Lighthouse History – 57 (1932-05-11 – 1932-10-01)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!

 trolling boats remain in Tofino port due to low prices…; Luke Swan, a Sydney Inlet Indian, and his wife, had a miraculous escape from death when their trolling gasboat sank while fishing salmon 12 miles offshore. Encountering a heavy swell, the boat sprung a plank, causing the vessel to fill and sink immediately. Their only hope for safety was a dugout canoe 10 feet long, 30 inches beam, and equipped with only one paddle. They had to make shore from 12 miles out, the trip took 12 hours to make the safety of Sydney Inlet, and Mrs Swan has been confined to her bed since. Lighthouse tender Estevan, Captain H Bilton, was in Tofino recently landing supplies at Lennard Island lighthouse and local lifeboat station. From here it went to Matilda Creek and Estevan Point, for which point she has a truck and a considerable quantity of material for construction of the road from Hesquiat to Estevan. Residents of the west coast are gratified at finding Harry Hughes, chief officer of Estevan, back at his post… [Colonist, 1932-05-11, p. 7]

 

December 9, 1932, 10 – photo of lighthouse tender Estevan, Captain H R Bilton, recently in Tofino, BC, proceeding along the coast to land Xmas supplies and stores at all the lighthouses around the island. Effort will also be made to relight the gas buoy off Solander Rock. Sockeye spawning Continue reading

Lighthouse History – 56 (1931-05-09 – 1931-05-31)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!

 Captain Cook’s Landing presented in Pageant on Clayoquot’s Shore… ; May 12, 20 – photo of Major George Nicholson as Captain Cook…; May 9, 20 – Tofino Legion’s day of celebration… ; B Nicholson, of the Department of Marine, was in Tofino attending to the installation of a new telephone cable connecting Lennard Island lighthouse with the mainland. Visitors were entertained at tea by Mrs Jackson and Miss Gertrude Jackson, who reside at Long Beach. [Colonist, 1931-05-09, p. 17]

 

June 9, 1931, 20 – Nootka. Taking the census on the outlying points of Vancouver Island is proving to be an exceedingly interesting and exciting expedition… To say ‘called on’ is stating it mildly, according to the experience of Major George Nicholson and Jack Mathison, who have been entrusted with finding the lonely settlers, prospectors, trappers and other isolated persons dotted along the coastline… 
Owing to the rough nature of the coast, none but the staunchest of vessels would be suitable for this work, so Ottawa has chartered the fishing vessel Yankee Boy, owned and manned by Bjarne and Trygve Arnet, of Tofino, and these two men, both well known and experienced fishermen and born on the west coast… 
As an instance of the isolation of some of the settlers visited is the case of a man who lives on a pre-emption at Escalante Point, to reach whom the census enumerator has the choice of walking 15 miles along the rugged shoreline north of Estevan lighthouse and wireless station, or else chancing a hazardous landing in the ocean surf in the vicinity of Escalante Rocks, one of the worst spots on the coast, many ships having been wrecked at that point. 
Mathison, not relishing the walk each way, the Yankee Boy undertook the landing behind the reef itself. Watching for a time when the tide was suitable and the prevailing westerly wind not too strong, and with the aid of the staunch lifeboat carried along, the landing was successfully made, but not without excitement in making the beach in the big combers. A mile and half walk along the rocky coastline found the settler in a snug bay, facing the warm, sunny south, and the enumerator, to his surprise, was treated to a feast of fresh strawberries.  Continue reading

Lightkeepers to the Rescue – AGAIN!

 

This is a past and very notable lifesaving rescue by two BC lightkeepers, Lynn Hauer and assistant lightkeeper Wolfgang Luebke who were at Chatham Point lighthouse at the time.

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Chatham point lighthouse - photo from Margaret Lutz

We sleep with the radios always on, and ‘with one ear open’.

At 3 AM on April 30, 2012 I was awakened by the unmistakeable sound of a Mayday distress signal. Being able to copy both sides of the communication, I knew it was within our response area. I sprang out of bed. Comox Coast Guard Radio was responding to the call from a very concerned woman, “We don’t have a lifeboat; we are putting our life jackets on now. We are bailing but it isn’t helping!!”

I knew we could be there in 10 to 20 minutes; we were tasked by Rescue Coordination Center. Assistant lightkeeper Wolfgang Luebke and I responded in our 18 foot aluminum station boat. It was pitch black out, and raining. We made our way by compass bearing, across Johnstone Strait into Burgess Passage.

