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"LAY" 2003 Obituary


LAY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-07 published
He struck gold at the old Empire games
By Tom HAWTHORN Special to The Globe and Mail Monday, April 7, 2003 - Page R7
Jim COURTRIGHT, who has died, aged 88, was one of Canada's top track-and-field athletes, winning a gold medal in the javelin throw at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney.
Just getting to the meet was a marathon for Mr. COURTRIGHT, an engineering student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario The price of a train ticket to Vancouver beyond his means, he found work as a prisoner escort, travelling cross-country in a converted box car while handcuffed to a man facing deportation.
In any event, he found his fare and went on to join the Canadian team which arrived in Australia on January 15, 1938.
In the javelin throw, Mr. COURTRIGHT faced formidable competition in Stanley LAY of New Zealand and Jack METCALFE of Australia. LAY, a sign writer by trade, had been a capable cricketer who put his arm to great success. METCALFE was a superb athlete whose specialty was the triple jump, in which he won a bronze at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and gold at the Empire Games in 1938. In the end, it was the Canadian who prevailed, followed by LAY and METCALFE.
Despite his gold medal, Mr. COURTRIGHT was overshadowed by Eric COY of Winnipeg, who had won two medals and so was awarded the Norton H. Crowe Trophy as Canada's outstanding amateur athlete that year. Mr. COURTRIGHT also trailed Mr. COY and sculler Bob PEARCE in voting for the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's top male athlete, a prize open to amateurs and professionals. Mr. PEARCE won the trophy.
Later in 1938, Mr. COURTRIGHT unleashed a throw of 62.74 metres, an intercollegiate record at the time that still ranks as the third longest in Queen's University history. He broke his leg in an accident at a gold mine in Northern Ontario in the summer of 1939, yet recovered to play guard for the school's basketball team the following winter.
James Milton COURTRIGHT was born in 1914 to a civil engineer and the daughter of the town sheriff in North Bay, Ontario The family moved to Ottawa and the boy participated in football and field events at Glebe Collegiate.
Mr. COURTRIGHT placed third nationally in the javelin in 1934 while still a student at the University of Ottawa. He finished second the following year behind Mr. COY.
In 1936, the Ottawa student was the best in the land and attended the Berlin Olympics that summer. One of 28 competitors in the javelin, Mr. COURTRIGHT's best throw of 60.54 metres was too short to qualify for the final round. He finished 14th in an event won by Gerhard STOECK of Germany, whose winning toss of 71.84 metres was inspired by chanting crowds at the Olympic stadium, among them Adolf Hitler.
The disappointment of his Berlin performance spurred Mr. COURTRIGHT to greater success in throwing events. In 1937, he was Canada's intercollegiate champion in javelin and the shot put.
In July, he travelled to Dallas to compete at a 200-athlete meet organized as part of the city's Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition. Mr. COURTRIGHT won the gold medal in javelin at the Cotton Bowl. The success of the meet inspired the organizing of the first official Pan-American Games fourteen years later.
Mr. COURTRIGHT attended postgraduate classes in engineering at Queen's, where he did double-duty as star athlete and track coach. He was also president of the student body in his final year.
After graduation, Mr. COURTRIGHT joined Shell Canada as a refinery engineer in Montreal in 1941. As he was promoted he accepted back-and-forth postings from Montreal to Toronto to Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal to Toronto, including a stint as a public-relations co-ordinator.
He became a vice-principal at Queen's in 1970, a job he held until retirement nine years later.
Mr. COURTRIGHT died on February 21, just days after the 65th anniversary of his triumph in Sydney. He leaves eight children and sister Celina COURTRIGHT of Ottawa. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary (née Roche), and three brothers.
In 1958, a moving van loaded with the family's possessions caught fire and burned, destroying many of Mr. COURTRIGHT's medals and trophies. A prize rescued from the ashes was the gold medal from the British Empire Games. It is now in the hands of a grand_son.

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LAY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-18 published
BIRKS, Helen Thompson
Died peacefully on August 16, 2003, in Montreal, in her 92nd year. Predeceased by her husband John E. BIRKS. Dear mother of Sally BONGARD (Strachan), Barbara WYBAR and Peter BIRKS. Cherished grandmother of Sarah, Ashley and John HENNESSY, Caroline, Jonathan and James WYBAR, Nicola Wybar THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON, and Michael BIRKS. Survived by her brother Alan G. THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON and sister June PASHKEVITCH. Predeceased by brothers Richard THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON, John Munroe THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON and sister Margaret LAY. Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at St. Andrew's and St. Paul's Church (3415 Redpath Street, Montreal), at 2 p.m. Memorial service will be held in Metis Beach, Little Metis Presbyterian Church, on Friday, August 22nd, 2003. Donations in memory of Helen BIRKS may be made to McGill University, Attention Libraries (3605 de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec H3G 2M1) or to the Little Metis Presbyterian Church Outreach, c/o 21 Beach Road, Metis Beach, Quebec G0J 1S0.

