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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-02-23 published
Economist was 'great warrior of peace' and sworn enemy of Third World debt
A consultant to three levels of Canadian government, he put out financial fires for the United Nations and the World Bank, and went all over 'a world that is obscenely unequal, unfair and immoral'
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S11
Toronto -- 'Greed is good," cooed the go-for-the-jugular capitalist Gordon Gekko in the 1987 movie Wall Street. Just three years later, a more sobering motto was sounded by Morris MILLER, who was a bit better grounded in the real world: "Anxiety can be good for you."
We have nothing to fear but lack of fear itself, Mr. MILLER wrote in Peace Magazine in 1990, and self-deceiving illusions can be dangerous. "When surgery is needed, Aspirin is no cure," he warned. "We are living an illusion and must act to counter the global malaise that now afflicts us."
Long before U2 singer Bono's crusade, Mr. MILLER recognized that malaise as foreign debt, which was crushing not only developing nations' treasuries, but their hope.
That the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer was hardly news, but Mr. MILLER, ever the economist, cited depressing evidence. The average income in the developing world was a little less than $400 (U.S.) per capita, he found at one point. In the industrialized world, it was about $24,000, a ratio of 1 to 60. Two decades earlier, the ratio had been 1 to 30. "It has doubled in one generation!"
An even more revealing comparison was between the world's richest fifth and the world's poorest fifth: The ratio was 1 to 140. And one out of five people earns less than $1 per day.
He minced no words: "We have a world that is obscenely unequal, unfair and immoral. We live in a period when poverty is not only tolerated, but is exacerbated." Part of the rationale for the tolerance is a sense of futility: Poverty, he said, is thought to be too wide and deep to be seriously alleviated, let alone eradicated.
The global condition is "deplorable and getting worse." Between a third and half of humankind is not getting enough to eat or clothe itself, "or live in pride, hope, or human dignity. In fact, their conditions are worsening… Not since the conquistadors plundered Latin America has the world experienced a [financial] flow in the direction we see today."
It was a depressing scenario to be sure, but Mr. MILLER believed there was a way out. Industrialized countries had to do more and needed to regroup in a way that the United States, Japan and Western Europe would work together to re-establish some degree of global financial stability. In other words, co-operation.
Put another way, he felt that the days of American economic dominance had to end, to be replaced by a new type of international management that takes into account the economic slippage of the U.S. and the stronger position of its two main capitalist rivals.
As for already poor countries which must service ballooning foreign debts, "they are cannibalizing their economy to survive at a level that can hardly be called living. Is it any surprise that these nations are tinderboxes, ready to explode into rioting and civil breakdown?"
An economist and development expert who worked for three levels of government - provincial, federal and international - Mr. MILLER was known by his family as a "great warrior of peace."
The son of immigrant Jewish parents, he grew up in Montreal. His mother had come from Poland, while his father, Louis MAZUR, was from Ukraine. He was raised not in the storied St. Urbain Street neighbourhood, but in more uptown Outremont, graduating from Strathcona Academy and going on to study first political science and then commerce at McGill University.
He then headed to the London School of Economics, where he befriended another Outremont intellectual, Pierre Trudeau. The two bummed around Europe one summer, and they remained Friends for the rest of Mr. Trudeau's life.
Following completion of a master's degree in 1949, Mr. MILLER travelled the world, witnessing wrenching poverty and inequality. Back in Montreal, he wrote a play, The Flame Within, that was staged at the Canadian Drama Festival.
Following PhD studies at Harvard University, where he completed everything but his dissertation, he began teaching economics at McGill. One of his students was future Star Trek star William Shatner. Family lore has it that one day, Mr. Shatner informed his professor that he would not be making a future for himself in finance, to which Mr. MILLER said something like, "Maybe that's a good thing."
Mr. MILLER teamed up with Mr. Trudeau again in the early 1950s to attend an economic conference in Moscow, where Mr. MILLER was extended a very rare invitation to visit China. Can my friend Pierre come too? he asked. No, he was informed, Mr. Trudeau was not invited. Mr. MILLER went anyway as part of a Western delegation that helped Mao Zedong celebrate the anniversary of the revolution that had brought him to power in 1949.
Only decades later did Mr. MILLER discover why Mr. Trudeau had been unwelcome in China. In Moscow, Mr. MILLER had worn a tweed jacket, and Mr. Trudeau his customary sandals and shirt. The Chinese wanted only respectably attired Westerners.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, however, did not take kindly to Mr. MILLER's travels in the communist world, and they pressured McGill to relieve him of his teaching post. So in the mid-1950s, he and his new wife headed to Regina, where he took a job as director of research and planning at Saskatchewan's natural resources ministry.
