2020 is nearly done! Like us, we’re pretty sure you won’t be sorry to see this year go!
It’s been a tough year for a lot of people, for small businesses and entire industries. We would never have dreamed when we welcomed in 2020, that the year would so dramatically affect the entire world’s travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.
And though the year has been very tough on our staff and their families I am very grateful to have them by my side, assisting clients with past issues and helping fulfill their travel dreams for the future. Read More >
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09 December, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Season’s Greetings & Our 40th Birthday Gift Card Bonus Promotion
25 November, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Our 40th Birthday, American Thanksgiving & Black Friday Sales
11 November, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Remembrance Day
28 October, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Halloween & Day of the Dead
15 October, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Africa
30 September, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Scotland
23 September, 2020 – Polar Bear Tours still Available for western Canadians
16 September, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Videos to Inspire
02 September, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Wildlife Viewing
19 August, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Greenland
05 August, 2020 – Up2Date featuring Iceland
22 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Charlene Underhill and Diane Monnier
15 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Trish Middleton
08 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Arnie Hydamaka
01 July, 2020 – Up2Date with Amelia Bearhart
24 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Margot Kalinowsky
17 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Yvonne Sacilot
10 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Ian Kalinowsky
03 June, 2020 – Up2Date with Lindsay Ruffeski
27 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Karen Pearson
20 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Sandra Jensen
13 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Allison Silvaggio
06 May, 2020 – Up2Date with Lois Farley
29 April, 2020 – Up2Date with Shauna Cook
16 April, 2020 – Spring Ahead to Your Best Days Ever!
01 April, 2020 – Active Getaways & April Fools Day
18 March, 2020 – Update on COVID-19
12 March, 2020 – Luck of the Irish
27 February, 2020 – International Polar Bear Day
13 February, 2020 – Romance on the Rails
29 January, 2020 – Top of the World
15 January, 2020 – Sun, Sand and Surf
Many of us are eager to begin exploring the world once again, but may be hesitant because of uncertainties surrounding travel these days. The most frequent question asked by our clients is, “What happens if the unexpected happens?” Fortunately, Great Canadian Travel has the answer! Our two insurance partners offer coverage that ensures you receive the care needed in case of illness, even Covid-19, while travelling.
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The term Black Friday was first used to describe the financial crisis of Friday, September 24, 1869, the day the US gold market crashed. It was indeed a “dark day”.
The modern use of the historic term Black Friday started in the consumer-goods-crazy, post-war 1950’s. People started taking the Friday after Thanksgiving Day off in large numbers to hit the stores and start their holiday shopping. The sheer volume of shoppers caused traffic accidents and violence amongst shoppers waiting in line to get into the stores or fighting over merchandise. Because of all of the problems caused store owners started calling it Black Friday.
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“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we will remember them.”
Who and what exactly are we remembering?
The First World War was ignited by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, on the 28 June, 1914. This sparked unrest and soon led to the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire) invading several European countries. When Germany failed to meet the ultimatum from Great Britain to withdraw its troops from Belgium, as of the 4 August, 1914 the Allied Powers (Great Britain and her colonies including Canada, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States) were at war with the Central Powers.
Due to new military technologies such as machine guns and tanks, trench warfare and use of poisonous gas, WWI was the costliest conflict in Canadian history, and claimed the lives of more than 60,000 Canadian citizens.
The poignant Irish ballad, Green Fields of France, captures the tragic and terrible cost of this war, on a very personal level as it asks questions of a young 19-year-old soldier who was killed in battle in 1916.
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Edward William Cook (my husband Martyn’s Great Grandad) –
Edward William Cook and was born in Dover. Kent, England on the 29/07/1911 and lived in the north of England from his teenage years. He joined the Royal Navy at Chatham Kent on 14/ 9/1939 as a Sickbay attendant. He wore a peaked cap, black tie, jacket and trousers, not blue square collar and bell bottom trousers. He spent 1940 & 41 at Newton Abbot Hospital in Devon where they took in lots of injured people from the military in the west of England and the eastern north Atlantic.
