Second World War vet who fought in an elite squadron honoured in Toronto on 100th birthday

For years, Jack Paley didn’t talk much about his military past.

The Second World War veteran, who turned 100 on Thursday, was part of an elite British group — the Special Air Service (SAS). In downtown Toronto, at the Historic Royal Canadian Military Institute, there was a procession for Paley to mark his monumental birthday.

“I made it — how, I don’t know,” Paley said with humour. “I’m just same as ever.”

Paley, with his wife of 70 years by his side, was presented with a cake that proudly noted his role within the SAS, a secretive group that until recently, even his own children knew little about.

“I used to think he was a spy as a kid — because it was very secretive and so we didn’t hear a lot about it,” said Anne Ison, Paley’s daughter. “Last few years has been eye opening, humbling.”

The SAS was born in the north African desert, where a young British officer in 1941 named David Stirling created a commando force — small bands of soldiers who could be parachuted in behind enemy lines and generally cause havoc.

Their motto: who dares wins.

“A lot of the work that they did is still confidential because of the nature of the work and assassinating German officers and all sorts of things like that,” Alan Bell, a former Special Air Services operator, told CTV News.

Famously, Hitler ordered that soldiers like those in the SAS were to be executed if captured.

“Oh, they shot them on the spot, yeah,” Paley said.

Still, Paley, born in England, bravely joined up and went on daring operations behind the lines in Italy and France.

“We were to train the Maquis — the French Resistance — with different weapons,” he said. “Bazookas, machine guns and mostly plastic grenades. We had to show them how to put it under the railway line.”

Paley now lives in Markham, Ont., and is only the third member of the SAS to make it to 100 years old.

To this day, he’s humble about his contribution, and honoured to have it acknowledged by other vets.

“Yeah, it’s just one of those things,” he said. 

With files from’s Alexandra Mae Jones

Stoney Nakoda language being preserved through new educational resource

Preserving the Stoney Nakoda language is the purpose behind a new resource created by the Stoney Education Authority (SEA) with support from The Language Conservancy.

Already in use at four schools — two in Morley, Alta., one in the Municipal District of Bighorn and one in Eden Valley — the resource includes three picture books, a Level 1 textbook, and an alphabet colouring book, along with a 9,000-word web and mobile dictionary, a textbook-accompanying media player app, and a vocabulary-building app.

The resource was crafted over the last two years, involving about 50 elders from three area First Nations — the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley — along with support workers and linguists.

“It will help (students) with their hearing and speech as well because the recordings are of our elders,” said Cherith Mark, cultural and language coordinator for the Stoney Education Authority.

“What’s so great about this is it’s a new way of learning language. They’ll be able to converse with a language speaker.”

A majority of community members over about age 30 can speak the Stoney Nakoda language, said Mark.

“I would say there is about probably 5,000 (people) in this community so there is a few thousand,” she said. “There are actually quite a few people working on preserving the language, not just through SEA.”

Putting together a project of this scope can be difficult, and even more so when it’s done during a global pandemic.

The usual route would be to bring speakers together and record them, but things had to be done remotely.

“A lot of it was online, and some of it was in small groups, after vaccinations were happening,” said Mark.

This was the first resource created by the community, but Mark says it won’t be the last.

“These new resources are just the first step in a multi-year project, and the next step of resources are already being developed,” she said.

“A student dictionary, a Level 2 textbook, a podcast series, and continued dictionary updates are currently in the works.”

The resource will also be made available to Albertans interested in learning more about the Stoney Nakoda language and more information can be found by contacting the Stoney Education Authority.

The Language Conservancy (TLC) is a non-profit organization that supports Indigenous language revitalization by developing programs, materials, and technologies in partnership with Indigenous communities.


Does Waxing Your Car at the Car Wash Do Anything?

  When you take your car to the car wash, there are multiple add-ons available, and one common choice is spray-on wax. It may seem like it doesn’t make a difference, but there are some important benefits. And these benefits go beyond how shiny your will car looks. What Are the Benefits of Waxing Your…

4 Decorating Tips Everyone Can Use

Even when you are lucky enough to start with an empty room, it can be overwhelming to design an interior that you can enjoy for years to come. Following some basic interior design principles, you can transform your space into a relaxing room you will be comfortable and happy with. Decide what your focal point will be and build out from there.  For best results, keep proportion and scale in mind as you decorate as well as these tips!

 Deciding on Your Focal Point
Do you have a magnificent bay window with an incredible view?  Is there an ornate mantle that is the reason you fell in love with your home? Or is there something you absolutely MUST HAVE in the room? Situate your furniture around your chosen focal point to create balance and equilibrium. If your room does not already have an existing focal point, create one with oversized art or add an accent point like a free-standing fireplace, they come in a variety of sizes and styles. Symmetrically balance the room evenly so that both sides mirror one another.  This will help your chosen focal point stand out all the more! Use matching accent tables to flank your sofa or use different pieces of furniture to create a copacetic visual impact, like two similar armchairs to balance a sofa.
Repetition for Rhythm
Rhythm creates a flow and helps direct the eye to the differing visual elements in your room. Just as the notes of a favorite song repeat to create the rhythm, repetition in decor will create a rhythm throughout a home. Establish visual interests with a rhythm throughout your space by placing similar colours or patterns at intervals and repeat in artwork, cushions or area rugs.