In Ottawa for two years, Mr. MILLER helped guide a federal conference called Resources for Tomorrow, which examined policies related to economic development and the environment at two levels of government.
After a brief stint as an economist with the United Nations in New York, he spent four hectic but fruitful ears in Rome working for the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. He travelled throughout Africa and Asia, developing self-aid programs on water, food, infrastructure, health, education and the plight of women.
Continuing with the United Nations years later, he worked for the agency's Resources Development Group and was deputy secretary-general of a conference in Nairobi on new and renewable energy resources. He tangled with the Saudis and Americans on the rising cost of propane, which millions of poor had to use to cook their food.
Where did his passion for economic justice come from? "He must have been born with those views," offered Claire, his wife of 55 years. "The big thing for him wasn't so much the politics as the human being involved. His attitude was that we need to help people not exploit people, and it was very clear for him that there were choices to be made."
In 1968, Mr. MILLER went to Washington to work for the World Bank, which kindled his later view that the bank and its sister organization, the International Monetary Fund, were still operating on the outdated rules of the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement, which put the U.S. dollar at the centre of the global financial system. To him, that made no sense, but he felt the United States couldn't admit that its influence had waned, nor could it cede any more of its power.
Back in Ottawa in 1975, he worked for the Treasury Board and the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, and directed a task force on federalism for the Privy Council.
But the World Bank again beckoned, and he returned from 1981 to 1984 as an executive director representing Canada, Ireland and 10 Caribbean countries. The experience provided fodder for his 1986 book, Coping is Not Enough, described in The Globe's Report on Business as "a cry of frustration at the way the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are short-changed by the United States, which is responsible for about a fifth of their finances but has been the biggest brake on the agencies' expansion."
Mr. MILLER warned that urgent work needed to be done to avert a major crisis in the world economy. For one thing, since its initial payment to the World Bank of $635-million in 1947, Washington had contributed only $479-million more, an amount "that is less than the misplaced or stolen weaponry the Pentagon reports each year, or less than the cost of one destroyer." The price of oil was also a factor in global economic instability: "Both in 1973 and 1978, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pushed on the accelerator," Mr. MILLER wrote. "The United States in 1979 slammed on the brakes and the rest of the world, like unbuckled passengers, went through the windshield."
He did not let Canada off the hook, accusing it of a sycophantic approach when it came to Third World debt reduction: "There's always pressure to placate the Americans," he stated. "I don't think the Canadian government gave a damn when it supported structural adjustment. They just wanted to support the U.S., who only wanted to help the banks get their debts serviced."
As for asking international bankers to exercise social responsibility, "you might as well ask cats to bark. Banks are not in the business of providing charity."
Between 1986 and 1995, Mr. MILLER led or took part in some 20 overseas missions for United Nations agencies, the World Bank and the governments of Canada, Poland and Mexico to examine fiscal and development issues and the alleviation of poverty.
He spent the final 20 or so years of his life as a consultant on development issues and a professor at the University of Ottawa. He found a haven at his cottage in the Laurentians, where he loved to fish with his grandchildren. To the best of his family's knowledge, he never caught anything.
With current economic arrangements unsustainable, the key question for Mr. MILLER was whether new policies to redirect capital to help poor countries would be adopted voluntarily or whether circumstances will force changes. Under that second option, he warned, "we will reap the whirlwind."
Morris MILLER was born on June 15, 1924, in Montreal. He died of cancer in Ottawa on February 17, 2008. He was 83. He leaves his wife, Claire, his children Riel, Shereen and Leona, and eight grandchildren.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-02-27 published
Rabbi built congregation with warmth, chutzpah
For 40 years, he worked to build Toronto's second-largest Reform synagogue and smooth relations among the faiths
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S9
Toronto -- Jordan PEARLSON once trained as a lawyer, but he ended up a rabbi. Asked later in life how the two positions differed, he proffered a typically talmudic response: "I now have a client with whom I can consistently agree."
A stalwart of Toronto's Jewish community and a bridge-builder to members of other religions worldwide, Rabbi PEARLSON served for 40 years as spiritual leader of Temple Sinai, the city's second-largest Reform synagogue, and helped grow its membership from 14 to 1,600 families.
Internationally, he twice held talks with Pope John Paul II, financed kilns for ceramics produced by Ethiopian Jewish women in Addis Ababa, developed the first multifaith service for the Queen and Prince Philip, and took part in interreligious consultations in Mauritius, Nairobi, Athens, Rome, London, Geneva, Amsterdam, Prague and Baltimore.