Arriving on scene, we found a man and woman frantically bailing water with ice cream pails! Their bilge pump was inoperative. Their efforts were futile. Their ‘kicker’ motor was under water, and the large outboard was next. Water was pouring in around the re-boarding gate and inches from flooding completely over the transom, which would have seen them go down in minutes. We began pumping the water out of their vessel, with the Honda pump that is always stored under the seat of our station boat. We were all very relieved to see the flood water level slowly subsiding.

Cape Palmerston

The Cape Palmerston (CG SAR vessel) arrived on scene approximately 40 minutes after us. We saved an $80K boat from going to the bottom, and we surely saved a man and his wife from drowning; they would have been in that frigid water with only PFDs, for more than a half hour, had two keepers from Chatham Point Light not been there…we wouldn’t have been there if not for your SEEING THE LIGHT!

Lynn Hauer

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This letter was from from Lynn Hauer, a lightkeeper at Chatham Point and it was addressed to Canadian senator Nancy Greene, hence the reference to Seeing the Light. Senator Greene and her friends were very important in fighting to keep BC lighthouses manned. If unmanned, these people would probably have died. Many instances happen daily where a BC lightkeeper helps a mariner. Many of them you will never read about as they go into station reports and are lost in the central Coast Guard office paperwork – well, not actually lost, just suppressed.

The only way for the lightkeepers to get attention is to report their rescues to the Press (forbidden) or have it written up by myself, or other people outside the arm of Coast Guard censorship.

As Lynn said in a preface to the email she passed around to the lighthouse keepers:

It is important to keep the Senators up to speed of things that are going on. They support lightkeepers (LKs), we should keep them in the loop. They and the public recognize and care about what LKs do.

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The following emails show how the email  was received by Senator Greene.

Dear Lynn,

First, thank you for your quick action!  You are so right.
Thanks also for passing this on to me. I will circulate it as best I can.
All the best!
Nancy
 

Thank you so much Nancy.
Your recognition means very much to Wolfgang and I. The thank you that we received from the couple that night, we extend to you.

Lynn, Ann, and Thyr

 

Lighthouse History – 55 (1930-03-19 – 1931-05-09)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!

 

gasboat Miowera, under command of Mickey, son of Major George Nicholson, of Clayoquot, accompanied by Borden Grant, of Tofino, as engineer, left Victoria at 10pm for Clayoquot, normally about a 24 hour run. The weather was fine at the time, but as the report at Gonzales warned of strong southeast winds, the 2 young navigators decided to make a through-run trip.
All went well til the early hours of the morning and the vessel was well up the coast and about opposite Cape Flattery, when Grant, who had been taking his watch at wheel, went to call his skipper, but to his dismay he was unable to waken him. Slapping his face and dashing cold water on him still was of no avail; his companion was unconscious. This was bout daybreak and finding he was unable to wake his chum he steered alone and decided to make for Bamfield, and although he himself was unfamiliar with this particular part of the coastline he succeeded in reaching that port at noon. There he found the provincial police boat lying at the float and Constables Godson and Raybone immediately rendered first aid, and with the bringing of young Nicholson out on deck he soon showed signs of reviving.
The constables then offered to run up to the hospital at Port Alberni, but the young man insisted that he would soon be all right again, and in consultation with his companion decided to proceed on up the coast. At this time it was not known or suspected what really was the matter with him. Continue reading

Lighthouse History – 54 (1929-09-01 – 1930-03-08)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!

 Died Sep 2, 1929 at Victoria, BC, Donald Bertram McPhee, late of Lennard Island lighthouse, where he had been keeper for some time. Born in NS. Pallbearers: G E Hartnell, A R Driver, A E, A P and R A Durmett, C Richardson. [Colonist, 1929-09-01*]

 

CGS Estevan returns from complete circuit of Vancouver Island, the purpose was to deliver Christmas boxes to the lightkeepers, supplies for the lighthouses and gas for unwatched lights… [Colonist, 1929-12-08, p. 35]

 

the isolated position of the Entrance Island lighthouse, Quatsino Sound, has caused the residents and business interests to petition government to establish radio telephone or cable telephone connection with the shore. Recently a small boat was wrecked there and the lightkeeper was stormbound for 2 days before he could get word to shore and start a search. [Colonist, 1930-02-02, p. 16]

 

Thomas Edward Hunt, assistant lighthouse keeper, William Hunt, at Scarlet Point light, Balaclava Island, accidentally drowned. He left the island in a rowboat to take to mail to people on adjacent islands. A heavy sea was running and the boat is believed to have capsized almost before he got started. No one saw the accident and he was not missed until the next day. Mar 1, 18 – was delivering medicine to Spackmans family… Body buried at Fort Rupert HBC cemetery… [Colonist, 1930-02-27, p. 10] Continue reading

