WOW! Our last event ended up with only a 46% success rate. I did not think that the questions were that difficult. Maybe it is the cold weather we have been having. I must confess to a technical error in the last round on the question as to the origin of Air Canada. I did not remember how I discovered the information but the correct answer is that it started as Trans Canada Air in 1937 and this was changed to Air Canada in 1964. I erred in my announcement as to the “original” name vs. the present label. Sorry. The correct scores were corrected. I want to make it right. We Know Stuff won the contest with Cheap Dates in second place and Hotel de Ville got its act together very well coming in third.

We had nearly 90 in attendance but the first round set the tone for the night with a relatively low score of 44%. Most of the House got it that China is host to the massive ice festival. Only 3 teams “guessed” I think, that the police code for “drunk” is 10-51. ONLY the Ministry got the first Prime Minister born after Confederation who was Arthur Meighen. Nine teams knew that Tim Horton’s is not locally controlled, i.e. in Canada. The Idaho Spuds (made up of geologists for the most part) and numerous other teams knew that Australia has no active volcanoes. A plurality of teams got the 22.5 lb Canadian baby. Every team knew the capital of Turkey. In what I thought was the most inventive video I have seen in a long time, all but 4 teams identified Oliver and Stan as the dancers to modern “The Twist” music. Perfectly timed by the video experts. There was a zero score for The Five Satins singing “In the Still of the Night”. The Space Cadets were off to a good start with 8 as the highest single round score (equaled only 4 other times all evening).

The expertise continued downhill for Round 2 with a House score of only 37%. Ouch. For McGill’s Chancellor, most teams did some questionable math and indicated that Arthur Meighen was the great-grandfather instead of the grandfather. Five teams got it right and they were the Ministry, Space Cadets, Boom Down, the Four Horsepersons and the Blond Artifacts who had, as a substitute player, Michael Meighen’s colleague on the Board of Governors, our Chancellor, Christopher Manfredi. Good thing they got that question right! Only one team failed to identify the Flatiron building put up in New York City in 1902. Terry Fox got a plurality of votes for the first Canadian-born person to be featured on a coin for circulation. Other suggestions were Wayne Gretzky, Vincent Massey, Sir John A., Pearson, and Alexander Graham Bell. Only three knew John Candy’s name in the famous film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. We should remember Mr. Candy more; he was special. We Know Stuff showed their top colours by being the only team to know “The Brotherhood of Man” as the original group who recorded “United We Stand”. At this point, they jumped into the lead not to be strongly challenged the rest of the night.

Round 3 showed a 48% score as the night moved on. About half the teams got the date of the publishing of “Silent Spring”. Norway and Sweden were correctly identified as having the 19th century 1,000 mile border by about half the House. Four teams knew that fish were the most abundant pets in the US and these were the Space Cadets, the Dewey Decibels, Broken Record and the Blond Artifacts. All but six teams knew Revelation as the last book of the Bible- I could sense religious fervor in the room when that question came up. The overall top teams were the only ones to identify “Danny and the Juniors” as the group playing “At the Hop” and these were the Hotel team, Crusader Rabbit, Space Cadets, Cheap Dates and the winning We Know Stuff team.

Round 4 perked up with a more “normal” score of 57% and while many got the swastika symbol in Kipling’s books, fewer identified Hitler’s failed start-up as an aspiring artist. All but one team identified Howard Hughes as the airplane designer. Only 5 teams were brave enough to select 87 days as the longest interval between the second arrival of an identical twin. Most all got the music question with Sydney Poitier and England for the great movie and title song “To Sir With Love”.

The fifth round had the lowest mark of the night with only 35%. The “cult” of Rocket Richard and Gordie Howe prevented anyone to get the first NHL player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated as our own Jean Beliveau. The date of 1954 should have been a clue that it wasn’t Guy LaFleur who was the only one who got a vote other than Richard and Howe---albeit good choices. The Four Horsepersons and We Know Stuff were the only ones getting the second most honoured musical groups for #1 songs as correct. The Supremes only had these two correct answers; The Rolling Stones gathered the most attention of the House. Further contributing to the low round score was that NO team got the first Mark Twain awardee as Richard Prior. I thought most of the suggested names- Carlin, Seinfeld, George Burns, Steve Martin and Robin Williams were better choices. Many got Durer as the 15th century artist and most knew “The Boxer” as the correct answer to the music question.

Round 6 was easier by quite a bit (59%) from the previous round. NO team chose Bobby Orr as the first hockey player to be honoured on Canada’s Walk of Fame. The year was key as this took place in 1998 when the most popular choice, Wayne Gretzky, was only in his 9th season in the NHL. Only three teams knew the colour of the Canadian $1000 bill as pink and these were Hotel de Ville, Boom Down and We Know Stuff. Many knew Whoppi Goldberg’s real name as Caryn Johnson, which surprised me as I thought I chose some good distractors. Most all knew Madison Square Garden as the non-company oriented venue for hockey and all but one team got the Beatles singing the Chuck Berry song.

The evening concluded with a 40% showing in round 7. Most got the Condor as the national bird of several South American countries. The last nuclear test was too tough a question, as it appeared that most of the House did not know it was 1992. Many got the white stuff around the mouth of the New Guinea native as typewriter correction fluid. A plurality of teams were correct about Iceland being the first country to pass a law requiring gender pay equity. New news. Most all teams knew that “The Knowledge” referred to knowing the streets of London by prospective taxi-drivers. To conclude the night, it was apparently too difficult a question to expect Gerry Mulligan to be identified. Numerous sax players were mentioned like Charlie Parker but Don’t Think Twice got it right.

All in all, I thought a fun night and as usual, I want to thank the careful scoring of Julia, Meaghan and our newest helper, Ashley, for accurate number-keeping. I also want to thank, as always, our Greeter-in-Chief, Kim Stephenson, who coordinates book and other prizes from our Bookstore. Finally, thanks to Nicolas Zrihen, Manager of the Club, who provides not only the service for snacks but also three vouchers for prizes.








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