The Deadman’s Penny-A Medicine Hat Mystery Solved!

I have always enjoyed writing and storytelling, as many of my friends will attest. I have also always had a keen interest in history and more recently genealogy. I have written a number of articles lately and have posted some on my personal homepage William J Anhorn QC-  My venture into genealogy has resulted in some interesting results, not the least of which is establishing a family connection to royalty, or assisting others in the discovery of  a family pedigree, all of which I have documented on the website.

Most recently, my genealogical research and interest in history intersected resulting in this article entitled “The Deadman’s Penny-A Medicine Hat Mystery Solved! ”. Someone, who had come into possession of a rare artifact from WW I, reached out and requested assistance. This resulted in an unusual challenge, which required all of my investigative skills as an amateur genealogist. The challenge- to identify and explain this interesting relic from the Great War, unique to Medicine Hat and to find the existence of a living family member. The request resulted in uncovering an interesting part of history from WWI that has a distinctive Medicine Hat connection. Let me explain.

A Tribute To a True Medicine Hat Hero and Advocate

The Honourable Russell (Russ) Armitage Dixon, Q.C. 
November 14, 1924 – Medicine Hat, Alberta 
December 9, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta 
Russell Dixon, beloved husband of Sheila Dixon (nee Sinton), passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at the age of 94 years.


A distinguished lawyer and jurist who proudly claimed Medicine Hat as his birthplace passed away peacefully at Calgary, Alberta on Sunday, December 9th 2018 at the age of 94 years. Read On

The Credit Card “Dilemma” and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America

As a frequent extended visitor to the United States of America (often affectionately referred to as “Snowbirds”), one of the more interesting conundrums we face is to how to cost effectively and efficiently deal with our day-to-day purchases while in the United States. Despite the advent of Bank debit cards, which are available to Snowbirds through an American-based Bank account (or God forbid using “cash”), many of us still to continue to use a Canadian-based bank credit card for our American purchases, simply as a matter of convenience. For the prudent Snowbird (or even the occasional visitor to the U.S.), it is important to understand implications of such a practice and the various other types of payment options which are available, in order to make an informed decision on how best to pay for your U.S. purchases. Depending upon your own personal circumstances, there are several credit card options available with each having their own advantages and disadvantages that are all worth considering by the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America.Read On

Air Travel and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America

As frequent extended visitors to the United States of America, (affectionately referred to as “Snowbirds”) it is not uncommon for my wife and I to drive to our destination (in our case, Palm Springs) and fly back to Canada from time to time for various reasons. For example, we routinely return to Canada for the Christmas season and return down south in early January. This is typical for a lot of our Snowbird friends. Occasionally, it becomes necessary to voluntarily cancel or change a flight, which depending on the circumstances can have some severe financial consequences. More often, flight cancellations or extended delays are encountered, which unfortunately occurred on our most recent return visit to Canada. It is therefore prudent for the frequent flying “Snowbird” to be aware of the “rules” relating to air travel to and from the U.S. and the implications these exigent circumstances might create. Hopefully this article will provide some valuable information and provide some guidance for future air travel for the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America.Read On

The Mysterious Life of Constance Mary Greenwood

Constance Mary Greenwood was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on the 16th day of April 1920 and was the only daughter of Robert and Hannah Greenwood. “Aunt Hannah’s” maiden name was Williams. “Connie” was the cousin of my wife’s father, Norman Medlicott of Medicine Hat, Alberta and throughout our marriage she was an integral part of our family. Having never married, she was a regular guest at our home at the many family celebrations we had, whether it was Christmas or Thanksgiving or any other family get together. My fondest memories, with all the excitement surrounding Christmas, was to arrange to meet the Greyhound bus in Medicine Hat and to pickup “Cousin Connie” as she travelled from Calgary to Medicine Hat and either take her to our home or to my wife’s parents home for the Christmas holidays. This was a ritual, which occurred for many, many years. She was very well read and extremely bright and everyone wanted her on his or her team for the annual after Christmas dinner “Trivial Pursuit” tournament.