At home, he was recalled for his keen mind and compassionate ways.
"He was brilliant and inspirational from the bimah [the raised platform in synagogues where the Torah is read] and wise and warm in person," noted Temple Sinai's senior rabbi, Michael DOLGIN. "He was able to merge [those and] draw people in. People said, 'I want to be part of a community led by this man,' and when they met him, they felt at home."
Once described by a mourner as "the divine interventionist in our grief, with the wicked twinkle of Groucho Marx," Mr. PEARLSON was studying pastoral psychiatry at New York's Bellevue Hospital when the dean of his seminary asked him to help out a small group of Jews in the northern Toronto suburb of North York.
"It wasn't on the map but they knew it was there because they had postmarks that said it was," he once told the Toronto Star. He answered the call, moving north in 1954 while still a rabbinical student. There were no hotels then in North York, so he had to be billeted with individual families. Among the first locations offered to the fledgling congregation was Asbury and West United Church.
Temple records unearthed for a commemorative weekend honouring Mr. PEARLSON in 1995 found the following entry in the October 4, 1954, edition of Time magazine: "One night last week, the doors of Asbury Church were thrown open. Near the altar rested an ark bearing the lighted tablet of the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath candles of the Jewish service glowed near the centre of worship. In a brief welcome to the temple members, Pastor Hunter extended the best wishes of his congregation. Rabbi PEARLSON responded with thanks for the 'profoundly sensitive manner this gesture of goodwill was made.' "
Two years later, Temple Sinai was constructed on Wilson Avenue. "We built with a $25,000 loan from Holy Blossom Temple [Canada's largest Reform congregation] and $425,000 of pure chutzpah," Mr. PEARLSON would recall. He was ordained in 1957, and within a year, membership had zoomed to 367 families.
The congregation paid off the loan and a bank mortgage. Over the years, to meet the pressures of growth, the temple's facilities were enlarged and a school added. Like other Toronto synagogues of the day, it grew with its surroundings, becoming an integral part of a Jewish community that saw healthy growth in all its denominations - Orthodox, Conservative and the liberal Reform movement.
Mr. PEARLSON was born in a Boston suburb to immigrant parents. His father, Jacob, arrived from Lithuania, served in the U.S. artillery in the First World War and later ran a tiny tailor shop. He was a devout Jew and one of the most influential figures in his son's life.
"Deep inside my gut was a love I identified with my father's love of Judaism," he once said.
It was a love leavened with respect for others. "He once told me that he would rather I did not send his grandchildren to full-time Jewish day schools," Mr. PEARLSON told the Star. "He said, 'They are going to live in the gentile world. We will see that they get plenty of Jewish studies, but you make damn sure they know how to live with their neighbours.' "
His mother, Frieda, was a native of Poland who came to America as a child. Although she could speak only Polish and Yiddish at first, she grew up in upper-crust Salem, Massachusetts., and acquired a "perfect Boston Yankee accent she never lost," her son remembered.
He studied engineering at Tufts University on a government program and earned a certificate in military engineering but couldn't find work because engineering firms weren't hiring Jews. So he toiled in the clothing trade as a cutter's assistant while studying electronics and math at Boston University, until rheumatic fever sidelined him for a year. Temple records note that during his illness, he had to be pulled around in a little red cart. But the interval afforded him the opportunity to read, and books of all genres poured into the household to stimulate his mind.
Because his illness kept him from being drafted, he was hired by Associated Press to work in radio and wire photos, and was later transferred to the agency's New York office. Unhappy with the job, he returned to Boston and worked his way through Northeastern University as an economics and psychology major while supporting himself as a shoe salesman, Boston Globe copy boy and confirmation teacher at a local synagogue. During the summers, he coached swimming.
He went on to Northeastern's law school. "Shortly before being called to the bar, however, he developed a distaste for the law," noted the 1995 program that honoured Mr. PEARLSON's four decades of service. "He had discovered that the man he was working for was politically powerful and was receiving unwarranted favours from one of the judges. Jacob PEARLSON had instilled in his sons a tremendous moral sense. He had taught them what was right, and this was not their way."
So it was back to school for a divinity degree and ordination from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. "My father was an academic junkie," said his daughter, Abigail OLYAN. "He could read a book in less than an hour and lecture on it for two."
He also reached out to Christians at a time when Jews as a rule did not. Toronto then was "very much a British colonial outpost where people had a particular place on the social ladder, and there was no question that the Orange Lodges ran the city," Mr. Pearson said. "Just about everybody knew where they stood ethnically and religiously on that social ladder."
