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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-27 published
Jean LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY, Nurse And Union Organizer (1931-2006)
In 1957, the year she completed training, Ontario nurses were overworked, underpaid, undervalued and expected to stand when a doctor entered the room. She decided to do something about it
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S7
Toronto -- Asked about working conditions for nurses in Ontario in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Anita ABDULLAH chuckles in that exasperated way. "We were indentured servants," sighs the London, Ontario, nurse, who began working in 1970. "Little more than glorified slaves." In 1973, newly minted registered nurses earned $7,736 a year. No health benefits. No occupational safety provisions. No notice or severance required for layoffs. Overtime of 30 minutes or less a day was unpaid -- and it added up.
And is it true that a nurse who happened to be sitting was obliged to stand when a doctor entered the room? Mrs. ABDULLAH doesn't pause. "You're darn right. If you didn't, you were disciplined."
Nurses were overworked, underpaid, and undervalued. So, Mrs. ABDULLAH's friend and colleague, Jean LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY, set out to change that -- but not before she duly noted that the plight of nurses was not completely the fault of management.
"I was concerned about the apathy of nurses at the time with respect to working conditions," Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY observed a few years ago. "The nurses complained constantly over coffee and lunch but didn't feel comfortable complaining to a higher authority. They worried about losing their jobs. They didn't have the nerve to take action. The question for me was, what could be done to help the situation."
Fortunately for nurses in Ontario, Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY had nerve to spare. On October 13, 1973, in a landmark meeting in Toronto, more than 300 representatives of 85 independent nurses' organizations from across the province joined forces to form the Ontario Nurses' Association, with Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY installed as founding president.
Just nine months later, after a brief but noisy labour dispute, the Ontario Nurses' Association reached an 18-month agreement with Queen's Park covering 10,000 registered nurses in 41 hospitals, boosting starting salaries to $10,200 annually and maximum salaries by a healthy 50 per cent.
Eventually, the union would bring together 104 separate nurses' associations.
It was while working as a nurse herself that Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY realized many of her colleagues were unhappy with their hours, shift work, low pay and lack of prestige. "When attempts to work with management to set standards failed, she and others decided that collective bargaining was the answer," related Ontario Nurses' Association chief executive officer Lesley BELL. " Thousands of registered nurses have benefited from her efforts since."
Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY served two, one-year terms as president of the Ontario Nurses' Association, today a powerful union representing more than 51,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals in hospitals, community health, long-term care, Canadian Blood Services, clinics and industry. For 16 years, she worked at several staff positions at the association, retiring in 1991 as an honorary member.
For a time, she was also director and acting chair of the Ontario Health Coalition.
Over the past 30 years, the Ontario Nurses' Association has spearheaded great strides for nurses in pay, layoff provisions, overtime, parental leave and recognition of previous experience, to name a few areas.
Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY would note with satisfaction the changes brought about over the years, not only in the strength and power of the nursing collective, but in how nurses regard themselves. "Today, nurses don't hesitate to go up to the mike and speak their peace," she said recently. "Nurses are now much better educated and know how to achieve a particular goal, whether it concerns working conditions or any other issue."
The eldest of six children born to farmers in the Caledon region outside Toronto during the Depression, she was among 14 psychiatric nursing graduates of the Ontario Hospital in Whitby in 1951, finishing her studies on time despite a broken hip suffered in a car accident. Six years later, she received her certification in public health from the University of Toronto.
It was while nursing in the community-health sector that she joined a committee formed to hear complaints about working conditions. In the early 1960s, Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY went to work for the Etobicoke Health Department at a time when nurses in Peel and Halton counties were beginning to form their own associations and gain certification for the purpose of collective bargaining, which proved useful when they did not get anticipated raises.
Given the low wages and status the job was saddled with in her day, why did people -- women, back then -- enter the profession at all?
"The prestige came from the satisfaction we got from making our patients feel better," offers Mrs. ABDULLAH. " Adjusting a pillow, washing somebody's face, cleaning their teeth, rubbing their back, sitting and holding their hand, listening to them cry in pain and trying to soothe them -- that's what made it all worthwhile."
So didn't Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY and other nurses who entered the labour end of things, locking horns with adversaries, miss that compassion?
"While you missed that gratification of being at a bedside, how you rationalized [that] was you hoped that through your skills and your activism, you were able to make a bigger contribution to your profession," said Mrs. ABDULLAH, who worked alongside Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY at the Ontario Nurses' Association for a decade.
Mrs. LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY's accomplishments were acknowledged in Ontario's legislature earlier this month. George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, no stranger to the fortunes of nurses in the province, said the profession today "can proudly claim to be respected, strong and united. [Nurses] are, as they have always been, the heart and soul of health care. Today, they are recognized as such, which is something that they have not always been. Thousands of nurses have benefited from the efforts made and the example set by Jean LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY. As a result of that, hundreds and thousands of patients have as well."
Another dimension to Jean LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY was her love of playing nickel slots at casinos. "In the last few years, she played just from her winnings," Mrs. ABDULLAH smiles.
Lamentably, for a nurse, it was a long-time smoking habit that resulted in the lung cancer that finally claimed her. "She said to me a couple of weeks ago, 'Ironic isn't it'? recalled Mrs. ABDULLAH. " 'All the years I was a public-health nurse advising people to quit smoking…' "
Jean Marilyn LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY was born in the Caledon region of Ontario on September 23, 1931, and died in Toronto on April 3, 2006, of lung cancer. She was 75. She leaves her long-time partner, Fred Barthel, daughter Marylin Bailey and son Paul LOWERY/LOWREY/LOWRIE/LOWRY, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-29 published
James CLARKE, Anglican Clergyman (1920-2006)
For 35 years, he served the immense Diocese of the Arctic, toting a gun and travelling by bush plane, canoe and dog team to administer to his congregants
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S9
It's a safe bet that most members of the clergy don't visit their flock toting a military-issue rifle, but in Canada's remote Arctic, the firearm was standard equipment for Right Rev. James CLARKE, who knew how to use it. After all, it's difficult enough to save souls without contending with marauding wolves and foxes.
Mr. CLARKE knew the Arctic well, and accepted its harshness with equanimity. An Anglican clergyman who served the gargantuan Diocese of the Arctic for 35 years and the Canadian Armed Forces for another five, he was a trusted religious figure among Canada's Inuit in an era of enormous cultural upheaval, a calming influence at a time when Christian churches were wreaking havoc on native peoples.
For one, he learned fluent Inuktitut (then called "Eskimo"), translating hymns and portions of scriptures. He took part in hunts. He and his family ate char, rabbit and caribou, and waited, like everyone else, for the delivery of provisions by ship every July. And while most ministers receive their congregants in a church, Mr. CLARKE sought his out any way he could: bush plane, snowmobile, canoe, dog team, umiak (a kind of hunter's boat) and by foot -- and slept in tents and igloos.
"The people had great respect for Jim. They loved him," said Right Rev. Larry ROBERTSON, the suffragan (assistant) bishop of the diocese, in a telephone interview from Inuvik. "He spoke their language and he was accepted as one of the people."
Mr. CLARKE served in the world's largest Christian diocese. At a mind-boggling four million square kilometres, the Anglican Church of Canada's Diocese of the Arctic occupies more than one-third of the country, a territory that stretches across four time zones, from the Yukon to the tip of Labrador, and north of the 60th parallel to Grise Fiord, the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the nation. It represents 15 times the land mass of Britain.
It is home to a dozen language groups, including Gwichin, Dogrib, North and South Slavey, Cree, English and French, and three Inuit dialects. The diocese's population today is barely 55,000, an estimated two-thirds of whom are Anglican.
The son of an Anglican priest and a Presbyterian mother, Mr. CLARKE was drawn first to the military, joining the Queen's York Rangers as a bugler on his 17th birthday. In 1943, he enlisted in the Canadian army, receiving commando training and intensive German-language instruction, and attained the rank of corporal.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a B.A., Mr. CLARKE spent 1945 and 1946 in the Intelligence Corps attached to the Allied Occupation Forces. His family says he spoke little of that time, which likely involved helping in the de-nazification of Europe.
