Mina's Lion Heart Mountains, an
appellation with no official status, remains the name that never was.
Mount Kipling stands as the only officially recognized reminder of a
non-erasable chapter of Labrador history.
Parsons, for reasons that may amount to nothing more than
name-dropping, refers to a published essay on the Hubbard/Wallace 1903
expedition by Margaret Atwood, the ubiquitous Canadian poet, novelist,
short story writer and feminist. Parsons singles out for mention
Atwood's revelation that Hubbard's motive for his expedition was to
make his name and reputation, as if such stated goals were somehow
different from that of all explorers from the beginning of time.
reader must turn to Atwood's censorious title of her little story
within a story, The
Labrador Fiasco, and examine her text, for a
possible explanation of why Parsons would bother to bring up such a
trifling work, however popular with Atwood devotees, in his paper. The
answer may be on Page 8. Atwood introduces the fiction that Wallace and
Hubbard are not only friends, but also cousins. The reader who thought
they were only friends, and happens to know that Wallace was older than
Hubbard, may well ask whether the author is trying to send the message
that the poor judgement of the older, and therefore dominant, cousin
(Wallace), may have contributed to the failure of the 1903 expedition.
to the naming of Mount Kipling, the true sore spot with Jonathan
Parsons, he is wrong when he says Mauro petitioned the Canadian
government to attach the name to the peak in Wallace's Kipling
Mountains. In truth, the choice of the imposing name, Mount Kipling,
for the promontory of the Red Wine Mountains adjacent to Wallace's
Disappointment Lake, was solely that of the Canadian Permanent
Committee on Geographical Names. The committee had previously approved
Disappointment and the other descriptive names by Wallace that add real
substance to-day's maps of central Labrador, and have captured the
imagination of wilderness adventurers, explorers, and legions of
readers of The Lure of
the Labrador Wild, for generations.
telephone discussions in 1974 with the Secretary of the Geographical
Names Committee in Ottawa, who had become aware of the efforts of Mauro
and Wallace's son to fill in the blanks on the map between
Disappointment Lake and Hubbard's last camp, the secretary confirmed to
Mauro that the committee would not consider changing a long-established
name such as Red Wine Mountains. However, the committee was well aware
of the significance of the name applied to the range by Wallace before
Red Wine Mountains entered common usage, and was anxious to add more
names honouring the explorers, to new topographical maps of the area.
Would Mauro and Wallace's son be satisfied with the naming of the hill
overlooking Disappointment Lake for Kipling (the inspirational figure
for Hubbard and countless others, whose immortal words, Their Name
Liveth for Evermore, grace the central monument of Canadian and other
Commonwealth war cemeteries around the world)? No need for Mauro to
consult with his friend, Dillon Wallace III, about answering that
for Parsons' puzzlement regarding Ottawa's lack of sensitivity towards
the aboriginal presence by naming a Labrador mountain for Kipling. In
1974, the recorded history of Labrador stood for something, and the
guardians of geographical place names took their work seriously.