Coronation Street, Crime, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, News, Twitter, Wordpress

UPDATED: Rolf Harris: maybe he was tying down more that just his kangaroo


Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris has been found guilty of indecently assaulting four girls.

The 84-year-old was convicted of 12 attacks between 1968 and 1986.

One of the victims was a childhood friend of his daughter, Bindi. Another was aged seven or eight.

During his seven-week trial, prosecutors portrayed Harris as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character, who had a dark side to his personality. He will be sentenced on Friday.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said a custodial term was “uppermost in the court’s mind”.

The central allegation concerned a friend of Harris’s daughter, whom the court heard he groomed and molested from the age of 13 until she was 19.

The other victims told the court they were touched or groped by Harris, sometimes at his public appearances.

The Southwark Crown Court jury deliberated for 37 hours and 45 minutes before reaching their unanimous verdicts.

Australian entertainer and  artist Rolf Harris has been charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four counts of making indecent images of a child. Harris, who has lived in Britain for fifty years was first arrested in March in the Operation Yewtree that was triggered allegations made about the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile. Six of Harris’ charges date back to 1980-81 while three refer to 1986. Harris, 86, is out on bail and will next appear in court on September 23rd.

Reaction on Twitter has been plentiful and runs the gamut of disgust to disbelief to support.

Fellow octogenarian William Roache who has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since the show debuted in 1960 was charged in May with two counts of raping a teenage girl in 1967.

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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The sacrilege of going back to school in August

August Blues indeed …

“Will I get that marine-wannabe lunatic for phys ed?” “Will Mrs. So-and-so be sober this year?” “Is he back, I thought he had a breakdown?”

Back when I was young the new school year started on the Tuesday after Labour Day. “Summer” consisted of those days between the last day of school and the day after Labour Day; this was a school-free period – sacrosanct. Even after many years the thought of attending classes in August still just doesn’t seem quite right somehow. There was a clear definition of the end of summer; Labour Day Monday. Back to school sales were not seen until mid-August, certainly in not mid-July, something that both teachers and students now find repugnant. I’m no longer at school, haven’t been for some time, but the return to school affects many more than just students. Traffic picks up and even the business world gets back to normal operations with the vacation season over.

JerryEdThat holiday Monday was spent preparing yourself mentally for another long school year – or just being plain miserable. The soundtrack to this day of preparation and pain, playing in the background, was the annual Jerry Lewis Labour Day muscular dystrophy telethon. Jerry and Ed McMahon anchored the event in Las Vegas that, along with raising millions of dollars, eased us out of the lazy summer days and into fall. Even if the weather continued to be warm, perhaps hot at times, once Jerry had sung “You’ll Never Walk Alone“, and cried, and Ed announced that a new record amount had been raised -“timpani” – you knew it was all over. Now Ed has passed away, and Jerry’s been given the heave-ho for some reason and school starts in August. What the hell went wrong?

Continue reading

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Daily Prompt: Funny Ha-Ha

Today’s Daily Prompt is Funny Ha-Ha. I like to use existing photos, but put my own spin on them.

Here’s how I saw the problem of a recent sinkhole in downtown Montreal into which a backhoe slipped:


I still think the Viagra people could use these images:


I also get a kick out of poking fun a news items such as the abdication of the pope.


Combinations of street signs also amuse me. No more than 30 children??!?



Today’s Daily Prompt theme is Nightime. For those of us lucky enough to have cat’s eyes (no, not the grapes) the dark poses no problems!


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Daily Prompt: Nighttime

Back when I was young, EXPO 67, Humor, Montreal, Nostalgia, Weekly Writing Challenge, Wordpress

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember


John Bull Pub ad from The Gazette October 1972

John Bull Pub ad from The Gazette October 1972

This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: I Remember calls upon bloggers to think back. Here’s a freestyle memory piece.

I remember…

… during the mid-seventies,  it seemed Montreal was awash with Anglo/Irish Pubs. There’s still a good number of them today including Hurley’s, McKibbin’s , The Irish Embassy and the Old Dublin to name but a few, but when I was cutting my drinking teeth there was a circuit of pubs in the western downtown area. They all had similar décor; after all, there’s only so much variation you can have on the theme. There was lots of brass and nt much plastic,  easily cleaned concrete or tiled floors (no carpets, thanks), wood paneling and large tables for large groups (remember, this was a time when people bought drinks in “rounds” and managed to do so without having to mortgage their homes). The requisite dart boards, and very small stages, often just a raised area in the corner because floor space was at a premium.

