The Eclipse

Do you recall experiencing a solar eclipse? Did your ancestors?

As a kid I marvelled at the partial solar eclipse on Wednesday, 30 June 1954 seen from my school playground during lunch hour. 

On Friday, 20 March 2015, I was in Algarve, Portugal, at Peter Calver’s Genealogy in the Sunshine event. A bonus on top of some wonderful presentations came as a partial solar eclipse.

While partial eclipses of the sun can be memorable, total eclipses are rare at any given spot. A total solar eclipse would be a once-in-a-lifetime event that diarist-ancestors would be likely to record.

Astronomers’ calculations have the last total eclipse of the sun in Ottawa on 10 September 1569, too early even for Samuel de Champlain! No diary entries!  In Monteal the last one was on Wednesday 31 August 1932, in Toronto Saturday 24 January 1925. Those are from http://andrew

I’m not counting on seeing the next one in Ottawa in 2205. Will you be joining those expected to flock to the shores of the St Lawrence on Monday 8 April to edge into the zone of totality? Watch the weather forecast and hope for a reasonably cloud-free day. The last ones in Toronto and Montreal were a dissappointment owing to cloud cover.

2 Replies to “The Eclipse”

  1. There must have been some type of eclipse in late July, possibly 1959 or 1960? I was at a summer camp near Huntsville, ON. Instead of usual afternoon activities including swim time, they brought us all into the dining hall, covered the windows with dark blankets, and showed us a film about bees. I later learned from my family that there had been an eclipse — guess they didn’t want to risk any of us looking up at it.

  2. I remember an eclipse when I was in middle school, so between 76 and 79 – it was definitely a full solar eclipse as we were all gathered in the gym and watched it on TV. It must be the one in February 1979, though from what I can see, it wasn’t a total one in Eastern Canada…Still, I distinctly remember being in that gym with black paper over the windows at the top.

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