Saturday, July 6, 2013


Pillar she said... 
This week on Sepia Saturday
the prompt picture is a bas-relief that is part of a monument to Louis Pasteur
Since I've talked of doctors already on a few occasions, 
I'll show you a pillar here in Montreal
and clarify something as well...

This is 
(done in 1808-09). 
a "hero" of the British Navy... 
The art piece above was by 
William Henry Bartlett
(done in 1839-42). 
you see it here looming over the St Lawrence River
sitting at the top of Jacques Cartier Square
which was an important market, 
previously discussed here
After reading a summary of his life and achievements, 
Lord Nelson may be a hero to some, 
but I find that much of his good fortune was due to family and personal connections, 
and spinning a good tale... 
promoting himself, 
and others willing to believe everything he said. 
Some of his actions [like in Naple, for example] disgusted me, 
and in his personal life, 
his choice of entertaining an extra conjugal relationship with Lady Hamilton
while being a "friend" to Lord Hamilton... 
(a true friend doesn't screw your wife!!!), 
and a child being issued out of this affair, 
it shows poor judgement and no moral fiber in my opinion
He may have been a good strategist and have his share of success [and failures too], 
he would not be the kind of company I'd keep...

The monument still stands today at the same location. 
I took these pictures this week. 
I couldn't use quite the same angle as in the artwork, 
because it would have meant climbing a small wall circling the grounds of CityHall
and someone was watching... 
So I went to the building next door and climbed their wall!! 
You can see the monument dominating the square and its slow incline toward the river, 
and a row of old building lining the square. 
Of course, 
I did a little photoshop on it to add drama... 
You know me: 
Can never leave it alone, can I?!? 

Upon reading this summary, 
I failed to understand the pertinence of this monument in Montreal 
as his history never really pertained to us here, 
having been mostly active in Europe and the West Indies. 
He did dropped by but nothing worthy happened, 
that I know of... 
So why this?!? 
Must we celebrate some foreign hero?!? 
It is nothing more than a faded symbol of the British Imperialism 
over French culture prevailing in Montreal. 
Kind of arrogant, 
if you ask me
but we fortunately have many more art pieces that speak more eloquently of OUR History. 
This said, 
the monument does have a certain appeal and is well done, 
even if it remains irrelevant. 
in my opinion... 
I did remove some pigeon droppings from his face. 
Gotta give me credit for that, 


At the base of the column, 
an alligator. 
I don't recall reading this being part of his coat of arms; 
boats and a palm tree and a lion's paw and such, yes, 
but no 'gator...

Here is depicted the Battle of Copenhagen, 
with the truce accepted by Crown Prince Frederick after a difficult battle. 
It says here that not one British ship was lost, 
but the summary does mention that both British and Danish fleets were heavily damaged... 
Whom to believe?!?...


This here is a scene of the Battle of the Nile 
where Nelson foiled Napoleon's plans over Egypt in 1798. 
This is on the east side of the monument, 
and possibly one of the reasons some French in Montreal may have supported this project 
in an anti-napoleonic sentiment[?].

On the west side, 
a scene of the Trafalgar Battle in 1805, 
which proved to be fatal to Nelson, 
despite a victory. 

While some see him as a prime example of duty performed
I have already expressed my opinion  
and see no reason to change it. 
You see a man for every actions he takes, 
not just a few chosen ones 
to show him under a better light...

Confession time for me: 
Forgive me for I have sinned
A sin of ignorance, 
you might say
I've known [or should I say seen?] this monument for a long, long time, 
and I took a picture years ago,  
mentioning this was a monument to Jacques Cartier
since it was set on Jacques Cartier Square
I had never paid it any real attention 
and ever neglected reading the inscriptions 
as it is most often surrounded by tourists... 
I only presumed it was Jacques Cartier because of the name of the square 
and its significance to our history. 
Never could I imagine it'd be someone else standing atop this column. 
But indeed, 
a closer look would have given me a clue that the uniform was too "recent
to be that of Mister Cartier
The statue you see here is not the original but a copy installed in 1997 
while the original is now indoor for preservation, 
While I am glad to be better informed now, 
I am not especially impressed by my discovery 
and would have preferred a more endearing character. 
Better luck next time. 

Time for you to hop back to 
and its many contributors. 
Safe Journey!! 

but before you go, 
a little something: 
Dublin also had such a monument, 
until some rogue IRA volunteers did away with it with some explosives... 
I do not advocate such violent actions,  
but the song does have a certain flair. 
Leave it to the Irish!!! 


  1. How odd to have a statue to Lord Nelson in Montreal - Wikipedia states: "Neither the French Revolution nor Napoleon had been popular among the French in Montreal, and contrary to later belief, the public funds raised for the monument were collected from British and French Montrealers alike." So you guessed correctly.

