Victoria WWII veteran recalls role in real-life ‘Great Escape’

Written by admin on 15/08/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

It was a story tailor-made for Hollywood–Allied prisoners tunneling out of a prisoner-of-war camp in Sagan, now part of Poland.

As 76 men planned the Great Escape, made famous in the 1963 film starring Steve McQueen, Victoria’s Mac Colquhoun and 10 other PoWs in Sagan hatched a plan that saw them transport men in a wooden gymnastics horse to secretly dig a tunnel. The horse was then used to take away sand dug up by the PoWs.

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“It was called the Wooden Horse,” said Colquhoun. “We thought up the idea to build this exercise horse designed especially because we wanted to carry men in it, and sand.”

Colquhoun’s job was to surreptitiously disperse the yellow sand throughout the grounds. He would put it in his pockets and have it trickle down through his pant legs as he walked around the camp.

“There was a hole in the bottom,” he said. “There was a string from that hole. I just reached in my pocket and pulled that string and it would shake out.”

After a few months of digging, three men successfully made their escape.

Colquhoun was not one of them. Instead, he remained in the camp until January 1945 when prisoners were ordered west.

Surviving that brutal trek, it was only another few months before he would make his way to London just in time for VE-Day celebrations.

“I thought how lucky I am to be still living,” he said.

Their escape served as the inspiration for the 1950 film The Wooden Horse.

Seventy years later, his eyesight is fading, but those memories are still sharp.

He recently unveiled a monument at the newly-named Veteran’s Memorial Lodge at Broadmead where he lives. He sees it as a chance to pay tribute.

“I often think about all the people I’ve known and there isn’t one alive,” said the 98-year-old. “There isn’t one. It makes you think how lucky I was.”

-With files from Kylie Stanton

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Joe McKeehen wins World Series of Poker – $7.68 million

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LAS VEGAS – Pennsylvania poker pro Joe McKeehen won the World Series of Poker Tuesday night, taking home $7.68 million.

McKeehen won with an ace-10 and got lucky when the community cards revealed a second ten, ensuring his victory in a face-off with Joshua Beckley of New Jersey who went all in with a pair of fours.

McKeehen held an overwhelming lead in poker chips coming into the finale and the entire three-day event.

A short while earlier, 61-year-old Neil Blumenfield dropped from the contest, going home with $3.4 million in third place.

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That left just McKeehen facing Beckley.

The two played on — sitting between stacks of cash and a prized, pricey, World Series of Poker bracelet encrusted with diamonds and rubies — until McKeehen claimed the final victory.

McKeehen, the 24-year-old poker ace from Pennsylvania with a math degree, held an unwavering chip lead and 67 per cent of all the chips on the table going into Tuesday’s showdown, or some 128 million worth. He was responsible for dashing the dreams of four of the “November Nine” members on Monday and Tuesday before ousting Blumenfield.

Blumenfield came into Tuesday’s matchup in second, holding 21 per cent of the remaining chips after nearly taking a pass on playing in the Main Event after he was laid off from his executive position at Intuit days before competing this summer.

As for his decision to ultimately spend the $10,000 to enter, “it’s one of the top ten for sure,” he said before the Main Event restarted on Monday.

Beckley started in third with 12 per cent of the table’s chips having clawed up from seventh place at the start with a few hands on day two that shook up the table’s dynamic.

World Series of Poker tournament events began in May and continued for 51 days with 68 events, culminating with the annual Main Event. It’s a grueling multi-day poker marathon that whittled down the competition from 6,420 entries at $10,000 each to nine players, all already guaranteed at least $1 million each.

No limit Texas Hold ’em involves each player getting two cards unseen by the rest of the table and five community cards, the first three on the “flop,” the fourth on the “turn,” the fifth on the “river,” with betting between each.

©2015The Associated Press

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How 2 Metro Vancouver veterans found themselves living on the street

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Michael Pounder calls a temporary shelter bed at Vancouver’s Union Gospel Mission home.

The 65-year-old served with NATO for five years, much of that time in Germany.

A proud Canadian who served his country now feels abandoned.

“The whole process is very cumbersome and moves very slowly,” Pounder said. “And I think that frustrates a lot of veterans and they give up quite easily in seeking the help they need.”

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READ MORE: Veterans Affairs Minister vows to change the way Canada treats vets

John Oakley understands that struggle. For two years, the former Armed Forces member lived beneath a highway overpass, battling addiction and his own pride.

“I was too stubborn to go to shelters or food lines and stuff like that,” he said.