Yet, he persisted. "There was no open dialogue, he used to say to me," recalled his daughter. "He never understood why there was this harsh division in a country that was becoming so multicultural. Dad just really felt that conversation, open interfaith dialogue, was critical so the past could never be repeated. He felt that you can't keeping doing the same things and expect a different result."
Prior to his many meetings at the Vatican with Roman Catholic officials and the two with Pope John Paul, Mr. PEARLSON would bone up on his Catholic theology. "That's a cutting-edge effort," remarked Father Damien MacPHERSON, director of ecumenical and interfaith affairs for Toronto's Catholic archdiocese. "Jordan had an endeared sense of the Roman Catholic Church, and of the Pope. He had a great appreciation for [John Paul's] initiative and efforts in Catholic-Jewish dialogue."
Indeed, the rabbi was heartened that the former pontiff took anti-Semitism so seriously. "He loved the experience," his daughter related. "Every time he would go abroad, he was thankful that the cardinals and the Pope and his people were very concerned about anti-Semitism. He said this Pope really felt the heartache of what had happened during the Holocaust, especially when there's so much Holocaust denial."
He was the Canadian go-to man for several religious groups, including the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, which negotiates with the Vatican; the World Council of Churches the African Council of Churches; and the Orthodox Christian Communities of the Eastern Rites. He was the only rabbi to give the Chancellor's Lecture in the history of the lectureship at Queen's University's school of theology.
At his synagogue, he pioneered non-sectarian nursery school programs for special-needs children, and started study and prayer groups. He was voted an honorary citizen of Metropolitan Toronto.
He was saddened, however, by the cracks that crept into Canadian Jewry.
"There was a time when the key Orthodox leaders could sit down with the Conservative and Reform rabbis in a single rabbinic fellowship," he said in 1995. "That disappeared about a decade ago. Unfortunately, the Israeli impact has bled over into a divisiveness on that front as well."
Jordan PEARLSON was born September 2, 1924, in Somerville, Massachusetts. He died in Toronto on February 19, 2008. He was 83. He leaves his wife of 49 years, Geraldine (Goldstein), brothers Melvin and Stanley; children Joshua PEARLSON, Nessa PEARLSON and Abigail Olyan; and two grandchildren.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-06 published
Toronto surgeon 'changed the face of pediatric plastic surgery forever'
Gifted doctor helped 18,000 patients, mostly children with cleft palates and congenital deformities. He made so many volunteer trips to China that a local hospital named him its honorary head
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S9
Toronto -- William LINDSAY was so devoted to correcting cleft palates that he once performed the procedure on a horse. It was 1965, the patient was a year-old thoroughbred that couldn't eat or nurse properly, and Doctor LINDSAY teamed up with a group of veterinarians from Toronto's Woodbine Race Track who had experience in putting horses under general anesthetic. By this time, Doctor LINDSAY had already acquired a reputation as a gifted plastic surgeon who specialized in cleft palates and other deformities. Special oversized instruments were created for the operation by the Hospital for Sick Children's medical engineering department.
The disorder was repaired and the patient recovered, but she never did race. And in an unusual but perhaps poetic turn of events, Doctor LINDSAY's son, Bill, went on to become a veterinarian specializing in equine surgery (and whose sole regret was that he never got to operate alongside his father).
Dr. LINDSAY, who headed the plastic surgery division at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children from 1958 to 1986 and taught the specialty at the University of Toronto's medical school for two decades, healed an estimated 18,000 patients, mostly children born with cleft lips and palates and congenital deformities of the hand, as well as accident and burn victims.
Remembered as a gentle, even-tempered and self-effacing man, Dr. LINDSAY "changed the face of pediatric plastic surgery forever," wrote Ronald ZUKER, who trained under Doctor LINDSAY and followed his mentor to the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children, where he, too, performed cleft lip and palate surgery. "His kind and amiable nature was evident in the clinic when the children would run up to sit on his lap. He was a wonderful and empathetic clinician who led by example."
Being detail-oriented may have been one reason he was drawn to plastic surgery, Doctor LINDSAY recalled in his unpublished memoirs. "It's very fine work, done with much smaller instruments than regular surgery, and one can see the results of one's work, as it isn't hidden inside the body."
The eldest of five children, William LINDSAY was born and raised in Vancouver. His parents left the Ottawa Valley on the afternoon of their wedding in 1919 with a one-way rail ticket to the West Coast, where his father operated the Vancouver Tugboat Company. By 12, his son was working part-time on the tugboats up and down the coast. Later, he toiled as a dining-car waiter aboard Canadian National Railway trains.
