Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sir Sandford Fleming: Inventor of Time














by Rev Ed Hird

When Sir Sanford Fleming first came to Canada, he was told “Go back to Scotland”. The need for engineers was over. Some were convinced that we would only need sixteen miles of railway in Canada. Fortunately for us, Fleming loved a challenge. He was passionate about railways, once driving a bear off the railway tracks with nothing but an umbrella and a loud cry.

Fleming has been described as the outstanding Canadian of the nineteenth century. Prime Minister John A Macdonald appointed him as chief surveyor and engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Fleming knew that he needed to see the route first-hand. With the Rev George Grant, he canoed and portaged across Canada in 1872, creating a best-selling travelogue ‘Ocean to Ocean’. The beauty and ruggedness of Canada’s wilderness spoke to the depths of his soul.

Our most recognizable Canadian photo is ‘The Last Spike’, celebrating the completion of our national railway on November 7th 1885. Fleming, our most famous Canadian engineer, was right there at the centre of the photo.








To complete the Canadian Pacific Railway in just ten years was an astronomical task, but Fleming always made time for God in his busyness. Fleming only missed attending church twelve times in his entire life. Sometimes ‘church’ was simply kneeling by the Rocky mountain railway tracks and giving thanks. On all his surveying trips, no work and travel was done on Sunday if he could help it. He even wrote a worship service that his busy construction crews could use.

After the frustration of his missing an Irish train, Fleming went on to create Meridian Standard Time in 1878. Standard Time replaced the dangerous chaos of 144 different North American time zones. Every city had its own unique time, none of which agreed with any other city. Standard Time went a long way towards keeping locomotives from crashing into each other because of different clocks.

Fleming founded the Canadian Institute which grew into the Royal Society of Canada. He published a dozen books, served for thirty-five years as Chancellor of Queen’s University. Canada’s very first postage stamp: the three-cent beaver, was the creation of Fleming. Fleming was knighted in 1897 by Queen Victoria for building the world-circling sub-Pacific cable. For the first time in history, the world could communicate instantaneously around the globe. With membership in over seventy international societies, he was Canada’s preeminent voice on the world stage. Everyone looked to Sir Sanford Fleming.












Fleming was often snubbed, sidelined, criticized but he never let the nay-sayers stop him from accomplishing his life-goals. Fleming knew that God had put him here on earth to make a difference, to help raise up the nation of Canada from sea to sea. Fleming’s strength came from a deep sense that God would never abandon his children.

The Reverend Ed Hird+
Rector, St. Simon’s North Vancouver
Anglican Coalition in Canada
http://www3.telus.net/st_simons
-a North Shore News article

39 comments:

跌倒 said...

He that travels far knows much. ....................................................

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人生最可憐的是半途而廢,最可悲的是喪失信心,最遺憾的是浪費時間,最可怕的是沒有恆心。 ....................................................

倫音 said...

一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。......................................................

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As a man sows, so he shall reap...................................................

NorrisBradwell04張 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................

彥安 said...

生活總是起起伏伏,心情要保持快樂才好哦!!.................................................................

雅信 said...

Keep in contact. Good Luck..................................................

文群文群 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼.................................................................

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人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

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Quality is better than quantity.............................................................

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永遠不要躊躇伸出你的手。也永遠不要躊躇接受別人伸出的手。.................................................................

楊偉馨楊偉馨 said...

haha~ funny! thank you for your share~............................................................

芳綠 said...

感謝不吝分享您的心得..................................................................

陳璇竹陳璇竹 said...

Great minds think alike...................................................

WillianT_Smotherman0恆迪 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

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凡事三思而行,跑得太快是會滑倒的。..................................................

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冠陳儒 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債............................. ....................................

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1615 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。.. ... ............................................................

司冯欣 said...

一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。......................................................................