Bring him to justice – on hold

Following is an excerpt from The St Catharines Standard of March 13, 2020:

Upcoming criminal and civil jury trials in Niagara and across Ontario have been suspended as a precaution to keep the public and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced.

In a statement issued late Thursday, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz said anyone who has received a summons for jury duty for an upcoming trial does not need to attend court.

“The safety of all who use and rely upon the court is essential,” the statement reads. “Equally important is continued access to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice should COVID-19 disrupt court operations.”

Officials said small claims court cases have also been temporarily halted.

So it appears George Flowers will be staying in jail while the Province of Ontario finds a way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

If or when there is a change in this status, I’ll write more.

Cat.

 

 

 

“Whatever is left …”

As I have recently written in “I don’t seem to exist” of June 10 and Sunday’s “Curiouser and curiouser”, my eldest son and I have been trying to track down evidence of my father’s existence.  That is evidence other than the fact we are both here.

We’ve tried using various genealogical sites and could find nothing other than he seemed to have died in March of 1970.  Different government sites were equally unhelpful since most records of the kind we needed are sealed for 75 years.  As he lived in St Catharines Ontario, I thought the local paper, the St Catharines Standard, may have his obituary in their archives.  Not so.  The Standard (called by some residents “The Substandard”) has a huge hole in their online archives and don’t have copies on microfilm of any back editions.

We had exhausted just about every avenue we could think of where there might be information.  As I wrote, my doctor is also a coroner, so I thought to ask him where records from closed hospitals might be kept.  He suggested that they may have been destroyed by now, or available in the Ontario Archives.  Another government site meant we were looking at that 75 year blockage again.

As I said, we’ve tried genealogical sites as well as government and newspaper sites, all to no avail.  The one thing we hadn’t tried was the most obvious: Googling his name and location.  What makes this especially embarrassing for me is that I use Firefox as my browser.  And what do you see when you open Firefox, right in the middle of the screen?  Right.  A big Google search bar.

Typed the name and location into the search bar.  Up popped a listing, among which was one person with that name, but the dates showed this person had died at less than one year of age.  Thinking perhaps someone had made an error in dates, I clicked on the link and was taken to Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St Catharines.  Among the information on the page was the fact there were 44 graves with the same surname in that cemetery.  Unfortunately, the dates shown for the infant were correct.  I decided to check the listings for the other people.  Glad I did.  I came across my paternal grandmother’s grave, which my son needed for the family history.  Continuing to look, I found a name similar to my father’s, but with a different middle initial, although the year of death was correct.  Checked it out.  These pages have photos of the headstones with them and I noticed the initial on the stone wasn’t the same as the listing.  It was in fact the headstone of my father.

So I now have more of the information I need to complete the government form that started this whole mess.  My son will take the information I have given him and see if he can now find a place of birth, which I am still lacking.

What is the principle of Occam’s Razor – that the simplest solution is usually the correct one?  And what could be simpler than just Googling the name?

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Curiouser and curiouser

In “I don’t seem to exist” of June 10, I wrote of some of the problems I’m having trying to track my father.

As I wrote, the St Catharines Standard had a large hole in their online archives that neatly covered the period I’m interested in.  I contacted the Standard and was eventually told they don’t have any archives.  Excuse me?  You’re a newspaper and you don’t have copies of past issues?  They did suggest I try the St Catharines Public Library.   Contacted them and yes, they do indeed have copies of the Standard on microfilm.  So, in mid-July I’m making a trip to St Catharines.

While I was waiting to hear from various people in St Catharines, I decided to check the archives of the Hamilton Spectator, since Hamilton is not only where I was born but is the largest city on or near the Niagara Peninsula.  That was a wasted effort because when you try to check their birth and death records, they link you to Ancestry, which has so far not proven helpful.

The library did suggest I check the website for Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St Catharines, which is the largest cemetery in the city.  Again, they have no record of anyone with my father’s name being interred there.  Of course, if he was born in Nova Scotia, he may have been buried there as well.

I contacted the Salvation Army, since I’d been born in the Salvation Army hospital in Hamilton. Their reply was “I am sorry, but we do not have any records for the institution at all.”  I could probably ask them for a document signed by General Booth himself and get it no problem, but they don’t have records from 1944.

Earlier today, I had a thought.  My family doctor is also a coroner for the City of Oshawa.  Tuesday, after the long weekend, I’m going to contact him.  As coroner, he may have some insight on where records from closed hospitals might end up.

I’m not one to be paranoid, but with this amazing lack of information from any source either my son or myself can think of on my father, it kind of makes me wonder what the hell is going on?  Is it that he managed to keep himself hidden that well?  As I said to my neighbour, this makes me wonder just what my father was up to.  Her reply was “maybe you don’t want to know”.

Cat (at least I think that’s who I am)