Back home, the priesthood beckoned, and he graduated from Toronto's Trinity College, was ordained a deacon and, in 1950, a priest. He served briefly in the Calgary parish of St. Stephen's, and then headed for a parish of the same name, this one a fair distance away: Fort Chimo, Quebec, now called Kuujjuaq, in Nunavik.
Consisting of all points along Ungava Bay, the territory was flecked with hundreds of inlets, bays and coves. He journeyed from camp to camp, and in his first year, encountered one of the many tragedies to befall aboriginal people: One-tenth of the parish was wiped out by measles. "At one point, he conducted 12 funerals a day for three straight days," recalls his wife, Ruth, who moved north to join him upon their marriage in 1958. "He said he felt like falling into the grave himself."
But it was also a time of great joy. "A thing I remember, especially from that first Christmas," Mr. CLARKE later wrote, "was the way the children went everywhere with their parents. Those families were very closely knit, compared to the way we are civilizing them into fragmentation now."
Asked why a young urban nursing graduate would move to a half-finished wooden house where temperatures reached minus 50 degrees in the winter and deerflies and mosquitoes swarmed in the brief summer, his wife shrugs. "I was young and in love." And, she adds, there was her husband's legendary wit. "For the first six months we were married, I laughed so much, my sides ached."
Mr. CLARKE was appointed Archdeacon of Ungava in 1965, expanding his domain to all of northern Quebec. Nine years later, he was named executive archdeacon of the diocese, and the growing family returned to Toronto, where he worked out of an office the Arctic zone maintained.
In 1979, he was elected bishop suffragan of the Arctic diocese. The clan returned north in 1984, this time, to the more cosmopolitan Frobisher Bay, now Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. They stayed for three years while Mr. CLARKE travelled far and wide.
His professional life drew to a close with the combination of his two main passions: the church and the military. In 1986, Ted SCOTT, then the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, named Mr. CLARKE as Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces, an office that oversaw all Anglican military chaplains. It was a position he held until his retirement in 1991.
He continued to indulge his love of ham radio and his Scottish heritage, becoming active in the Clan MacLeod Society of Central Ontario. In the end, Alzheimer's robbed him of his wit and renowned storytelling ability, but not his virtuoso whistling. That repertoire continued with army tunes and nearly every hymn in the hymnal.
James Charles MacLeod CLARKE was born in Campbellford, Ontario, on December 15, 1920, and died in Toronto on April 28. He was 85. He leaves his wife Ruth (née Bradbury) and three children, Matthew, Mark and Penina.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-21 published
Nathan MENDELSOHN, Scholar (1917-2006)
Absent-minded polymath who taught mathematics at the University of Manitoba for 57 years made his name in combinatorics, a dazzling bit of science that no Sudoku puzzle can be without
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S7
Toronto -- Nathan MENDELSOHN may well have been the absent-minded professor from central casting. He would go to work by car and return home by bus. His wife would send him shopping and he would come back with the wrong items ("I'll cook what he brings," she once said with a shrug). And there was the time he took his family to the movies and agreed to stand in the rain to buy the tickets while his wife and two sons took shelter indoors. Prof. MENDELSOHN decided he didn't want to see the movie after all, so he drove home.
Then there was the brilliant mathematician who saw beauty in the abstract. The Order of Canada member who made his own furniture, jewellery and wine, and delighted in performing hypnosis and magic tricks. The one who never wrote anything down because he didn't have to. With his sly sense of humour, he would appreciate the designation of polymath.
Prof. MENDELSOHN taught mathematics at the University of Manitoba for 57 years, ending his career in 2005 as distinguished professor emeritus. He headed the math department for about 20 years, authored 140 research papers -- about double the average professor's career output -- and was a leading light in a branch of pure mathematics called combinatorics, which deals with the abstract relationships of objects to each other. One application is the math that underlies the popular Sudoku puzzles.
His and others' theories bore practical applications in such areas as scheduling, cryptography and software testing, often decades after they were promulgated. Helen, his wife of 62 years, had another name for her husband's work: "dreamy mathematics" (though she had no qualms pronouncing that she "really" hated math).
Prof. MENDELSOHN worked in other fields of mathematics, including computing and numerical analysis, graph and design theory, and many branches of algebra. But it was combinatorics for which he was best known.
"It is probably safe to say that there is not a combinatorialist or universal algebraist in the world who has not heard of Nathan MENDELSOHN, and that probably very few of them have not quoted at least one of his papers or worked in an area of research which he has helped develop," stated the Royal Society of Canada in awarding the Henry Marshall Tory Medal to Prof. MENDELSOHN in Mathematics, he declared in a 1985 National Film Board short, "is my vocation, my avocation, my hobby, my playground. I do other things for relaxation -- I enjoy them -- but my greatest pleasure is working with mathematical concepts."
He first encountered that pleasure in Grade 3 when he became aware of two things: the power of immediate recall, and that he knew more math than his teacher did without really trying.
His father, Sam, an ironworker, came to Toronto with his four children in 1918 to join relatives after they had been burned out of their tenement in Brooklyn. The clan settled on Euclid Avenue, and its descendants note the connection to the ancient Greek mathematician.
Young Nathan amused himself by taking apart clocks (usually putting them back together). He was awarded a four-year scholarship to the University of Toronto, where he completed bachelor's and master's degrees and, in 1941, his doctorate.
While still an undergraduate, he belonged to the team that won the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, said to be the toughest math test in the world. Meantime, he was advised to take up magic as a way to calm tremors in his hands, and he studied the hucksters and pitchmen at the Canadian National Exhibition. His sleight of hand landed him second prize at an International Brotherhood of Magicians contest, just behind a young amateur named Johnny Carson.
But there was a war on, and Prof. MENDELSOHN's talents were needed in defence research. He was enjoined from talking about the work he volunteered bits and pieces much later -- but his family believes it involved code-breaking and artillery simulations, continuing the age-old use of mathematics for military applications. (A similar stint in the early 1960s at the Rand Corp. was even more hush-hush.)
At war's end, he headed to Kingston, Ontario, to teach at Queen's University, where he stayed for three years.
Asked about the short interval, his son, Eric, a professor of math at the U of T, explained: "He understood that, as a Jew, he would never get a permanent position. Queen's already had a Jewish professor in the department."
So he settled in Winnipeg, where the University of Manitoba welcomed any and all to build its fledgling math department, and where Prof. MENDELSOHN became deeply involved in the city's vibrant Jewish community. Raised in a modern Orthodox family, he was drawn more to Judaism's teachings on morality than its ritual. Evidence for the existence of God, he reasoned, was "circumstantial" not quite enough for a scientist.
But with a salary of about $3,000 a year, he was forced to work during the summers, driving to Quebec City with his family for teaching jobs.
He first came to international notice after co-authoring a paper in 1961 on Latin squares -- grids in which no two numbers may appear in the same row or column (essentially a numeric Sudoku puzzle.) Tough enough on a standard 9x9 grid -- but Prof. MENDELSOHN raised eyebrows by successfully constructing five pairs of 12x12 grids. Visualized in three dimensions, with each grid placed over its pair, the numbers repeated neither in rows and columns nor up and down. And it was all done without a computer.
"That was absolutely extraordinary," said Michael Doob, whom Prof. MENDELSOHN hired to teach math at the University of Manitoba. "He was known for idiosyncrasies, but he taught without any notes at all. And I don't think he had a mean bone in his body. He was a real mensch."
Prof. MENDELSOHN forged Friendships with some of the leading names in the rarefied world of higher math, including the eccentric Hungarian number theorist Paul Erdos, who made a habit of showing up on fellow mathematicians' doorsteps unannounced and with no money.
Prof. MENDELSOHN also built his own cabinets. "He'd make four or five pieces of furniture and then stop," his son recalled. "He was like that with math, too. He was more interested in finding a new problem and solving it than worrying about one classical problem."
Two modern theories bear Prof. MENDELSOHN's name. Both of them, said his son, are "just a genius's slight twist on an old idea to get mathematics to give up one of her profound secrets."
Prof. MENDELSOHN guided graduate students until a year ago, and he never stopped doodling on the proverbial napkin. The page proofs for his last paper arrived the morning he died.
