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"GRO" 2003 Obituary


GROMYKO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-26 published
A scholar and a gentle man
'Fine example of a great Canadian' who founded Ontario's Brock University was once private secretary to prime minister Mackenzie KING
By Ron CSILLAG, Special to The Globe and Mail Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - Page R9
In an almost Zen-like fashion, James GIBSON knew the value of not acting. In the late 1960s, when a group of student radicals seized part of Brock University, hoping to be dragged away kicking and screaming, Dr. GIBSON, who had helped found the institution a few years earlier, reacted in a way no other university president did when faced with the same problem: He did nothing. The protesters, he reasoned, may have had legitimate grievances, but their unseemly actions offended his firm sense of propriety. In time, the students simply went away.
It was an effective, though uncharacteristic, action for a man who embodied Brock's Latin motto: "Surgite," freely translated as "push on." That he did, through some 65 rich years of advancing higher education and in public service, most notably as a private secretary to former prime minister Mackenzie KING, whose penchant for soothsaying and assorted eccentricities Dr. GIBSON kept mainly to himself until later in life.
Just five days before his death in Ottawa on October 23 at the age of 91, Dr. GIBSON was doing what he loved: Watching a new group of graduates receive their diplomas at the fall convocation of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, the school he had launched as founding president in 1963.
At a recent memorial service at Brock, David ATKINSON, the university's president and vice-chancellor, recalled a man whose attributes a strong moral fibre, clarity of thought and a general uprightness, all tempered by a warm and gentle touch -- harkened to a quaint, bygone era. "It's unlikely we will meet anyone like him again," Dr. ATKINSON said.
In the House of Commons on October 27, Dr. GIBSON was praised by St. Catharines Liberal member of parliament Walt LASTEWKA as "a fine example of a great Canadian."
Dr. GIBSON, whose knowledge of Canadian history and government were legend, was in the news this past summer as the oldest of over 1,000 Rhodes Scholars who flew to England for a five-day bash honouring the centenary of the trust. With his brother William, also a Rhodes Scholar, Dr. GIBSON dedicated a re-leaded stained-glass window at the chapel of Oxford's New College.
A normally discreet man, he had sharp words for former prime minister Brian MULRONEY, not an Oxford graduate, who surprised guests at the alumni dinner -- and raised a few eyebrows -- when he took a seat on the podium alongside Oxonians Bill CLINTON and Tony BLAIR, and guest Nelson MANDELA. Many alumni, Dr. GIBSON included, felt that Mr. MULRONEY, who had been invited by The Independent newspaper chain, had no business being there. Though upset, Dr. GIBSON retained his dignity, saying simply, "I was offended."
James Alexander GIBSON was born in Ottawa, in 1912, to Canadian-born parents of Irish-Scottish stock with strong Methodist and Quaker leanings. Raised in Victoria, he graduated with a B.A. in history from the University of British Columbia at age 18. Less than a year later, he was one of the youngest boys at Oxford.
"That was the real dividing line in my life," he told The Globe and Mail last July. "The economic depression was beginning to take over and some of the graduates in my year at University of British Columbia ended up digging ditches, but I had a guaranteed income for three years."
The annual stipend was only £400 but it enabled Dr. GIBSON to live comfortably and travel to the rest of Europe when he wasn't studying modern history, debating in the Oxford Union Society and keeping wicket for the New College cricket squad, the Nomads.
Back in Ottawa and armed with a doctorate in history, he joined the Department of External Affairs. On his second day on the job, he was whisked to the prime minister's office for a six-month secondment that lasted nine years. Mr. KING, who was also External Affairs minister, blocked Dr. GIBSON's promotions to postings abroad three times because "he told me I stopped him getting into trouble."
The prime minister was a notorious taskmaster, calling on his assistant to work most evenings and weekends to draft letters and speeches. Throughout, "Dad never complained about anything," said his daughter Julia MATTHEWS. " But as he got older, he loosened up a little."
According to his daughter, he came to describe the famously erratic leader as "a very grumpy man and a very lonely man, insensitive, and quite damaging to work for."
Ultimately, it occurred to the clan that perhaps the unmarried prime minister was simply jealous of Dr. GIBSON's status as a beloved family man and father of three children. "Whenever we went on a family holiday, Dad always got called back," remembered Ms. MATTHEWS.