The number of homeless veterans identified by Ottawa has jumped in recent years, from just 35 in 2009 to more than 200 in 2013.

READ MORE: Army suicide rate 3 times higher than other branches of Canadian military

The true figure is believed to be much higher.

“I think a lot of it has to do with mental health,” Pounder said. “A lot of veterans have issues–we all fight our demons–and some are able to speak for themselves and others are not.”

“I will not go under a bridge. The Union Gospel Mission has been very helpful and that’s huge. But again I believe you can only be helped if you want to help yourself.”

With a new government in power there is hope that this Remembrance Day will be the last time some Canadian veterans feel forgotten.

-With files from Jordan Armstrong


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Dallas Stars troll Blue Jays, Maple Leaf fans on Jumbotron

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The Dallas Stars posted a photo on 桑拿会所 that will definitely get Toronto sports fans up in arms.

The team’s Jumbotron crew got a little payback for their local baseball squad, the Texas Rangers, during Tuesday night’s game between the Stars and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The post was a reminder of the memorable seventh inning during Game 5 of the Rangers’ American League playoff series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

If you recall, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin caught a pitch with two out in the top of the seventh inning and attempted to throw the ball back to pitcher Aaron Sanchez.

The ball struck the bat of Shin Soo-Choo, who was standing in the batter’s box with his arm extended and bat upright.

When the ball rolled down the third base line, Roughned Odor scampered home to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

Fans were angry after the umpire (rightfully) allowed the run to count littered the field to express their displeasure with one man being arrested after a baby was sprayed with beer from a thrown beer can.

Later in the inning, Jose Bautista hit a home run that ended the season for the Rangers and led to the sour grapes on the Stars scoreboard.

WATCH: Jose Bautista’s epic bat flip after game-winning home run

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Prince Albert, Sask. cracking down on abandoned properties

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Property owners in Prince Albert, Sask. may be getting slapped with violation notices about buildings that have been unoccupied for long periods of time. City council has approved amendments to the property amenities bylaw to allow enforcement staff to deal with vacant and boarded buildings.

Ultimately, the city is hoping vacant buildings won’t be left alone long-term and that property owners encourage re-occupancy in a timely manner.

“This has been a longstanding issue for city council,” said Mayor Greg Dionne in a press release.

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“These properties can become a burden on a neighbourhood.  I’m looking forward to our staff taking on a proactive approach to this problem and getting the enforcement process started sooner.”

To see less of this happening, the bylaw has an expanded definition of what qualifies as a nuisance to specifically include boarded and unoccupied buildings.

“Without elaborating on this definition, these properties might arguably not be considered in violation of any legislative standard,” said Ken Paskaruk, the city solicitor for the City of Prince Albert.

READ MORE: Vacant buildings in Toronto’s Cabbagetown raising concern among residents

To enforce the bylaw, officials will report and inspect timeframes and compliance orders will also be sent out to property owners who fail to address the problem.

“The objective is  to give property owners the opportunity to self-remedy the nuisance over a reasonable period of time,” said Paskaruk. “The process begins by engaging property owners to address properties in violation with rehabilitation being the ultimate goal.”

There are approximately 50 to 60 properties registered as unsightly, boarded or vacant in Prince Albert.


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Syrian families eager to build a life in Metro Vancouver

Written by admin on 16/07/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

Khaldoun Fakhury, his wife and two daughters fled Syria in the middle of the night after their home and restaurant were bombed. It was a dangerous journey through the mountains before they finally reached neighbouring Jordan, where they spent two years in a refugee camp before coming to Surrey.

Grateful to be in Canada but struggling to start over, Amer Alhindawi is eager to start work as a carpenter so he can support his wife and five children but the biggest obstacle to finding a job is English.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees: How you can help

“There’s a year-and-a-half waiting list to enter a class. That’s one of the challenges,” he said through a translator.

Extended interview: Syrian family’s struggles since coming to Canada


Extended interview: Syrian family’s struggles since coming to Canada


Finding success after moving to Canada

Both families are in the hole financially, owing the Canadian government more than $12,000 combined for their flights from Syria to Canada.

Fakhury said that he “promises the Canadian people that they will not stay on welfare and that Syrian people are hard workers. In the past they’ve always worked and earned their money.”

Fakhury hopes to pass that work ethic down to his children. Ten-year-old Sara is excited to be back in school and says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Left to right: Tamir, Mahmoud and Rama

Amer Alhindawi and his wife Mervit Alabdullah have five children. They fled Homs, Syria and lived in a refugee camp in Jordan for two years before coming to Surrey in May 2015.

