You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘James Raffan’ tag.

Canada One/Un in the middle of the action (Photo: Marco Venzelaar)

At the beginning of the week the BBC weather called for a very pleasant Sunday.  High 12, light winds and a 10% probability of precipitation.  However as the days marched on, that forecast degraded to colder temperatures, higher winds and a 90% POP.   When we awoke in our team rooms at the Frontline Club in Paddington, rain was pounding down on the skylights.

But it was pageant day and WE HAD A CANOE.  We had a canoe.  Proof, perhaps, that there is a god.  Everything else was detail.  Including the weather.

By the time we reassembled the team at the University of London Boat Club, the rain had let up and we were just in time to watch John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, come by to wish his team well.  It was neat to watch our new friend, Wakka Canoe Captain, Chappie Harrison, introduce his paddlers one by one to the PM.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Canada One/Un Brigade was together for the first time on Saturday, June 2nd at the University of London Boat Club on the Thames River just below Kew Bridge.  From l-r:  Terry Guest, Jeremy Ward, Donald Ross, Laurel Raffan, James Raffan, Melissa Murdoch, Pilar Bauta and Geordie Dalglish.  Terry  and Donald Ross are Canadian Canoe Museum board members.  Melissa, Pilar, and Geordie are long time supporters of the museum through the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Laurel, who originally agreed to come along as a “roadie” to help with logistics and communications, got promoted to a paddler’s spot in the Canada One (after security clearance by the London Metropolitan Police aka “The Met” … no outstanding warrants for her arrest … phew!) when another colleague from the Weston Foundation had to withdraw.

So there we were, all together for the first time ready to have our first practice and dress rehearsal for the pageant.

The first thing we did was head down to Chiswick Boat House, a short distance downstream from the University of London Boat Club, to get individually accredited.

This involved presenting our Boarding Pass, which came from the Thames Jubilee Pageant Committee as proof of our successful security clearance from “The Met,” along with our passports and other photo ID.  When all was tickety-boo the marshall then snapped a wrist band on everyone, which was proof of our clearance to get on the river.

Read the rest of this entry »

The latest report from our London Correspondent, Canoe Museum Executive Director James Raffan.

The final step in the multilayered security clearances for pageant participants is to get “accredited” to be on the water.  This can happen on the day of the pageant but organizers are urging everyone to go through this process before, if possible.

Went down to the Strand Hotel, on the Strand … where else would it be? … to pick up the Canada One/Un boarding passes this morning by bus from Paddington. This town is getting totally electric … there are flags everywhere!  And, with seriously congested traffic, there was lots of time on the upper bunk of the double decker bus to check it all out.

Along the way, I looked out and there was Canada House—The Canadian High Commission—at 1 Grosvenor Square and my heart went all a flutter with the sight of a few Canadian flags amongst all the Union Jacks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our intrepid free-range Executive Director James Raffan has been busy in London, assembling his crew of voyageurs and making final preparations for the big day on Sunday, June 3rd. The Canadian High Commission in London has mounted a splendid banner in honour of the occasion.

Here’s the next chapter of the Jubilee adventure in James’ own words.

To get to the Watermen’s and Lightermen’s Guild Hall to attend one of several briefings for coxswains and skippers of craft in what they’re calling the “Man-Powered Squadron,” the original plan was to take the tube or the bus.  But, at the last minute, the Canadian Tourism Commission phoned and asked if the museum would be interested in working with a contracted film crew to do a video clip about Canada One and the wonders of canoeing in Canada.  I assured them that someone could be found.  And, instead of heading downtown on public transit, the film crew turned up and we all went to the banks of the Thames at Tower Bridge in a private London cab.

The only problem was that the Thames and its banks (we were actually shooting right outside the new city hall so that didn’t help) were crawling with police and security personnel. Read the rest of this entry »

Our itinerant Executive Director, James Raffan, is a man of distinct Canadiana fashion, and his collection would be the envy of any patriotic stylisto.  Check out his Hudson’s Bay Company hockey jersey , complete with a number that references the year that the Hudson’s Bay Company was founded.

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

I

II

I

I

Do you have any Canadiana fashion you’d like to share? Post it in the comments – we may feature you in an upcoming post!