Saturday, May 23, 2015

Post 2960 - Ada McCallum Thoughts

So, people have been writing me today about Ada McCallum, the notorious Halifax brothel owner from back in the day. This is because the Chronicle Herald ran an article about Ada that most people likely thought was just ducky.

It wasn't.

Go ahead and read it. I will be here when you are done.

Back already? Good.

The article sucked. It is obvious that Dorothy Grant's primary source was the 1998 Lulu Keating-directed documentary about Ada. I think it was close to her only source. It is the same documentary that I recorded when it was broadcast, and which I found on a vhs tape upstairs and subsequently digitized before sharing it with people who wanted to see it (for educational purposes only). Grant refers to events in the film without mentioning they were in the film, giving the reader the impression that she had either experienced them herself or had found out these things through dogged investigation.

She mentions that two Nova Scotia MLA's were her lawyer for a spell. She does not mention their names. They were the father and son duo of Richard and Terry Donahoe. This is not a secret. Both men were quoted on screen in the Keating film.

She mentions that there is a well known NS author who arranged with Ada to have one of her girls go to his hotel room so that he could be caught in bed with this girl, thereby triggering a much-needed divorce for him and his wife at the time. She did not state his name, and I don't know why. He prominently and proudly tells this story in the film. It was Silver Donald Cameron.

She states that Morris Lodge was on the corner of Barrington Street and Victoria Road, when it was Morris at Barrington. Barrington pretty much becomes Inglis at the point of Victoria, anyway. I am not sure if that corner exists.

And she may have got Ada's adopted son's name wrong. I thought it was Gary, but she says it was Donald. I will give Grant the benefit of the doubt on that one.

These are mistakes and things left out that I was able to discern by reading the article once. I am sure I could find other things if I put a mind to it.

We depend on the media to tell us things we may not want to know, but need to know. They have an obligation to get things right. When someone of Dorothy Grant's ilk can't even be bothered to write an accurate portrayal of this remarkable woman, Ada McCallum, then why did she produce the column in the first place?

What are your thoughts on this article? Am I out of line here?

See you tomorrow.



Unknown said...

The one point that Dorthy made that rings loudly to me was...... "there should be a book written...." As an aspiring writer with an interest in the subject why don't you look into that idea..... Your first book....

Anonymous said...

Ada was my great aunt my mothers aunt, looking for more info myself family dont talk much on the subject.