158 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 1 JANUARY 2020
gara in 1792 while surveying Dixon Entrance. Juan Francisco de Langara y
Huarte was a celebrated Spanish admiral. Spanish explorers named a number
of features of the B.C. coast after him, including a group of islands at the
mouth of the Fraser River (probably those now called Sea, Westham and
Lulu Islands). The Spanish called them Islas de Langara. Dionisio Alcalá-
Galiano called Point Grey Punta de Langara, hence the name of the Vancouver
west side Langara. Captain George Vancouver used the name Langara
Island on his 1793 chart. The British fur trader George Dixon named the
island North Island, after Lord North, the British prime minister. North
Island remained on British navy charts until 1907, when Captain Frederick
Learmouth of HMS Egera resurveyed the region and changed the name
back to Langara.
The Haida name for the island is Kiis Gwaii or Kusgwai.
The “Rat Pack” by the 1960s was populated by members including Frank
Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
One story attributes the name to Lauren Bacall (a.k.a. the “Den Mother”),
who used to host an earlier iteration of pack members at the home she
shared with husband Humphrey Bogart and said at one point of the worsefor
wear group something like, “You look like a goddamn rat pack.”
Under the somewhat disconcerting heading of “Careers fit for Rats”, the
website <chinesenewyear.net> notes that given their “independence and
imagination”, rats are “suitable for creative jobs” and would be good
“authors, editors and artists”. Apparently they also “pay attention to fine
detail”. So far so good—but while they “are alert” they “lack … courage”,
which apparently “makes them unsuitable as police officers, entrepreneurs
or other leadership and political positions”. Squeek! – Ed.
Thought du mois:
In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have never forgotten
Sir Terry Pratchett
(1948–2015) British humourist, satirist and author