written before about Arielle and the ancient Japanese art form that honors all things old, worn and imperfect.  Here's some of what she had to say.

Hi Richard:


After Brian and I got married I discovered that "manifesting a soul mate" was the easy part.  The hard part was just beginning.


I was totally clueless about creating a great relationship.  After 44 years of being single, I was used to having my own way (all of the time) and since I managed to skip over having a starter marriage, I had zero experience in "partnership".
Arielle and Brian, the faces
of Wabi Sabi Love
One day I found myself being particularly pushy.  I witnessed myself pointing my right index finger in Brian's face (left hand on left hip) ragging him out about something...and I was shocked!  OMG, what was I doing?


I quickly apologized and then in a flash of insight said to him:  "The next time I get like this, and unfortunately there will be a next time, you have my permission to ask me 'when did Sheila enter the room'?"   (Sheila is my brilliant, amazing and sometimes overbearing Mom.)


Brian instantly got it and said to me:  "And the next time I am getting too patronizing, you can call me Wayne (his much loved Dad)."  This was the beginning of our dedication to practicing Wabi Sabi Love in our relationship -- a way to offset problems and to allow in more love.  It's like finding beauty and perfection in the imperfections of life.  For instance, if you had a large vase with a big crack down the middle of it, a Japanese art museum would put it on a pedestal and shine a spotlight on the crack...


To more love and light in your relationship(s).


-- Arielle

The point of Arielle's message is well taken:  We would all benefit from seeing not only our partners but other situations in life as well, in a whole new light that enables us to appreciate, even celebrate, imperfections.  Patronization has never been conducive to passion, harmony nor love.

I'm sure that I will be hearing more from Arielle on the subject of the Wabi Sabi Love that has changed her life -- and that of Brian.

05 January, 2012

HAVE HEART: THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW

Here it is the 5th of January and already New Years Day 2012 is but a memory relegated to the past, if not totally forgotten -- if you are a soul like me.  Maybe it's a symptom of old age like when you've seen several dozen of them, you've seen them all.

The year 2011 was not necessarily a good one for me but, as with all others, it was like an old friend and I was sorry to see it go.  I tend to be comfortable with the status quo and that could be a bad thing every much as it is good.

Five days ago we stood on one side of the calendar and stepped bravely into a brand New Year.  As the fireworks flew, the champagne corks popped (hot chocolate in my house) and the band struck up Auld Lang Syne, we all inwardly muttered to ourselves words to the effect of, "That was then, this is now."

And you know what?  Realistically, that has always been true.  Once a year at least, we more or less find ourselves in a position where we can hope for the best.  If we carry current life's problems into the next 12 months, we know from experience that eventually they will slip into the mist of history and that we have potential for change and improvement, if only we apply ourselves.

If there is merit in resolve, then by all means act upon it.  But do me a favor, dear hearts, stay the course.  Stay the course!

02 January, 2012

WAR SHIP BEACHED IN SOUTHAMPTON



The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain from June 1812 to the spring of 1814.  The main land fighting occurred along the Canadian Great Lakes border with a number of the more notable naval battles taking place on Lake Erie.  From our Canadian history studies at school, we remember the names Sir Isaac Brock, Laura Secord, Charles de Salaberry and the great Shawnie Indian Chief Techumseh who was killed fighting for the British in the Battle of the Thames.

On January 1st, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 began officially but, at the Bruce County Museum  & Cultural Centre, work for a well-planned celebration of the historical period has been underway for some time.  Here's part of an amazing and exciting story, particularly for those of us living on the shores of Lake Huron in Southampton.

The H.M.S. General Hunter by artist Peter Rindlisbacher

The General Hunter, a former British war ship from the War of 1812, was discovered by accident some 10 years ago on Southampton's beach and was subsequently painstakingly excavated by some of the best archaeologists in the world who all volunteered for the project.

"It was one of the biggest finds on the Great Lakes," said marine archaeologist and project coordinator Ken Cassavoy.  The ship, which was excavated revealing a wealth of artifacts from three military entities - American, British and a Newfoundland regiment, was also re-buried twice in order to preserve her and, today, she lies once again beneath the sand.   The Hunter was captured in the famous Battle of Lake Erie by the American Admiral, Oliver Hazard Perry.

