The Hearth

"The Conquerors" by Eric Kenignton, 1920.

Detail from “The Conquerors”.
Painted by Eric Kenington, the painting is a record of the ethnic diversity within the 16th Battalion CEF (The Canadian Scottish).
Image from Wikipedia Commons.

All Were Canada

It sung to us at from a ridge in France…and as we settled, having been witnesses to the day, this bow caressed the hearth to life. It was warmth, it was home, it was Canada. We stood and we sat, in silence, as each note filled our eyes with connection to this place. All were Canada that day on the ridge.

Who were these Canadians? They were infantry, pioneers, artillerymen, railway troops, nurses, surgeons, farmers, clerks…..they were our family. And who were these families? They were the ones who lived in our house, the neighbour’s house, the lad down the street and the girl from across town. They had names from across this planet…from near and far…and they spoke many languages…English, French, Dutch, Norwegian, German, Russian…and they were Canada’s people, First Peoples, Metis, Scots, English, Irish, Japanese…and more…this is Canada…not what it can become but what it is…

…as the notes slipped across the landscape on the wings of those who once were here, this rise of land had not made the nation of Canada it made us realize who we already were.

The Warrior’s Lament, Sierra Noble, Vimy 2007

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


One Response to “The Hearth”

  1. Paul Ferguson says:

    A review of the Nominal Roll of the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) records the following places of birth for 1,161 men of the battalion recorded.

    Canada (197) Scotland (396) England (446) Ireland (43) Wales (9) Channel Islands (4) Isle of Man (2) India (13) Burma (1) Australia (8) New Zealand (4) West Indies (4) East Indies (1) Jamaica (1) South Africa (3) Straits Settlements (1) France (1) Holland (1) Denmark (1) Norway (2) Sweden (1) Italy (1) China (3) Asia (1) United States of America (17) Unknown (1)

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