Yesterday was spent in the company of Leanne and John Tiberio, and Leanne’s mum and dad, both retired. Dad, Ray was in the RCMP and the family hail from Calgary, Alberta. I have made a practice of building up my knowledge of the part played in the history of other countries so I can make the tours more focussed and customised and the contribution that Scots made to Canada is prodigious.
When I got to their apartment block I could not believe my luck when I looked at the placque above the door heralding that Alexander Bain had had his workshop there. It was a portent that the day would go well. Alexander Bain invented the Telegraph and the Electric Clock, although he carelessly allowed an English inventor by the name of Wheatstone to steal the Idea before he could patent it. The first Canadian Prime Minister was John Macdonald, a Scot, and he ordered the Canadian Pacific Railroad to be built to stop British Columbia from falling into American hands. The chief engineeer on the project was Sandford Fleming, another Scot and one of the problems he had to solve due to the accuracy of the electric clock combined with the the vast distance to be covered meant that something had to be done to ensure that times were standardised across provinces. So that is why we now have time zones.
Along Princes Street, past the birthplace of Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor of the telephone and latterly a resident of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and on to the point at the Castle entrance where James IV gave the symbolic parcels of Scottish soil, or Sacines, to the Earl of Stirling to found the Province of Nova Scotia. we explored the many historical links between our countries.
A lunch of delicious Cullen Skink (John had haggis neeps and tatties) in Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, visits to the Castle and Holyroodhouse and a farewell dram of excellent 16 year old Scapa at the Guildford arms rounded off a fabulous day.
Safe trip onwards, my friends!