Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Time I Went Shopping For A Sub

Fisheries and Oceans had probably the most popular exhibit at the 1978 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto – the distinctively coloured submersible Pisces IV.

Getting Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to climb aboard was the highlight of an exhibition promoting the establishment of a 200-mile fishing limit off Canada’s coasts.

On loan from the Institute of Ocean Sciences at Patricia Bay, Vancouver Island, the three man undersea craft dramatically illustrated the oceanographic mission of the newly established Fisheries and Oceans department.

Fisheries and Oceans was one of 28 federal departments and agencies promoting national unity in the Canadian Pavilion, largest building on the CNE grounds. Over one million people were expected to go through the pavilion, and three million at the overall Exhibition, then celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The three pilots of the Pisces IV readily explained operations of the submersible to the public and escorted the Prime Minister for a look inside the craft.

In addition to Pisces IV, the Fisheries and Oceans exhibit presented a 200 mile limit display demonstrating how fisheries operations within the hugely expanded new fishing zone were to be managed. It took the form of a fully staffed operations room monitoring and controlling the operation of foreign and Canadian fishing activities on both east and west coasts.

As DFO creative communications chief in Ottawa, I had much to do with that exhibition but perhaps had the most fun when I first travelled to Victoria to go “shopping for a sub.” Having heard about the Pisces IV and the kind of work it did, I thought it was worth asking if it could be made available for the CNE.

IOS staff were rather dubious at first, but agreed to do it after arrangements were made for the National Defence department to undertake transportation as a kind of training exercise. They were more than happy with all the publicity it gained in Toronto.

Built in Vancouver in 1973, Pisces IV was operated by the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic waters until 1983 when, because of budget cuts, ownership passed to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States for service in Hawaii.

Dog Sled Races Remembered

Sled Dogs Race on Byron Avenue

As newcomers to Ottawa in the mid 1960s, getting used to the extreme chilliness of winter was an early struggle, but had its compensations. The best of them was perhaps the welcoming atmosphere of the Ottawa Winter Carnival, with its myriad of activities around the city. Places of business lent ready support, encouraging residents to emerge from family hearths to become part of the festivities.

One activity that attracted hordes of spectators was the Annual Dog Sled Races held within the charming east-west thoroughfare of Byron Avenue.

Participants started off near Parkdale Avenue and raced westward to Britannia. The race course was apparently on an abandonned streetcar track. Viewing the start of the race was a big thrill for youngsters and oldsters alike. These photos show the scene 52 years ago in 1968.









Soon after seeing the dog sled derby, we got a chance to watch another popular winter pastime in that era, the annual Motor Cycle Ice Races on Dow’s Lake.

Joining us at the time, though not in the photo, was Bob Moss, my one time VOCM news reporter buddy who was in Ottawa covering the Press Gallery for the St. John’s Evening Telegram. He later became Editor of the Gander Beacon.

Family History Reprinted

A second print run of the booklet The Waddens: A Family History has just been delivered, following a sell out of the first edition. Complete with family trees and colour and black and white photos, it covers Wadden families from origins in Ireland and Newfoundland to descendants throughout North America. Co-written by brothers Brian and Nix Wadden and self-published, the 84-page hardbound booklet may be purchased by contacting Payment by personal cheque or by e-transfer of $20 per copy plus $3.50 postage is requested. American buyers pay only $20 U.S.