The Midnight Sun - 17.08.1940, Blaðsíða 4

The Midnight Sun - 17.08.1940, Blaðsíða 4
4 THE MIDNIGHT SUN j Jjceiand i Iceland University. The University of Iceland re- cently ceiebrated the twenty- ninth anniversary of its found- ation hy inaugurating a new university building at Reykja- vík, erected with the proceeds of a lottery authorized by the State. Tlie British Minister, Mr. Charles Howard Smith, spoket in Latin and presented addres- ses from the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds. Messa- ges of congratulation were re- ceived from the univerities of Oxford, London, Dublin, Yale, and Abo (Finland). The chapel is a notable feature of this striking concrete building, and one of the British chaplains attended at its consecration by the Bishop of Iceland. Letter from Iceland. The following letter appear- ed in The Times last month from the pen of Mr. Snæbjörn Jonsson: ”In all my reading I do not think I ever met with anything so characteristically British than the verses: „A Briton’s Prayer“ published in your is- sue of May 25......It is my firm conviction that necessary as guns and aeroplanes are for the achievement of that final victory which assuredly will be Britain’s, no less essential is it that those who now fight in the cause of freedom, justice, and truth should in manly humility pray for the Almighty’s help. I am glad to note tliat the col- umns of The Times are lent for the dissemination of that truth, and I feel sure it will please you to know that in this far-off island there are many who in deep reverence and earnest join with your nation in constant prayer for divine aid to those who are fighting for those noble ideals with which the British race has blaz- ed a trail for mankind to fol- low.“ THOUGHT FOR THE DAY. This is by no means original, but it pleases my mind on a sunny day .... at least in the capital. So utterly recherché, don’t you think, my dear re- fugee Marquise. “I think that I would rather like to be the saddle of a bike”. The Menace. POLAR BEARS. I know what you thought when you knew you were com- ing to Iceland, you thought there would be Eskimoes, Igloos and Polar Bears. I made just the same mistake when I first came here, several years ago, and when I found there were none, I went on to Green- land and there of course I found the whole bag of tricks, including Polar Bears. A Polar Bear as you know is just an „outsize“ in sheep, which prefers to live on pieces of ice floating about in the sea. It eats seals and fish instead of grazing on the meadows and getting sheared of it’s wool like sheep usually do: not my idea of having a good time, thougli I am not sure I would not prefer drifting about on ice floes properly clothed, than to be left to enjoy the winter with my clothes sheared off like poor old sheep. Anyway you needn’t be so downhearted after all, for the is just a chance that you may see a Polar Bear at any time now. It depends entirely which way the winds and currents move the enormous masses of polar ice to the north of us. It is ahvays possible that we may wake one morning to find the bays and fjords full of grinding, creaking, ice floes. Over them, snow white ivory gulls will be filling the air with their cries. In between the floes, grey seals will be rais- ing their heads to breathe and then diving to feed off shrimps and anything they can catch on the sea bed. Wandering about over the ice-floes themselves will be Polar Bears; you will be surprised how yellow they look against the ice. But even if the ice doesn’t come against the shore, as long as it comes within sight of the coast, we shall get Bears, for Polar Bears are great swimm- ers and they think nothing of swimming twenty miles to ex- plore some new land, and I know of one Bear that was found swimming happily a hundred miles out to sea. The Bears that have come to Iceland in the past have found sealing too difficult and have usually made their way inland to fish for salmon in the rivers, but they soon get hungry for meat and start kill- ing the farmer’s sheep and sometimes people too, and there was one old Bear that killed eight people before be- ing shot. Ice has not blocked the Ice- landic fjords since the end of the last war and then some twenty Bears were shot on the North coast of Iceland. None have been since, but if the ice comes, and surely it is just about due, then we shall have Bears again. BY THE TJÖRNIN Arras Poo/. ..... And are they twenty five .... the years between? The world was splendidly young and Spring was danc- ing green when four youths a- seeking their fortune met on a Canadian night on the banks of the Ottawa river and swore friendship . .. two Englishmen one Canadian, one German. One Englishman lies dead by Arras Pool. One Canadian guides the Huron and Iroquois and the others within the bord- ers. One German is the slaver- ing jackal of the Evil Thing. And I am here. Through the reddening and yellowing and the falling of the maple leaves and above the mountains of the snow the four youths learn- ed understanding of each other. Together they laughed and worked and played .... they lived in the same house .... the shared their bread at the same table. The German was infectious with his laughter. He was learning freedom in a land of freedom. On a caress- ing July day, a year gone, the four adventurers in life and ro- mance walked together. A tele- graph message delivered to our companion of many a mile, was thrust unopened into his pocket. With strange surmise he looked at us. “Please do not wait for me. I must go” he said. A sudden flash of his ey- es as though memories were hurting and he was gone. Seven days passed. I had din- ed with Herself on the avenue verandah where the maples were dreaming of their new crimson gowns. A cracked bell at the Lutheran church was calling the enemy to worship. The delphinum-blue eyes of Herself were clouded with seas of mist as she handed me a belt and a sword . . . . a sword I should like Herself to know is still unbroken .... “God helping me, you’ll need these, my dear.” And thus it was the four youths went seeking their fortunes to tlie great wars. Cecil Cordell Wharton is bey- ond the stars that are starry . . Loftus Mclnnes is the secretary of Indian affairs ... and I am here. Yet when the chastise- ment of hubris falls . .. as fall it must ... I would not care to be Joachim Ribbentrop, who stood with us by Ottawa’s bank when Spring was dancing green. The Menace.


The Midnight Sun

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