Coming to Cortes Island was Jane Dudley’s idea. She had woofed at Blue Jay Farm before and talked about the experience ever since. To her zoologist husband, Alexander, this was a challenge. His special passion is weird and wonderful creatures. Alexander simply has to have his “lizard fix” every day. Canada isn’t especially famous for its reptiles, yet he could see how important this was to Jane. For the first week after their arrival, he didn’t know what to do. Then he saw an alligator lizard. (He didn’t know there were any in Canada!) Since then the couple made an important observation about the lives of red legged frogs. (They will leave the photographs and GPS locations with FOCI.) The Dudleys have been blown away by the beauty of our forest – and are embraced by Cortesians everywhere they go. For good reason, Alexander & Jane Dudley introduce us to a whole new world of ecological wisdom through songs, deep ecological knowledge, quirky poetry & stunning photography of the Australian bush
As an immigrant to Canada, I was shocked to learn about the Canadian legacy of residential schools. I had no idea growing up in the U.S. that such things were happened and had happened just north of the border. The indigenous residential schools operated in Canada starting in the 1870s with the last one not closing until1996. Children as young as four were taken—often against the will of their families or with coercive techniques such as threatening jail time—and it is estimated that over 150,000 Indian, Inuit, and Métis children attended residential school. I was reminded that it is a legacy that continues to shade aspects of Canadian culture and identity for all Canadians this year when I became a citizen. At the ceremony, the judge encouraged all of us new Canadians to make the act of reconciliation personal and spoke about how she was doing that in her life.
A local novel is getting traction in stores from Courtenay to Campbell River. The author describes his work ”a collection of stories, some real, some fiction, all filled with nostalgia of recent (1960’s).” I recently had an opportunity to ask Frank Wayne what is behind The Cumberland Tales.