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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Friday, February 15, 1074 r Survival of an old custom The Common Riding celebrations of Scotland's Borderland are not confined to horseback. Here, the cornet, accompanied by the preceding holders of the title, carries the standard through streets of Hawick. Scots border festivals have ancient origin DUMFRIES Visitors who drive into the thriving little towns of Scotland's Borderland and find horses cantering through streets gay with flags and bunting will have arrived at the time of the annual Common Riding Festivals, when the citizens celebrate their ancient origins by riding around their local boundaries. Most of the festivals are staged in June or July. Visitors are made welcome, and are often invited to join in the cavalcade when the young people of the town go out at dawn to make sure their marches, or boundaries, are intact. It is a happy survival of a very old custom in the Borders. The festivals rejoice in picturesque names, like the Draw Lad's Gathering at Galashiels or the Quid Nychiburris Festival at Dumfries. Often the celebrations go on for several days, dances are held, and children take part in special concerts. The crowning of a local "Queen" is now part of some festivals. In most of these celebrations the central figures are a cornet, or standard-bearer, and his lass. chosen by popular vote from among the young men and girls of the town. They have to be skilled horse-riders, and while the celebrations are not confined to horseback, the marches are, usually at an early morning hour, with a large crowd of spectators up with the lark to follow on. The custom goes back to the days when it was compulsory for the boundaries of a Scottish Border town's common lands to be closely inspected each year to prevent encroachment by neighboring proprietors, or to settle disputes. Invariably, there is an air of great excitement, and local patriotism is evident. Many natives of a town plan their holiday just for the occasion, returning from England or overseas to join in the celebrations. The knitwear town of Hawick features a Common Riding with a long history its roll of past cornets goes back, unbroken save for the war years, to 1703. The celebrations have a Druidical flavor, and also mark the rout of English raiders by the young men of the town at Hornshall, two miles away, in 1514. At all the ceremonies the Border folk join with Charter Flights to LONDON Aboard WARDAIR luxury jet Weekend departures 4, and 5 weeks duration S Frm tor AJM.JL WORLD TRAVEL SERVICE Phont 3M-7M1 enthusiasm in the ancient Hawick Common Riding song thought to be based on a Norse invocation to the gods Thor and Odin. At Selkirk's Common Riding the standard-bearer is said to represent the town's sole survivor of the Battle of Ftodden, when the place iras pillaged by the English in 1513. The survivor brought with him a captured English flag, and the climax of the ceremonies re-enacts the "casting" of the color by which the townsfolk learned of the tragedy. At Galashiels, the Braw Lad's Gathering commemorates the granting of an ancient charter, and a skirmish with the English raiders in 1337. The central figures are the Braw Lad and his Lass, and the Common Riding includes a visit to Abbotsford: this house, three miles outside the town and now open to the public, was the home of the Great Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott, from 1812 until his death in 1832. The bonnie lassies of Scotland come into their own at Border festivals. At Lanark, for exampke, the great day is Lanimer Day when a local girl is crowned Lanimer Queen, and there are processions, sports and concerts. At Dumfries, the "Queen of the South" is selected, while at Duns, the "Wynsome Mayde of Duns" is crowned with due ceremony. -The Herald Travel Tourist areas reopened Canadians enjoy Cuba Ottawa centre wide variety of winter fun OTTAWA (CP) Winter vacationers who crave an op- portunity to limber up in the crisp, cold Canadian outdoors should consider a trek to Ot- tawa and its surrounding countryside. The area usually lies under several inches of glistening white this time of year, ready to welcome sports en- thusiasts. Even within the city limits of the nation's capital, the range of available outdoor recreation is'nearly limitless. Topping the list of free at- tractions is the Rideau canal, the country's longest skating rink. Winding its five-mile length from the Rational Arts Centre right downtown to the locks at Carleton University in the south end, the ice sur- face is open day and night to smooth gliders and the wob- bly-ankled alike. A crew works around the clock to keep the ice in top condition. Chalets provide warm refuges for skaters and refreshment stands dot the canal's banks. MAZE OF MOVEMENT On a fine weekend the canal is a maze of movement and color as whole families shake off their boots and don their skates. Response is so enthu- to skaters hit the ice during a good the uninitiated might think there's nothing else to do here. Just the opposite is true. There is more fresh-air fun at five toboggan slides in the Ot- tawa-Hull region. Most are lighted at night and some double as starting points for snpwshoers and cross-country skiers who want to take ad- vantage of in-city trails. Some of these follow the miles of bicycle paths that wind through the city. Others are marked through wooded areas of the capital's sur- rounding greenbelt. More adventurous cross- country fans now pack a lunch and head across the Ottawa River to Wily Gatineau Park in Quebec. There 70 miles of trails through beautiful woodland wait for the prints of skis and snowshoes and hikers' boots. PARKING HANDY Parking is available at his- toric Kingsmere, home of the late prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, and at other points. Don't forget your visa CEDOK. the Czechoslovak Travel Bureau, reminds tourists planning to visit Czechoslovakia that they must be in possession of a valid visa prior to arrival in the country. The reminder has been issued because of a number of incidents at Czechoslovak border points last year, where visitors wishing to enter the country arrived without the necessary visas. In Canada, visas may be obtained from the Czechoslovak Consulate General, 1305 Pine Avenue West. Montreal. Or, to find some