Get Out!

In modern secondary schools, the scourge of attention deficit disorder is fast becoming a ... Hey! Let's go ride bikes! Yukon Secondary School Mountain Bike Race!

FAST THINGS

Don’t wanna be a candidate for Vietnam or Watergate?

In modern secondary schools, the scourge of attention deficit disorder is fast becoming a … Hey! Let’s go ride bikes!

Yukon Secondary School Mountain Bike Race!

Thursday at Porter Creek Secondary School from 4 to 11 p.m.

When you gotta go …

Once a city converts to indoor plumbing, the inevitable result is that there’s a lot of unused outhouses lying around.

Most cities simply chopped their stink-permeated sheds into firewood.

But Dawson – firewood-rich and activity-poor – saw them as suitable candidates for high speed competition.

The Great Klondike International Outhouse Race – as featured in the Old Farmer’s Almanac – takes teams of five, and forces them to pull wheeled outhouses through the muddy streets of Dawson.

As per regulations, one team member must always be perched atop the fast moving potty.

For anybody who doesn’t happen to have easy access to a wheeled outhouse, organizers promise that rentals are available.

Saturday in Dawson City. Phone 993-5575 for more information.

Over the mountains and through the border

When I heard ‘road relay,’ I imagined a bunch of tricked-out Austin Minis flying along country roads.

The Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay, it turns out, is just a bunch of people running.

In its 27th year, the road relay takes teams from Skagway to Whitehorse across 10 legs totalling 176.5 kilometres.

Starting Friday, September 11th, the race runs through the night, ending Saturday morning.

SPORTS

95 million bowlers can’t be wrong

For the employed, throwing heavy balls at wooden targets is a great way to relieve the stress of a dead-end government job.

For the retired, it’s a great way to work the ligaments.

Contrary to all visible evidence, it also promotes weight loss.

Plus, bowling remains one of the few sports played directly adjacent to a bar.

Senior bowling starts Tuesday, September 8th at 1 p.m. at Mad Trapper’s.

The only soft part is the ball

Hopefully, your liver is still strong enough to handle one more softball tournament.

If so, load up the cooler and head to the Labour Day Mixed Softball Tournament.

Saturday to Monday in Dawson City. Call Dawn Kisoun at 993-6237 for more information.

Get friendly with rocks

Nothing says feverish excitement like a geological festival.

Rocks, stones, pebbles and boulders – see them all at Weekend on the Rock, Tombstone Park’s annual geological festival.

This year, however, festival organizers have put the kibosh on both the key party and the mixed martial arts tournament.

Saturday to Monday at Tombstone Park. Email friendsofdempster@gmail.com for more info.

READING

Physicians prescribe. Nurses provide.

In September of 1964, Fort McPherson needed a nurse, and Keith Billington needed a memoir-subject.

House Calls by Dogsled is his story.

For six years, Billington and wife Muriel, a midwife, administered medicine to the Gwich’in people of the western NWT.

With no doctors for hundreds of miles, the Billingtons were often the only medical help for gunshot victims, births and infant disease.

An early-20s couple direct from England, the pair saw the North through uniquely foreign eyes, at a time just prior to the isolation-reducing developments of the 1970s.

Keith Billington presents House Calls by Dogsled Thursday at the Whitehorse Public Library starting at 7:30 p.m.

ART

Fem-art

A counterpoint to the wildly successful world of male-dominated art, the Centre de la Francophonie has decided to open an actual show of real-life works created by a woman.

Through a Feminine Lens opens Wednesday at 7 p.m. on September 9 at the Centre de la Francophonie’s community hall.

COMEDY

High-class venue to host lowlife comedians

Hoping to play a venue more amenable to over-25 culture vultures, a band of Whitehorse comedians will be plying their schtick this Thursday at the Old Fire Hall.

Featuring performances by Steve McGovern, Andrew Stratis, George Maratos and … Oh look, Tristin Hopper.

Thursday at the Old Fire Hall. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8.

HOLIDAYS

Support your local paper boy

In 1833, New York Sun publisher Benjamin Day realized that, instead of selling his papers exclusively at newsstands, small boys could be commissioned to deliver them door to door.

As the legend goes, on September 4, the New York Sun hired 10-year-old Barney Flaherty as the world’s first paperboy.

That’s why, on September 4, we pay homage to all those early-to-rise, rain-or-sleet pre-teens that make sure our classifieds and comic strips hit the front stoop before breakfast.

Toil furlough

On Mother’s Day you spend time with your mother.

On Thanksgiving you give thanks.

But there’s no labour to be seen on Labour Day – unless you work at Canadian Tire or Tim Hortons.

That’s because, this September 7, we take a break from our 12-hour shifts in the coal mines and textile factories, and spend them watching Mr. Bean marathons.

A uniquely Canadian invention, Labour Day was spurred by nine-hour-workday advocates in Southern Ontario during the 1870s.

Inspired by Canada’s lead, American labour leader Peter McGuire started up Labour Day in New York City in 1882.

In 1894, when US Marshals accidentally gunned down a bunch of striking workers – President Grover Cleveland attempted to appease the US working classes by quickly making Labour Day an official holiday.

HISTORY

You can take the land, but you’ll never get the flags

Two hundred and forty-nine years ago this Tuesday, a force of 2,000 French soldiers commanded by Philippe de Rigaud wisely decided to surrender New France to 20,000 English troops that surrounded Montreal.

Unperturbed, Philippe asked his conquerors if the defeated troops could keep their guns and flags.

For some reason, the British refused.

So the French responded by burning their flags.

From Russia With Love

On September 2, 1945, Second World War victory celebrations still hung heavy in the Ottawa air when Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko strolled into RCMP headquarters.

In his hands was a briefcase laden with papers detailing an extensive Canadian Soviet spy network.

While the war in Europe raged, said the documents, Canada’s Soviet ally had snuck agents into the Department of External Affairs code room, the British High Commission and the Chalk River Nuclear Facility.

Let me defect, and the papers are yours, said the disgruntled Soviet.

For 24 hours, Gouzenko had been approaching Canadian agencies with the offer – but all had scoffed at his claim.

Meanwhile, Soviet agents were in pursuit of their former clerk through the streets of Ottawa; aiming to get him before he could get to the Canadians.

Finally, the RCMP accepted Gouzenko’s claim, and whisked him and his family to the secret Oshawa-based Camp X

for questioning by Allied authorities.

The former clerk’s stunning testimony would lead to the conviction of 18 suspected Soviet agents – and provide leads that led to arrests of other Soviet agents throughout the West.

The “Gouzenko Affair” was the first major international crisis of the Cold War.

Contact Tristin Hopper at tristinh@yukon-news.com

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