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Guest Column: Churchill

Debbie Thompson in her natural element

Debbie Thompson in her natural element

When we got back from Churchill a couple of weeks ago, Debbie Thompson handed me a piece that she felt inspired to write. This was her first visit to the Hudson Bay coast, and as an artist her perspective is quite different from mine.

It’s always depressing leaving a place that fills a void in my soul. There is a solitude here that tugs on my spirit, yearning for acknowledgment

There is a sensual beauty in the eroded and smooth curves of these ancient rocks. There is a harsh beauty reflected in the black spruce. There is a sad beauty in derelict buildings of the past. Forgotten to decay, or to be torn down to reveal a scar. And there is a radiant beauty in the voices of the people here, ringing with a subtle, ancient lightness.

Churchill quartzite and Hudson Bay

Churchill quartzite and Hudson Bay

The weather is harsh, the insects unflagging, the land unforgiving. But it is beautiful, quiet, and serene when I choose it to be so. There is a different pace up here. It must be the ebb and flow of these ocean tides and the koanic sweeps of bows and bends of timeless rocks. Why rush … nothing else does.

Lakes near Bird Cove

Lakes near Bird Cove

These grey stones, a riddle in form solely, should be a reflection of my soul. They do not change in a day, but over time are never the same. Yet are always present in some form.

That something so beautiful and graceful is birthed of relentless time and the harshest of trials … could not my very essence aspire to such a virtue?

The shore east of Halfway Point

The shore east of Halfway Point

(photos by me)

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Graham Young

Curator of Geology & Paleontology

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Graham Young grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick. After doing a B.Sc. in biology at the University of New Brunswick, he switched to geology and did an M.Sc. in paleontology at the University of Toronto. After completing a Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick in 1988, Graham spent two years in Newcastle, England, studying fossils from the Island of Gotland, Sweden. He moved to Winnipeg in 1990 to do research at the University of Manitoba, and has worked at the Manitoba Museum since 1993.

At the Museum, Graham’s curatorial work involves all aspects of geology and paleontology. He is responsible for building the collections, dealing with public inquiries, and preparing exhibits. Over the years, Graham’s research has become broader in scope, moving from specialist studies of fossil corals, towards research on ancient environments, ecosystems, and unusual fossils such as jellyfish and horseshoe crabs. Most of his current field research is on sites in the Grand Rapids Uplands and elsewhere in northern Manitoba.