Sunday, June 24, 2007

jwcurry & Richmond Landing: The Martyrology Books 4 and 5

On Sunday June 17, 2007, jwcurry continued his reading of bpNichol's The Martyrology in Ottawa at Richmond Landing along the Ottawa River. With the previous reading on Saturday, July 29, 2006 at the gazebo behind Parliament Hill where he read the first three books in full [see my note on it here]; this second Ottawa event was more relaxed and casual, happening at what's left of the small strip of land originally called Collins Landing, after Jehiel Collins constructed his general store tavern in 1809, later changed to Bellows Landing when Caleb Bellows purchased the business from Collins.

Considered the premier monument to earliest white activity in Westboro, the autumn of 1818 saw 400 soldiers from Wellington's 99th and 100th Regiments and families from Quebec arrive at stayed at Bellows Landing just behind the Chaudiére Falls, renamed Richmond Landing after Charles Lennon, the fourth Duke of Richmond, Governor of British North America, died a tragic death from rabies at a farm near Richmond on August 28, 1819. Working their way west along the Richmond Trail (later Road) to settle the village of Richmond beside the Jock River through a policy of assisted emigration, the same program was also responsible for the founding of Perth (1816), March (1819) and further settlements, through a treaty made with Mississauga chiefs, at present-day Torbolton, Fitzroy, Hantby, March and Goulburn. Unfortunately for the original Richmond Landing site, Douglas H. Fullerton, made a number of unpopular decisions during his tenure as chairman of the NCC to improve Ottawa life (1969-1973), including pressing for the construction of the Portage Bridge, from Wellington Street across the water to Maisonneuve Boulevard, thus obliterating a significant portion of one of Ottawa's earliest heritage sites (one of the few then-popular decisions he made was to open up and maintain the Rideau Canal as an annual skating rink).

For years, curry has been working toward completion and publication of A Beepliographic Cyclopoedia and its side-project, a concordance to the martyrology; and even held a benefit reading in Toronto [see my note on such here] to help with the publication of such a large project after the original Ottawa teaser. At this second event, curry wanted a location on the Ottawa River where he could see the previous and be seen by the previous. Various audience coming and going throughout the day included Pearl [with her entry on same] and Brian Pirie, John W. MacDonald, Sandra Ridley and Eric, and Jennifer Books. By the time Warren Fulton and I got there around 7pm, it was just jwcurry, Max Middle and two fishermen (one of whom was kind enough to take a photo to email later, but that photo never arrived...), and curry soon regaled us with a thread from Book 5 until it became too dark for him to read.

Will there be, at some point, a full reading of these two books? Will there be a follow-up of further readings down the road?

After it got too dark, the small group of us retired to Somerset Street West for Pho, and even further after that for drinks. For information on the either of his bpNichol projects, or to give him information on a bpNichol reference anywhere he might not know about, write him c/o #302-880 Somerset Street West, Ottawa Ontario K1R 6R7

related notes: John W. MacDonald's pictures and video from earlier in the afternoon; the upcoming Calgary reading/benfit for jwcurry!

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