Monday, March 14, 2011

The Coronation of George V and the Naming of Central Albertan Towns

A: Veteran, Alberta
The arbitrary nature of the names of numerous prairie towns is a topic considered here before.  The Canadian Pacific Railway could choose the names it liked for its stations, and the subsequent names of the towns that sprung up around its communications hubs seldom altered these epithets.  A series of towns in central Alberta display a patriotic impulse behind the naming of some stations.  The coronation of George V in 1911 was the occasion seized for the names of: Throne; Veteran; Loyalist; Consort; and Coronation.
George V Coronation PostCard. Nova Scotia Archives.

Frances Swyringa, in the work Storied Landscapes: Ethno-Religious Identity and the Canadian Prairies (2010) notes that a handful of Manitoba settlements also found British inspiration for drawing their names.  Baden, Powell and Mafeking were all named in honour of that famous Imperial officer, and the site of his great victory in the Boer War.  In the Siege of Mafeking, Robert Baden-Powell used a number of young boys to send messages and fulfill other non-combat roles, which would later lend inspiration to the scouting movement.

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