Author Archives: Bruce

Loyalists to Upper Canada

My father, Michael Grass, lived, at the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, on a farm about 30 miles above New York. He was a native of Germany, but had lived most of his time in America. When the Revolution commenced General Herkimer sent my father an invitation to join the Americans and offered him [...]
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The sinking of Empress of Ireland

The horrible fact, about which there can be no dispute, is that the Storstad crashed bow on into the side of the big Canadian liner, striking it on the starboard side about midway of its length. The steel-sheathed bow of the collier cut through the plates and shell of the Empress and penetrated the hull [...]
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By the sound of her whistle

It was noon on a hot, bright August day. A light breeze, coming up the lake from the west, sent patches of white, fluffy cloud before it, and kicked up saucy, gently curling whitecaps in the main channel beyond the point. Here, on the lee side of the island, the water was still, save for the [...]
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Keeping up with the blog

I haven’t been very faithful to you, have I? I have to admit that at the start of the year when I began writing this blog, and collecting some of my old archival items for the Solid Gold Box, I was worried about what would happen with it once summer rolled along. Summer can be crazy. [...]
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In the lumber woods

With most of this class of men, their “eve of departure” is an occasion of great jollification, and, to use the expression, they arrive at the station “loaded for moose,” and in the right mood to either fight, sing, dance or sleep, just as they may be affected, so that should the one in charge [...]
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Crooked sticks

The Red River of the North has as many windings as a serpent, and its steamboat carries a mate who rarely speaks but he jokes. The last we heard from him was a request to the engineer to burn the crookedest sticks he could find to make the bends with. In these dull days so [...]
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The Kazu Maru

At 0900 on March 26, 1987, the DFO patrol vessel Sooke Post entered Dawson Harbour in Skidegate Channel on a westerly swell. When the crew spotted an overturned hull they thought immediately of the Scotia Cape, as DFO had participated in the search for her just the month before. Upon approach it was clear that this [...]
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Sailing alone

Here’s a little vignette of coastal living, an encounter with a fellow who was sailing solo around the world, that was part of my ongoing conversation with readers of This Week. The “chowder” was a weekly gathering of waterfront veterans, launched in the early 1980s by Captain Charlie Currie. After his death in 1997 we [...]
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The trials of Franklin

The fatigues and privations endured on this route are scarcely to be paralleled; short of food, ill supplied with clothing, and exposed to the howling severity of the climate, the escape of any one of the number appears almost a miracle. Some days, when there was nothing to eat, and no means of making a [...]
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Remembering a newspapering icon

Thinking about the closure of the Prince Rupert Daily News brought to mind this piece marking the passage of longtime publisher Iris Christison. By late 1999, with Pete Godfrey and Scott Crowson both gone, the editorial policy at the Daily News had already begun its ascent into la-la land. Iris was a 35-year veteran of [...]
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Minnedosa and Facebook

I’m thinking about Minnedosa, Manitoba. I grew up there. I wonder if I’ve thought about it enough, over the years. Of course I went back often, when Dad was alive, but then I always moved along and focused on the next story. I had a sense of what was happening there but took that knowledge for [...]
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Poor Michael

I hate writing the pieces that I think of as eulogy columns. When a friend dies I’m always thrown into a period of deep thought, and more times than not it leads me to begin wording my own eulogy of sorts—usually a newspaper column, and now a blog post as well. I don’t want to [...]
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End-of-transmission for the communications officer

I’ve talked about Walter Smith’s accomplishments in tourism many times, in print and at public events, beginning back when Tourism Prince Rupert created the Walter Smith Visionary Award in 2007. I will continue to speak about him each year that I present the Walter Smith Visionary Award. What he did for tourism, for this community, [...]
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The death of a daily paper

On a Friday at the beginning of July Black Press announced their purchase of the Prince Rupert Daily News. On the following Monday they announced that they would retire its century-old masthead. Black Press owns the competing weekly, so it was a convenient execution. There’s a lesson in this, but not the one you might [...]
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Legend and mystery

Out into the river proper the little boat chugged—into a land of terraced valleys, sleeping glaciers, and high clay banks pocked by swallows’ nests and bright with brier rose and bluebell. Here was an empty domain of legend and mystery. In London, globes of the world were still being issued showing the Yukon River flowing [...]
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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.