Genealogy

Michael Henry Brophy

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Michael Henry Brophy, Born in Quebec on November 27th 1859 (baptised the 30th), was a doctor (graduated from Laval University, Quebec), and mayor of Ste-Foy from 1899 to 1905. Son of John-Joseph Brophy, a Canada customs agent, had emigrated from Ireland (Waterford county), and of Mary Aylmer Ryan, also from Irish descent. Michael married, on […]

Travel

Memories of Myanmar

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A long time ago, I did a trip to Myanmar (also known as Burma), here are some photos: The capital city is Yangon (also known as Rangoon), and keeps traces of it’s colonial past. Burma was part of the British empire. Outside of the large cities, villages – at least in 1996 – did not […]

Natural disasters

Hurricane Luis devastated St-Martin

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In the summer 1995, I spent two weeks in St-Martin (or Sint-Maarten, the island is both French and Dutch), precisely at the time when hurricane Luis devastated the island. The meteorological alert had been given shortly after my arrival. No one could know the trajectory in advance, we just knew it would come from the […]

Animals

Boubou the monkey

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Here is the memory that I was told about Boubou In Niamez, two men captured a young green monkey, probably illegally, but in the bush, this was not uncommon and didn’t raise any questions. They kept the monkey for a few months, then wanted to get rid of it. Either they had to go back […]

Genealogy

Ernest Émile Martin

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Historic preamble: The region of Alsace and part of the Lorraine (modern France) had been annexed to the German Empire after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. The language spoken was then German, although a lot of inhabitants still considered France their country.   Latest child of a wealthy family in Mulhouse, Alsace. His parents ran […]

Genealogy

Marie-Ernestine Faulque

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Daughter of Alphonse Faulque, a border agent in the French region of Franche-Comté and Marianne Martin, Marie-Ernestine was an uneducated and authoritarian woman. Her parent didn’t get along together and her father found refuge in absinthe, and sunk into alcoholism, virtually abandoning his family.   Marie-Ernestine was the second born of a family of seven children. Although […]

Racism

It doesn’t come off!

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I once asked a friend of mine, born in the Barbados but grew up in Quebec at a time there were very few black families, if he found that Quebecois were racist. He answered that it was not as bad as other places but racism is everywhere. And then told be this small story: “There was […]

Genealogy

History of the Bassal family

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In the early 1920’s Faragallah Bassal, member of the Levantine‘s community in Aleppo, Syria, married the young Turkish Elvira Toutounji. The new couple then emigrated, with Faragallah’s brothers, to Egypt, where they reached a land of multiple opportunities. But they ran out of money quickly, and had to ask for help. The group sent a telegram to their family […]

Animals

Encounter with a shark

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I had a six-month contract in Sydney, Australia, and since I always wanted to do scuba diving, I passed my certification there. After getting my Open Water PADI, I flew to New Caledonia, an island north east of Sydney, where my cousin lived. He did a lot a diving and organized a group dive for […]

Technology

What is real, what is virtual?

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I had been working on Pixar’s Cars short films since a long time, so I new by heart the village where the short stories take place: Radiator Springs. This small town, of course, didn’t exist “for real”. I always viewed it through my computer screen. Yet, in 2012, Disney build Cars Land inside the theme park […]