A replica however, is about to be built by a group of talented local enthusiasts in the Bruce County Museum, complete with one of the masts and three of the 10 cannon found in the beach excavation.
The mammoth 32 1/2 ft. mast weighing 1000 lbs (pictured to the left) was recently raised in the museum by a corps of volunteers from the Marine Heritage Society and the Propeller Club, under the the direction of Mike Sterling who used the principles of Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, astronomer and inventor of mechanical devices such as the block and tackle that was used to lift the mast into place.

Beginning in the new year, construction on the deck of the General Hunter replica will begin with every detail meticulously worked out by ship recording and sailing expert Stan McLellan.

"This is a massive undertaking," says Cassavoy, "but we are very fortunate to have living in this area some of the greatest minds when it comes to detail, historical fact, and the ability to bring it all together to make it happen.  There are going to be celebrations all along both sides of the Great Lakes in 2012.  It's going to be exciting and, especially, here in Southampton with our direct tie to the War of 1812."
Mike Sterling, project co-ordinator Ken
 Cassavoy and Stan McLellan discuss the
precise details of erecting the ship's mast. 

The ship was discovered in April, 2001 when low lake water levels and a spring ice scour uncovered about a dozen of the ship’s frame tips, pushing up through the sand of the beach.

After a series of archaeological excavations of the wreck and years of historical research the find was  identified as the British naval brig General Hunter.  It was built in 1806, and served as a Provincial Marine transport ship on the Upper Lakes.  During the War of 1812 it took part in a number of successful actions as part of the British Navy squadron based at Amherstburg (Fort Malden), Ontario.  The General Hunter was ultimately captured by the Americans in the famous “Battle of Lake Erie” in 1813.  Following the war, in 1815, with its name shortened to Hunter, the ship was sold to a private buyer in the United States.  It was later purchased by the U.S. Army as a transport vessel and made several voyages during the spring and summer of 1816 carrying U.S. army material and men to various Upper Lakes ports.

According to a letter written by U.S. Army General Alexander Macomb to the U.S. Secretary of War, a major Lake Huron storm pushed the Hunter ashore and wrecked it on a remote Canadian beach on August 19, 1816.  Details in the letter and an attached legal declaration by the crew, found in the U.S. Archives in Washington, clearly identified the wreck location as that of the present-day Southampton beach.  All eight crew members and the two young passengers survived, managing to crawl down the broken mainmast and on to the beach as the ship was battered by wind and waves.  The crew rowed and sailed the small ship’s boat down the lake to Detroit, arriving a week after the ship was wrecked on the beach.
The Hunter as it was uncovered by archaeologists.
The General Hunter lay buried under the beach sand for nearly two centuries before its timbers were discovered pushing up through the sand.  The ship was fully excavated and all artifacts were removed.  Some of those artifacts, including a unique swivel cannon found on the wreck, can be seen in an exhibit at the Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton.  The rest of the artifacts are undergoing conservation treatment at the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa.  In some cases it will take several years to complete conservation but all artifacts ultimately will become part of the shipwreck exhibit at the museum.

In the spring of 2006 a dramatically altered beach profile and the continuing low lake levels, once again exposed a large number of ship timbers and put them at risk of serious damage.  The temporary breakwater was installed immediately and tons of sand was put in place, to keep this important shipwreck and the historic work barge that is buried beside it ,safe from the ravages of Lake Huron wind and waves.

A major study in 2005 set out a plan for next possible steps in the Shipwreck Project.  Consideration of this plan began in early 2007.  Those interested can see the plan “Southampton Beach Shipwreck Project: Recovery, Conservation and Display Preliminary Study,” at the Bruce County Libraries in Southampton and Port Elgin or at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton.  All the details of the shipwreck discovery, excavation and identification are also available at the same locations.

I find all of this extremely fascinating and will definitely photograph the replica ship for Wrights Lane when the museum project is completed later this year.