But a high point came in the spring of 1945, when Dr. GIBSON accompanied Mr. KING and 380 other delegates to San Francisco and the founding of the United Nations. During the historic two-month conference, Dr. GIBSON got personal glimpses of such leaders as the Soviet Union's Andrei GROMYKO and Britain's Anthony EDEN, but the task at hand, he later recalled, was to keep the Canadian prime minister "on the rails."
Fearing he would never advance in the public service, Dr. GIBSON resigned in 1947 and took a teaching post at Ottawa's Carleton University, where he later served as the first dean of arts and science and deputy to the president. By the early 1960s, he was courted by a group of community leaders in the Niagara peninsula to establish Brock University. When he began as founding president, the school had seven faculty (known as "the magnificent seven"), 29 students and a "library" consisting of a shelf of books. Today, it boasts more than 15,000 students and 47,000 alumni.
His first order of business at Brock was the creation of a library.
Now housed in the campus's Schmon Tower, it has become something of a landmark on the Niagara Escarpment. Dr. GIBSON, fondly known by faculty as "James A.," remained as Brock's president until 1974. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1992, and the library was named after him in 1996.
He was also a leading figure in the Unitarian faith, serving for a time as chaplain of the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara.
Asked what dinner-table conversation was like at home, Ms. MATTHEWS sighed good-naturedly. "Oh, God. There was a lot of current events. He had all the answers. He was always lecturing, but he could be really charming." Even after his vision started to fail, he travelled, read and wrote. "He never felt old."
After moving from his beloved St. Catharines to an Ottawa retirement home, Dr. GIBSON lectured residents on "governors-general I have known."
Dr. GIBSON was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Caroline (née STEIN,) and leaves three children, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his brother, and a sister, Isobel SEARLS.
His final days were summed up poetically by Josephine MEEKER, a former professor at Brock. After attending the university's convocation last month, Dr. GIBSON "went for a long walk, returned to his residence, went into the lounge area, took off his coat and folded it up, put it on the back of his chair, sat down, folded his hands in his lap, closed his eyes, and died."

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GROSNEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-22 published
Trumpeter ran jazz club
By Mark MILLER Thursday, May 22, 2003 - Page R7
Toronto -- He was the voice of doom.
Every so often, out of the blue, he would call.
"Mark," he barked loudly into the telephone. "Paul Grosney," he continued, his voice dropping on the third syllable. "We've lost another one."
And now we've lost Paul GROSNEY. The Toronto trumpet player who kept the local community informed of deaths in the world of jazz has himself passed away. He died Saturday in his sleep at his Toronto home. He was 80.
An amiably gruff man with the proverbial heart of gold, Mr. GROSNEY liked to be in the know. As a teenager in his native Winnipeg, he would make the acquaintance of the American musicians who passed through town -- members of vibraphonist Red Norvo's band, for example, which played a fortnight at the Odd Fellows Hall.
"In those two weeks," Mr. GROSNEY remembered in 1994, "I got to know those guys very well. I got them up in the morning and put them to bed at night."
Mr. GROSNEY, who was born on February 10, 1924, spent some time in Toronto and New York after travelling overseas with an Royal Canadian Air Force variety show during the Second World War. Later, he served as the bandleader in several Winnipeg nightclubs, notably the Rancho Don Carlos, where he played for many important American entertainers.
In 1959, he returned to Toronto and continued his career in hotel, theatre and studio orchestras. He also ran a booking agency and acted as music director from 1973 to 1984 for the now-legendary jazz club Bourbon Street, where he matched visiting American stars with local rhythm sections.
In later years, Mr. GROSNEY led his own jazz group, the Kansas City Local, and was a featured soloist with other Dixieland and Swing orchestras. His recordings include the 1998 Compact Disk I'm Just Wild About Harry, a tribute to the American trumpeter Harry James.
Mr. GROSNEY's connections extended beyond music to show business more generally. He enjoyed a second career writing sketch material for Canadian and U.S. television variety shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Bizarre.
He leaves his son Michael and sister Jeanette BLOCK.

