'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menotripsical; BAR and Beyond - Halifax Landing

June 26th - cont'd.

The walk down Inglis Street was right up my alley (yeeechcchh YAM...); it was full of heritage architecture... and by now you know my penchant for a building or 87! Biggify the info pix if you share the interest, but am keeping them small so's not to frighten off the marginally sane.

Round the back of the station are all the old piers, several of which are still in use - now by cruise ships as much as by bulk carriers. Pier 21 is the home of the Canadian Museum of Immigration. This place had a profound effect upon me. It addresses not only the history of migration to Canada over the sea, but also modern-day immigration. It struck so many chords, myself being an immigrant to Australia.

Before getting to that bit, all on the upper level, there was first the visiting exhibition to view on the ground floor. I give you here a small sample of my views; there are some wonderful videos about the exhibit here - and I embed one of them to give you a taste.

As one enters the exhibit there is a large art installation in the making. When one emerges, after having absorbed all the comparisons with the Titanic, the artist in residence requests each visitor to add to it.

Mine was a 'letter'. I had been struck by two things in the exhibit; the letters which had been salvaged (the Empress having been a mail ship also) and that she had been built in Scotland.

The letters were in amazing condition despite water and were written with the most exquisite penmanship. A couple of them had been short and to the point.

Long since last letter. All is well here. Canada has proven both amenable and profitable. Health is good. 
This page, I believe, will travel by the ship called Empress of Ireland, a sure and sturdy Clyde-built vessel! Sending all love to you there in the Bonny Land. Yours..."

Many a ship brought peoples to their new home. Pier 21 was their first experience of it.

A third-class cabin set up.

The restraint in the presentation of the exhibits throughout this museum was commendable. What was there held so much more force as a result. Many an immigrant arrived and was processed through the waiting hall before being loaded up onto the specially built and run trains, to be taken out to the prairies and mountains and inner cities of the land. Mostly there was a move to settle folk on the land for farming - not dissimilar to Australia (after all the convict settlement). Naturally, not everything was what it was 'cracked up' to be...

Canada now prides itself in being one of the truly inclusive nations of the world. It was not always the case.

As one walked from the immigration history to the immigration present and future section of the museum, the sense of being a part of living history really struck home. It was at this point that I had a huge nostalgic burst for my beloved OZ and all the memories of what took me there, what had to be endured until 'rubber-stamped' (it took two years) and what it took to become part of the fabric in that society.

Once again I left a little bit of me in Halifax; the cube top right is my entry to the words wall, descriptive terms for what immigration means to the migrant themselves. 

There was an incredible haar rolling by that morning. Atmosphere ++!. .
From the museum I walked back along towards the market... part two Monday!


  1. What wonderful history...and the last picture took my breath away!!

  2. i really need to get back to the East Coast. I haven't been since I was 12 (so almost 30 years).


  4. Hello, what a lovely places! The houses and exhibit are wonderful. I love the last view of the lighthouse. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  5. Good Day!
    Such a great post, YAM. Wonderful subject and splendid photos! janice xx

  6. We were in Halifax. My Dad and his family came over from England. I cannot imagine the trials. I am enjoying your travels, however. I'm just not a happy traveler! xx

  7. I wonder which one of those ships my great grandfather Parquot came to Canada on. In working on my genealogy I have learned he and the oldest some came over first. Then after two years went back for his wife and other two sons, so there must have been letters sent back. I would love to tour Halifax. Your post truly stirred in me what they must have felt.
    Sweet William The Scot


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