Nathan Saul MENDELSOHN was born in New York on April 14, 1917. He died in Toronto on July 4, 2006, of hepatitis C contracted through tainted blood. He was 89. He leaves two siblings, two sons, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His wife died in January of 2005.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-10-23 published
Gino EMPRY, Agent And Publicist (1925-2006)
Brassy Toronto impresario with a 1,000-name roster of show-biz clients was, deep down, a shy guy with a heart of gold, and a regular churchgoer
By Ron CSILLAG,
Special to The Globe and Mail; Globe and Mail archives, Page S8
Toronto -- He spent one night with Pearl Bailey while the singer talked about the sex life of a pomegranate until 3 a.m.
Marlene Dietrich gave him a wallet with blank cards inside after spying him fishing around in his pockets for something to scribble on. "You must always be chic," she cooed.
Tony Bennett once fixed him with a stare and asked menacingly, "What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are you making fun of me?"
Phyllis Diller once sent him $500 to help pay for a nose job. On the other hand, buxom Jane Russell took one look at that generous schnozz and pronounced it "big enough to fit my cleavage."
Welcome to Gino EMPRY's world.
Talent agent, impresario, boulevardier and flack-turned-friend to dozens -- no darling, make that hundreds -- of stars, Mr. EMPRY was a throwback to an era when Public Relations men such as Irving "Swifty" Lazar bent the ears of such make'em-or-break'em celebrity scribes as Walter Winchell and Hedda Hopper.
For over 40 years, Mr. EMPRY was a show-biz fixture in Toronto, booking the talent at the fabled Imperial Room in the Royal York Hotel, hyping his stable to pretty much anyone who listened, befriending cops, doormen, tough guys and starving artists. Dubbed the father of celebrity publicity in Canada, it's probably no exaggeration to say he rubbed shoulders with every famous name in, well, the Western Hemisphere.
His 1,000-name roster of clients included, at various times, Mr. Bennett, Peggy Lee, Deborah Kerr, Cher, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Hope, Eartha Kitt, Peter O'Toole and, closer to home, Ronnie Hawkins, William Hutt, Karen Kain, Anne Murray and Roch Voisine. The only person he regretted not having worked with was Clark Gable. "But he's dead," Mr. EMPRY once observed. "Otherwise, I've met all the others."
His forte was the personal touch. "He and I hit it off quite well," recalled Ms. Murray. "He was always so flamboyant and we always had good laughs. He used to say to me, 'when are we gonna have dinner?' And, of course, we never had dinner. But every year he sent me a Christmas card -- every single year since 1971 -- and he handwrote on every one, 'when are we gonna have dinner?' "
It was a God-given gift, he told The Globe and Mail in a 1996 spread. "That's why stars trust me and why they have done things for me that they wouldn't do for other people."
Like the time he talked British singer Petula Clark into taking over a laryngitis-stricken Mr. Bennett's Toronto gig on one day's notice. Or when the Toronto police force "begged" Mr. EMPRY to get Hal Linden, then television's Captain Barney Miller, to appear at one of their bashes. "He said yes to me, and I guess that's partly why I have half the police force as my Friends," Mr. EMPRY recalled with satisfaction. "I just looove policemen."
And they loved him back. At his legendary parties, whether at the Royal York or at his knick-knack-filled, white-carpeted, shagadelic downtown pad, "half the Toronto police was there, and that's one reason he could park anywhere at any time, no questions asked," recalled Mary JOLLIFFE, who served as the Stratford Festival's first communications director. "He never paid a parking ticket -- ever," confirmed Helga STEPHENSON, a Toronto film promoter.
Mr. EMPRY was a character in a character's world. "People tell me, 'Gino, you don't walk into a room, you make an appearance.' " It was a trick he learned from Bernadette Peters. "She told me once, 'Gino, do you know how you get the best table in a restaurant? You walk to the front of the line and look imperious.' "
The look came naturally. The family name was EMPERATORE, from the Italian imperatore, meaning emperor or commander, or, to Mr. EMPRY, of the Caesars. "And my police Friends tell me I am like a Caesar, always ordering people around."
It was an unlikely trait for a pallid, elfin guy, barely 5 feet 6 inches (when not wearing his favourite two-inch heels), a Kim Jong-il-style bouffant 'do, silk ascot, and jewellery -- lots of it, as befitting someone with such distinguished roots. Around his neck was a multicoloured ammolite pendant -- a gift, he said, from Ella Fitzgerald. The heavy gold bracelet was from Tony Bennett, the Mickey Mouse watch from Kay Ballard, the diamond pinky ring from Glenda Jackson, and the goldfish charm from Lena Horne. A chunky signet ring flashed the family coat of arms: a star and a half-moon topped by a chivalric helmet, anchored by the banner, "Emperatore." This bit of heraldry also adorned Mr. EMPRY's gold-embossed business cards.
At his zenith, he managed Mr. Bennett worldwide for a dozen years, but not Robert Goulet, as has been reported. "Gino and I were Friends," said Mr. Goulet on the phone. "He did Public Relations for me in Canada. We loved him dearly." And then, he popped the most hotly debated question about Mr. EMPRY: " How old was he?" Told an estimate, Mr. Goulet seemed shocked. "Holy mackerel! He never looked it."
Like Jack Benny plus a decade, Mr. EMPRY was eternally 49. "I'm not vain," he insisted. "I just go to great lengths to look better than I am." He would say, with a straight face, that he was born in 1949, though biographical material says he graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 at what would have been the precocious age of 12 (one unconvinced wag quipped that Mr. EMPRY "seems to have represented everyone from Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Ella Fitzgerald"). He was also coy about his credentials those close to him say he had been a bona fide chartered accountant.
One thing that might surprise people who couldn't see beyond the glitz -- Mr. EMPRY was, deep down, a shy guy with a heart of gold, and a regular churchgoer to boot.
"Everybody's talking about what a character he was and all the stars he dealt with, but nobody has said how helpful he was to a lot of unknowns... all the small companies starting out," said Sylvia SHAWN, who was Mr. EMPRY's partner for 20 years. "Whoever asked for help, got it."
And it was a long list: the Actors Fund of Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society, DareArts, Easter Seals, the Ontario Musical Arts Centre, juvenile diabetes, Israel Bonds and the Variety Club of Ontario, to name a few. In 1993, he received the city of Toronto's highest honour, the Award of Merit, and three years later, was guest of honour at a tribute from Famous People Players, the renowned black-light theatre company, one of his favourite causes.
Long-time Imperial Room maitre d' Louis JANNETTA, famous for refusing Bob Dylan entrance because the singer wasn't wearing a tie, recalled Mr. EMPRY's creation of "Gypsy nights" -- when the cover charge was dropped at the venue for young theatre unknowns.
"We allowed all the [local] theatres -- the Limelight, the Mousetrap, Second City -- to come for the late show on Thursdays of opening week without a cover charge." A lot of young artists came, John Candy among them, and to Mr. JANNETTA's consternation, their dress was not up to the room's formal standards. "I provided jackets for them," he noted. Mr. EMPRY "was a genius in his own right."
The eldest of nine children, Gino was the son of Arturo EMPERATORE, who came to Canada from a rural region outside Rome, and Lucy FLAMMINIO of Toronto, who was 15 when she gave birth to him. The couple ran a small grocery store and butcher shop, where the young Gino cut off the top of two of his fingers in a meat-slicing machine.
Mr. EMPRY remembered being "wretchedly poor. We had to count our pennies. In the Italian ghetto, there were gangsters and rough types. I used to get beat up because I liked school. I remember my mother telling me, 'There's more than one way to fight a battle. Use your tongue.' So I learned to use my mouth which is very useful in my business!"
He developed a love of the theatre while at Saint Mary of the Angels Separate School in Toronto. He acted with Catholic youth groups before joining an all-boys acting ensemble at Saint Michael's College. "I played Portia and Juliet because I was small."
He had an uneasy relationship with his parents and left home early. His father was distant at best. "My father was a wonderful man, but very shy, and never a father figure to me. So I kept looking for strong men to give me what I felt I needed -- authority. Being of Caesarean heritage… I'm both a gladiator and a slave. I'm a slave to my work and I'm a perfectionist. I insist on things being done right. There are no loose ends with me."