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GROSSMAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-06 published
The day the music didn't die
Beloved Toronto trumpeter credited with helping preserve a unique form of New Orleans jazz
By Sarah LAMBERT Thursday, March 6, 2003 - Page R9
Toronto -- The tightly knit world of New Orleans traditional jazz has lost one of its greats with the death, last month, of Cliff (Kid) BASTIEN, leader of Toronto's treasured Happy Pals.
The trumpeter is credited as having nothing less than single-handedly kept alive the unique, raw, New Orleans style of jazz, through his leadership and mentorship of hundreds of musicians.
Saddened fans and musicians filed into the city's Grossman's Tavern all week last month to pay tribute to Mr. BASTIEN at the long-time home of the Happy Pals, where the walls are lined with photos of his fans and musicians. It was a send-off worthy of New Orleans, birthplace of the kind of jazz Mr. BASTIEN played with his seven-piece bands, the Camelia Jazz Band and later the Happy Pals, during the 30 or so years he played at the Toronto landmark.
"He was never late. Never, never ever, said Christine LOUIE, whose family inherited Mr. BASTIEN's Saturday-afternoon gig when Al GROSSMAN sold the bar in 1975.
So it was with sinking hearts on February 8 that his loyal audience and band members watched the minute hand tick past 4 o'clock, waiting for him to arrive, brass trumpet in hand.
When he was found later that afternoon still sitting in his armchair, apparently looking up a new song in his hymn book, the Happy Pals played on and raised a glass in tribute to their leader who died as he lived, surrounded by music. He was 65 years old.
Noonie SHEARS, a long-time friend and leader of the traditional impromptu parade that would inevitably snake through Grossman's as Saturday afternoon wound down, said she thought Mr. BASTIEN was looking up I'll Fly Away, the old gospel song recently dusted off in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The band played it for the first time at Mr. BASTIEN's official memorial at Grossman's the Saturday following his death.
Born in 1937 in London's East End, Mr. BASTIEN emigrated to Canada in 1962 after a stint in New Orleans. It was there that he heard trumpeter (Kid) Thomas VALENTINE play and, experiencing a kind of epiphany, Mr. BASTIEN followed him from club to club and studied his style. It ultimately inspired a lifelong ambition to keep alive New Orleans-style traditional jazz.
A purist who drew a distinction between his chosen genre of music and the more popularized Dixieland Jazz, Mr. BASTIEN once said: "Had I never heard that music, I wouldn't have become a musician. I wouldn't play anything else."
I Like Bananas, Caledonia, All of Me and Louisiana Vie en Rose were just a few of his standards. But, as Happy Pals' trombonist Roberta TEVLIN explained, Mr. BASTIEN wasn't content to simply recycle the old chestnuts.
"Cliff kept adding songs. I've probably played 1,000 different tunes with him. He was particularly notorious for finding songs outside the standard jazz list, said Ms. TEVLIN, who joined the band 20 years ago, along with her saxophonist husband, Patrick.
Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Western Swing numbers, Nigerian folk songs and Dean Martin could all tumble out during a set, said drummer Chuck CLARKE.
Mr. BASTIEN's Friends and peers point out that he was known for three primary qualities: His love of music, his scorn for fame or publicity and his mentoring of local musicians.
During the memorial at Grossman's, Downchild Blues Band headman Donny WALSH arrived from Florida to sit in with his harmonica, as he had done regularly with Mr. BASTIEN in the 1970s. Juno-nominated bluesman Michael PICKETT was there, as well as jazz singer Laura HUBERT, formerly of the Leslie Spit Treeo, pianist Peter HILL, The Nationals and many more.
From the worldwide New Orleans jazz community, among those who came to pay their respects were saxophonist Jean-Pierre ALESSI of France, trumpeter Roger (Kid Dutch) UITHOVEN of Orlando, Florida, clarinetist Kjeld BRANDT from Denmark and Toronto's Brian TOWERS, Jan SHAW and Joe VAN ROSSEM.
"I cannot imagine the Toronto traditional jazz scene without Cliff BASTIEN and his raw, emotional New Orleans-style jazz, Mr. TOWERS wrote in a notice posted on the Internet shortly after he learned of the death of his friend.
"He was probably the most popular and influential figure on the Toronto traditional jazz scene. He taught many others to play their instruments in the style and introduced thousands to the joys of New Orleans traditional jazz.
