The game is six degrees of Canadian history. Take two seemingly unrelated pieces of Canadian culture and connect the dots through various people, places and events to discover how they’re distantly — or maybe not-so-distantly — related. Along the way, we visit the quizzical and curious, the tragic and comic, and everything in between.
David Boyle, blacksmith, teacher, archaeologist, museologist, historian (b at Greenock, Scot 1 May 1842; d at Toronto, Ont 14 Feb 1911). Although apprenticed as a blacksmith on arriving in Canada in 1856, Boyle became internationally prominent as Canada's premier archaeologist before WWI.
William John Patterson, premier of Saskatchewan 1935-44 (b at Grenfell, Sask 13 May 1886; d at Regina 10 June 1976). First elected to the Saskatchewan legislature in 1921, the popular, though prudent, Patterson became the first Saskatchewan-born premier when he succeeded James GARDINER in 1935.
Patrick Duncan McTaggart-Cowan, meteorologist (b at Edinburgh, Scot 31 May 1912; d at Bracebridge, Ont 11 Oct 1997), younger brother of Ian MCTAGGART-COWAN. McTaggart-Cowan's family immigrated to Canada in 1913; he graduated from the University of British Columbia and was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford.
In his unofficial capacity as Canada's chief biologist, he has served nationally and provincially on various bodies, as editor of the scientific journals Virology and Molecular and Cellular Biology, and was a founding member of the now-defunct Canadian science journal Science Forum.
Catharine Parr Traill, née Strickland, pioneer writer, botanist (b at London, Eng 9 Jan 1802; d at Lakefield, Ont 29 Aug 1899). In 1832 Traill immigrated to Canada with her husband, half-pay Lieutenant Thomas Traill, and settled on the Otonabee River near Peterborough, next door to her sister Susanna Moodie.