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"EGA" 2003 Obituary


EGAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-07 published
By Bill HUMBER Thursday, August 7, 2003 - Page A18
Publisher, old-time pugilism fan, jazz pianist, father. Born March 9, 1954, in Toronto. Died April 5 in Toronto, of cancer, aged 49.
During a visit to the rare books section of the Metro Reference Library about 10 years ago, Scott NOBLE discovered an original volume one of Pierce Egan's Boxiana. Scott dedicated the last several years of his life to publishing this long out-of-print series of boxing compilations written by Egan during the first several decades of the 19th century.
EGAN had popularized the sport of pugilism, or prize-fighting, writing in a highly vernacular fashion meant to be read aloud in coffee houses and taverns. Many have credited his vibrant and lively style not only with influencing the young Charles Dickens but also with helping invent the genre of sports writing.
Scott was enamoured with this world. He often noted that in the age before the telegraph, word of Tom Cribb's victory over his rival Molineaux travelled faster to the City of London than news of the Battle of Waterloo. Not surprising, given that there was more money riding on the former.
As a teenager, Scott had rebelled against the strictures of a schooling system out-of-step with the 1960s. He was a bright star of Etobicoke's alternative high-schools, travelled to India as a 19-year-old, learned to speak Hindi, spent a year in Humber College's music program, and was a largely self-taught jazz pianist. In the late 1970s, when he couldn't find his favourite music, he opened his own used-record store across from Sam the Record Man (where he had once worked). British Airways stewards with the latest English extended plays were his preferred customers.
He worked for Carswell's, the legal publisher, and eventually left them to produce Noble's International Guide to the Law Reports in 1995. His publishing-house imprint, Nicol Island Publishing, took its name from his mother's cottage on the family's beloved Nicol Island, a three-hour drive northeast of Toronto. A great uncle had originally bought the 26-acre property. The island was a favourite retreat for Scott and eventually his two young daughters, Anna and Roslyn.
Having decided to reprint Egan's full oeuvre, Scott quickly discovered that the library copy was brittle and words had bleached through onto other pages. Photocopying was impossible and so, daily, he lugged his 29-pound Toshiba portable to the library to begin the task of transcribing every word. Librarians warmed to this daunting (if unusual) project and provided a storage space. Working doggedly. he completed and published three volumes, discovering in the process that the University of Western Ontario not only had a full set but also kept it on their open stacks. Scott alerted that library to the need for a more secure location.
He proofread every edition four times and was working on volume four when in December, 2002, he was diagnosed with the cancer that would claim his life. A friend in Ottawa said his only concern was his girls. "He seemed truly surprised when I explained that other people would miss him, too."
Scott was a renaissance rebel and will be remembered for his contribution to legal publishing and his quirky desire to return Pierce Egan to circulation.
In a final note to boxing publisher Don Cogswell, he said simply: "Thanks for everything, went out reading Ring Magazine! P.S. Molineaux was robbed."
Bill HUMBER is a friend of Scott NOBLE.

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EGAR o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-01 published
EGAR, Shirley (née LEMON)
Died peacefully at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, on Monday, March 31, 2003, in her 81st year. Dear wife of Stanley. Mother of Joann (Will MITCHELL) and John (Vanessa ROSE.) Grandmother of Martha (Jaron WALDMAN,) Lauren and Shannon. Sister of the late Harris LEMON and his wife Shirley. Aunt of Cynthia (Mark LEMON) and Tim (Jackie.) A service will be held in the chapel of the Humphrey Funeral Home - A. W. Miles Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East) on Thursday, April 3rd at one o'clock. A reception will follow.

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