Maidenhead Inn ad from The Gazette in March 1971

Maidenhead Inn ad from The Gazette in March 1971

Not only was the appearance similar but the entertainment was pretty much the same, at least in style. Usually a duo playing what North Americans considered traditional Celtic pub songs including Farewell to Nova Scotia, Whiskey in the Jar and The Black Velvet Band (and I hope they got those seven old ladies out of the lavatory). The main house act played Thursday through Saturday nights but other acts filled in the rest of the week so there was never a night without live music.

Starting this trip down memory lane, moving east from Atwater Avenue, the first pub you came to was the Maidenhead Inn in Alexis Nihon Plaza featuring the piano magic of Goa, India’s own Ferdie Fertado who would leave Montreal after several years and move to Laguna Beach, California where he passed away about three years ago. The Maidenhead waitresses wore low-cut “wenches” outfits while serving bottled beer and mixed drinks.

That was another shared feature not only of the Anglo/Irish places, but all Montreal bars at that time; beer came in bottles. Draft beer on tap was served only in taverns (and later brasseries) and was a cheap lower quality beer produced by the breweries for the express purpose of taverns.

Site of former Clover Leaf and Molly Maguires

Site of former Clover Leaf and Molly Maguires

Cock 'N' Bull Pub today

Cock ‘N’ Bull Pub today

Moving along, on the south-east corner of Ste. Catherine and Lambert-Clossé streets (then referred to simply as Closse) adjacent to the Shell Station, was the Clover Leaf that would close and, for a very short time, become Molly Maguires. I’d let you know what the décor was like, but I don’t think I was ever inside.

Next up is the Grandfather of Montreal Anglo-style pubs, the Cock ‘N’ Bull. It is still a going concern today although its red-roof entrance is gone and the inside is slightly different as well. In its original state the bar, complete with embedded British coins, was located halfway along the  east wall, about 15 feet toward the back from its current position, placing it smack in front of the “stage”, which is now the darts corner.

The stage was an area about 5 square feet that would give any claustrophobic performer a fit as it was enclosed on three sides by patrons hooting, hollering and singing. (A strict “no dancing” rule was enforced to cut down on accidents.) I also assume they have gotten rid of the sign that read: “Free drinks for anyone over the age of 70 and accompanied by a parent”. In these days of increased longevity that could become expensive!

Late Sunday morning was brunch time at the Cock ‘n’ Bull and Sunday nights were Dixieland Jazz nights. But one of the most popular events was Monday’s Amateur Night. The late Ted Blackman wrote a great column on the amateur spectacular in The Gazette in May of 1974

On de Maisonneuve right across from Sir George Williams University’s (now Concordia) Henry F. Hall Building was the Fyfe and Drum (neither Anglo nor Irish but clearly Scottish). The building was torn down to make way for the Concordia Library, but in its day the Fyfe was, not surprisingly, a hang-out for students.

The old entrance to Finnegan's Irish Pub

The old entrance to Finnegan’s Irish Pub

Just a bit further east on de Maisonneuve in what has most recently been an entrance to Wanda’s Strip Club was Finnigan’s Irish Pub. It had been located on the top floor of the building, but by the time of the 1976 Olympics was a rowdy packed basement pub.

That summer of 1976 saw many bars filled to capacity and beyond as the world once again came to Montreal for the Olympics as it had in 1967 for EXPO 67. When I think back to evenings in Finnigan’s what comes to mind are the words fire trap.

Until a few years ago the Downtown YMCA building extended out over half of de Maisonneuve from Drummond to Stanley Streets. On the north side of de Maisonneuve not actually under the Y overhang, but in its shadow was the John Bull Pub. It was more of a Rock ‘n’ Roll place than traditional pub music. Except as the ad above shows they ran an amateur night on Monday’s as well, hosted by the ubiquitous Ferdie Fertado who clearly made the rounds.

Irish Lancer Pub ad from The Gazette September 1975

Irish Lancer Pub ad from The Gazette September 1975

On Drummond Street below Ste. Catherine Street in the basement of the Lasalle Hotel was the Irish Lancer. The Lancer’s bathrooms were outside the pub itself in a sort of lobby and were shared with guests of the hotel who were often confronted by drunk pub patrons.