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LAYTON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-22 published
He founded Readers' Club of Canada
Nationalist visionary struggled financially to publish Canadian writers
By Carol COOPER Special to The Globe and Mail Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - Page R7
In the early 1960s, when writers asked Peter and Carol MARTIN where to publish their manuscripts on Canada, the couple realized how few choices there were. Inspired, the Martins, both voracious readers, staunch nationalists and founders of the Readers' Club of Canada, decided to start their own press. In 1965, Peter Martin Associates came into being. Last month, Peter MARTIN died of lung cancer in Ottawa.
In an industry overshadowed by American companies, Peter MARTIN Associates was among the first in a wave of independent publishing houses to open during a time of rising Canadian nationalism.
Launched in a downtown Toronto basement on a shoestring budget, skeleton staff, idealism and enthusiasm, the company flew by the seat of its pants. Its employees were often young and new to the business. But many, including Peter CARVER, Michael SOLOMON and Valerie WYATT, went on to become Canadian mainstays.
"It really was a time of Canadian nationalism and those of us who believed in that cause could see what Peter and Carol were doing," said Ms. WYATT, a children's editor who spent four years with the company in the seventies.
During the 16 years before its sale in 1981, Peter Martin Associates published approximately 170 works, mainly non-fiction. Its presses put out I, Nuligak, the autobiography of an Inuit man; The Boyd Gang by Marjorie LAMB and Barry PEARSON; Trapping is My Life by John TETSO; and the Handbook of Canadian Film by Eleanor BEATTIE. Others who came through their doors included Hugh HOOD, Robert FULFORD, John Robert COLOMBO, Douglas FETHERLING and Mary Alice DOWNIE -- all to have their works published.
Started with small amounts of seed money from private investors and no government funding, Peter Martin Associates constantly struggled financially. At one point, for a bit of extra cash, the office became the designated nuclear-fallout shelter for the street. Pat DACEY, once the firm's book designer, lugged suitcases of books up the street to sell at Britnell's bookstore with summer employee Bronwyn DRAINIE.
Working at Peter Martin Associates was always fun, Ms. WYATT said. "You went in to work happy and you stayed happy all day."
Still, in a time when Canadian works received little recognition, she remembers finding it difficult to get media interviews for the author of Martin-published book.
Yet another title caused trouble with its subject. The company was putting out a collection of previously published sayings of former prime minister John DIEFENBAKER, called I Never Say Anything Provocative, edited by Margaret WENTE. Mr. DIEFENBAKER heard about the project, called Mr. MARTIN and threatened to sue. Mr. MARTIN stood firm.
"He handled it with such élan," said writer Tim WYNNE- JONES, then in the art department. "He was suitably dutiful, but not in awe. Mr. DIEFENBAKER was just over the top, as was his wont."
The book went to press and Mr. DIEFENBAKER did not go to court.
Once listed along with Peter GZOWSKI in a Maclean's magazine article on "Young Men to Watch," Mr. MARTIN was born on April 26, 1934 in Ottawa to a dentist father and a mother who drove an ambulance in the First World War. The younger of two sons, he attended Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario and the University of Toronto, where he earned a degree in philosophy.
During a year in Ottawa as the president of the National Federation of University Students, Mr. MARTIN met his first wife Carol. They married in 1956 and moved to Toronto. Three years later, they founded the Readers' Club in Featuring one Canadian book a month, it distributed works by Mordecai RICHLER, Irving LAYTON, Morley CALLAGHAN and Brian MOORE among others, and supplied its members with coupons. While continuing to run the Readers' Club (sold in 1978 to Saturday Night Magazine and closed in 1981), the MARTINs started Peter Martin Associates.
Throughout his career, Mr. MARTIN spoke out for Canadian publishing. Alarmed by the sale of Ryerson Press and Gage Educational Press in 1970 to American firms, he called a meeting of publishers to discuss problems in the industry. Named the Independent Publishers Association, the group started in 1971 with 16 members and with Mr. MARTIN as its first president. In 1976, it was renamed the Association of Canadian Publishers and continues today with 140 members. As a result of the group's efforts, Canadian publishing began to receive federal and provincial funding.
In the late 1970s, the MARTINs went their separate ways. Afterward, Mr. MARTIN published a small newspaper, The Downtowner, and owned a cookbook store with his second wife, Maggie NIEMI. In 1983, they moved near Sudbury, Ontario, where Mr. MARTIN did freelance book and theatre reviews, then moved to Ottawa in 1985 to work as president for Balmuir Books, publisher of the magazine International Perspectives and consulting editor for the University of Ottawa Press.
After a spinal-cord injury in 1997, Mr. MARTIN was left a quadriplegic, except for limited use of his left arm. Even so, he remained active, maintained a heavy e-mail correspondence and spent time in the park reading while seated in a bright-yellow wheelchair.
Mr. MARTIN leaves his children Pamela, Christopher and Jeremy and his wife Maggie NIEMI. He died on March 15.

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