His first job was as a night auditor for a trucking company. Later, he worked as a systems analyst for a transportation firm, while appearing in some 50 amateur theatre productions, including what he'd refer to as his best performance -- in Teahouse of the August Moon. But he yearned for more, and plunked down $2,000 for a career consultant, who advised him to take two years to get a toehold in entertainment. Mr. EMPRY wrote hundreds of letters to radio producers, theatre owners -- anyone who might give him a break.
It happened in 1964, when the contacts he'd made at the Ontario Drama League led him to Ed MIRVISH of Honest Ed's discount store fame. Mr. MIRVISH needed a boost for his recently purchased Royal Alexander Theatre. To compete, it had to draw the big names away from the rival O'Keefe Centre, and Mr. EMPRY was hired. Emboldened, he formed his own booking and public-relations agency. "I started at the top," he said later. "You couldn't get any better than the Royal Alex at the time. I got $100 a week." Things only improved when the Irish Rovers signed him as their international publicist.
In 1970, he became entertainment director/Public Relations consultant for the 500-seat Imperial Room, then the country's top nightclub. In addition to A-list celebs, he booked female impersonators and Las-Vegas-style revues. Mr. Bennett, among the top acts, insisted on the same suite at the Royal York, one that faced east fronting the gilded Royal Bank Tower (the crooner's paintings adorned the walls of Mr. EMPRY's condo.) Count Basie was "the very essence of cool." Raquel Welch was "pretty, but not glamorous." Mr. EMPRY and dancer Cyd Charisse used "to sit for hours talking about everything under the sun… I never got tired of looking at those incredible legs."
The Imperial Room closed in 1989 and in 1991, Mr. EMPRY was abruptly dismissed from the MIRVISH account by Honest Ed's son, David.
He soldiered on with corporate shilling, including for Playboy magazine in Canada. Three years ago, he couldn't have bought juicier publicity than when he orchestrated a handshake and chit-chat between Aline Chrétien, prim wife of the then-prime-minister, and Tailor James, a well-endowed Toronto-born Playmate of the Month. Organizers of the charity event were miffed, but it got tongues wagging. The news media took note, but dismissed it as "a tempest in a D cup."
More recently, Mr. EMPRY farmed himself out, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, as "the Happiness Guru" ($100 for a one-hour session), inspired by sultry singer Peggy Lee, who referred to Mr. EMPRY in her autobiography by that 1960s tag. When he asked why, she replied: "Think about it, Gino. We are considered as stars in the entertainment industry but we are misused, abused, taken advantage of and left stranded in embarrassing situations that have nothing to do with what we really are all about.
"Along comes baby-faced Gino EMPRY, and he really cares. He understands our concerns, our worries and our needs. Even more important, he doesn't pander to the vanities we parade to our unsuspecting fans. He seems to know our weaknesses and treats them with love and respect. He really loves us!"
He really did. "He was very good to his clients, very loyal," Ms. JOLIFFE said. "He often worked around the clock for them."
Of course, there was his dark side. "To know Gino was, at one point, to have had a fight with him," said Ms. Stephenson. "He could be infuriating one moment and endearing the next."
A temper that fuelled more than a few thrown telephones got him into hot water in 1989 after an altercation with a woman in the lobby of the building that housed his million-dollar condo. The judge didn't buy his plea of self-defence, and he was fined $1,000. "I haven't used a lawyer since," he said, years later.
The appearance of Mr. EMPRY's memoirs was a foregone conclusion. He wanted to call them You Star, Me Gino, but the 2002 volume was titled I Belong to the Stars, a collection of piquant tales ranging from procuring hashish for Peter O'Toole, to getting Cher an Eaton's credit card, to fending off the advances of Xaviera (the Happy Hooker) Hollander.
Last year, he corralled support from musicians and performers in Toronto in an event to shine a light on increased gun violence in the city. This past summer, it was rumoured that he was working on a bash to celebrate the city's burgeoning Chinese population.
Mr. EMPRY never married, not even to his companion of 20 years, psychic Nikki PEZARO. He knew he occasionally rivalled the celebrity of some of his clients but "I'm a person in my own right, so why not?"
Gino EMPRY was born in Toronto on, it is believed, October 11, 1925, and died there on October 14, 2006, after suffering complications from a stroke that occurred in July. He was 81.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-10-26 published
Henry Clifford HATCH, Liquor Distiller (1916-2006)
He followed in his father's footsteps and took a business built on supplying bootleggers and turned it into a roaring success called Hiram Walker
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S7
Toronto -- Was Scottish whisky maker Tommy Dewar thinking of Henry Clifford HATCH when he said "success is merely a matter of buying your experience cheap and selling it at a profit"?
Cliff HATCH followed in his father's footsteps as head of Hiram Walker, Canada's second-largest liquor distiller (after Seagram), and made the liquor trade in this country as respectable as it could get. That wasn't always easy, given that the HATCH family rose to prominence in the heyday of bootlegging in the United States.
But through business practices that may now seem quaint, harkening to a time when a person's word was his bond, Mr. HATCH cemented an upstanding reputation through tough but always civil competition, anchored by his deep Roman Catholic faith.
Besides, he sure sold some fine hooch, namely, the ubiquitous Canadian Club rye whisky, Ballantine's Scotch, Kahlua and Tia Maria liqueurs, and Courvoisier cognac.
In many ways, Mr. HATCH's career paralleled that of the other great Canadian liquor barons, the BRONFMANs and their signature brand, Seagram. Mr. HATCH's father, Harry, was archrivals with the BRONFMAN patriarch, Sam, but only in business. Cliff HATCH, notes his son, chaired Mr. Sam's 80th birthday party in 1971.
Mr. HATCH also had kind things to say when the BRONFMAN family's Fairview Corp. entered into a 50-50 partnership with the Toronto-Dominion Bank to build the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower in downtown Toronto. At the time, he was serving on the bank's board.
Mr. HATCH was remembered as a gentleman both in and out of the boardroom. A favourite son of Windsor, Ontario, where Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. still fronts the Detroit River, he gave generously to a variety of charitable and civic causes. On his retirement, Hiram Walker employed 5,000 people worldwide, and annual profits were $250-million (U.S.).
"He was a wonderful fellow, an industry leader and a good friend," said Charles BRONFMAN. "My father and Harry HATCH had a great feud going for many years, but they built great businesses, so Cliff HATCH and I could afford to compete as Friends. I told him there's nothing I enjoyed more than switching somebody from Canadian Club to [Seagram's] V.O. and he laughed and said, 'There's nothing I enjoy more than the reverse.' Neither of us wanted to put the other out of business. We worked as competitors, and as very good Friends.
"But much more important to me, frankly, he was a fine human being."
The groundwork was laid by Mr. HATCH's father during Prohibition in the United States. His father had tended bar in some tough saloons in eastern Ontario and ran a liquor store in Whitby, Ontario Harry HATCH made his money, though, first by going into the mail-order booze business and then by coming to the attention of Montreal tobacco-and-liquor magnate Sir Mortimer Davis, who hired the young go-getter as sales manager at his Corby whisky plant. Within two years, production went from 500 gallons a month to 50,000 gallons.
Historian Bill Hunt, author of Booze, Boats and Billions, relates that, at about the same time, Sir Mortimer paid Mr. HATCH $1 for every case of whisky he could sell to American bootleggers. Mr. HATCH, his brother Herb, and future distiller Larry McGUINESS recruited a fleet of fisherman to ferry the liquid gold through the Thousand Islands in an operation that came to be known as "Hatch's Navy."
Harry HATCH prospered and, in 1923, he and some Toronto investors paid $1.5-million for the idle Gooderham and Worts, which had been the country's largest distiller. Three years later, the descendants of Hiram WALKER, a Detroit grain merchant and father of Canadian Club whisky who died in 1899, sold the family concern to the elder Mr. HATCH for $14-million. Mr. HATCH merged his companies into Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts, headquartered in Walkerville, Ontario, now part of Windsor, and was dubbed "the king of Canadian distillers."