On Peel Street just above Cyprus Street and the Windsor Hotel was the Hunter’s Horn. Given its location in the heart of downtown Montreal it attracted a more businessperson clientele – more suits than the other pubs. The upstairs lounge, or Parlor as it was called, was a bit up-market being carpeted and nicely appointed. It hosted the Montreal Press Club for several years.

Ah … youth!


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Weekly Writing Challenge: Reel Talk – Time for Don Lemon to move to primetime

This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Reel Talk encouraged bloggers to incorporate video into our posts. A recent Don Lemon piece on CNN affords a great opportunity to do just that!

Dear CNN,

As a long time viewer I thought I’d take a moment to bring something to your attention. I understand fully that you may be well aware of what I’m about to point out, and may even be in the process of dealing with the situation. If so please disregard this letter. I’m writing about Don Lemon and, more to the point, the notion that it is time he had his own weeknight prime time show. Trust me, to paraphrase the old Dr. John song,if you don’t do it somebody else will”.

I’m writing about Don Lemon and, more to the point, the notion that it is time he had his own weeknight prime time show

Lemon has been a mainstay of weekend programming for some time now as well as a regular fill-in when needed. But recently he has started to outgrow that position. He’s written a book, come out as a gay man, and most recently taken on the Black community in his “No Talking Points” segment in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing. He is intelligent, articulate, well presented and fair. Just the kind of person you would want hosting a news and opinion show.

… but I also think it might just be time for an African-American to take a place in that line up

The current CNN evening schedule has Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper yet again. All of them great at what they do, and all of them undeniably white. Don’t get me wrong, I think Cooper is great, but I also think it might just be time for an African-American to take a place in that line up, maybe the second Cooper hour might be the spot. Perhaps a bright experienced host who is not afraid to be a wee bit controversial.

A friendly warning, someone is going to take notice a snap up this talent if you don’t lock him up

Which brings me back to Lemon. A sixty minute show at ten o’clock would suit his style and make CNN a leader. A friendly warning, someone is going to take notice and snap up this talent if you don’t lock him up.

Thanks for hearing me out!

Canada, Daily prompt, Humor, Montreal, Wordpress


Daily Prompt: If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DINNER.

As any true Montrealer can attest, there is but one place to get a smoked meat sandwich and that is Schwartz’. There are loads of places that sell pastrami or smoked-meat-wannabe, but there is only one original Schwartz. The sandwiches come lean, medium, fat and, a Mordecai Richler favorite, fat with extra fat! In fact the sign on the wall states: “If you ask for lean, you don’t know what you mean”


Back when I was young, Canada, History, Hockey, Humor, Montreal, Montreal Canadiens, Sports, Wordpress

Daily Prompt:If I were a great lover of Puccini, would that make me a Fandom of the Opera?

Today’s Daily Prompt is Fandom. If I were a great lover of Puccini would that make me a Fandom of the Opera? But I digress …

Back when I was young, the Montreal Canadiens hockey team was expected to win. It was a foregone conclusion in many Montrealer’s minds that the Canadiens would win. The story goes that, so confident was he, long-time Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau, in his annual planning briefing, would state “…and the Stanley Cup parade will take its usual route”. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the  Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup; a phrase I, at one time, never thought I’d hear, let alone write. (Currently the team is playing much better than hoped for, and an exciting, albeit truncated, season is providing Montreal fans with a taste of what used to be.)


Mike Blake , Reuters

Spectators didn’t go to the Montreal Forum to see the team play, root for them and hope for a successful outcome to the game. Nope, they went to see them win, much like an opera buff attending a performance at La Scala doesn’t hope for a stunning performance: he or she expects it. And God forbid anything less than stellar should be presented. Perhaps the stereotypical Montreal season ticket holder was a man who, sitting in the expense red seats, wore a jacket and tie to every game. He brought a newspaper to read during stoppages in play and during the intermissions. He took wins in stride but was angry, not disappointed, on those occasions when the team lost.

In 1967 the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Had you told a celebrating Toronto fan on that day that before the Leaf’s would win another Cup, the Toronto MLB franchise would win two World Series,  you would have been taken for an idiot.

The franchise was often compared to the New York Yankees and the word “dynasty” was never far away. Until 2001 the team had never gone more than seven years without a championship.

