Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finding Lost Relatives!

It was a beautiful day and we decided to walk to Parliament Hill. On the way, we saw all these crowds. We wondered what was going on...


A Girl Guide rally...the people at the front of the line were dressed in the uniforms of the past. It's the 100th anniversary of Guiding...


It's a picture perfect day...


The parlimentary buildings are pretty impressive, aren't they? The tower in the center is the Peace Tower. You can go up to the viewing platform which is under the clock for panoramic views of the city.


Here come the Guides singing "We are the Girl Guides, mighty, mighty Girl Guides."


They have packs from all over the region. I think rallies are being held across Canada today in honour of the anniversary.


We decided to take a walk around before heading inside. Ummm...mistake!!


The Stray Cats of the Hill...the cats have been around Parliament Hill since the 1970s. They have been neutered and are obviously well fed.


One cat came strolling out and hardly looked at this squirrel eating the food. Bah...why chase a squirrel when you get easy cat food!


The building on the left is the Library of Parliament which opened in 1876.


The Canadian Police and Peace Officers Memorial Honour Roll...


The Ottawa River...


I thought this statue was quite interesting. George Brown was a Scottish born Canadian journalist who was the founder and editor of the Toronto Globe. Now I know where George Brown College came from!


Beautiful architectural details...


A gaggle of Girl Guides! Around noon hour, we decided it would be a good time to go up to the top of the Peace Tower. The wait to get in was well over an hour. So after waiting for about 15 minutes and finally getting to the sign that said it was at least another hour, we bailed. Hungry Kim + long lineup = Grumpy Kim! We'll come back earlier tomorrow.


The Centennial Flame was lit on New Year's Eve in 1966 by Lester B. Pearson. It isn't an eternal flame as it is extinguished during bad weather or for cleaning.




We went for lunch and then decided to go to Aylmer to visit the cemetery where some of Jim's mother's family are buried. The last time we went to the farm to see Aunt Jean, we could tell that the farmhouse was not being lived in. We went to Jean's son's house next door, but no one was home. We went to the cemetery (a sad way to look for people!) but could not find any evidence that she had passed away. We wondered what had happened to Aunt Jean.


This time we decided to start at the cemetery. We found cousin Keith's grave and noticed that his wife had passed away. Keith is buried next to his mom, Edith. We went to her 100th birthday party in 1999. Keith had quite an illustrious career, complete with his own wikipedia page...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_William_MacLellan


And then we got to Uncle Howard's grave and saw fresh flowers on it. Obviously, Aunt Jean had passed away fairly recently.


Jim's grandparents...


Jim's mother's sister, Sadie, and her brother, Alex..


We decided to head out to the farm. One of Jim's aunts married a Pink and they opened a very successful gardening business. They have long since passed away, but the name is carried on by the current owners.


Meanwhile, back at the farm...this was our first indication last time that Aunt Jean wasn't living there as the farmhouse is being overtaken by the trees around it.


We were just leaving when Jim saw someone mowing the lawn at his cousin's house next door. We pulled in the driveway and sure enough...cousin Stephen. They hadn't seen each other in about 50 years! We had a great visit. It turns out that Aunt Jean had been living in a retirement home for five years and passed away in December. They just had the burial service a few days ago. She was a wonderful lady...


So we didn't get up in the Peace Tower, but had a great unexpected visit instead. We'll head back to the Peace Tower tomorrow...

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