Lighthouse History – 53 (1929-05-01 – 1929-05-01)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!

 photo of Captain Gillam, appointed skipper of Princess Norah. May 4, 1 – Captain Edward Gillam, 65, dies suddenly onboard Norah, while nearing Tofino May 3. Coming to Victoria from St George’s Bay, NF [born Dec, 1863] in 1903, he joined the old Queen City as quarterdeck man under Captain Townsend, another west coast veteran. Through successive stages, aided by a deep love for the sea and accumulated knowledge, he rose to Captain. 
When Queen City left the west coast route he transferred to the BC Coast SS Service’s Tees as commander. Later he took over command of Princess Maquinna, which was built here by the BC Marine Railway Company in 1913, constructed and equipped to meet the roughest of weather on the coast. 
From Maquinna he transferred to Princess Mary, and from that ship to the new Princess Norah on Apr 1. It was he who safely conveyed Lord and Lady Willingdon aboard the vessel on her inaugural cruise Apr 8 and 11. 
The coastal run, by its isolation from civilization, calling for prompt action in time of peril, quick decision in case of rescue of shipwrecked mariners and capacity to deal with the mixed elements of a frontier community, gave to Gillam an opportunity which has come to no other master of the BC Coast SS Service in this generation. How well he rose to the occasion is known to every resident of the Island.  Continue reading

Lighthouse History – 52 (1927-12-13 – 1929-05-19)

The following extracts taken from early Victoria, British Columbia (BC) newspapers are credited to Leona Taylor for her excellent work in indexing the papers. Full information can be found here: ”Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers“, 2007-09.

Please Note: December 20, 2012 – I am continuing this series with Lighthouse History #51 because the newspapers have now been indexed up to 1932. I quit posting at #50 as the extracts only went to 1926. They have now been extended from 1927 to 1932 so I will sift through the data for anything lighhouse!

 Died Dec 11, 1927 at V, Frederic Argyle, 52, born Dec 25, 1871 at Rocky Point lighthouse, where his father, who came here in the Royal Engineers, under Colonel Moody, was lightkeeper for many years, son of Thomas Argyle of Englandl and, and Ellen Tufts, of Halifax, NS. Leaves widow, Mrs E R. Pallbearers: G Ball, H C Helgesen, T F Helgesen, T Foster, Herbert Parker, W Welty. Metchosin burial. [Colonist, 1927-12-13*]

 

Died Apr 17, 1928 at Victoria, BC, Ellen Josephine Forsyth, 53, wife of James T, lighthousekeeper at Race Rocks. Born in NS, resident of BC 48 years. Leaves husband, daughter, 2 sisters, 2 brothers [Guthro]. Pallbearers: N Bertucci, W H P Trowsdale, W Muir, A E Whittaker, Captain G Evans, J Talbot. [Colonist, 1928-04-19*]

 

Died Jul 4, 1928 at Saturna Island, BC, James Georgeson, 79, leaves widow, Joan, 4 daughters, 3 sons. Born Oct 20, 1849, he came to Canada from the Shetland Islands in 1887, and was keeper of the East Point lighthouse for 32 years. He was granted the Imperial long service medal. Mayne Island burial. [Colonist, 1928-07-28*]

 

Rosina, 52 [47], wife of the Daniel O’Brien, Entrance Island lighthousekeeper, drowned today in Entrance Island. She was with her husband in a rowboat, and, on attempting to make a landing, the boat upset, throwing both into the water. O’Brien reached shore safely and ran to the McConvey ranch for help. McConvey, Bennett and Griffith returned with him to the scene and took Mrs O’Brien from the water. Formerly of Victoria, born in County Down, Ireland. Also leaves son, and a sister. Pallbearers: E Burkmar, W Mills, A Morgan, G Morgan, W Fisher, R Trowsdale. [Colonist, 1928-10-13, p. 15]

 

Mar 29, 8 – Tofino lifeboat brought Mr Halkett from Ucluelet to inspect the lifesaving station and Lennard Island lighthouse… [Colonist, 1929-03-19*]

 

Died Apr 3, 1929 at Victoria, BC, Henry Herbert Smithman, 39, born in North Carolina, he leaves widow, 4 children, mother, brother, 6 sisters. He served overseas in the Great War with PLI and was lighthousekeeper at Sister’s Rock Light. New Westminster burial. [Colonist, 1929-04-04*]

 

T Guerney to relieve D McPhee at Lennard Island lighthouse for 3 weeks. Owing to the Tofino customs office being closed, Fred Towler, postmaster, has been appointed to take over minor customs duties. [Colonist, 1929-05-19, p. 8]

