Monday, November 15, 2010

The Last Spike -- 125th Anniversary tribute

CPR travel poster
November 7th 1885 was the date that the last spike was driven into the track of Canada's first transcontinental railway (the Canadian Pacific Railway -- a.k.a. the CPR).  Sorry, my post is late by a few days, but I just got the memo!

Actually I missed seeing last week's episode of the Rick Mercer Report. Luckily I subscribe to his Youtube channel and what to my wondering eyes did appear -- but this excellent clip where Rick interviews Parks Canada employees about the Last Spike and rides the rails over some of the most beautiful railway scenery to be found anywhere in the world!

The history of Canada is defined by this transcontinental railroad.  There is a good chance that without the persistence of Sir John A. Macdonald (Canada's first Prime Minister) and the partnership of railway engineer Sir Sanford Fleming and CPR general manager Cornelius Van Horne, Canada would not exist in its present form today of 10 provinces and 3 territories linked together from east to west coast by a fragile network of rail (and now highways).  In fact, it was mainly in order to bring the province of British Columbia into Confederation that started the mad rush to build the railroad in the first place.
Is it any wonder then that so many talented performers have paid homage to Canada's railways?

Here's a famous song called Canadian Pacific by country music star Hank Snow

And one of my favourite songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Steel Rail Blues

Now you know I can't leave without a picture of Richard Armitage, so here he is as
Claude Monet in The Impressionists admiring a train.
screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet
Just had to share this lovely montage done by a dear friend and fellow admirer of Richard Armitage.
Just look at the way she has blended Richard as Claude Monet in The Impressionists with Monet's own artwork and a quote by fellow Impressionist painter Edouard Manet about his artistic vision.

The quote in English is "I paint what I see, not what pleases others to see".
Monet is more appropriate to this post than I at first realized! His birthdate was November 14, 1840 which means that I just missed his 170th birthday by one day!

If you like trains as I do, don't miss my first post on this blog, "I Think I Can"


Avalon said...

I would ride a train.....if RA was on it:)

Phylly3 said...

LOL ah Avalon, I am definitely on that train! :)