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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

st-patrick-day-canada

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Vancouver, B.C.
Photo by Kim Stallknecht/The Vancouver Sun

Level 2

Written by Nila Gopaul. Originally posted to The Westcoast Reader, March 2015

St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday.
On this day, people celebrate
the life of St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was born in the year 387.
He brought Christianity to Ireland.
Experts believe St. Patrick
died on March 17, 461.
So this is the day the holiday is observed.
Watch Irish dancing and listen to Irish language on the next page.

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B.C. man’s harpsichords

Craig Tomlinson sitting at one of his harpsichords Photo by Mike Wakefield

Craig Tomlinson sitting at one of his harpsichords
Photo by Mike Wakefield/The Northshore News

B.C. man’s harpsichords used around the world
Adapted from The Northshore News by Nancy Carson
Level 3

Craig Tomlinson was 16 and living in Coquitlam.
It was the 1960s and folk music
was very  popular again.
Many folk musicians played the dulcimer.*
Tomlinson looked everywhere for one.
*dul-si-mer

Dulcimers Photo by Rob Swystun/CC, Flickr

Dulcimers
Photo by Rob Swystun/CC, Flickr

Never gave up
Tomlinson said, “You could just not buy them anywhere.”
But the young man did not give up.
He thought, “What the heck,
I’ve got a picture of one, I’ll build one.”
He built many of the four-stringed instruments
and could soon build one in less than a week.

New Challenge
Tomlinson wanted a new challenge,
so he built a more difficult instrument.
He began building harpsichords
which can have up to 200 strings.
He makes them in his small workshop
behind his West Vancouver home.
Harpsichords had become popular in the 1950s
when baroque music became popular again.

Craig Tomlinson in his West Vancouver studio Photo – Courtesy of Craig Tomlinson

Craig Tomlinson in his West Vancouver studio
Photo – Courtesy of Craig Tomlinson

A French harpsichord made by Craig Tomlinson Photo – Courtesy of Craig Tomlinson

A French harpsichord made by Craig Tomlinson
Photo – Courtesy of Craig Tomlinson

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