By the time Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the elder Mr. HATCH had built the world's biggest distillery in Peoria, Illinois, capable of producing 50 million gallons of whisky a year. In 1937, he acquired Ballantine's Scotch Whisky, and just before the Second World War, built a huge distillery in Dumbarton, Scotland.
His son, meantime, had been sent to boarding school in Montreal to learn French. He was 8. After high school at Saint Michael's College School in Toronto, Mr. HATCH considered studying for the Catholic priesthood. But, at his father's urging, he became a travelling salesman, at 17, for the T.G. Bright wine company, which the senior Mr. HATCH bought in 1933. Four years later, his son moved to Windsor to begin his ascent at Hiram Walker.
In 1940, the younger Mr. HATCH personally received a British royal warrant from Lord Chamberlain at Buckingham Palace for Hiram Walker to purvey its goods in the Royal Court.
Also that year, Mr. HATCH enlisted with the Royal Canadian Navy. He served in corvettes on convoys that escorted fighting ships across the treacherous North Atlantic. It was dangerous work: At the height of the U-boat campaign, as many as half of the ships were sunk.
Mr. HATCH served on three escorts. He was lieutenant commander on H.M.C.S. Napanee and captain on H.M.S.C. Drummondville and on H.M.C.S. Ville de Quebec. While leaving Halifax Harbour one day, a semaphore message signalled him that his wife, Joan, had given birth to a son two weeks earlier.
He saw the worst of war up close but kept a stoic silence, recalled H. Clifford HATCH Jr. Instead, "his stories about the war were funny. He never talked about death and horror and the number of men he saw die."
Harry HATCH died in 1946. Author Peter C. Newman relates in his book The Bronfman Dynasty that, a few weeks later, the HATCH family received a "sizable" offer for their controlling interest in Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts that was believed to have come from the BRONFMANs. It was turned down flat.
Cliff HATCH, meantime, built on his father's innovations. Brands, for example, had come to be an important aspect of whisky marketing and, following Prohibition and the Second World War, consumers restored their loyalties to Canadian Club and labels such as Imperial. In the area of merchandising, Hiram Walker was the first to gift-wrap its liquor.
Unlike the generation that succeeded him, Mr. HATCH never attended university, save for a six-week executive training course in New York in the 1950s. He was crowned company president and Chief Executive Officer in 1964, and among his first tasks was the acquisition of Courvoisier cognac.
He also engineered the purchase of the company's most profitable brand, Kahlua coffee liqueur. Company policy was to buy fewer labels and concentrate on marketing them.
Of course, tasting was important. Mr. HATCH would sample the goods personally, "always before lunch because that's when your taste buds are most active... about 11 o'clock in the morning," says his son, who also became president and Chief Executive Officer of Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts.
Mr. HATCH became company chairman in the late 1970s, and, in 1980, he initiated the merger between Hiram Walker Gooderham and Worts and Consumers' Gas Co. of Toronto to fend off a rival's bid for the liquor concern. A corporate shuffle in 1982 returned him as president and Chief Executive Officer following the $630-million (U.S.) acquisition of oil and gas properties in the United States from Davis Oil Co. of Denver. Hiram Walker stumbled badly when it was discovered that the properties held much less proved and probable oil reserves than originally thought.
Mr. HATCH announced his retirement in 1984. But, when the Reichmann family of Toronto launched a $3-billion hostile takeover bid in 1986 for the renamed Hiram Walker Resources Ltd., the company sold the liquor subsidiary to Allied-Lyons PLC, based in Britain. Mr. HATCH finally retired in 1987.
Today, Hiram Walker is owned by the French firm Pernod Ricard as a result of that company's acquisition last year of Allied Domecq, and the various brands have been parcelled out. Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. on Riverside Drive in Windsor still produces and bottles Canadian Club, sold in more than 150 countries, and several other labels, but it's all under contract to Kentucky-based Jim Beam. Its latest offering is pomegranate schnapps.
Mr. HATCH left several major legacies in Windsor, despite having moved back to Toronto in 1994 to be closer to his children and grandchildren: He was founding chair of the Greater Windsor Community Foundation, which has supported the Basilian Fathers and the Art Gallery of Windsor. The Joan and Clifford Hatch Foundation has donated substantial sums to women's legal aid, Scouts Canada, and L'Arche Canada. And the Joan and Clifford Hatch Wildflower Garden commemorates the couple's contributions to the city's riverfront and parks system.
In a particularly long struggle -- from 1938 to about 1980 -- Mr. HATCH was involved in efforts to remove rail lines from Windsor's waterfront.
Like his own father, Mr. HATCH was a taciturn man who shunned the limelight. He made no public statements on the demise of the company his father founded. He never missed Sunday mass. "My father was very old-fashioned," said H. Clifford HATCH Jr. "He believed that good business was good for both sides. He believed his word was his bond. He always believed in never doing anything in the short term that would hurt the business in the longer term. And he believed that people made a big difference."
Henry Clifford HATCH was born in Toronto on April 30, 1916, and died there on September 23, 2006, of cancer. He was 90. His wife, Joan, died in 2004. He leaves four children -- Cliff, Gail, Mary and Rick -- nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-11-02 published
McKenzie PORTER, Journalist (1911-2006)
Deliberately outrageous or outrageously deliberate, he was a Toronto Sun columnist who loved to upset sacred cows and apple carts. 'He had a forked tongue in both cheeks simultaneously'
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S9
Toronto -- Erudite windbag. Pontificating right-wing snob. Upper-class Brit-twit monarchist loudmouth. Racist and misogynist. He'd heard them all, and they all rolled right off his tweeded back. Whatever else was said of him -- some of it unprintable -- McKenzie PORTER was either a fearless pricker of balloons who shot from the lip, or he was putting us on.
Turns out it was healthy dollops of both. In any case, he was the very personification of political incorrectness decades before the term was coined.
An incorrigible columnist for 19 years at the Toronto Sun -- whose 35th anniversary yesterday the Globe herewith graciously acknowledges -- and for its predecessor, the storied Toronto Telegram, Mr. PORTER was the master of elegant invective and purple phraseology. To say he was irrepressible or irreverent would be clichéd folderol, the kind he abhorred. A small sampling (with apologies all around):
Most feminists were "deservedly cast-off wives, pseudo-intellectual frumps and incurable lesbians, a vociferous motley of shrews, viragos, prudes and charlatans."
Many homosexuals "no longer are satisfied with acceptance and freedom from prosecution. They now seek approval, acclaim and authority."
All his "known enemies" were "pseudo-intellectuals, artistic charlatans and specious socialists with cunning eyes, avaricious inclinations, flaccid bodies, theatrical garments and ignoble records of service to Queen and country."
Any man who avoids household duties as "women's work" and cannot sew a button, boil an egg, operate a vacuum or scour a saucepan was "a sexist despot."
Was that last one the proverbial pot calling the kettle black? Who knows?
"One could never be sure whether PORTER was spoofing or serious, writing for real or effect," recalled his some-time boss at the Sun, Peter WORTHINGTON, in a 1999 column of his own. "Whatever, indisputably, he was the most graceful and stylish writer in the business."
One contemporary ended an interview some 30 years ago by wondering whether Mr. PORTER was being deliberately outrageous or outrageously deliberate. He finally decided that being preposterous was "a way of life" for the columnist… "even when PORTER is kidding, he's not kidding."
As in a column under the headline "Body Hygiene," in which he fulminated that defecating in the men's room at the office, while reading a newspaper, was "not merely theft of one's employer's time but often, an offence to the eyes, ears and nose of one's colleagues." It was vintage stuff and became a collector's item. The Sun later ran a photo of a regal Mr. PORTER, enjoying that day's edition while ensconced on a commode. The picture was republished in the American humour magazine, National Lampoon.
Mr. WORTHINGTON recalled a man who revered good manners, was unfailingly courteous and gentlemanly, and fiercely denied being a snob ("There are few flavours I enjoy more than snob blood," Mr. PORTER insisted.) The closer he got to the truth, the more outrageous he seemed. And accusations of racism were false, Mr. WORTHINGTON felt; they merely reflected Mr. PORTER's elitism.
"He was a cartoonist who used words," said his son, Tim, a one-time reporter and public relations man. "People thought he was snooty, but he was sending up people he thought were snooty. He had a forked tongue in both cheeks simultaneously. He kicked uphill."