Idealism and an uncle's influence led him to medicine, and he ranked fifth among 300 students after his first year in pre-med at the U of T. After graduation in 1945, he served briefly in the Royal Canadian Navy, and maintained a general practice in Sudbury, Ontario
On his first night, he was on call and found himself wandering through a bitterly cold and snowy streetscape searching for his first patient. He found the address, and encountered a young woman in labour. "I got to work," he recalled, "interrupted at times by an aggressive chihuahua who deemed it necessary to attack my shoelaces while I attended his mistress."
Dr. LINDSAY hitched his wagon to a rising star in 1949, when he served as a research fellow with Wilfred BIGELOW (obituary, March 30, 2005), who was conducting pioneering experiments on hypothermia as it affected heart function. Doctor BIGELOW had long wondered whether cooling the body could slow blood flow long enough to access the heart.
The two physicians successfully tested that theory on a dog at the Banting Institute. After chilling the anesthetized animal to a body temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, they interrupted cardiac circulation for 15 minutes with clamps and opened the heart. It wasn't beating. With Doctor LINDSAY watching, Doctor BIGELOW tapped the organ tentatively with an electrical probe. All four chambers responded with one convulsive throb. He tapped it again. Another beat. The organ then continued beating without blood - a first - and then with blood. The dog was rewarmed and survived.
The episode led Doctor BIGELOW to think of a device that could deliver a gentle jolt of some sort without damaging the heart, and he went on to develop the first cardiac pacemaker.
Meantime, Doctor LINDSAY had trained in plastic surgery in Toronto, Montreal and Dallas, and joined Sick Kids in 1953. The following year, the hospital established its Cleft Lip and Palate Research and Treatment Centre under his leadership. Today, it is the largest such centre in Canada, with 3,500 patients in active treatment and 175 new patients each year. It combines 16 disciplines.
Dr. LINDSAY was one of the first McLaughlin fellows. He attended the first two awards dinners in 1953 and 1954 and, in an interview with the U of T's magazine, he recalled the fellowship's benefactor, the legendary auto magnate and philanthropist Samuel McLaughlin. "There would be 14 or 16 men sitting at a long, rectangular table. Mr. McLaughlin would be sitting at the middle of one side. He wasn't very tall but he would command and direct conversation throughout dinner magnificently." Doctor LINDSAY noted, however, that in order to do this, Mr. McLaughlin would have to rise to his feet when he had something to say.
In the 1970s, Doctor LINDSAY evaluated the likelihood of success in the replantation of various appendages, including both physical and emotional measures. He found that the most common replantations - in order of frequency - were thumbs, fingers, hands, arms and legs, although the ear, nose, lips, scalp and penis could also be reattached.
He made the first of several trips to China in the early 1980s, when Canada's ambassador to that country asked him to perform cleft lip and palate surgery on children and treat burn victims at the hospital in Lanzhou, in China's northwestern Gansu province. By the early 1990s, the missions were being underwritten by the Canadian International Development Agency.
"Homes were very poor and they were heated with gas heaters," said Doctor LINDSAY's wife of 63 years, Peggy. "These would often turn over and there were a lot of bad burns to both adults and children." The Canadian doctor imparted his wisdom and skills and, in turn, learned a great deal about Chinese medicine, particularly herb-based salves and ointments for burn victims. He never did find out what was in them, as the Chinese couldn't translate their contents into English. "We never knew whether they just didn't want to tell him or really didn't know."
The Chinese hospital was able to build a new wing and, through the efforts of Doctor LINDSAY and Canadian International Development Agency, it received an anesthetic machine, a respirator, a burn bed and an electric dermatome, a machine used to produce large sheets of skin from a donor area. In gratitude, Doctor LINDSAY was named honorary head of the Gansu Provincial People's Hospital.
A great believer in research, he conducted explorations into tendon healing, which led to a special clinical interest in congenital and traumatic hand surgery. A group of his research fellows formed the Chicken Tendon Club.
Nicknamed the Silver Fox for his characteristic grey hair, he served as president of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons in 1964-1965 and of the American Association of Plastic Surgery in 1970-1971. He was also active in the formation of the Bloorview-MacMillan Treatment Centre (formerly Hugh MacMillan Treatment Centre and originally the Ontario Crippled Children's Centre). A quadruple heart bypass operation around 1980 slowed him down, but not much. In 2003, he was named to the Order of Ontario.
He was happiest providing comfort and hope to thousands of children, but a close second was his time spent at the family farm, called Skytop, north of Hockley Valley. An eco-friendly farmer and environmentalist before those were popular, Doctor LINDSAY planted trees and created ponds while raising Angus cattle. His family and many young colleagues joined him for tree-planting weekends each spring. At his side, his grandchildren learned farming, fishing, skiing, gardening, horsemanship and beekeeping. He was at the farm regularly until the month before his death.