Perfect Proportion and Suitable Scaling
Who doesn’t love a large, overstuffed chair? But if your room is on the smaller size it may look out of place and make your room seem even smaller than it is. Keep proportion in perspective. Proportion is the ratio between a piece of furniture and the size of a room. Scale is the size of a piece of furniture in relation to the other pieces of furniture in the room. A super large chair will overpower an apartment of loft size sofa or loveseat and create a sense of unbalance in the room.

Have your room humming harmoniously
Creating harmony will enhance how much you will continue to love your finished. Pull the room with a subdued colour palette for a pleasing, harmonious vibe.   together for a pleasing, harmonious look with a subdued color palette. You can also use a single colour for elements that vary in size and shape. Check out our blog on Doing White on White Right! for more tips!

What is the focal point in your room?  What is your best tip to find harmony and balance through your home?

5 Tips to Magnificent Mirrors

Mirrors are a handy decor tool, but did you know they also serve clever purposes? From making your space feel larger and lighter to providing an opportunity for guests to check themselves; mirrors can be found in more than just the bathroom.

You know that feeling when you finally get a chance to move into your first apartment and have total control over how it looks? The only downside is there are so many design decisions. It can actually be overwhelming! Well, fear not because we’re here with some of our favourite tips for hanging mirrors in an easy way.

I’m always getting mixed up when it comes to how high I should hang my mirrors. It’s not like they’re wall art, right? Ha! No one knows what height is best for them because everyone has different needs and preferences in their space. For example, if you have a tall piece of furniture like the chest over there (points) then 4-6 inches below that will be perfect so people can still see themselves while they walk by or look at anything on top of the chest without feeling uncomfortably close to a mirror hanging too low above them – but keep in mind this may vary depending on where most people are sitting around your room; such as with an end table next to your couch or chair.

There are two easy ways to introduce more natural light into your living room or bedroom – strategically place mirrors. Consider the angle of the sun and hang a mirror opposite south-facing windows, east-facing windows, or on both walls if you want even more sunlight shining through!
Coming or going, guests are certain to check their reflection in your mirror when they enter. Add a well-placed console table with some seating for comfort and style without sacrificing space of the entryway!

Make sure you mount hardware properly to keep mirrors safe. There’s nothing as tempting as adding wire to the back of a mirror, but each D-hook or keyhole mount on the back should attach to its own hook for safety and stability.

Finding a mirror that fits your space’s aesthetic can help you achieve the perfect cohesive design style. Whether it’s windowpane pattern in your modern farmhouse bedroom, wood frames for spaces with rustic style and organic shapes for mid-century homes or even textured glass to match an industrial loft – each one will make sure everything feels like it belongs together.

If finding the right frame is difficult consider how important light reflection is when choosing which type of mirrors are best suited to be placed on top of furniture such as dressers or side tables: if you want all reflections visible choose mirrored ones; If displaying decorative items atop then opt instead for framed options so they don’t get blocked out by glare from any nearby windows.
You don’t have to limit the use of mirrors to indoors.  Using old mirrored shower doors or adding shutters to a wood framed mirror can enhance your outdoor spaces and make your garden appear bigger and more lush!

Have you gotten creative with mirrors?  Share your ideas below!

Everything Your Business Needs to Know About Digital Media Shredding

What is Digital Media Shredding? Digital media shredding is the total erasure, destruction, and disposal of electronic media products. This process ensures that your private data is completely unreadable and your hardware unusable so that no one can access your data from a product you’ve disposed of. Digital media includes hard drives, media tapes, USBs…

Considerations to Make When Building a Custom Home

Building a home is a very exciting yet stressful time. To give yourself and your family the best chances of a successful custom build, here are some considerations to make before and during the building process. Budget Your budget is going to be the most important thing to decide on before even consulting with an…

Why Choose Managed IT Services Instead of Doing it Yourself

Whether you run your own business or are part of a decision-making team at a large corporation, you’ve probably considered managed IT service once or twice before. Hesitation is perfectly understandable when considering a new service for your company, but there are numerous benefits to relying on managed IT services that far outweigh any imagined…

A Very Brief History of Space Travel

Space travel is one of the most inspiring advancements we’ve made in our short time on Earth, and it is a fascinating topic to learn about no matter your age. Let’s take a look at some of the most important events, players, and accomplishments in the history of space travel. Big Firsts The first satellite…

The Stages of Home Construction – Concept to Completion

Building a home is a long and laborious process, but most of us don’t know what the actual steps of home construction are. If you’re planning on building a custom home, you’re probably interested in what happens from the time builders first set foot on a lot to the moment you’re handed your keys. Let’s…