Born into a mercantile family in England, Mr. PORTER was smitten by journalism when he encountered a reporter who was boarding at the clan's 20-room house. A cub reporter's job at the Manchester Evening Chronicle lasted two years, followed by a stint at the northern edition of the Daily Express, where he covered Hitler's early stirrings and the Spanish Civil War. Then came Fleet Street and the Daily Mirror, where, at 25, Mr. PORTER became news editor with 75 reporters under him, and where he helped break the story of Edward VIII's abdication. He would later concede that he had been spoiled by his quick success.
A fight with his editor resulted in a move to the Beaverbrook-owned Evening Standard as a film Critic. It didn't last. Lord Beaverbrook, the Canadian-born Max Aitken, loved corny movies and expected Mr. PORTER to share his tastes. A 1978 Sun profile of Mr. PORTER related that the end came when the press baron's valet called to say his master had enjoyed the latest Ritz Brothers comedy. Mr. PORTER buttonholed an editor and gave precise directions as to where His Lordship could put the movie.
Briefly, he wrote for the Daily Sketch, and was upbraided by an executive for beginning a story, "If all the civil servants in Lytham Saint Annes were laid end to end, I would be surprised."
When war came, Mr. PORTER could have signed up to flak for the armed services, as many reporters did. After all, the job was safe and it paid well. Instead, he enlisted as a private and gave up a salary of £1,500 a year for two shillings a day.
He began as a rifleman in the London Irish Rifles and after being commissioned, served with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Along the way, he won a commission and in Calabria, Italy, in 1943, led a charge against a Nazi position. "As my platoon piper ceased his blood-curdling, enemy-demoralizing overture to hand-to-hand combat, we trotted into the final assault," he wrote in his inimitable style, years later. "Firing rifles and submachine guns from the hip and yelling and bawling like barbarians on the threshold of ancient Rome, we noticed that the cheeks of the Panzers became almost as pale as the whites of their eyes.
"Of course, the Panzers ran away. Who wouldn't in the circumstances? And they left behind on army cookers a sizzling array of mouth-watering breakfast sausages, new black bread, fresh figs and real coffee."
He took four bullets in the Battle for Cassino, and was awarded the Military Cross from King George VI. He ended the war as a major and then spent three years as a Paris correspondent for English newspapers, one of them under Ian Fleming of James Bond fame ("a very poor journalist," he said.) Fed up with post-war rationing, he arrived in Canada in 1948.
A self-confessed "remorselessly gluttonous carnivore," he insisted that the following happened: While sharing a drink with a public relations man, the latter inquired why Mr. PORTER had chosen Canada. " Well," Mr. PORTER replied, not entirely in jest, "it was mainly because of the meat." The result was a long-running advertising slogan for the Dominion supermarket chain.
Soon after his arrival, Mr. PORTER began writing for Maclean's magazine. June Callwood, at the time a fresh freelancer, recalled, with noticeable warmth in her voice, a man who was "openly racist, sexist [and] snobbish both intellectually and socially. He was just atrocious, to a point where you weren't sure he wasn't doing a caricature."
Which he probably was, Ms. Callwood allowed. "He really did have a heart of gold. He was kind of adorable [and] had a huge amount of charm. I'll never forget the pomposity, but it had to be a joke."
Mr. PORTER authored a biography of Queen Victoria's father, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. In 1962, he moved to the Toronto Telegram where he pounded out columns and arts criticism, and almost proved too hot for publisher John BASSETT. Editors killed about one of his columns a month, but when a libel suit was lost over one that slipped by, Mr. BASSETT could not bring himself to fire a decorated war veteran.
At the Tely, he crossed swords with fellow writer Pierre Berton, who never forgave him for openly mocking the "Sordman's Club," a group of high-profile men who took other men's wives to monthly lunches.
The late Charles Templeton, evangelist and one-time Toronto Star editor who referred to Mr. PORTER as "a professional Englishman," recalled in his memoirs that Mr. PORTER greeted him at their first meeting with: "Well, Templeton, how are things with God these days?"
In October of 1971, Mr. BASSETT decided to fold the Telegram, even though it remained profitable. In response, a group of employees, Mr. PORTER among them, hatched a plan to launch a tabloid replacement. On November 1 of that year, with Douglas CREIGHTON as publisher and Peter WORTHINGTON as editor, the first Toronto Sun hit the streets.
At the Sun, Mr. PORTER continued in his characteristic, immoderate manner. His file thickened over a 1989 column in which he wrote that Italian-Canadians were using methods "alien to British practice" to gain political power, and therefore, no Canadian citizen born outside Canada should be allowed to vote in any elections or stand for office. That earned him an acid rebuke in Ontario's legislature and the City of Toronto withdrew its advertising in the Sun, valued at $40,000 a year. Stung by accusations of censorship, the city lifted its ban two months later.
He retired, reluctantly, in 1990, and went about parodying himself better than anyone could in freelance travel articles, essays and commentaries for The Globe. Whether it was folding his lanky, vaguely David Niven-ish self under a Japanese dining table or losing a shoe in a raging English rainstorm or flying to London to get a new ferrule (cap) placed on the tip of his walking stick, the copy was always in Technicolor.
Journalism was good to him. "A millionaire's life on a beggar's income," he once boasted. His son confirmed a similar motto. "Scribbling: Sure beats working."
John McKenzie PORTER was born in Accrington, England, on October 21, 1911, and died of natural causes in Toronto on October 21, 2006, on his 95th birthday. His wife, Kathleen, died in 1985, He leaves a son, Tim, and two granddaughters. A family memorial is planned for a later date.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-11-09 published
Theodore STEIN, Holocaust Survivor: (1918-2006)
Successful immigrant bore no ill will toward Canada even though it refused entry to his parents, who died in the camps
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S7
Theodore (Ted) STEIN's life began to unravel 68 years ago tonight. Of course, there had been stark warnings that went mostly unheeded. This Hitler is just a nut; he will pass. We are Austrians, after all, and secular. We will be all right. You'll see.
The delusion that gripped countless others in Vienna's 170,000-strong Jewish community had seeped its way into the STEIN household, despite the fact that by the autumn of 1938, the Nazi swastika flew in every corner of the city. It had been eight months since the Anschluss ingested Austria into the Third Reich.
The beginning of the end for Mr. STEIN -- indeed, all European Jewry -- took place on the night of November 9, 1938, when Nazi storm troopers and local hooligans, emboldened by news of the assassination of a German official in Paris -- by a Jew -- took to the streets. In dozens of German and Austrian cities, synagogues were torched and the windows of Jewish-owned homes and businesses smashed. The event would take its name from the terrifying scenes on the formerly grand boulevards: Kristallnacht -- the Night of Broken Glass.
Officials arrested some 6,000 Austrian Jews, deporting them to Dachau. Among them was Mr. STEIN's father, Jacob. Only those who promised to emigrate immediately, leaving their property behind, were released. Twenty-seven Austrian Jews were murdered in the pogrom.
Mr. STEIN, then a 20-year-old man-about-town who frequented the theatre and opera, was arrested on the steps of his family's flat and hauled to a local school for processing. An SS sergeant put him in charge of stoking a wood stove. Mr. STEIN bent over to do so. "You showed your ass to me!" the Nazi bellowed, and proceeded to administer a ferocious beating to the young man. A few minutes later, the same thing happened. The scenario played out several more times before the officer relented.
The STEINs had been highly assimilated, acculturated and were well-to-do merchants who had owned two lighting-fixture shops in Vienna before they were confiscated. Regina STEIN, the clan's matriarch, bribed officials to get her husband out of Dachau and her son into Switzerland. Her daughter had already escaped to Palestine.
The Swiss promptly dumped Mr. STEIN back into Austria. But his luck changed just two weeks before the Second World War broke out in September, 1939, when he was among thousands of Jewish refugees taken in by Britain.
In London, he worked briefly for British intelligence, transcribing German messages that were later decoded.
Back in Vienna, Mr. STEIN's parents were desperate. They wrote to officials in Canada, reporting that they had been "left without means of assistance and with no possibility of earning a living." They were stateless and penniless and begged to come to this country. "Our distress… increases daily and there is nothing left for us but suicide.… Our only hope for survival is admission to Canada."
