HERITAGE MINUTES#PARTOF OUR HERITAGE

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Winnie

HERITAGE MINUTES

#PARTOFOURHERITAGE

Recounts the true story of a Canadian soldier's bear, the object of adoration and inspiration for a young boy and his father, A.A. Milne.

Few Canadian black bears have achieved the literary renown of "Winnipeg," Captain Harry Colebourn's pet black bear. Lasting fame came to Winnipeg after a boy - Christopher Robin - and his father - A.A. Milne - saw Winnipeg at the London Zoo.

Captivated by Winnipeg, who gave zoo patrons piggyback rides around the zoo and ate treats from their hands, Christopher Robin urged his father to take her home. Instead, Milne transformed Winnipeg into the hero of a classic childhood story, "Winnie-the-Pooh." This unusual name is a combination of the nickname London zoo patrons gave Winnipeg, and the name of Christopher Robin's pet swan, Pooh. The Pooh stories describe the explorations of a loveable bear and his friends - Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore - in the innocent world of childhood, demonstrating the value of friendship and pots of honey.

Winnipeg emigrated to Britain along with her owner, Captain Harry Colebourn, an army veterinary surgeon in the Canadian military. In 1915, as World War I raged, Captain Colebourn was sent to the front in France. Unable to take Winnipeg along, he donated her to the London Zoo, where she quickly became a star attraction.

Colebourn purchased Winnipeg in White River, Ontario from a trapper who had killed the cub's mother. She was named after Colebourn's hometown. In 1989, White River erected a statue commemorating Winnie-the-Pooh's namesake.

A.A. Milne (1882-1956) was a journalist and contributor to Punch magazine. His books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) are two of several children's books. Milne also wrote plays and novels, the best known of which is his play Mr. Pim Passes By. The original illustrations to Milne's books were created by Ernest Shepard, who also illustrated an early edition of Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows.

CAST
  • Cdn. Soldier – Claude Souktre
  • Zoo Official – Desmond Ellis
  • Zoo Attendant – Mark Richardson
  • Christopher Robin – Tristan Hollett
  • A. A. Milne – Julian Richings
  • Shepard – Robert Latimer
  • Captain Colbourne – Robert Weiss
  • Canadian Soldier – John Nightingale
  • Canadian Soldier – Dale Spearing
  • Nurse – Carolyn Peters
  • Nurse – Susan Bryson
  • Vendor – Frank Scott
  • Flower Lady – Jeanette Herstead
  • Bobbie – Tim Blake
  • Driver – Rob Wilson
  • Grandmother – Barbara Shawe
  • Woman – Nicki Lewis
  • Woman – Katrin Baetz
  • Gentleman – Larry Fedoruk
  • Gentleman – Rick Coulter
  • Shoe Shine – Robbie Atalick
  • Baby Bear – Gerry Therrien
  • Additional Cast – Samantha Southwell