Thursday, March 27, 2008

This is too easy

The gentle and benevolent French Metis fur trader Kevin Lamoureux, stands beside the evil and colonizing Anglo-Saxon HBC comptroller Jon Gerrard, united in the quest to "preserve" the fort that was lost 125 years ago. ('story' here)

The sheer magic-marker cheapness of the signs, I imagine, is for grassroots cred.

Perhaps unbeknown to these two olden time gentleman, is that they were standing close to the arched entrance way of Union Station, which--whether it was the intention of the architects or not--bears some resemblance to the primitive archway of Upper Fort Garry's north gate.

But like the Fort Garry Hotel (1913), Union Station was built in an age when it was still believed that we honor the past by building greater and greater. We do more than be born at Upper Fort Garry; we grow up around it.

Today of course, we seem incapable of paying tribute to the efforts of pioneers by building better. Were Union Station, the Fort Garry Hotel, or the Manitoba Club's house built today, one could be sure that opposing them would be the cause celebre, and that politicians would bedeck themselves in silly costumes, protesting their construction.

Construction site of Fort Garry Hotel, 1913, mere feet from the city's birthplace which it would cast an affronting shadow upon


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