But, as detailed in the book None is Too Many, from which the above quote is taken, Ottawa's policy on admitting Jewish refugees was dismal, and the STEINs were turned down. Regina STEIN perished at Treblinka, her husband at Auschwitz.
Their son, meanwhile, was admitted to Canada in the summer of 1940 as a friendly prisoner of war, and he spent four years in an internment camp outside Quebec City. He was then sent to work on a farm near Hamilton, but hated it, and said as much to a stranger who picked him up while hitchhiking. The man drove Mr. STEIN to Toronto, where he was lent $35 by the United Jewish Refugee and War Relief Agency.
He lived in an unheated ground-floor apartment and worked at a plastics company for $13 a week. "Too much to die, too little to live," said his wife of 60 years, Patricia. He spent the next 20 years in a series of business ventures, including children's clothing and hosiery, before finding a place in real estate at the age of 50.
"He had a flair for it," remarked his wife. "He was tenacious, you know. But boy, did he work hard."
Like many who survived that era, Mr. STEIN was resolutely determined to make it in the country that took him in, despite the fact that Canada admitted a paltry 5,000 Jewish refugees from 1933 to 1945. "He harboured no ill will," said his son, Jeffrey. "He loved Canada."
The family is now busy wading through a small mound of war-era documents, many emblazoned with the Nazi eagle-and-swastika rubber stamp, and some in the name of "Theodore Israel SZTEYN," referencing the middle name the Nazis forced Jews to take (it was Sarah for women).
"My father never regarded himself as a victim," his son said. "He used to say that if the Holocaust hadn't happened, he would have become a bum. He said the Holocaust made him a man."
Theodore STEIN was born in Vienna on August 13, 1918. He died in Toronto of Parkinson's Disease on October 22. He was 88. He leaves his wife Patricia, son Jeffrey and four grandchildren.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-11-21 published
Bruce DUNCAN, Conservationist (1946-2006)
General manager of the Hamilton Conservation Authority haunted Ontario's Niagara escarpment and was a prolific contributor to books and articles on hawks and eagles
By Ron CSILLAG,
Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S9
Toronto -- Not even his own wedding could interfere with Bruce Duncan's love of birds and nature. His 1992 marriage to fellow hawk bander Janet SNAITH took place at Hawk Cliff, a prime hawk-watching bluff overlooking Lake Erie, near Port Stanley, Ontario As Peter WHELAN, the Globe's late birder columnist duly noted at the time, the bride and groom wore binoculars. So did the guests and minister, who had been forewarned the ceremony might be interrupted to observe any interesting birds of prey.
Fifteen minutes before the nuptials, a peregrine falcon portentously circled overhead, but no hawk of note interrupted the "I do's." The next morning, Mr. DUNCAN's new wife helped him capture the first peregrine falcon in his 16 years of banding.
Among Canada's leading naturalists and experts on raptors, or birds of prey, Mr. DUNCAN was a passionate conservationist and outdoorsman who loved to teach schoolchildren in and around Hamilton about the plant and animal life in their surroundings. He was a prolific contributor to books and scholarly articles on eagles, hawks and natural history in Ontario.
Mr. DUNCAN was general manager and chief administrative officer of the Hamilton Conservation Authority. "Bruce was in charge of a $15-million organization and would not carry a cell phone," noted Chris FIRTH- EAGLAND, chairman of the authority. "He so trusted and respected his staff that he wanted them to deal with the issues. He was very hardworking and dedicated and was always pursuing better environmental approaches to doing business, remediating properties and acquiring new lands to protect them."
Normally a quiet, self-effacing man, Mr. DUNCAN had recently been flying high. On October 23, Ontario gifted to the conservation authority a 180-acre parcel of land in upper Stoney Creek, west of Hamilton, called the Eramosa Karst (a geological formation where surface water erodes soft limestone and creates underground streams and caverns). It is considered an environmentally significant property; the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources designated the lands an area of natural and scientific interest in 2003.
Two weeks later, a beaming Mr. DUNCAN emceed the ceremony at which Heritage Green Community Trust announced a $1.5-million donation, which he had negotiated, to the Hamilton Conservation Foundation for the development of the karst lands as the city's newest conservation area.
"Elation couldn't describe how he had been feeling in the last couple of weeks for bringing those two things together," Mr. FIRTH- EAGLAND said. "There's no higher end for us than to acquire new land and open it up for recreation, education and different functions."
Mr. DUNCAN joined the authority in 1988 to run its outdoor education program. He would take schoolchildren on nature hikes through the Dundas Valley. In 1992, he became the Hamilton Conservation Authority's staff ecologist, and a decade later, was named director of watershed planning and engineering, a post in which he was responsible for the flood warning and response system. He became the authority's general manager in January of 2004, and embarked on an ambitious five-year strategic plan.
The authority will mark its 50th anniversary in 2008, and the karst acquisition and donation were fine advance centrepieces. "You can image the satisfaction that our organization felt -- that he felt -- [at] already having this 50th anniversary birthday present all wrapped up, all secured, all ready," Mr. FIRTH- EAGLAND said.
Born in post-war England to a British mother and Scottish-born member of the Canadian army's medical corps, Mr. DUNCAN grew up in Orillia, Ontario He graduated with a psychology degree from Wilfred Laurier University and spent the next three years as a guide at the Quetico Provincial Park west of Thunder Bay, providing instruction in canoeing, trekking and wilderness lore.
The experience was life-changing. He returned to the University of Waterloo to study biology and then worked for 11 years for the Grand River Conservation Authority as a resource interpreter at the Taquanyah Nature Centre near Cayuga, where he established himself as a raptor expert. He supervised the introduction of bald eagles to southern Ontario, and helped introduce peregrine falcons in the Hamilton area.
But it was on hawks Mr. DUNCAN was considered an expert. "He was a self-confessed hawk nut," said Debbie DUNCAN, his sister-in-law. "He had a life-long passion for sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for nature. He was always leading hikes and workshops."
Mr. DUNCAN served as president of both the 500-member Hamilton Naturalist Club and the Ontario Bird Banding Association. He personally banded the legs of thousands of predatory birds to track their migration habits, enduring little more than the usual talon stabs and scratches. He named one of "his" bald eagles Gustav Mahler, for his favourite composer. His friend and co-birder of 30 years, Bob CURRY, recalls that Mr. DUNCAN came close to tears when he discovered that Gustav had been shot and killed over Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec
"He was a gentleman and a gentle man," Mr. CURRY recalled. "He never raised his voice, but managed to influence people."
In 1991, Mr. DUNCAN founded the Niagara Peninsula Hawk Watch program, which monitors the migration of hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures over the Niagara Escarpment.
Nicknamed "the Fox" for his red hair, Mr. DUNCAN was a First World War buff who read avidly. "He consumed everything," said his wife, Janet. "If something caught his interest, he wasn't satisfied until he'd read a dozen books on the subject."
He indulged his Scottish heritage once a year when the family hosted a Robbie Burns night at their house (once the home of Alexander Graham Bell.) Mr. DUNCAN would don a kilt and dress a mean haggis. In the warm weather, when not out trekking and communing, he would sit in a lawn chair, imported beer in one hand and requisite binoculars in the other. In the winter, he delighted neighbours by building snowmen and snowdogs.
There were frequent family outings with Janet and two young children. "We were always going somewhere," Janet said, "somewhere different, and experiencing new things."
Mr. DUNCAN received many honours for his work, including Hamilton's Environmentalist of the Year Award in 1992, the Canada 125 Award for Environmental Service to the Community, and a 1997 accolade from the Hawk Migration Association of North America.
As for the stereotypical image of Hamilton as a gritty steel town with little regard for conservation or the environment, Mr. DUNCAN extolled the region as having more waterfalls than any community in North America, and more escarpment lands and green space per capita than any other Canadian city -- and he wanted to keep it that way, said Mr. FIRTH- EAGLAND. " Bruce had a different feeling about Hamilton. He felt that Hamilton was blessed."
And as the Hamilton Spectator noted last week, the community has lost not only a friend, but a teacher whose name is "memorialized in millions of tonnes of uncarved stone -- and grass, woods, streams and caves."