"We went to Grossman's after our own gig and Jan and I played some hymns with the Happy Pals. A sadder and more emotional scene I have rarely seen."
Toronto musician Joanne MacKELL, leader of the Paradise Rangers, wonders how things might have been if she had not met Mr. BASTIEN when she was just starting out.
"Though I was young and inexperienced, Kid would always invite me up to sing, Ms. MacKELL said, recalling how the band took her under its wing when she discovered them in the early 1970s.
"Kid didn't care about money or popular opinion. He filled Grossman's Tavern every Saturday for some 30 years because he played great music with honesty and integrity and he inspired me to try and do the same."
Until just last year, Mr. BASTIEN, who feared flying, avoided the lure of the road, taking only an annual sojourn to New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival. Finally, in the fall of 2002, he accepted an invitation to tour Scandinavia with the Danish/Swedish band New Orleans Delight, playing with George BERRY on tenor sax. A new Compact Disk is due to be released this spring.
His official recordings are few, numbering about a dozen, as Mr. BASTIEN preferred to play to an audience. Though, as Ms. TEVLIN pointed out: "There are bootleg tapes all over the place."
His legacy, the band says, is keeping the New Orleans style of jazz alive.
"Kid Thomas VALENTINE was one of the greats, and when he was gone, Kid BASTIEN carried on. Kid BASTIEN was one of the greats, and now Kid's gone. So who's going to carry the music on now? We will, said saxophonist Mr. TEVLIN on behalf of the Happy Pals, who intend to continue the Saturday-afternoon tradition at Grossman's.
In another side to his life, Mr. BASTIEN was an accomplished commercial artist whose hand-crafted signs, woodwork and acid-etched glass can be seen in many local pubs, including Toronto's Wheat Sheaf Tavern. His work can be found across Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and California, as well as in Europe.
Mr. BASTIEN's wish was to be buried in New Orleans.

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GROSSO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-10 published
GROSSO, Dr. Roberto
Born in Rome, Italy on November 11th, 1928. Died on Tuesday, July 8th, 2003 at home surrounded by loved ones. He is survived by his loving wife Caroline (née PANCARO,) his four daughters, Cristina GAGE, Francesca GROSSO, Beth GROSSO and Sylvia RENNIE his three sons-in-law, Brian GAGE, Steve PAIKIN, and Scott RENNIE, and his four grandchildren, Alessandra and Robert GAGE, Matthew RENNIE and Giulia PAIKIN. Dear brother of Maria Grazia Grosso ROSSI (husband Filippo) of Rome, Italy and Gian Carlo GROSSO, predeceased (wife Alessandra of Rome, Italy).
Visitation to be held at the Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home, 233 Larch Street, Sudbury, Sunday, July 13th from 2: 00 to 6:00 p.m. Prayers 3: 00 p.m. Sunday. Funeral Mass to take place at Christ the King Church, 30 Beech Street, Sudbury on Monday, July 14th at 10: 00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the ''Dr. Roberto Grosso Memorial Fund'' for St. Joseph's Villa would be appreciated.

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GROTHIER o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2003-01-29 published
On Wednesday, January 22, 2003, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, at age 71, after a lengthy illness. Loving mother of Scott and his wife Carole of Toronto. Proud grandmother of Maddie and Nickie. Survived by her cousin David and his wife Joanne who were so kind to her over the years. Daughter of the late Wilmer (Bud) and Pauline GROTHIER, formerly of Woodstock, Ontario, and predeceased by her only sister, Margaret CURRAN. Mary Jane was a graduate of the Toronto General Hospital nursing program and a longtime volunteer at the Donwood Institute where she helped countless people cope with the struggles of addiction. She loved her cats, her old dog Misha and all the Friends she met along the way. A Service of Remembrance was held at the Humphrey Funeral Home, A.W. Miles Chapel, Toronto on Tuesday, January 28. For every summer of her life, including the last one, Mary Jane would travel to her favourite place in the world, McGregor Bay. To honour her love for that precious corner of Georgian Bay, donations may be made in her memory to the G.B.A. Foundation, 48 Lesmill Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 2T5.