William Kerr LINDSAY was born in Vancouver on September 3, 1920. He died of congestive heart failure in Toronto on February 5, 2008. He was 87. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Peggy (FRANCES,) children William, Barbara, Katherine and Anne, and 11 grandchildren.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-03-31 published
With a wrist shot 'like a bullet,' she played hockey for 73 years
There's longevity in sport and then there was the veteran from Bala, Ontario, who competed for most of the 116 years that Canadian women have been playing organized hockey
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S11
It was on a frigid windswept lake in central Ontario's Muskoka region where Mickey WALKER's parents strapped a pair of bobskates to her tiny feet when she was three years old. As she grew, the girl played shinny with her father and four big brothers. She learned to stickhandle quickly. "If I didn't," she would recall, "I never would have had the puck."
At 12, Ms. WALKER joined her first hockey team with her brother's hand-me-down skates, an old stick (a new one cost 25 cents), and magazines wrapped around her shins for protection. She was 73 when the Ontario Women's Hockey Association recognized her as the oldest woman in Canada still playing, and 85 when she finally stopped skating in regular Monday night scrimmages at the arena in her native Bala, Ontario
She twice contested the Canadian women's championship in the 1930s, and pioneered the growth and development of hockey for girls and women. "She was so dedicated to women's hockey," remarked her friend of 25 years, Hazel McCALLION, the irrepressible mayor of Mississauga who's leading an effort to preserve Ms. WALKER's small mountain of hockey memorabilia. "She always encouraged young girls to get involved."
Ms. WALKER so loved the clean way women played that she spoke out against the violence in today's professional game every chance she could. "These young women play the game the way it should be played - without violence," she told The Muskokan newspaper in 1994. "I hate the violence of the National Hockey League! [Commentator] Don Cherry and the National Hockey League players who promote and play violent hockey should pay attention to those women.
"Great hockey players over the years, whether men or women, have never been violent. Only the goons who can't play the game and are out to injure the great players are violent. They should be barred from the game."
Little got her dander up like Mr. Cherry. "All he does is promote violence in the hockey telecasts and he makes videos out of them and sells them," she huffed in the Muskoka Sun in 1993. (Attempts to reach Mr. Cherry for comment were unsuccessful.)
Her disdain for violence and concern for women and children extended beyond hockey. Over several summers in Bala, she was known for sporting a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words: "My name is Mickey WALKER and I abhor mental, physical and sexual abuse against women and children. It has to be stopped!" She was also a fierce supporter of the death penalty.
She came into the world as Mary WALKER, the youngest of eight children born to Ada Berry WALKER and Captain John WALKER, who worked on Imperial Oil supply boats on the Great Lakes. The clan's Muskoka roots went back to the 1860s (Walker's Point bears the family name). The "Mickey" moniker stuck after young Mary endlessly sang a popular song she learned from the radio: "Mickey, pretty Mickey."
Her athletic skills came naturally. "We were a sports-oriented family," she recalled. "My mother was a beautiful skater and was still skating at 65. My father was a good hockey player well past the age of 50. So, hockey and sports just came naturally to me."
She also excelled at baseball and curling, and canoed well into her 80s.
Ms. WALKER began playing for the Bala girls' team in 1930. Practices were Friday at 4 p.m., and young Mickey so looked forward to them that she devised a way to get out of school early to get to the arena before anyone: She'd begin talking to someone in class until the teacher would holler, "Mary WALKER - out!"
That worked until the principal saw her scurrying along with her skates and stick before school was over. The next time the teacher spied his talkative pupil, she was kept for a half-hour after class.
"Well, that cured me," Ms. WALKER recalled in the 1995 history of women's hockey in Canada, Proud Past, Bright Future, by Brian McFarlane. "I never tried my little trick to get to the arena early ever again."
In 1934, Ms. WALKER's cousin returned to Bala after a stint in the semi-pro leagues in the United States, and joined the men's team in Bracebridge, Ontario, about 50 kilometres away. When he heard that the women's squad in nearby Bracebridge needed players, he told them about Ms. WALKER, who soon got an offer, accompanied by room and board.
When a teammate noticed that the toe of one of Ms. WALKER's skates was worn through, with her sock sticking out, she marched Mickey to her father's hardware store, where Ms. WALKER was handed a pair of $5 CCMs. They were the first new skates she'd ever owned.
