Furthest west….

10 04 2009

..which was at Fisgard Lighthouse for us. After a night on Vancouver Island (where I stayed with Dennis and Glynnis MacLeod) I had an appointment to meet Dave King,img_4283 the Manager of Parks Canada’s Historic Site at Ford Rudd which includes the lighthouse. The fort was established to guard the bay on which Victoria sits , where there was a British naval base in the late 19th century. Now its gun emplacement’s are empty but it does tell a story of imperial power, and also of imagined enemies – it never fired a shot in anger !
There were lots of similarities between the work of Parks Canada and that of Historic Scotland and making – and learning from – those comparisons was the reason for reaching our furthest west.
Then it was time to start the journey home, geographically speaking for each of our steps now is eastwards. So from the floatplane terminal in Victoria ( a lovely spot)img_4297 I flew back to Vancouver and dsc03847on to a meeting with the Mayor, which included the Deputy Mayor and a city councillor. His administration has only recently come into office and is tackling all sorts of issues including city wide preparations for the Olympic Games. Like all cities Vancouver is also highly aspirational in terms of being green – perhaps more so than some, because it is even attempting to introduce low power, low emission LCD street lighting. It has already converted all its traffic lights to LCD.
The next stop was a quick bite to eat at Granville Island, a wonderfully eclectic place full of art and craft galleries, food and produce stalls , flowers and many, many tourists. In the midst of it all is the Emily Carr University of Art & Design where our group met the President & Vice Chancellor Ron Burnett (who works closely with the art schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh) and then were invited to tour some of the classes.
In the first of them we were confronted with a bouran decorated by saltires and Native American symbols , and the inspirational Xwalacktun who has been responsible for no less than 30 totem poles IN SCOTLAND including the one at Prestonpans opposite the Goth, where I was two weeks ago. He showed me a picture of him at work in Glenrothes, showing Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Grant (the Council Leader in Fife) how to make their impression on a piece of Douglas Fir.dsc03857 He introduced us to a student who was working on his very personal design for a pole – and told us he would be in Scotland next year. I promised him a tree to work on!
We also saw an extraordinary computer based visual effects studio where we all donned 3D glasses and could almost touch the tulips that just a second before had been flat on a screen in front of us.
Now there is a brief down time before the final formal event of the trip – a reception jointly hosted by Simon Fraser University and Scottish Development International to mark the end of Scotland Week here in a suddenly sunny Vancouver.
Tomorrow I hope to post some reflections on the trip and over the next few days theimg_4330 site will be updated with some press coverage and anything else that comes to hand ! So keep img_4244checking.




One response

10 04 2009

Interested to see how you are going to bring this totem pole back home – but I guess you have a very resourceful team of civil servants to pack the luggage!

The Douglas fir connection of course is of course now a Tayside tourist draw:
http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=5963 though seems
it was actually Archibald Menzies rather than David Douglas who found this in
Vancouver? I’m also intrigued to see that the person standing next to you in the picture seems to be wearing a Basotho hat? That would have amused Dr
Alan Macartney MEP who always used to wear a Basotho tie at SNP functions.
Were he still around I’m sure he would have been reminding your team that
Lesotho has very strong links with Canada and with Wales – and Scotland,
which I see now even has registered a Lesotho tartan for Basotho blankets: http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=5963

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