"...without a cause, nothing can be created." Plato, Timaeus
The present essay was drafted over a long period of time. Its form and content kept on changing since the early 70's when I had the ambition to formulate a sort of "philosophy of life" through a series of sketches on various subjects.
This is a brief history of the church my wife Valerie and I bought in January 1972 to live in with our three children, Ben 5, Stacey 3, and Beth 1, after some renovations to make an apartment in the church hall/basement. The building had been up for sale for over a year, with a leaking roof, and some hymn books on the pews where the departing parishioners had left them.
If you have a fountain pen that you want to repair, or if you want to buy a unique one, Ottawa now has Jean-Daniel Gauthier. He has given new life to two of my pens, more than thirty years old, that otherwise would have remained at the dusty deep of my desk drawer.
JustOttawa is a webpage newspaper featuring articles primarily by retirees and other friends living in Ottawa.
Our purpose is to showcase the writing talents of our contributors and to offer interesting reading. JustOttawa has no financial or editorial stake in what it publishes, since we are a volunteer, non-profit that welcomes opinions of all stripes.
Every few weeks we publish several new items which show up on the front page. You can click on the contributor’s name in the column on the right of the front page and summaries of that author’s previous work appears. Click on the title for the full article.
To keep up a good volume of published material, we are hoping that readers of JustOttawa will become contributors as well.
We hope you will think about it. A review of a restaurant, film, a holiday or whatever. Or a column on a subject close to your heart. Think about adding some pictures. Take a look at the material already on the website, it will give you some ideas.
Remember, JustOttawa is not looking for great works of literature, but just for material that would brighten the days of its readers. We don’t plan to edit your material, but we will look it over to see if we think we might get sued.
Once you have written something the rest is easy. Just email it as an attachment or simply in the text of your message to me at:
We would prefer the use of Word, but can normally manage with WordPerfect, and documents in RTF are easiest of all. Look forward to receiving your contributions. The pictures if any should be sent in separate emails.
Ah, renovations. What a wonderful word. It conjures up notions of fantasy - a promise of change to newness within the context of your already comfortable, if somewhat outdated but happy existence, with dispatch and little or no pain. After all its not like your are starting from scratch – building a new house or garden. You already have the house and garden. You are simply going to make a few improvements - upgrade some elements, add some new ones, sand a little woodwork, dab a bit of paint, hang some wallpaper, throw down a new carpet, install some new appliances, widen a doorway, throw in a nice Jacuzzi tub. And, you are going to get it all done in a week-end or two so that you can get back to the important things in life - golf, entertaining, grandchildren, golf, holidaying in the Caribbean, golf.
Ottawa, for most Canadians, conjures up images of Parliament buildings, of the longest skating rink in the world, of the site of many of our national institutions such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the National Gallery and foreign embassies. Visitors to the Capital region are also impressed by its beautiful natural setting with the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau rivers flowing through it against the backdrop of the Gatineau Hills. Plenty of parklands, waterways and greenspace adorn it, with extensive walking and bike paths. In Ottawa, the two founding cultures of Canada meet and interact, contributing to the making of a vibrant community. Formerly known as a government town, it is now also known as a high tech centre with the number of technology workers rivaling that of the government sector. All of these factors play a part in making Ottawa a great place to live.
The question of copyright seems to be under review with an element of the academic and consumer world hoping to limit the purview of copyright protection while much of the corporate world hopes to extend its range and duration. The latter group seems to be winning with the 1998 Copyright Extension Act which lengthened the period of protection by twenty years, and the successful prosecutions of down loaders of music and movies.
In response to a recent request from The Naval Association of Canada, I contributed the following article for one of their publications. Since there is a diplomatic-naval theme throughout this piece, I thought that it might be of interest to some of the JustOttawa readership.
First off … full disclosure and brief background! I have absolutely no naval service experience. I was a soldier; a grunt, dog face, ground pounder or whatever. My uniform was a khaki colour, not navy blue.
As a member of the Regular Officer’s Training Program (ROTP) from 1960-65, I attended McGill University and Royal Military College. After graduation, the following four years in the army were exciting and included training as a para-trooper and jumping out of “perfectly serviceable” Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft plus a year of duty in the Gaza Strip (cut a bit short by the Six Day War in 1967).