Randa Shamis and husband Khaldoun Fakhury with 10 yr old daughter Sara.

Mahmoud and Rama

Six-year-old Mariam.

-With files from Rumina Daya

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Visually impaired children given the chance to touch Van Gogh’s artwork

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EDMONTON — While touching an original piece of Vincent Van Gogh’s work is prohibited in museums and galleries, an exhibit at Southgate Centre allowed a number of visually impaired children a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the Dutch master’s art.

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Van Gogh was known for his bold, dramatic brush strokes, which are oftentimes lost when a piece is replicated. But the pieces at the Van Gogh Museum Edition Collection at Southgate Centre have been specially produced to recreate those strokes.

During a special event put on by the mall and the exhibit, members of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind were able to touch the pieces.

“I think they’re pretty cool. I like the feeling of the bumps and how they feel like they’re real stuff,” said nine-year-old Matthew Silvius, who is completely blind.

“I like the feeling of those clouds.”

Conor Pilz with the CNIB said it’s a rare change for his young clients to appreciate art and enrich their creative sides.

“This would be once in a lifetime, I would say. The opportunity to touch a Van Gogh is something that no one will ever have,” said Pilz.

In order to properly replicate the strokes, a silk, rubbery cloth is placed over an original piece of Van Gogh’s work to creative a negative of the painting. That negative is taken to a photography shop where a 3D printer is used to print the piece on a canvas. From there, colour specialists spend months on each piece, getting the colours of the painting just right.

“You can actually feel… how he actually made those brush strokes and it gives a different dimension to the painting,” said Stefanye Kaltenvrunner, executive assistant at Tribute International, the media and entertainment company behind the exhibit at Southgate Centre.

“You can really feel what he tried to express and I think for someone that’s visually impaired, they can actually experience art for the first time.”

The pop-up exhibit runs at Southgate Centre until Nov. 15.


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Reserve dogs and cats saved from cull in northern Saskatchewan

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PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A call for help from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan has saved the lives of more than 150 dogs and cats. The Prince Albert-area reserve approached the Canine Action Project to avoid a cull in the community.

At the end of October, volunteers with CAP and the First Nation undertook the massive effort of canvassing homes to discover how many pets and strays needed to be re-homed.

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Over the course of four days, 144 dogs and 19 cats were taken from the reserve to different animal rescues throughout Western Canada, with more scheduled to be taken on Wednesday.

CAP’s founder Kelly Phips emphasized they are not a rescue group, but says the situation in Sturgeon Lake was viewed as an emergency by members and the community itself.

For years, Sturgeon Lake has struggled with its stray population, with dogs often forming into packs. Over the last two years there have been about 15 dog bites and almost half have been to children, said community health nursing student Bailey Nikolaisen.

When she first started working in the Sturgeon Lake, Nikolaisen was alarmed to see the dog packs – some who have even bred with wild coyotes – and the health issues they cause in humans, including rabies.

She has also had to treat children for worms, which she says is likely contracted when children played in areas where an infected dog had defecated.

READ MORE: Rescue group saving dogs from cull near Regina

As an animal lover, Nikolaisen started taking in dogs and connecting with animal rescues to find them homes, but before long realized she couldn’t help the many strays in Sturgeon Lake by herself.

Recently Jeff McLeod, animal control officer in Sturgeon Lake, alerted Nikolaisen that for a number of years, Sturgeon Lake has had a cull in the fall to deal with its out-of-hand population.

“They were starting to be in heat now, the dogs, and they were having puppies. And it’s going to be cold soon and the puppies are going to freeze, and the dogs are just going to get pregnant again,” said Nikolaisen, saying she became determined to put a stop to the cycle.

McLeod said the effect of the mission has been immediate.

“It was the first time in a long time, this past Halloween, that a lot of kids were able to go from house to house without being chased by dogs or their parents weren’t carrying sticks or like, logs to protect their kids or protect themselves,” he said.


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Former Braves, Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson dies at 29, death under investigation

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ATLANTA – Authorities are investigating the death of former Braves and Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson.

Coweta County coroner Richard Hawk said an autopsy began Tuesday, following Hanson’s death at the age of 29 on Monday night at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital.

Hawk said Hanson was found “unconscious and unresponsive” in Coweta County near Atlanta on Sunday. He was initially taken to a hospital in Newnan before being transferred to Piedmont.