    I also found this: "The monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson is an iconic image in Montreal, but one that most citizens do not notice – or, if they do, find either amusing or annoying." Pretty much your sentiments too.

    1. Well, you must understand one thing about me:
      If we started here as a French colony,
      the French king did drop us in favor of other [warmer] destinations...
      And we've now been longer under English domination than French.
      While some Quebeckers express a certain sentimentality toward our French "cousins",
      which I don't, I find the Queen, Lilibeth 2, an interesting character and have read much
      about the British monarchy, BUT!!! I don't recognize her as my sovereign.
      I'm a Separatist, though a weird one according to some, due to my use of English...
      And there are times when I would willingly seek separation from the rest of the country;
      therefore, I see no need to had a foreign queen to the lot.
      But there are also days when I feel kinder toward the Canadian reality
      and only wish some would stop being condescending toward us.

      So, about this post, when I found the first pic in the McCord's archives,
      and went to take current pictures, I had an odd feeling about it.
      I tried finding a [good] reason for this being here in Montreal,
      and found none that was satisfactory.
      So, despite being well done, I see no justification for its presence.
      We have more noteworthy heros in our History that would deserve better this spot
      as it is in an historic and much sought after location by tourists.
      When you read Wiki, you can see that the decision makers were mostly if not ALL English,
      and they do mention the Sulspicians, but let me be suspicious here:
      the Catholic Church has always pursued a political agenda,
      from the colonial days until the 1950s, until our "Revolution Tranquille" [Quiet Revolution],
      when it was relegated to the back scene, away from secular life.
      Atrocities were committed and never denounced, due to their power in our society,
      protected by the elite and political classes,
      and it was necessary to take that away from them and for us to stop living in fear.
      OK!! I'm babbling on and on...

    2. AHA, a Catholic conspiracy, well of course that's a possibility ... :)

    3. Always...............................

  2. Interesting the song was number 1 on the Irish charts for 6 weeks. A catchy tune which sounds like the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

    1. Indeed!! They changed the lyrics, that's all!!

  3. Your photographs are quite nice as usual! And your creative photoshopping too. I always learn little bits and pieces of things I know nothing about.

    1. Even myself!!!!
      Who knew?!?

  4. I prefer statues that are not on top of a tall column.

    1. Why?!?
      Does it look like it's about to topple over?!?

  5. I've learned something about you! Ha! Ha! You have the best photos and research always for us to enjoy. I'm thinking these history filled photos you often display, come from a real love of country! Or perhaps boredom? Nah, love of country!!! Great post that rocked my world!

    1. Honey, if I were bored. I'd move on, gone, bye bye!!!
      I don't know if I love my country.
      Is it Quebec, or Canada?
      But that's another debate altogether...
      I love my city, that's for sure, and its people!!!

  6. A monumental post! Your reverse color photo of Nelson's Column was most striking. The gator, which reminded me of the Lacoste shirt emblem, is a crocodile, as is the Lacoste symbol too, in commemoration of Nelson's defeat of the French at the Battle of the Nile. It is very curious how monuments of celebrated persons end up in unlikely places. Could there be a neglected Nelson in every corner of the former British Empire?

    1. Gator, croc, same difference to me. It bites!!!
      Not my favorite idea of a pet...
      Glad to see you about again!!
      And just in the nick of time!!!
      Yeah, you're most likely right about the alli..., ahem, crocodile!!!
      That would be the only logical explanation.
      But then, why wasn't it included in his coat of arms?
      Nice to have you back!!

  7. These days I'm often left thinking "The larger the flag, the smaller the brain." The same can be said of some statues. And as time passes they generally become less relevant. But Nelson in Montreal? That's just plain weird. Personally I'd like to have one of composer Randy Newman at a piano sitting in a park with his sly smile. Now that would be a statue I could enjoy

    1. Many you should contact your city council
      and get a grant to commission an artist...

  8. I wonder if the statue serves as a reminder not to forget rather than to honor or commemorate.

    1. But, not to forget what?
      He's not a part of OUR history here...
      It's like if I took a monument of René Lévesque,
      one of our revered Prime Ministers and a great patriot,
      and installed it in the busiest square in YOUR town.
      You wouldn't get it, right?!?
      Aside from its good aesthetics,
      I see no reason for it.
      Oh well!!!

  9. One day. some time ago a politician will have thought it a good idea. Many famous men had.have dubious morals. If we banned those there would be far fewer statues of any sort. Now we are waiting to see where they put Andy Murray!

    1. First, he has to be knighted...
      Shouldn't be too long, I warrant!!

  10. It is a weird pillar - with Nelson waaaaay up on top. No wonder you didn't know it was of him.

    1. And reading those plaques is usually a challenge
      as tourists gather around that monument with their tour guide.
      But the day I took these,
      it wasn't so bad as only a few were around.


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