She soon developed into her playing height and weight - 5 feet 8 inches, 130 pounds - and in her first year with Bracebridge, played for the national championship against the legendary Preston Rivulettes. The old Bracebridge arena was packed to the rafters. Ms. WALKER and her teammates had never played before such a large crowd and were so nervous, "it took us most of the first period to settle down," she told the Ice Times newspaper in 1991. The fearsome Preston girls, who reigned as champs for 10 years, were used to crowds and won the game 3-1 to retain their title.
Ms. WALKER and a group of Bala girls joined the team in Gravenhurst, about 15 kilometres down the road, for the following season, and again faced the Rivulettes for the national crown. The 1935 outdoor game was a disaster. For one thing, rain had dumped more than two centimetres of water onto the ice surface. "Have you ever tried to stickhandle on water?" Ms. WALKER later pondered. "The puck won't go anywhere."
For another, the champs had singled out Ms. WALKER as the only real threat on the opposing team. They identified her as the one whose wavy hair curled with perspiration (this was before helmets). Cries of "Get Curly!" could be heard from fans and the Preston bench.
Soon, the Rivulettes' big Marm Schmuck came barrelling down a wing straight at Ms. WALKER. " Step into her, Mickey! Step into her!" yelled her brother, Reg, from the stands. She complied, and both went down, but not before the Preston player's stick smashed Ms. WALKER across the nose and left her with two black eyes. "It wasn't an accident," she said, years later. A scar across the bridge of her nose was a lifelong souvenir.
As if that wasn't bad enough, an irate fan tried to swat Ms. WALKER with an umbrella every time she skated by. This time, her team lost 9-1, and the wild hit cemented her distaste for violence in hockey.
The Bracebridge and Gravenhurst teams folded and it was back to Bala until the Second World War broke out. At age 22, Ms. WALKER moved to Toronto to work at a small-arms plant that made Lee-Enfield rifles. Among 7,000 employees, she was soon picked among only a half dozen women to work in the "tool room," where she operated her own machine and earned the resentment of the men. "Girls in the tool room," she later mused. "Unheard of."
Two-and-a-half years later, she married a plant engineer and moved to Mississauga, where she played pickup games on the lake and in backyard rinks. Her daughter, Launi BANNISTER, a onetime figure skater, laughs heartily when asked whether she ever joined in. "Oh God, no! I didn't know what to do with a hockey stick!" Her mother was always chosen first and always shamed the guys with nimble skating and stick handling, and a deadly wrist shot that was "like a bullet."
But the story gets a little murky here. All her family will divulge is that Ms. WALKER endured back-to-back abusive marriages, both ending in divorce. She returned to Bala, alone, at 64.
She dived back into hockey, coaching a girls' team and captaining the Young Tymers, a squad of women over 35. She also started the Ice Girls, who met every Monday night at the arena for informal games. "There were no hockey programs for women or girls," she said about Bala. "So I started one. I'm trying to teach them that hockey is fun."
That's a lesson Ann KNIGHT learned. "She taught us how to stickhandle, how to steal the puck and how to love the game," said Ms. KNIGHT, who played alongside Ms. WALKER for a dozen years.
When Ms. WALKER turned 75, former Toronto Maple Leaf great Darryl Sittler was among dozens of people who sent her birthday greetings. She carried fan mail in her purse from Japan, Australia and the Netherlands.
In gratitude to her boosterism, the Ontario Women's Hockey Association in 1993 inaugurated the Mickey Walker Most Sportsmanlike Award. Ms. WALKER watched the Ontario Women's Hockey Association's ranks swell from a few thousand in 1975, the year it was founded, to about 40,000 players on 2,300 teams today, according to Fran RIDER, the association's executive director.
She loved the fact that women's hockey caught on globally, especially in 1990, the year of the first Women's World Championship, and 1998, when it was first played as an Olympic event. "You don't know how happy I am to see how far women's hockey has progressed," she enthused. "We've got just great players. They can do it all."
At the 1997 world championships in Kitchener, Ontario, she was interviewed by CBS television. The clip caught the eye of the late Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip and an avid hockey fan who had staged the Snoopy Senior Annual World Hockey Tournament in California every year. He sent Ms. WALKER an invitation to play on his team (the 75- to 80-year-olds) but she was battling the flu and couldn't go.
But she was well enough to show up at the 2000 world championship in Mississauga decked out in full hockey paraphernalia, and with her face painted red and white.
Incredibly, Ms. WALKER chain-smoked, starting at 25, and quitting only two years ago after a bout of pneumonia.
She died four days before her namesake trophy was awarded to four-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Botterill, who helped power the Mississauga Chiefs to the 2008 Esso women's national club championship in Charlottetown this month.
