Lascaux

September 12, 2018

On this day in 1940, the Lascaux caves in central France were discovered by four teenagers. As they entered the long shaft down into the cavern, the boys saw vivid pictures of animals on the walls.

 

When the site was made available in the later 1940s, this cave art was wildly popular with the public. More importantly, it allowed everyone, both public and scientists, to understand more clearly that the so-called “cave men” were far more than the mindless brutes of previous imagination.

At about 17,000 years old, the Lascaux images are far from being the earliest known cave art today — several caves in Europe and Indonesia have art from about 40,000 years ago, and a recent “sketch” on a rock in South Africa may be much older.  However, the enormous trove of images (more than 900 animals identified) at Lascaux combined with the encouragement of tourist traffic to the location has allowed this cave complex to become the best known of all cave art.

Today marks an important anniversary in our understanding of who we are and where we came from.

Advertisements

9/11 and the Death of Democracy

September 11, 2018

Forty-five years ago, on 9/11 in 1973, the US-financed-and-organised plan to overthrow the legally elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile was put into action.

Crowds in Santiago celebrating the electoral victory of Salvador Allende

During the violent military assault, the President died (assassinated or committed suicide to avoid capture) and over the next few years of the vicious and inhuman dictatorship of US-supported Pinochet, thousands of Chileans were imprisoned, tortured, and killed.

allende

 

What happened in New York on this day 28 years later was also vicious and inhuman. However, it is about time for some reconciliation and regret for the extraordinary litany of war crimes the US has committed. If any US network or major media even mentions the Chilean anniversary during what will almost certainly be today’s spasm of Trump-like breast-beating, that would be a tiny start.


Remembering Sacco & Vanzetti

August 23, 2018

This is the 91st anniversary of the murder by the State of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for the crime of being anarchists.

 

fe992-sacco_and_vanzetti_protest

“What from the splendid dead
We have inherited –
Furrows sweet to the grain, and the weed subdued –
See now the slug and the mildew plunder.
Evil does not overwhelm
The larkspur and the corn;
We have seen them go under.

Let us sit here, sit still,
Here in the sitting-room until we die;
At the step of Death on the walk, rise and go;
Leaving to our children’s children this beautiful doorway,
And this elm,
And a blighted earth to till
With a broken hoe.”

— Edna St Vincent Millay “Justice Denied in Massachusetts

Lest we forget.


The GHG Day Out

August 10, 2018

The Grandview Heritage Group does not hold formal meetings in the summer.  However, each year we like to get together for an informal gathering during this period.  This year, we decided to have an extended coffee break at Spade on the Drive.

 

This is a very fine group of intelligent and interesting individuals and I believe we enjoy each other’s company. It was a memorable and relaxed hour of chatting about heritage houses, the hot weather, and whatever else took our fancy.

Thanks to the Spade staff who looked after us, and Neville who did the heavy lifting on the arrangements.


Hiroshima Day

August 7, 2018

Today we need to remember the fate of Hiroshima and its people, utterly destroyed by an atomic bomb this week in 1945.

I spent my early life in Europe during the hottest days of the Cold War, worried every single day that these scenes would be repeated in London and Berlin and Moscow. Those concerns abated with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and for 25 years many of us breathed a lot easier. Today, with a US leader seeming to need a war to save his tottering presidency, I have begun to worry once again even as I sit here in beautiful British Columbia.

Let us continue to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and do whatever we can to ensure that such events never happen again.


Grandview’s Heritage Houses

July 19, 2018

The Centenary Houses project that the Grandview Heritage Group has been running annually since 2012 received a very welcome boost today with the publication of an excellent article by Naoibh O’Connor of the Vancouver Courier.

We thank her for her interest and encourage everyone to check out the Group’s website for all the details — and so much more!


Mandela Day

July 18, 2018

nelson-mandela-day

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela.

Mandela was and remains the great hero of my generation, reminding us all of the extraordinary value of determined integrity.

“It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all.”  Have you done your 67 minutes yet?