In today's coinage that penny has risen to about 1.5 British pounds or the $2,50 price of a hamburger that now seems to more like a $10.00 hamburger at the local fast-food joint.
But more on that another day.
Over the past months, health and computer/printer issues have thrown curves in the way of my effectiveness in the blogging world. Coupled with attempts to keep up with queries coming my way from friends and others asking for help, or details on their own research or even expansions on something said in this space weeks... or months.... or worse yet...years ago often eat up time that is worth more than a peny and oft as rare.
That said I am again in front of my temperamental toys and bring you another series of tidbits.
The first is a ratter belated Happy Birthday, to one long since gone... a hero that you have read about often in this space. He would have been 99 yrs old on the 11th of October, but the enemy decided this was not to be. He gave his life in the saving of 500 marines and sailors back in 1942.
The Persons Case is not just a Canadian case, but one that back in 1929, and since has spanned the entire British Commonwealth. In fact it even stretches into the US. If your mother or grandmother or great Grandmother was born in the commonwealth before October 18, 1929, she had been, in effect ruled to be a NON Person before that date. I know of 2 US born MOH men who's mother or grandmother falls into that category. (And these are not part of well over 100 I cover in this space.) No doubt there are even more.
Each year in October between 5 and 7 very credentialed people are presented with an actual medal, usually at Ottawa, and from the very hands, in most cases, of the current serving Governor General of Canada.
At the time of our local genealogy meeting, the recipients had not all been contacted yet by Ottawa, and thus numbers or names were not released to the public yet. But this info was released on the 18th... the very day so many years earlier granting women the right to sit as senators. So here are the names of the 6 new recipients, taking the total number across the country to 230. (If my calculations are correct.)
Next Sunday I will bring you some information about Professor Cecelia Benoit, who is shown on my right and wearing her Person's Award.
On my left is University of Victoria's Merna Forster, the Executive Director of the "Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian Heritage Project."
Note we all are wearing blue... a tide of blue... perhaps a sign of things to come in the weeks ahead!
Between 2013 and 2016 Merna collected some 73,000 signatures and added them to mine. Her many petitions were forwarded to Ottawa calling for the final return of the image of Canadian female trailblazers of our past to our paper currency. In addition she has researched and brought forth two well received books outlining the lives of some 200 women who played critical roles in Canada's history. I suspect, and pray, that more will come.
The Minister of Finance announced that due to the overwhelming support for the petition, he promised to see to it that a woman's image was placed on the $10 bill in late 2018. Further, Merna's work would see her appointed to the very committee charged with sorting through all the proposed names, and to give the Minister of Finance a list of only 12 from which he would pick THE woman who shall have this high honor. Her work also brought Merna the highly sought after Pierre Berton Award and welcome $5,000 cheque, and also the Meritorious Service Medal. because of her dedication to preserving Canada's heritage.
The Governor General is wearing the Order of Canada insignia. Her's of course is of the highest level next to HRH, the Queen. As Gov. General, she has been appointed Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order. Those below are Companions, Officers and members.
Surely by now you must be asking about the title of today's blog..how does the peny fit into today's story...
On Friday 8 November 1946 Viola, a very successful beautician, beauty consultant, teacher, and entrepreneur was driving from Halifax to Cape Breton Nova Scotia on business. Her car broke down and she was forced to spend the night in New Glasgow awaiting arrival of parts and repairs being done. So she decided to take in a movie.
She asked for a down stairs ticket costing 40 cents plus taxes. But the operator sold her an upstairs ticket. It was cheaper..at 30 cents, and taxes were a whopping one cent (peny) less. Having bad eye site, she chose to sit on the main floor...and, as they say... the rest is history!
The manager came along and said she had to go upstairs to the balcony. She protested and offered to pay the extra sent. He refused and went off, only to return with a policeman.
But by then Viola realized what was going on. It had nothing to do with the one cent and everything to do with her skin colour. It was black, and blacks could not sit with the white folk.
This very respectful business owner was dragged out of the theatre, losing a shoe and her purse and put in a jail cell for the next 9 hours right next to 4 male prisoners. Not given the chance to appeal, get a lawyer, get access to some of the details etc, she lost her case, and was forced to pay a 20$ fine, 6$ in costs...that went straight to the theatre manager... and the one cent in taxes, one presumes.
A later appeal also failed for various reasons. Pressures the entrepreneur now faced resulted in shutting the business down and moving to the US...where she actually had to get her original training, since blacks were not allowed to get this in NS at the time. She would die there in the mid 1960's.
It would be Viola DESMOND's name that the Minister of Finance would select to be the woman who's image would appear of the $10 bill, now unveiled, but to be released for circulation before the end of the year.
And Oh! how she will be heard for years to come.
Thanks to thousands who signed petitions, and folks like Merna Forster and a government willing to move forward rather than backward on the issue.
It contains lessons that some of our neighbours could certainly learn from as well.
Note This blog was to appear last night but the computer ate about 1/3rd of it and had to be redone today... The crumbs are still all over my desk.
See you next week.
But one final thought... years ago, when I interviewed my mother about Women's History Month I asked at the end of the chat.. for a final comment. Mom stunned me with the comment that is was no longer time... to stand up and be heard... but time to sit down at the tables where decisions were being made... and being one of them casting their vote on those decisions.
Words to think about folks,