Lois Farley | The Great Canadian Travel Co.

STAFF PICKS

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

This Remembrance Day we’d like to honour members of our own families and friends who have served during war time and in regular military service.

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November 10, 2020 | Shauna Cook

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 …

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November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

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, …

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 24, 2020 | Lois Farley

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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Our Wall of Honour

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

This Remembrance Day we’d like to honour members of our own families and friends who have served during war time and in regular military service.

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Remembrance Day

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

“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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George Henry Hambley, Canadian Light Horse Brigade, WWI

November 10, 2020 | Lois Farley

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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Max Ward, a True Canadian Aviation Pioneer

November 04, 2020 | Lois Farley

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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Samhain, the Origins of Halloween

October 27, 2020 | Lois Farley

Have you ever wondered where our Hallowe’en traditions came from? Why do we dress up in costumes? Why do we go door-to-door, asking for treats, and why do we give out candy? Why do we threaten to play a trick on people? Why do we carve pumpkins and put candles or lights inside them? Why do we decorate with skeletons and skulls, ghosts and witches? To find out, we have to look back, way back, to the days of the Celts and Druids.

It wasn’t until recently, as I began looking into my Irish heritage, that I learned our Hallowe’en here in Canada and the US has its roots in Ireland and the ancient, Celtic tradition of Samhain (pronounced Saw-win), dating back about 3,000 years.

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Festival of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

October 26, 2020 | Lois Farley

The introduction by the church of All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day led to the celebration in Mexico and other Latin American countries, of Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead. A slight misnomer, it’s actually a two-day event, November 1st and 2nd, filled with festivals and lively celebrations, combining Indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism, brought to this region by Spanish conquistadores.

The belief that all of their loved ones who had passed on would be insulted by sadness and mourning means that, during Dia de los Muertos, people joyfully celebrate the lives of the deceased with food and drink, parties and activities the dead enjoyed in their lives. During these two days the dead are awakened from their eternal sleep and become a part of the community, sharing celebrations with their loved ones.

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Doorways to Game of Thrones® Country

May 05, 2020 | Lois Farley

Anyone who is a Game of Thrones® fan will know that much of the filming of the blockbuster HBO series took place in Northern Ireland. You can visit many of the locations on excellent guided day tours out of Belfast or multi-day tours, for a more in-depth experience. And many of the guides were actually involved in the filming of the show, so have firsthand knowledge.

One of the filming locations is The Dark Hedges, in the northern part of County Antrim. To those in Westeros it is known as the Kingsroad.  The Dark Hedges was battered by gale force winds during Storm Gertrude in 2016. Unfortunately, a number of the trees whose branches formed the scenic arch over the road, were felled by the winds. Rather than just dispose of the wood the idea came up to use the wood from some of the trees that fell to create intricately carved, wooden doors, each door depicting a story from Game of Thones®, Season 6. Thus, the Journey of Doors was born!

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April Fool’s Day

April 01, 2020 | Lois Farley

April 1st, known as April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day, is here and if you’re like me, I’m kind of feeling like Mother Nature is playing a very nasty prank on humankind. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our world in many different ways and the seriousness of it makes it pretty hard to feel much like laughing. But, boy, if there was ever a time we needed to laugh, it’s now!

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Update on COVID-19

March 18, 2020 | Lois Farley

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect the communities where we live and work (and communities around the world where we love to travel), please know that we are working diligently to assist our clients. Those who are currently travelling we’re assisting to get home safely; those booked to travel over the next few days and weeks, to reschedule their travel plans for future travel; cancelling plans for clients when  future travel is not an option.

We must also do all we can to ensure the health and safety of both our staff and clients.

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