In 1967 the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Had you told a celebrating Toronto fan on that day that before the Leaf’s would win another Cup, the as yet non-existent Toronto Major League Baseball franchise (the Blue Jays) would win not one, but two World Series (’92 & ’93) you would have been taken for an idiot. However …

1966 Stanley Cup parade in Montreal

As I’ve explained elsewhere, the picture at right shows, by pure chance, the six-year old me attending the 1966 Stanley Cup Parade (or at least it shows my left ear). During my formative years, let’s say through my teens, the Montreal Canadiens won 11 Stanley Cups. That’s eleven championships before I had turned twenty. The year I was born, 1959, the Canadiens won the cup for the fourth time in a string of five – from 1956 to 1960.

During my younger years watching the Habs, they had some outstanding teams, but perhaps none so much as the 1976-77 version of the team that won 60 games out of an 80 game schedule. Even more impressive was the team’s home record of 33 wins, one loss and six tied games. Other than the Boston Bruins’ 4-3 victory over the Canadiens on October 30, 1976 the team did not lose another home game that season!

This is what I grew up with; this is what influenced my approach to the NHL and the Canadiens in particular. So now, with the Canadiens just another team – certainly no longer a dynasty, I can only wonder what went wrong? Maybe I should spend less time looking at the banners that hang above the ice in the BELL Centre and more time watching what’s on the ice.

But it’s just not the same.

History, Humor, News, Pope, Weekly Writing Challenge, Wordpress

Pope Francis fast-tracks saints


This week the Weekly Writing Challenge calls for humor. Having already commented on the rumor of a Papal recall, I thought I’d take on the latest news from the Vatican!

Now just a gosh darn moment. According to the New York Times, Pope Francis “has sped two of his predecessors toward sainthood”.  Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII have been fast-tracked for sainthood. Why? Because Francis liked them. Geez Louise, so much for being a man of the common folk. I wonder how Francis would have felt if someone cut in line at his old newspaper kiosk in Buenos Aries? I imagine he would have mentioned it to the paper vendor who might have explained that the person jumped the line because he liked him. I can’t see Francis standing still for that!

I have always thought the pope who followed Pope John Paul should have been called Pope George Ringo

And John XXIII doesn’t even have a second miracle attributed to him. Come on, what kind of saints can we expect from Francis? Cheaters who butt into line without the proper credentials? I can hear it now: Pray to old One-Miracle Johnny? Not a chance.

If nothing else, Pope Francis has shown again that he is his own man

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis was eager to canonize John XXIII. “Despite the absence of a second miracle it was the pope’s will that the sainthood of the great pope of the Second Vatican Council be recognized.”

Pope Francis thinks rules were made to be broken. I, for one hope he’s just as understanding when it comes to Commandments!

PopeJohnPaulIII have to admit one miracle would convince me; you cure one person and you’ve proven to this agent you’re not your average Joe, Pius or John Paul. (I have always though the pope who followed Pope John Paul should have been called Pope George Ringo.) But there are rules and regulations to this sainthood business and clearly Pope Francis thinks rules were made to be broken. I, for one hope he’s just as understanding when it comes to Commandments!

I can hear it now: Pray to old One-Miracle Johnny? Not a chance

If nothing else, Pope Francis has shown again that he is his own man. It is refreshing to see a pontiff who is laying down new tracks rather than riding the old. But I am concerned about a rumor he’s been scanning the roster of the New Orleans NFL team …

Art, History, Mail Art, Nostalgia, Scotland, Weekly Writing Challenge

Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today

My maternal grandmother’s brother, which I believe makes him my Great Uncle, Earnest Deegan, was a well traveled man. During the early part of the last century he was what was then known as a “Gentleman’s Gentleman” – a butler or valet. This profession took him to places far and wide, exotic and remote. His brother Matthew Deegan was a skilled artist and draughtsman. The two brothers kept in contact by mail (email and texting were still about a century off). Matthew was fond of using his skills when addressing envelopes. Below are several examples.


This one was delivered in Cairo c/o  H. Gutmann for whom Earnest was working.

According to Wikipedia, Herbert Gutmann was the son of the Dresdner Bank Chairman Eugen Gutmann and studied economics, then also worked at the Dresdner Bank . He was a co-founder, director and later president of the German Orient Bank and played a role in the economic activities of the German empire in the Orient in the period before the First World War . As part of this business longer trips led him in the years 1905-1910 under others to Morocco , Egypt , Syria , Asia Minor and Persia . In 1910 he was elected to the board of Dresdner Bank.

The address, 26 rue Sherif Pasha should have been Cherif Pacha and may have looked like this in 1903


This one was sent to him when he was working in New York.