Bruce William DUNCAN was born on January 13, 1946, in Woking, Surrey, England. He died in hospital in Brantford on November 11, 2006, after suffering injuries in a car accident near his home in Paris, Ontario The vehicle he was driving had been struck head-on by a car that had crossed the centre line. The other diver was declared dead at the scene. He was 60. He leaves his wife, Janet; two children, Katie, 10 and James, 13; one brother, Jim, and a sister, Margaret DEMUNNIK. A public celebration of his life will be held at Bay Gardens Funeral and Memorial Centre, 1010 Botanical Dr., Burlington, Ontario on Saturday, November 25, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-12-06 published
John EDMEADS, Physician (1936-2006)
Gifted healer and teacher who was considered the world's expert in headaches and migraines once described his own lingering agony as 'still flapping its bat-like wings behind my brow'
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲ to The Globe and Mail, Page S7
Toronto -- Women make up roughly 75 per cent of the three million migraine sufferers in Canada. So why is it that new drugs to help manage acute migraines can, for some women at certain times, make their headaches worse? Doctor John EDMEADS, Canada's migraine guru, had an unvarnished answer: "Most physicians are men."
Not all headaches are created equal, and as many as 40 per cent of menopausal women who take migraine medication may find their headache getting worse. There are ways around the problem, such as hormone replacements with lower doses of estrogen, but "it's amazing how many neurologists out there don't know that," Doctor EDMEADS once observed.
Find a doctor who has what you have, goes the old saw; the empathy will be automatic. A migraineur himself, Doctor EDMEADS knew what his patients were going through. Deploying his customary oratorical flourish, he once described his own lingering agony as "still flapping its bat-like wings behind my brow." A patient's first few weeks off pain pills were "seven purple shades of hell."
A gifted healer, a much loved and widely admired teacher, administrator, expert witness and all-around wit, Doctor EDMEADS was considered Canada's, if not the world's, pre-eminent medical specialist in headaches and migraines. Anyone needing a brain doctor on the day of his memorial service in Toronto was likely out of luck; they were all packed into a room honouring a man lauded as a physician's physician and neurologist's neurologist, yet without a whiff of pretence.
"Doctors got better at diagnosing migraines because of John," said Canadian neurologist David Dodick, who completed a fellowship in headache studies under Doctor EDMEADS a decade ago and now works at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "Ask anyone who the most gifted speaker on the subject was, and they would all say 'Dr. EDMEADS.' I've never heard a negative word about him, ever, around the world."
A neurologist at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for 39 years and professor at the University of Toronto's medical faculty, where he won two Silver Shovel teaching awards for best clinical lecturer, Doctor EDMEADS knew well that even the word migraine can weaken knees. It was largely on his watch that the skull-splitting condition was understood, and has been proven as a neurological disorder, not just something triggered by too much gin, chocolate or a whiney two-year-old.
Even with recent advances, an estimated one-third of sufferers do not seek treatment, and migraine continues to be misunderstood, undertreated, and underdiagnosed.
The Migraine Association of Canada has noted some painful numbers: In Canada, 3.2 million adults and 250,000 children suffer from migraines, and absenteeism and loss of productivity resulting from migraines cost the economy $20 every second, or about $600-million annually.
Last year's Canadian Migraine in Women Survey alarmingly suggested that 32 per cent of Canadian adult women suffer from debilitating migraines (the worldwide ratio is 18 per cent of women and 6 per cent of men, but the prevalence for women is thought to be vastly understated).
Dr. EDMEADS placed hope in a relatively new class of migraine medications called triptans, but "he was not the sort of guy who sat in a lab and looked at molecules," said Valerie South, a nurse and author of the 1996 book Migraine. "He was the king of bedside manner. He let his patients do the talking."
Among them was Catherine Cripps, who was referred to Doctor EDMEADS after two other doctors were stumped by her "indescribable" pains. "He nailed it right away," recalled Ms. Cripps, who was diagnosed as having 11 leaks in her spinal cord -- with no cure. Even so, "he counselled me in such a way as to give me strength and hope. I will always be grateful for that."
Painkillers had their place, but Doctor EDMEADS felt that some migraineurs may be better off taking no medication at all. He and other specialists recognized that up to 40 per cent of Canadian sufferers have medication-induced headaches from both prescribed and over-the-counter drugs.
"These patients feel they have to take something for pain all the time, but in this case, the medication may not be doing them any good," he told a 1995 news conference. In one study, six months after withdrawal, about 70 per cent of patients reported they were able to cope without painkillers. "They still have migraines, but they don't feel out of control."
So what did Doctor EDMEADS take for his own head pain? Would you believe Alka-Seltzer? "It's liquid and it goes right to the root of the trouble immediately," chuckled his sister, Marilyn HENRY. "He believed in it religiously."
Neither did he gloss over garden-variety tension headaches, which affect about one-third of adults. They may not enjoy the pride of place of migraines, "but they do represent a very significant problem for many people. The pain is less severe than that of migraine, and the picture of an attack less dramatic, but the long-term suffering of someone with truly intrusive tension-type headaches can often be equivalent to that due to the migraine."
Two brain-related events figured in Doctor EDMEADS's formative years: He stuttered as a child and adolescent. Speech therapy and lots of practice helped him overcome the condition -- in spades. He went on to win pretty much every teaching award in the field (yet felt compelled to complete a master's degree in education at the age of 60). And his father died of a brain tumour while Dr. EDMEADS was a 25-year-old resident. As a family member, he was not permitted to treat his father.
Neurology had been a fairly popular specialty at the time of his graduation from the University of Toronto's medical school in 1959 but headache wasn't. The story goes that one day 45 or so years ago, Doctor EDMEADS was meeting with his mentor, Doctor Henry BARNETT. A pharmaceutical salesman entered and asked Doctor BARNETT to conduct a study on a new migraine drug. "There's your expert," Dr. BARNETT quickly sidestepped, pointing to his young protégé.
Dr. EDMEADS "accepted the challenge and did the study and became an expert," said Don COWAN, a former physician-in-chief at Sunnybrook (a position held by Doctor EDMEADS from 1994 to 2001.)
In 1988, Doctor EDMEADS was part of a medical team that testified on behalf of Kenneth James PARKS, a 24-year-old who had stabbed his mother-in-law to death and pleaded not guilty by reason of somnambulism. The sleepwalking defence worked, and Mr. PARKS was acquitted.
Dr. EDMEADS also researched the history of migraines for the World Headache Alliance and found many historical figures who suffered from the disorder, perhaps even having been influenced by it. They included painter Vincent Van Gogh, writers Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll, Napoleon, Julius Caesar and Elvis Presley.
It was not for nothing that Doctor EDMEADS bore a striking resemblance to actor Alan Alda, down to the tall and lanky frame. Like Hawkeye Pierce, Doctor EDMEADS's wit was irreverent but never cutting. A sampling, courtesy of his friend of 40 years, psychiatrist Fred SHEFTEL:
Hospitalized with his cancer, Doctor EDMEADS asked Friends not to call his wife after 10 p.m. "She'll think it's the hospital telling her I'm dead"
A medical expert was "anyone who comes from more than 50 miles away with slides"
Most lectures "are characterized by the information on the slide going from the mouth of the lecturer to the ears of the listener without going through the minds of either"
The extent of injuries and disabilities arising from post-traumatic whiplash disorder "depends on the kind of car the driver sees in the rearview mirror -- Ford or Mercedes."
Did Doctor EDMEADS diagnose his own terminal condition? No one knows, but he did come to work one day and instructed his loyal assistant, Hazel JOFFE, to throw away the slew of awards, plaques and citations on his wall, calling them "pure vanity." She took them down, but moved them to a residents' room at Sunnybrook named for him.
Dr. EDMEADS was the first Canadian to serve as president of the American Headache Society, which awarded him one final, posthumous kudo: The 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. John Gordon EDMEADS was born in Toronto on April 15, 1936, and died there on November 16, 2006, of acute leukemia. He was He leaves his wife, Catherine BERGERON, a neuropathologist; a son, Christopher; brother Ralph and sister Marilyn HENRY.
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