Reprint – “Stand” – An Adventure Documentary

 

Stand – Power Teaser

 [media url=”http://vimeo.com/52119128″ width=”400″ height=”350″]

 from  PLUS

 

STAND, presented by Quiksilver Waterman, will take viewers on a journey through the waters of B.C.’s west coast. Through the stories of an aboriginal high school class building their own stand-up paddleboards as a form of protest, the efforts of expedition stand-up paddler Norm Hann, and the powerful surfing of iconic west coast native Raph Bruhwiler, the diversity of people, landscape and wildlife that would be affected by an oil spill
will be articulated. STAND will take you to the core of the issue and unfurl the soul of B.C.’s west coast one paddle stroke at a time.

Cedar Standup Paddleboard

The crew is currently raising funds through the popular crowd-sourcing platform IndieGoGo, in order to complete post-production and bring this story into the mainstream consciousness. You can become a champion of the Great Bear and help protect our precious coastlines by donating to the project and in return receive some great rewards.

IndieGoGo Fundraiser: indiegogo.com/standfilm

Created by Anthony Bonello and Nicolas Teichrob

Music:
Original Score by Alan Poettcker (myspace.com/thesekidswearcrowns)

Sound Design:
Gregor Phillips (cinescopesound.com/)

Cinematography: Anthony Bonello and Nicolas Teichrob
Editing: Nicolas Teichrob

Additional footage courtesy of:
Adam DeWolfe (adamdewolfe.com)
Pacific Wild (pacificwild.org)
Peter Yonemori

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STAND – a SUP adventure through the Great Bear Rainforest

 [media url=”http://vimeo.com/38708656″ width=”400″ height=”350″]

October 23, 2012 –  “STAND” the new film from b4apres Media in association with Dendrite Studios will take you into the heart of the largest temperate rainforest on the planet—the Great Bear in British Columbia, Canada. Hung on the skeleton of a good ol’ fashioned adventure undertaken by a group of surfers, the potential effects of introducing super tankers to these pristine waters will be articulated. As the crew moves through this remote region under their own power, the landscape will be unfurled one paddle stroke at a time and punctuated by the faces and fears of the First Nation people who call this garden of Eden their home. Not just an efficient mode of transport, a stand up paddleboard expedition will be symbolic of “standing up” to preserve this last bastion of rainforest. Captured in cinematic High Definition, the film will bring the Enbridge Pipeline debate into the collective consciousness in a way that will have you fishing in your basement for that old fluorescent wetsuit.

Quiksilver Waterman has signed on as the presenting sponsor for STAND. Since the crew had the concept for the film last year, they have been searching for a partner to support the project. That partner, however, needed to be the right fit and believe in the cause, in protecting British Columbia’s West Coast. Thankfully Quiksilver Waterman along with the Quiksilver Foundation 1 share a strong commitment to the environment.

Norm Hann and Raph Bruhwhiler are both Quiksilver ambassadors and agreed to join the project from the beginning. Both are true waterman and dedicated to the protection of the waters that they derive so much enjoyment from as well as the occasional seafood platter. Having Quiksilver Waterman involved makes the perfect trilogy and will allows the filmmakers to illuminate the stories, adventures and landscapes that abound in this truly magic part of the world.

Long protected by the 1972 Trudeau government moratorium on crude oil tankers plying British Columbia’s north coast, these waters are now facing the risk of oil spill. Potentially, 225 Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) per year would each transport approximately 2 million barrells of oil through the Great Bear Rainforest. In context, today’s supertankers carry ten times the volume of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Put simply, the pristine marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as the people of the Great Bear would likely not recover from such an incident.

This issue is perhaps the most important environmental issue in B.C. history. Whats more, a catastrophic oil spill could reach beyond borders and impact much of the Pacific North West coastline.

Visit the official Dogwood Initiative Website to learn more and find out how to get involved.

August 21, 2013Go see the film in Toronto.

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FOOTNOTE:

1 For years, Quiksilver and Roxy have been actively engaged in charitable activities, both locally and globally. Quiksilver recognises the concept of corporate social responsibility and benevolence. We want our philanthropic work to have impact beyond what we do as one company and believe that we can do this by coordinating the support of other organizations and individuals. The Quiksilver Foundation was formed to bring all of Quiksilver’s charitable giving under one umbrella. The Foundation commenced its activities as a private foundation in October of 2004.

With offices in Europe, Australia and America, Quiksilver has the capability of reaching people worldwide. Quiksilver has the vision of making a difference to community and environment through the Quiksilver Foundation.