His first ship at sea was HMS Quilliam, a destroyer, in Autumn 1942. There were 8 of these “Q” ships built in the north of England and with 3 other Qs they formed a squadron with HMS Quilliam as senior ship. They left England in November 42 and did not return until the end of 1944. By this time he was a Leading sickbay Attendant as he was on his own looking after the needs of the crew. That means he wore an Anchor badge on the left arm of his uniform. They travelled as a squadron to the following places and scenes of battles: all around the British Isles; Norway; Iceland; North Atlantic; Gibraltar; north Africa; Malta when the siege was on; Corsica; Sardinia; Italy; Crete; Egypt; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Madagascar; Aden; and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
When they reached Burma he was transferred to HMS Caradoc, a cruiser, before coming home late 1944 on HMS Renown, a heavy battle cruiser at speed via the Suez Canal and Mediterranean. By this time he was promoted to Petty Officer with 2 crossed anchors on his left arm.
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George Henry Hambley (1896-1983)
My Uncle George enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at age 18, on the 13 October, 1915 at Camp Sewell (which later became Camp Hughes), near Carberry, MB. He served in France, Belgium, and Germany and was involved in some major battles including Ypres, Mons, Cambrai, and Vimy Ridge.
Some of these battles involved trench warfare where poisonous gas was used. For the remainder of his life, until his death at age 86, his sleep was disrupted from the effects of the gas attacks he had lived through. Sometimes we’d be sitting at the kitchen table talking and Uncle George would suddenly just go to sleep. He’d wake up a few minutes later, not missing a beat in our conversation, as if nothing had happened. I think he felt himself very lucky that this was the worst injury he came home with, after all the horrors of war he’d seen.
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When I read the news reports yesterday saying that Max Ward, the founder of Wardair had died at age 98, I felt very sad and nostalgic. It feels like the end of an era in Canadian aviation, the passing of an honourable gentlemen of aviation and royalty in the Canadian travel industry.
“A northern bush pilot who built a regional carrier into Canada’s largest charter airline has died.
Max Ward collapsed Monday at his Edmonton home and died in hospital shortly after surrounded by family. He was 20 days shy of his 99th birthday.
‘He’d been in failing health for some time,” said family friend Jacquie Perrin, who confirmed Ward’s death. He did his best to hang in for the 99th, but he didn’t quite make it.’
It was a rare example of Ward not reaching his goals.”
-The Canadian Press, November 04, 2020
Back in the late 70s and 80s, when I was in the early years of my career in travel, Wardair was the preferred airline for Canadians going on holiday to Mexico, the Caribbean and especially to Hawaii. Later they’d become first choice to the UK as well. Their planes were nicely decorated, well maintained and perfectly groomed; their staff obviously loved the company they worked for; onboard service was top notch, with delicious meals served on china and the champagne flowed like water.
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I am sure we are all feeling the same thing these days … I just want to travel! Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, there is really very little travel happening outside of our own country.
My husband and I were getting a little antsy for an adventure, so we packed up our SUV and drove west across the Canadian Prairies. Of course, packing these days means we pack a few additional items – hand sanitizer and face masks.
We arrived at our first destination – Emerald Lake Lodge, in beautiful Field, British Columbia. On arrival, we were directed to a parking lot, were we parked our SUV and were shuttled to the main lodge. The first indication of COVID-19 measures was the sign on the shuttle advising that all passengers must wear face masks on the shuttle – no problem as we are slowly getting used to masks as part of everyday life. There was ample social distancing in the main lodge, lots of space between tables at dinner, and all staff wearing masks at all times (except front desk staff who were behind a full plexiglass screen).
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“Normal – Usual, Typical or Expected” –
Surprising to say that sitting at my desk in the office today felt slightly normal! Other than there being only a few co-workers around, as most are working from home.
Sitting here, sun shining through the window, with Westjet and Air Canada planes flying overhead to James Richardson International Airport.
Earlier this week, while working from home, my 11 year old son was using my phone to check his baseball app to see what position he would be playing that night. Suddenly the phone rang. He answered it and was clearly unsure on what to do. I took the phone from him and apologized to the agent on the line, as we had a chuckle and realized that this is the new normal! She was calling to book her client on an Orca & Grizzly tour in BC. This will be my first booking in over 5 months.
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