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Hawk told The Associated Press on Tuesday night “the cause and manner of death are still under investigation.”

Hanson, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, pitched for the Braves from 2009-2012, winning at least 10 games each season. He pitched for the Angels in 2013 before signing minor league contracts with the White Sox in 2014 and the Giants in 2015.

Hanson was regarded as Atlanta’s top pitching prospect when he made his debut in 2011, posting an 11-4 record with a 2.89 ERA.

Hanson, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was 49-35 with a 3.80 ERA in five major league seasons. He was 4-6 with a 4.76 ERA with two minor league teams in the Giants organization in 2015.

There were immediate expressions of shock and grief on social media following word of Hanson’s death.

Former Braves teammate Chipper Jones said on his 桑拿会所 account: “My heart is broken today. Tommy Hanson was a great teammate, friend and pitcher. We all loved and pulled for him. We ALL will miss him. #RIP”

Braves president John Schuerholz said the team was “incredibly saddened” when it learned of Hanson’s death.

“He was a favourite in the clubhouse and with our staff and he will truly be missed by everyone in Braves Country,” Schuerholz said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family, former teammates and friends.”

Former Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, now with the Padres, called Hanson “a great person.”

Added Kimbrel on his 桑拿会所 account: “It hurts my heart to see him go so soon. My prayers and thoughts are with the Hanson family.”

Hanson was the MVP of the 2008 Arizona Fall League. The league held a moment of silence for Hanson on Tuesday.


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Disastrous start to road trip for Winnipeg Jets

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It certainly wasn’t the start to the road trip the Winnipeg Jets were hoping for. The Jets must have left their A-game back in Winnipeg as they suffered a 5-3 defeat on Tuesday in Minnesota to start a four game stretch away from home.

The final score actually flattered the Jets who trailed by as many as four goals. It was the third consecutive loss for the Jets who are in the midst of a grueling stretch with eight of nine games on the road.

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Thomas Vanek scored two goals in the victory for the Wild. Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula and Chris Porter also had goals for Minnesota. Jared Spurgeon registered two assists.

RELATED: Winnipeg Jets return Patrice Cormier to Manitoba Moose

Bryan Little scored twice and Blake Wheeler had the other goal for Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec allowed four goals on 12 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period. Michael Hutchinson stopped 15 of 16 shots in relief.

Minnesota opened the scoring just 3:44 into the first period as Niederreiter standing at the edge of the crease, stuffed the puck past Pavelec for his fifth goal of the season.

The Jets evened it up before the end of the period. Little tipped in the Dustin Byfuglien point shot for his seventh and it was 1-1 after 20 minutes.

But it all went downhill for the Jets in the second. Christian Folin made the long stretch pass to spring Vanek on the breakaway and he sent a slap shot into the top corner for a 2-1 Wild lead.

The Jets then went on the powerplay but it was Haula with a shorthanded breakaway and he also beat Pavelec. His second goal of the season was shorthanded. Minnesota with goals just 89 seconds apart and it was 3-1 for the Wild.

But it would get worse for the Jets before it got better. Mark Stuart’s pass was intercepted by Mikael Granlund and he spotted Vanek who undressed Paul Postma before scoring his second goal of the period and his sixth of the season. That was the end of the line for Pavelec who got yanked for Hutchinson.

The change in goal wouldn’t change the momentum though. With 7:21 remaining in the period the Wild won the faceoff clean and Spurgeon’s shot was tipped in by Porter for his first goal as a member of the Wild. Four unanswered goals for Minnesota gave them a commanding four goal lead through two periods.

In the final frame there was a mad scramble around the Wild net. The puck squirted out to Little and he set up Wheeler who deposited the puck behind Wild goalie Devan Dubynk. Wheeler’s seventh goal of the season made it a 5-2 game. It was the first powerplay goal for Winnipeg in more than four full games.

The Jets narrowed the gap even further with 7:20 remaining. Little on a partial break was denied once but he buried his own rebound for his second of the game and eighth goal of the season. It was 5-3 but the Jets would get no closer. The final shots were 28 aside. The Wild were 0/6 on the powerplay.

Andrew Copp returned to the Jets lineup after missing the last four games with an upper body injury. He had 8:18 of ice time and was a minus one while failing to register either a shot or a hit.

Postma played in his second straight game after being a healthy scratch for the first 14 games of the season. Ben Chiarot, Adam Pardy and Anthony Peluso were all scratched.

The Jets four game road trip continues on Thursday against another Central Division opponent in the Dallas Stars.


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