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GROTTOLI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-22 published
ALBOINI, Christina (née GROTTOLI)
Peacefully, at her home in Stoney Creek, on Wednesday, February 19, 2003, in her 85th year. Beloved wife and best friend of the late Vince ALBOINI. Loving mother of Victor and his wife Lesley of Toronto, and Leonard of Grimsby. Caring grandmother of Lauren and James, and Paul, Brian and Andrew and Michael. Christina was born in Hamilton on November 4, 1918. Christina had a wonderful, vibrant, spirt and zest for life. Christina will be fondly remembered for her gifted musical abilities including her choir singing and violin playing at Saint John The Baptist Church where she was a longtime member. Friends will be received at the Donald V. Brown Funeral Home, 36 Lake Avenue Drive, Stoney Creek, on Friday from 7-9 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at Saint John The Baptist Church (King Street and Edgemont, Hamilton) on Saturday, February 22 at 10 a.m. Private entombment Holy Souls Mausoleum, Burlington. As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the charity of your choice.

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GROVER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-24 published
Charlotte Isabel GROVER
By Kathryn STORRING, Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - Page A20
Woman of words, lover of cats. Born September 25, 1953, in Toronto. Died October 1, of cancer, aged 50.
You may have noticed my cousin on one of her regular tours of Toronto's Eaton Centre. A large woman -- a side-effect of medication she may have been somewhat dishevelled, depending on the day. You may have also noticed how her purposeful stride was interrupted by a limp, the result of a hip problem. It's unlikely she returned any glance you cast her way. In middle years, she wasn't out to seek your acceptance or the approval of the so-called normal world.
Charlotte GROVER did not have an easy life -- not one most of us would choose. She had schizophrenia coupled with mild autism, after all. But how do we measure happiness or define achievement? In the end, is it not about being cushioned by love, living in a supportive home, knowing you've overcome incredible challenges?
Raised by doting parents and living for the past eight years with Pilot Place, a residence for schizophrenics, Charlotte was gentle, endearingly polite and keenly curious about her interests: words, animals, history, droll jokes. All of this made it easy for me and another cousin, Holly McBRIDE of Peterborough, Ontario, to accept a request from Charlotte's mother that we be future co-guardians. In retrospect, my acceptance may also have been an attempt to settle the past -- all those years when Charlotte's name evoked profound sadness in our extended family; those years when few of us knew what to say or do.
Charlotte's father, John, an accountant who loved art and poetry as much as numbers, died in 1993. Her mother, Rachel, whose remarkable intellect fuelled a career at the University of Toronto's rare books library, had a stroke last spring that has left her partially paralyzed.
As a child, Charlotte was healthy, bright and cheerful, but her behaviour was decidedly unusual. I remember her standing apart, watching, as her cousins played on my family's farm near Peterborough. It was more than the awkwardness of a city kid visiting country cousins. Often she would retreat to the house and read a dictionary, emerging to recite definitions in her measured tones. There was also her obsession with our Siamese cat, Simon. Insistent, predictable questions would start with, "Do you like Simon, Kathy?" and progress through a stream of comparisons to other, lesser felines.
Still, her behaviour did not attract labels. If anything, we looked upon her as an intellectual in the making. However, in teen years, schizophrenia overshadowed her life. School marks plummeted. Attempts were made to find specialized education and, later, suitable lodging -- fresh starts and new disappointments for parents who were steadfast in their love and support. With visitors to the family home, Charlotte was distant. Conversations would pull her in, but she would quickly disengage. Often, making tea was her easiest social connection.
This all changed in recent years with improved medications and her move to Pilot Place. She still visited her mother regularly, but her life found a new rhythm in a mix of independence, support and routine. She took pleasure in visits to the Eaton Centre or the library's history section. She had setbacks, including a vascular necrosis, which affected her hip, but she never complained unless you made specific inquiries. Instead, she filled conversations with questions about family, jobs or hobbies -- and, of course, Simon.
It seems unfair that during this period of calm, cancer was silently stalking her. By the time it revealed itself, with painful blood clots, Charlotte had only one week to live, spent in St. Michael's Hospital. We gathered there -- family, my aunt's Friends, a compassionate medical team and Pilot Place staff. If it had to be, it was the best it could be.
Kathryn STORRING is Charlotte's cousin.

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