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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

Volume 5: Number 04


Vol. 5, No. 04
April 2003 - avril 2003

Preparations for the upcoming visitor season are upon us and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of all those who will spend time on Cape Breton Island this summer in our national park and historic sites.

AGB guide staff will be on duty starting May 5th and the annual ‘custom made’ training programme also begins that day running until May 14th.

Chef Lars Willum will be launching the 2003 season of his television series called "Be My Guest". The launch takes place Friday, April 25th at Seaside Communications in Sydney with CBC’s Mainstreet program broadcasting. One of the season’s shows is devoted to the village of Baddeck and AGBNHSC. Representatives from our Site will attend.

For those of you who aren’t aware, we have a change in name for one of the historic sites in our field unit. Grassy Island National Historic of Canada is now known as:

Canso Islands and Grassy Island Fort National Historic Sites of Canada

We would like to make a habit of including in our "Hear Ye" submissions some "food for thought" as provided by Alexander Graham Bell and his associates and recorded in our vast archival material. On the topic of aerial navigation being the visionary he was, Dr. Bell said the following in 1893 and 1896 respectively:

"I have not the shadow of a doubt that the problem of aerial navigation will be solved within the next ten years. That means an entire revolution in the world’s methods of transportation and of making war." (1893) (Note: the first powered flight was by the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 1903.)

"I believe that it will be possible in a very few years for a person to take his dinner in New York at 7 or 8 o’clock in the evening and eat his breakfast in either Ireland or England the following morning." (1896)

Alexander Graham Bell is contributing to a special temporary exhibit and event in Washington DC being held in conjunction with the Canadian Embassy, to celebrate the Volta Bureau and Dr. Daniel Ling whose life work has been devoted to deaf people and enhancing their ability to communicate. This event will likely take place in the fall. In 1880, AG Bell was awarded the Volta Prize by France for his telephone invention. Bell invested the $10,000 accompanying the prize in his Volta Laboratory and its experiments near his Washington DC home. With his share of the monies ($200,000) from sale of graphophone patents he established the Volta Bureau which served as a research and resource centre for deaf people. The Volta Bureau’s work continues today.

  • Bethune Memorial House, NHSC

This site commemorates the life and accomplishments of Dr. Henry Norman Bethune. Born in the small town of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Dr. Bethune was a man of great energy, intellect, creativity and compassion. He was inspired by a sense of duty to others and a love of the outdoors.

The house was built in 1880 to serve as a manse of Knox Presbyterian Church. Malcolm Bethune became the minister of this church in 1889 and a year later, his son Norman was born in the manse.

In 1925 Dr. Bethune contracted tuberculosis. He was admitted to the Trudeau Sanatorium in New York State for treatment. There he discovered a description of artificial pneumothorax, a risky operation in which air is pumped into the diseased lung cavity and he demanded to have this operation. He was completely recovered within a month and ended his year-long stay in the sanatorium immediately. It was at this time that Dr. Bethune decided to dedicate himself to the eradication of tuberculosis.

Over the next several years, Dr. Bethune lived and worked in Quebec gaining international recognition as a skilful, dedicated surgeon. Dr. Bethune was very concerned of the effect of the Depression of the health of the poor. He began to believe that only governmental regulation of the medical practice would ensure treatment to all people regardless of financial status.

In 1938, Bethune left Canada for the last time when he travelled to China where he practiced medicine and taught up until his death in 1939. Dr. Bethune is a much revered person in China today. His picture appears on posters, books and postage stamps.







Our own site will be opening May 1st for outside walking tours. Tours will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in English and 1 p.m. in French. Cost of admission is $5.00 -Adults; $3.75 - Seniors; $2.50 - Youth and $12.50 - Family. The Visitor Reception Centre will be opened form 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Our sincere condolences go out to Odile Ryan on the death of her father, Joseph Aucoin on April 8, 2003.

Our sincere condolences go out to Neddy Ward on the death of his brother Ben, March 3, 2003.

Our sincere condolences go out to John A. MacLean and his family on the death of his mother-in-law, Catherine Currie, on April 19, 2003.

Sincere condolences also go out to Kathleen Burke on the death of her daughter-in-law, Anne Marie Burke on April 28, 2003.

....Blaine Aitkens was the successful candidate in the Program Assistant competition. Congratulations, Blaine.

.....Mark and Sandra have a new baby boy - Mark Mitchell born April 4th weighing 8 lbs. 6 ozs. A new brother for Laura and Georgia.

...Tonight's episode of "Be My Guest" with Lars Willem will feature approximately 10-15 minutes shot at the Fortress last season. The recipe being prepared will be 18th century Bread Pudding. The show will air at 7:30pm on Cable Channel 10.

Please use caution when travelling to the Site now that the Queen’s Gate is opened again.

 If you would like to make a submission to the Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Newsletter, please send information to Donna MacNeil at, or phone 733-3551.

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