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Articles by 'Brian Johnson'

A Pilot’s Story

A Pilot’s Story

Do you remember the Great Canadian Flag Debate of 1964? When our country’s Prime Minister, Nobel Peace Prizewinner Leste...
by: Brian Johnson
Buck Mullin

Buck Mullin

“That young Mullin deserves a medal... taking me across the ice under impossible conditions...” Dr. Kenneth J. Regan; K...
by: Brian Johnson
February Hockey: That Very First Goal

February Hockey: That Very First Goal

With half of the second period gone, Brydge staged a nice little rush, passed the puck to Patterson who tied the count w...
by: Brian Johnson
A Proud Wolfe Islander from Button Bay

A Proud Wolfe Islander from Button Bay

Paul V. Johnson October 15, 1940 – October 8, 2011 Ambitious, meticulous, redheaded Irishman... could be hotheaded, to...
by: Brian Johnson
The Search for Uncle ‘Moe’

The Search for Uncle ‘Moe’

“The sinking of the Athabaskan is the worst naval disaster in Canadian history,”
by: Brian Johnson
A Grand ‘ol Dame gets a facelift.. The Old House Museum on Wolfe Island

A Grand ‘ol Dame gets a facelift.. The Old House Museum on Wolfe Island

“I wouldn’t live anywhere else... I don’t think you can beat it!” Antoine ‘Tiner’ LaRush “People are drawn to this hou...
by: Brian Johnson
“Growing Up on Wolfe Island”, history and storytelling…

“Growing Up on Wolfe Island”, history and storytelling…

“It began as a spark of an idea that grew from conversations about the wonderful ‘Island’ stories...
by: Brian Johnson
Flying Solo; the Felicity McKendry story

Flying Solo; the Felicity McKendry story

"Enough of that! Now for the really thrilling news... I soloed on Sunday, April 29! Yip, I SOLOed!
by: Brian Johnson
A Winter Wake on Wolfe Island…

A Winter Wake on Wolfe Island…

Island residents face their toughest winter in years. The ferry Wolfe Islander operates on an erratic schedule because o...
by: Brian Johnson
Grant ‘Lindy’ Lucy, boatman, founder of GBL

Grant ‘Lindy’ Lucy, boatman, founder of GBL

“There’s just gott’a be a better way to earn a living than this!” Grant ‘Lindy’ Lucy, machine operator at Parmenter &am...
by: Brian Johnson
Rene Longtin… Still goin’ strong at 80

Rene Longtin… Still goin’ strong at 80

Lovely, home-built and all-aluminum the Thousand Islander queens it over Gananoque’s seaway. Alcan News, No. 6, 1972 W...
by: Brian Johnson
Beacons of Hope…Kayaking for MS

Beacons of Hope…Kayaking for MS

It stood out like a beacon, which in fact it was. For seven days, Rob Morrisette had seen nothing but water, sunrise to...
by: Brian Johnson
Farewell, Buttercup

Farewell, Buttercup

“You got guts, Vicki, I like your spirit. Keep it up!” Canadian hockey icon Don Cherry “You got spunk... I hate spunk!”...
by: Brian Johnson
Hal “Moose” McCarney, ‘The Godfather’

Hal “Moose” McCarney, ‘The Godfather’

For nearly 82 years, Hal ‘Moose’ McCarney, the ‘godfather’ whose persona often resembled a human dynamo, had his feet planted firmly on his playing turf...
by: Brian Johnson
R. B. ‘Ratch’ Wallace: ‘Captain Hollywood’

R. B. ‘Ratch’ Wallace: ‘Captain Hollywood’

It was Sunday morning, October 16, 2011. My good friend and fellow "Canadian Empress" colleague, Ratch Burnill Wallace had suddenly passed away. He was 66...
by: Brian Johnson
The End of the Ferry Crisis…

The End of the Ferry Crisis…

This story first appeared in the Kingston Whig-Standard as: “1946: End of the ferry crises” on November 17, 2006. The tr...
by: Brian Johnson
The Dreamer: Captain Robert Beckstead of GBL

