Boer War Page 74b

Boer War Past "News" 2

A library of past announcements previously published on our Boer War News Page.
Canada's First
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Why we said NO to:

David McCullough, Walter Cronkite, and Jack Nicholson....

Because we would not settle for second best !
We are pleased to report that Linden Macintyre, winner of multiple Geminis for excellence in television journalism, has kindly consented to narrate,
"The Great Anglo-Boer War 1899-1900: The Canadian Experience."

It brings back warm memories of the first time that Linden narrated a film for us, "My Land is My Life," our first one-hour television program, in 1985.**

We still recall with amusement the comments of senior CBC executives - who tried to dissuade us from using him, telling us that Linden - who had a career doing CBC radio at the time - was a "bad choice for TV", that he was "too Down East, too regional a voice" for national television.

But we turned down bad advice, well meant, because we knew that the heart of Canada resonated in the voice of this man. We believe Linden's work in that film - his first work in national television - is still the best narration we've ever heard on Canadian television, bar none, and a major reason that the film connected emotionally with so many people.

Sadly, CBC English Service executives refused repeated requests to broadcast the film for English Canadian audiences, dismissing it with a brusque, "This is not a documentary, it's propaganda!" ***

** My Land is My Life" was created, shot, and edited by Joan Goldi & John Goldi csc, as a counter to the European anti-fur trade lobby which was trying to demonize the traditional lifestyle of Canada's First Nations peoples. During all four seasons, the Goldis travelled to different Dene camps in remote areas all over the North West Territories, for a week at a time, recording how the family life of most people still depended heavily on the land.

"My Land" won the Golden Sheaf at Yorkton, and a Bronze Medal in "Ethnic & Cultural" at the Houston International Film & Television Festival (behind a National Geographic Silver, and a PBS Hawaii Gold). It was premiered on Parliament Hill and before the European Parliament. The Secretary of State made it into Canada's first CD Rom Interactive and the center piece of its "Bravo Canada" travelling trailer display, and installed it in the British Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. (Wow! You should see it! It's spectacular!" reported a Secretary of State Executive.) The Department of External Affairs placed film copies in Canadian Embassies around the world. During a week of viewing, at Banff, AB, "My Land" was voted the number three choice of the "Top Hundred Most Highly Recommended Videos" selected by 400 media professionals from Western Canada, from among thousands of new programs showcased by 32 international film and video distributors.

***Merci Radio-Canada! Executives at Radio-Canada, the CBC French service, begged to differ. Right from the beginning, they were ecstatic about the film, praising its photography and craft work, and the great warmth and sensitivity with which it treated First Nations people, and instantly acquired it for French-Canadian audiences. Said one Quebecoise, a judge at Yorkton, in halting, but earnest English, "You certainly put a lot of love into this film." We're happy to report that a year later - once the international honours for the film started to arrive - the CBC English Service finally relented, followed the lead of their Francophone colleagues, and aired the film for English Canadians. And for the first time - but not the last - Canadian television audiences from coast to coast would hear the voice of Linden talking in his warm and authoritative manner about things that mattered in the hearts and homes of Canadians.

When Boys Went to War! - Updates on the Bugle Page

Read all about Victorian "Heroes Extraordinaire" Buglers John Shurlock (left) who won fame at Elandslaagte, Bugler Dunne (below left), blowing the silver bugle handed to him by Queen Victoria herself, and Canadian bugler heroes Edwin McCormick (center) and Douglas Williams.

Mar 5, 2002
Canadian Mounted Rifles

Trooper OTTO MOODY FOUND !!!!!

We are enormously pleased to report that we have succeeded in discovering the descendants of Trooper Otto Bushnell Moody of Montreal, an 18 year-old Canadian volunteer (left), who joined the 2 CMR in Nov. 1901, and served for the remainder of the war. His letters are a key part of our television program.

Some details: Otto's son-in-law reports from Telluride, Colorado that Otto died about 15 years ago, but has surviving children. Most shocking of all, Otto's wife is still living in Chamblee, Georgia, and at 98 is still "sharp as a tack." And Otto's QSA medal, for which we had been hunting, is hanging on his wall !!!!

Otto's letters (left) are a major part of our program. More details to be posted on the Otto Moody Pages.

In a letter to his mother, Otto testified to the simple fact that after two and a half years of war, 450,000 British soldiers had failed to capture the 12,000 Boers still fighting in the field. Otto says the British army controlled everything in South Africa at the end of the war - all that is except the "Boars."

" piled up and trains and soldiers around and large hospitals and get on the track and go for days and not see Boars. I tell you the Government has got every thing but the BOARS, the most principal part but rest assurd there won't be any more battles..."

In the end the British won because the Boers simply called it quits. To find out why, see "The Great Anglo-Boer War: the Canadian Experience" on HISTORY TELEVISION.

Women Speak Powerfully on War
Defying the conventional wisdom implicit in many military documentaries - a realm almost universally peopled by male experts - that women have few insights to offer on military history, our program offers powerful contributions from a number of women experts.
Our Innovative Expert-as-host Technique: Historian Pam McFadden, standing in front of the cairn marking the spot where General Penn-Symons was fatally shot - like all our experts - looks directly into the camera lens, asking the audience to imagine the scene as the British general fell, while trying to rally his men to renew the attack against the withering Boer fire sweeping down Talana Hill, during the first battle of the Anglo-Boer War.
War Against Civilians: Grietjie Erasmus, above - speaking directly to the camera - points to marks on her family house made by British canon fire during the Battle of Biddulphsberg in May, 1900. She tells the audience, that during the battle her great-grandfather was so terrified that he refused to come outside and had to be removed bodily from the house to safety.
War Relics: Farmer Susan Botha, right - speaking directly into the lens - displays one of numerous relics of the Battle of Enslin (Nov 1899), that she continues to find on her farm: "a shell, bent on the end by a British soldier, to keep powder dry, which they did when it was cold and rainy, to start a fire."

Below, Emily Hobhouse, a kind of person that comes along once in a generation.

We Feature Women Experts on War: From the foot of the Anglo-Boer War's sacred Woman's Memorial in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Historian Sannette Greyvenstein, talks movingly - straight to the camera - about why the Boers called Emily Hobhouse - "a British lady, a foreigner, in fact an enemy of our people" - the "Angel of Love," and points to the crypt where her ashes were placed in 1926 by the Afrikaaner people, as a supreme show of respect and honour for this unique Englishwoman.

Learn all about Emily Hobhouse in Part 4, "The Great Anglo-Boer War: the Canadian Experience"

c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000