Connie was a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corp during WWII [CWAC] and we often joked about her role during the war as a “resistance fighter” having parachuted into France behind enemy lines in the months before D-Day and working with the French Resistance fighting the Nazis prior to the invasion. Her role during the war was always a mystery to us, as she seldom talked about her “wartime” experience but when pressed when she would say that she simply had “worked” in the laundry in England! This was met with some amusement and much skepticism!READ ON

Travel Insurance and the “Pre-Existing Condition” Enigma and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America (And Elsewhere)

When Canadians think of health insurance, they typically think of the universal health and medical coverage offered by the provincial government in their home province and which is offered and made available to all residents of Canada under the Canada Health Act. Unless they are a “snowbird”, the idea of medical travel insurance seldom comes to mind.

Many Canadians are fortunate to have employee benefit plans or individual health insurance programs, which are generally intended to enhance medical coverage (i.e. dental, vision, and prescription drugs) which is not otherwise available under the provincial health care programs. Many of these plans have imbedded in them a travel insurance component. “Travel insurance” refers to protection against “unexpected or unforeseen” medical emergencies, sudden illness or accidents which require medical attention, while travelling outside of the home province. Many also provide trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage loss and other related unexpected travel events.

In an earlier article entitled, “Health Care and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America”, I outlined the history of universal health care coverage in Canada (Alberta) together with its practical limitations and in doing so, identified the absolute need for supplemental or extended health insurance when travelling to the United States (or elsewhere), not only for the “snowbird” who frequently travels to the U.S. for their extended vacation but also for the infrequent visitor who crosses the border for shorter periods of time. In this regard, it is vitally important to understand the types of medical travel insurance available in Canada (hereafter referred to as “TIP”) and the nature of the limitations, conditions and exclusions that are contained in these types of insurance products. Moreover, it is critically important to be familiar with the “pre-existing condition” enigma contained in most of these policies. Failure to do so, could result in considerable financial risk to the uninformed or unprepared traveler.READ ON

Health Care and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America


Health Care and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America

Many Canadians, when travelling abroad or to Mexico or to the United States of America, often take their own sense of personal security for granted. The same holds true with respect to health care. For the Canadian who is a frequent visitor to the United States (or even the occasional visitor), it is important to understand the nuances between health care coverage in the United States and health care coverage in Canada and where appropriate, and to take the appropriate precautions or steps in order to be adequately protected. In this regard, it might be useful to examine the health care system in the Province of Alberta and the implications for the Canadian Visitor (Albertan) travelling to the United States of America.READ ON



Bill C-45: The Cannabis Act and the Canadian Visitor to the United States of America

The Canadian government’s legislation to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana has been passed by Parliament and has received Royal assent. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act however, will not come into effect until October 17th, 2018.

What will be the impact of legalizing marijuana have on the Canadian visitor wishing to cross the border and enter the United States of America?

Once the Cannabis Act becomes law, the recreational use of marijuana will become legal and there will be an established framework to control its production, distribution, sale and possession across Canada. This framework will include government approved retail outlets under provincial regulation and authority, which will make the substance readily accessible to all adult Canadians.

Several States in the United States have passed similar legislation. However, the fact remains that in the United States, cannabis remains a controlled substance under Federal legislation and its use or possession continues to be a criminal offence, even though in some States it has been legalized. Although this anomaly may have very little impact on American citizens, its impact on Canadian citizens and foreign nationals seeking entry into the country continues to be problematic. The legalization of cannabis in Canada will only exacerbate the problem. Until more detailed guidelines are announced by the U.S. Government agencies responsible for immigration and border protection, prudence and caution seem to be in order.


Child and Elder Care and the Duty of an Employer to Accommodate

With the ever increasing costs of child care and after school care, many families with a working mother are faced with the annual dilemma after calculating the “net “benefit, having taken these expenses into account, of justifying her continued employment.  In addition, (particularly, for the single “mom”) after making the decision to work, they are then presented with ever increasing family duties and expectations, logistical issues and unreasonable expectations or demands by the employer, when their “family” obligations interfere or conflict with their employment duties.

By now most employers should be aware that both federal and provincial human rights legislation prohibits discrimination in the workplace on grounds of race, religion, sex and age. Many employers are however unaware that the legislation also prohibits discrimination based upon a person’s family status, which includes childcare obligations.

The issue also arises occasionally with respect to elder care. As our parents’ age and as there is a tendency for them to live longer, their personal requirements and medical needs increase and it often falls on their adult children to address these concerns. Most often these issues are unscheduled and take the employee suddenly away from the workplace, which may create conflict with the employer.