The Dreamer: Captain Robert Beckstead of GBL

Mix well: Seven months and $400,000. Add one motel owner, a lawyer and partner with a small boat company. Strain and pre...
by: Brian Johnson
Hail to the Chief – Jack Norris of the GBL

Hail to the Chief – Jack Norris of the GBL

Jack Norris became ‘chief engineer’ of the Gananoque Boat Line after spending a lifetime at sea. Standing head and shoul...
by: Brian Johnson
Arthur Pullaw: River Rat Extraordinaire

Arthur Pullaw: River Rat Extraordinaire

“Most people only dream of living to the age of 100,” she begins. “Our Gramp planned on it...
by: Brian Johnson
The Army Landing Barges ‘Wolfe Islander 1’ and ‘Wolfe Islander 2’.

The Army Landing Barges ‘Wolfe Islander 1’ and ‘Wolfe Islander 2’.

    In Wolfe Island’s hour of need for means of transportation...
by: Brian Johnson
The End for the “SS Wolfe Islander”

The End for the “SS Wolfe Islander”

Each stroke of the huge paddles brought forth a series of creaks and groans from the ancient timbers below... But the we...
by: Brian Johnson
Captain Richard ‘RF’ Fawcett and the “Wolfe Islander III”

Captain Richard ‘RF’ Fawcett and the “Wolfe Islander III”

“You know,” he began, “I’ve worked on all three ‘Wolfe Islanders’.
by: Brian Johnson
Tribute to Cap’t Charlie

Tribute to Cap’t Charlie

Our river chose many of us. Once chosen, we are life-long islanders, regardless of where we may be. Paul Malo The w...
by: Brian Johnson
Remembering the Eastcliffe Hall

Remembering the Eastcliffe Hall

The sinking was first reported to police by Mrs. Walter Wells. “It was a great boom which woke me up. Then we began to hear people
by: Brian Johnson
Pirate Bill

Pirate Bill

  On the night of Tuesday, May 29, 1838 between 12 and 1 o’clock one of the inmates of the ladies cabin on the S...
by: Brian Johnson
A “Long” Distance to Wolfe Island

A “Long” Distance to Wolfe Island

“Number please?” “Hello... Hello Mabel?” the female voice on the other end of the line was near panic. “Can you get Doctor Regan?
by: Brian Johnson
The River as a Way of Life

The River as a Way of Life

Pilots, by the very nature of their profession, become experts of the waters in their district. They are the logical adv...
by: Brian Johnson
Captain Davis Recalls the Ships

Captain Davis Recalls the Ships

Captain Leath Davis can trace his Wolfe Island roots to the pioneer Hitchcock family who obtained a charter to start a ferry service to Kingston from Wolfe Island.
by: Brian Johnson
The Great Gale of ‘75

The Great Gale of ‘75

“I am very concerned with the welfare of the steamer Edmund Fitzgerald."[New feature,now available in an audio version, written by Brian Johnson, Wolfe Island; read by Jan Eliot]
by: Brian Johnson
Silent Rapids of Long Sault

Silent Rapids of Long Sault

“Warning:  Owners of large and medium sized craft, who navigate the St. Lawrence River between Cornwall and Prescot...
by: Brian Johnson
Lost Villages, Inundation Day

Lost Villages, Inundation Day

Mary Lynn Johnston was a Mille Roches girl She had an important chore, while her Mother ran a rooming house And her ...
by: Brian Johnson
Lost Villages

Lost Villages

Down at Zina’s Barber Shop we used to laugh and sing; We’d gather and we’d gossip about everything; we’d talk about the ...
by: Brian Johnson
A Wolfe Island Christmas Story

A Wolfe Island Christmas Story

“No one panicked while they were floundering in the water and scrambling for firm ice. Mothers held their children aloft...
by: Brian Johnson
The Wolfe Islander is Missing

The Wolfe Islander is Missing

…after four hours of continuous searching bleak coves and small inlets, both groups were almost ready to announce that t...
by: Brian Johnson