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Friday, 26 June 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #69 – 26 June 1959

On 26 June, 1959, Queen Elizabeth II and President Dwight D. Eisenhower inaugurated the 2,300-mile St Lawrence Seaway in Canada that links the Atlantic with the Great Lakes in North America.

Crowds cheered and waved flags, church bells rang out, sirens wailed and bands played as the Royal Yacht Britannia began the first leg of the journey from Montreal harbour to the Atlantic Ocean.

On board were the Queen, representing Canada, and President Eisenhower who could be seen chatting together on deck and waving to the crowds.

Balloons and fireworks were released when the ship's bow passed a symbolic gate at St Lambert Lock made of old timbers from the lock of the Lachine canal which was built to bypass the Lachine rapids. The seaway takes a different route avoiding the rapids and rendering the Lachine canal obsolete.

Then all the whistles and sirens of ships in Montreal harbour went off.

At one point an American congressman called to the president from the lock side: "We have all fallen in love with the Queen, Ike!"

The joint Canada/USA project cost $470 million and took five years to complete.

St Lawrence Seaway

Source: BBC

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