of the best downhill skiing that Eastern Canada has to offer, take Quebec's Route 11 northwest from Ottawa through the roll- ing Gatineau Hills. Skiers can find comfortable accommodation in any of the picturesque towns that flank the slopes. But most ski cen- tres are an easy drive from Ottawa, for those who wish to return at night. Just 12 miles north of the city lies Camp Fortune, home of Canada's largest ski club. There 12 lifts, including double and triple chair lifts, will whisk you to the top of eight fine runs. Six miles farther north, Edelweiss Valley's 15 slopes provide even more varied downhill thrills. This centre's lifts are said to be able to carry up to people an hour. SHORT HOP AWAY From Edelweiss it's just a short hop to Vorlage and, if you want to travel a bit far- ther, about 60 miles from Ot- tawa, you can try the mile- long chairlift at Mont Ste. Marie, Que. Gatineau skiing features well-run cafeterias in rustic lodges, ski instruction and, at most centres, night skiing for those who still are rearing to go after dark. A week-long lift pass will run about in most places. And you can bet on lots of show until the end of March, at least. The Gatineau re- ceives an average yearly snowfall of 100 inches. If Mother Nature should oc- casionally fall down on the job, snow-making machines at most centres fill the gaps. CLIP THIS COUPON TRAVELLING? Welcome to GREAT FALLS. MONTANA GASOLINE EVEN ON SUNDAYS- THIS AD WORTH 1 FOR 2 OR MORE PERSONS OTTAWA Some Canadians this winter are finding Cuba to be an ideal escape from the snow and cold and there is every indication that the Caribbean island will become even more popular in the years ahead. Unitours, a Toronto organ- ization, is flying 20 groups of 200 each this winter. Almost all of the remaining charters for the season, which ends in April, are filled and there are enquiries for next year. The 200 Canadians who fly by Air Canada charter to Cuba each Tuesday from Toronto or Montreal have a choice of spending all their time in the sun and sand of Varader beach, or taking the Cuban discovery tour which includes several sightseeing excursions as well as two days in Havana. -Either way, the Canadians seem overjoyed with the re- opening tourist areas. the big selling points on Cuba are the almost guaranteed sunshine and the low budget rates. Only one group this winter has experienced bad weather, according to Unitours spokes- men, and that was because of high lack of sun- shine. The one-week holiday, in- cluding charter air fare and all meals is about or a little on wh'ether the vacationer takes the tours or sticks with the beach. Any person looking for sunshine and ocean swimming is almost guaranteed satisfaction. If the holidayer is looking for gourmet food and exciting night life, however, he might be disappointed. The food is certainly adequate in quality and plentiful in quantity, but it is not gourmet dining although the local lobster (crayfish) are a treat. There are other irritations. Renovations work on the pri- vate estates and guest houses which were taken over after the revolution is still going on. It is thus possible to turn the hot water tap and get... noth- ing. This state of affairs causes many complaints in the first day or two by every tour group. Soon, however, such irritations as no toilet seats and cold showers seem to dissipate in the sunshine. Services provided by the Cu- ban staff are generally cellent, but the relationship between guests and employees is different than in many Caribbean resort areas. For example, there is no tip- ping allowed. Some guests compensate by offering cigarettes or candy or pantyhose, all of which is rationed or impossible to come by for Cubans. The staff is not supposed to accept such gifts. Some do and some don't. Whether they do or riot the lack of tipping greatly reduces what is usually a significant extra on holidays. There is, of course, a lan- guage barrier between Spanish speaking Cubans and their English or French speaking guests. Nevertheless, they are a friendly people without the underlying resentment that seems to afflict many Carib- bean natives in their contact with tourists. Cuban relations with the U.S. being what they are, or aren't, Canadians are the main source of North American visitors to the island. There are, however, a'good .number of Europeans from time to and Italians, for example generally housed at some of the bigger hotels. As one who had not visited Cuba in pre-revolution days it is impossible to make com- parisons on how the new system has affected the Cubans economically or sociologically. One point is made abundantly clear, however, the Cuban people are making a genuine effort to improve their lot and they are deeply appreciative of technical and economic assistance. Perhaps that is why, for a Canadian, Cuba is becoming an increasingly, popular winter vacation spot. Expo gathering place for environmentalists SPOKANE The attention of environmentalists throughout the world will be focused on the Expo '74 World's Fair here May 4 to Nov. 3, as it hosts one of the most ambitious series of international symposia on environmental issues ever attempted. The United Nations will celebrate World Environment Day here June 5, and issue a formal Environmental Viewpoint Statement assessing the current level of international co-operation on this subject and setting goals to improve it. The U.N. also is sponsoring an exhibit detailing its involvement iii environmental activities, and a series of 23 films on the theme, "Man Builds, Man Destroys." A U.N. Earthwatch Center, part of the organization's worldwide system of remote sensors monitoring land, air and water conditions, will be established On the Expo site. Bi-lateral conferences on environmental problems between the U.S. and Japan and the U.S. and the Soviet Union have been scheduled. Passport Photos Candid Weddings Picture Framing Photo Supplies A. E. CROSS STUDIO Phone 328-0111 7103rdAve. S. Phone 328-0222 Gfwt Filto MoMI LOOK FOR MEMBER CARDS 1 Might Expires 2t, 1iT4 IA mighty man was he -with a mighty thirst to match. His style? Lethbridge lOld Style Pilsner! The beer big enough to quench a thirst that was hammered lout of heat and fired in the forge. Beer slow-brewed and naturally aged for old-time flavour. Old Style Pilsner: you can't beat it! TRADITION YOU CAN TASTE FROM THE HOUSE Of LEtHBRlDGE ;