http://becausewerepoets.wordpress.com posts a theme for a photo challenge each Tuesday. Last week I participated for the first time and this week I have had lots of ideas, but not the chance to snap the pics to post on it. It seems each time we would be traveling in the opposite direction of where I needed to be 😉
The theme is OLD and the inspiration was the wedding rhyme “something old and something new…” according to We Drink Because we are Poets blog. I had a few ideas, but thought this was a good representation of something OLD with a Canadian twist. Since home for the summer I like to post some tidbits and attractions that make Canada special. All year I post on things in Shanghai, so now it is time to spot light home.
My interpretation for OLD is on the oldest Canadian company. With a little research I discovered it is not only the oldest in Canada, but perhaps the world! It was incorporated in 1670 when it was part of the fur trade industry in the Hudson Bay area of Canada. It stayed a part of the fur trade and slowly changed over the years to adjust to changing times and markets. Today fur is not its main staple, but instead it has morphed into a large department store selling appliances, furniture and clothing. It is a little more upscale than Walmart and other department chains and a comparison has been made to Macy’s and Nordstrom in the US.
From early on warm wool blankets with the traditional green, yellow, red and navy blue stripes on a cream background have been sold and kept people warm during those cold, snowy, Canadian winters. Today the same blankets can be purchased along with other items with the same traditional stripes. Just walking through The Bay today I saw pet collars and sweaters, children’s stuffed toys, canvas totes and mugs to name just a few.
Part of the Hudson Bay family has been recently lost as the Zellers brand was closed earlier this year. An American company bought out the shops recently and the Zellers stores were closed and slowly most of those former stores are having a face lift and reopening as the big American chain Target. The Hudson Bay company has held on. Other long time Canadian chains like Eaton’s and Zellers have closed, but the Bay is still there despite poor sales and the economy. Other big box stores with cheaper brands seem to be our shop of choice and despite the long-standing tradition these Canadian icons are let go without any emotion. Hopefully the longest standing company means something out there and the CEOs and public will keep it going for another 100+ years.
Sometimes being OLD isn’t negative, but full of tradition, experience and something to be proud of.
What traditions do you want to hold onto?