The Quiksilver Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to benefiting and enhancing the quality of life for communities of boardriders across the world by supporting environmental, educational, health and youth-related projects.
The Quiksilver Foundation has a commitment to improve the quality of all our lives.
We desire to benefit:

Local Communities, including schools, local charities through support and outreach programs;

Major special projects and organizations sharing our focus on children, education, science, oceans and the environment.

Three Skeleton Key – A Lighthouse Play

 

Three Skeleton Key is a one act play I have never heard about before today. It was written as a short story by George G. Toudouze and was first published in 1937 in English.

 

This is a short story about three men who operate a lighthouse miles offshore of the South American coast.  They love their job untill one day a strange ship arrives.  Suddenly they are unsure if they will survive to see the next day.

Setting

This story is set on a “key” or small island several miles offshore of French Guianna in the early 1900s.  Lighthouse operators whould spend months at a time isolated out on their tiny islands without any contact with the rest of the world. Continue reading

Because John Coldwell Has An Inquiring Mind . . .

I just recently married a lovely Filipino lady here in the Philippines. The marriage was held on the beach at the Drill Shack Resort just outside Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines – actually closer to Dauin.

While in the Dumaguete area I met a Canadian friend, Brian Waddington, who used to live on a lighthouse near to mine at McInnes Island, BC. Brian wrote on August 27, 2012 on his Blogpost:

Because John Coldwell Has An Inquiring Mind I Will Publicly Embarrass Myself And Give Him And His Bride To Be This Story As A Wedding Present

John was the senior keeper at McInnes when I became the junior keeper at Ivory. He retired after 32 years as a keeper. He now runs a truly informative website about the life of a lighthouse keeper on the west coast of Canada. If you have ever wondered about the life of a keeper click on his name.

From left to right; workshop and senior keepers house, junior keeper house and garage, landing platform (red pole) control shed for hiline.

Ivory Island is a lighthouse on the north-west coast of Canada. Thirty plus years later I still dream of Ivory. To say it was a seminal time in my life is simply an understatement. Ivory was where I found the start of my spiritual path. Ivory is where the only child I have helped to conceive and father was created. I met my first two spiritual mentors while I was there. Ivory Island introduced me to the Thomas Crosby V which led me to Haisla village which allowed for the occasion where I met my future wife which is why I now live in the Philippines.

Some of my memories are sublime, some are joyous, some are mysterious but this one is just plain embarrassing. First you need a little background information. There are basically two ways to deliver anything to Ivory – helicopter or ship. Helicopter is quick and easy but not so good for heavy or bulky goods.

When goods are brought in by boat the cargo ship anchors, lowers the work boat and they bring the goods to where the ‘hook’ is lowered via the hi line. (look very closely at the first picture, just above the control shed you will see the hi-line running from the tall red pole down towards the water). Once the work boat crew secures the cargo to the hook it is picked up, wound in, lowered, unhooked and the hook is lowered again for the next load. Simple if everything works right not so simple when it doesn’t. This day it didn’t.

Perhaps I allowed the hook to pick up too much speed as gravity pulled it back to the water. Perhaps the stopper and the hook did not mate properly because a gust of wind moved the mechanism at a crucial point. In any case instead of doing what it was supposed to do the hook plunged into the water. Luckily this occurs with some frequency so the work boat was well clear of the rapidly descending hook. The other times this had happened I simply wound the hook in the way a fisherman reels in his line. The hook comes up sets itself properly and then I would again lower it so the work boat could hook up another load.

This time the hook snagged on something. With no way of knowing if it was snagged on a sunken log, a small easily moved rock or something worse I decided to apply a little more power and see what would happen. Bad decision! All of a sudden guy wires are snapping and the tower is starting to bend. No more cargo came ashore that day. What did come ashore a few days later was a five man work crew from Prince Rupert via helicopter with most of what was needed to fix the hi-line.

I say most… what they did not have was the bit for drilling the holes needed to do to put in the new anchoring pins. The drill bit was flown up from Victoria via helicopter. My bad choice was starting to get expensive. It got even more expensive after they had drilled four (if memory serves) five foot long 2 inch wide holes for the pins and then spent a day or two trying to hammer the 2 inch steel pins into the 2 inch holes.

For the next few days the work crew enjoyed a mini vacation while they waited for the proper sized drill bit. It is just possible that this had become such an embarrassment of errors to one and all concerned that they could not fire me without firing some bosses too. In any case I was and am ever so thankful I wasn’t fired.

There you are John my wedding gift to you, your future wife and your web site. Hope you can use it and it brings a smile to your face.

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Thanks Brian. We could not have had a better wedding gift!