Mickey WALKER was born Mary Pearl WALKER in Bala, Ontario, on January 18, 1918. She died there on March 11, 2008 of natural causes. She was 90. She is survived by her daughter, Launi BANNISTER, son Stephen KNIPFEL and grand_son Joseph.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-12 published
Ambassador a hard-nosed negotiator who paved the way to free trade
A survivor of a torpedoed Royal Canadian Navy frigate during the Second World War, he learned how to exploit differences among trading regions and proved that Canada was capable of digging in its heels
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S12
Jake WARREN was part of that generation of tough Canadians who saw action during the Second World War and went on to become architects of this country's post-war political and economic policies. Alongside such senior mandarins (and old Friends) as Simon Reisman, Gordon Robertson, Ed Ritchie and Saul Rae, Mr. WARREN represented a golden era when Canada came of age and made its mark internationally.
A highly respected diplomat and public servant for 34 years, Mr. WARREN was Canada's high commissioner to Britain and ambassador to the United States. Before and after those appointments, he was this country's top trade negotiator, a hard-nosed horse trader who co-ordinated tariff and trade deals on a global scale, paving the way for the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
"In my family, we knew him as Uncle Jake," recalled Liberal member of Parliament and former Ontario premier Bob Rae, whose father, Saul, served with Mr. WARREN in post-war London. "He was somebody I always turned to for candid and direct advice. He was never shy about sharing his views."
Mr. WARREN had "a burning love" for Canada, eulogized his friend Thomas D'AQUINO, a former civil servant and now head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He "took a strong interest in virtually every issue that came to define Canada as we passed into the new century: Our trading relationships with the world; our fiscal health; our constitutional debates; relations between English and French speaking people; our partnership with the United States the integrity and accountability of our political leaders."
Like many of his era, Mr. WARREN was fuelled by an intellectual hunger and zest for life that followed the trauma of having his warship blown out from under him. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941 and by 1944, was a lieutenant and navigation officer aboard the HMCS Valleyfield, a river-class frigate that had been commissioned only the year before.
Just before midnight on May 6, 1944, on the return leg of an escort mission, the Valleyfield was one of three frigates and two corvettes steaming 50 nautical miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland. With the Valleyfield occupying the distant, astern position in the convoy, the ships were making good time to Saint_John's, when suddenly, a warning was sounded. Just as action stations were called, the German submarine U-548 fired a torpedo that ripped into the Valleyfield's port side. There was a tremendous explosion and the ship broke in two.
"She went down in 90 seconds," recalled Stanley TAPSON of Sidney, British Columbia, who was a stoker aboard the ship. "Jake was off duty that night but he was in the bridge cabin anyway."
The water temperature was barely above freezing. Of a crew of 168, 130 men perished. Because it happened late at night, most were asleep or off watch in the mess. The ship was cut neatly in half and they died trapped below decks, Mr. TAPSON said.
Asked how he survived clad in nothing but a lifejacket and underwear, Mr. TAPSON said, "I was 19." Mr. WARREN, he recalled, wore a thermal suit.
Of the crew who hit the water, only 38 survived. But for them the nightmare was just beginning. It was some time before the other ships in the convoy realized that the Valleyfield was missing. Finally, HMCS Giffard, a flower-class corvette, went about and steamed back to the survivors but could not stop. Under wartime regulations, the Giffard had orders to first try to hunt down the submarine.
Hours later, with all trace of the U-boat gone, the Giffard returned to the scene. But by then some of the men had perished in the water, either from hypothermia or from ingesting fuel oil that had sluiced from the hull. The survivors were finally taken on board and, once safely in port, they waited their turn to ride an ambulance to hospital.
"Jake comes up to me and puts his hand on my shoulder and says, 'You're next, Stan,' recalled Mr. TAPSON, his voice choking. "That's was typical. He was no put-on. He was a man's man and we all loved and respected him."
He was born on Happy Valley Farm, which grew tobacco in Howard Township outside London, Ontario, the only child of Thomas and Olive WARREN. At war's end, he returned to Queen's University to complete a bachelor's degree in politics and economics that he had started earlier.
Mr. WARREN and many his age were snapped up by a war-weary External Affairs Department, which was eager for fresh talent. For a dozen years, he held junior postings at Canadian embassies in London, Washington and Paris, and showed such a flair for trade issues that in 1958 he was appointed assistant deputy minister in the department of trade and commerce.
Two years later, he was named vice-chairman of the Canadian delegation at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in Geneva, a posting that lasted four years. Then it was back to the renamed industry, trade and commerce ministry in Ottawa, this time as deputy minister.
At the age of 50, Mr. WARREN was named high commissioner. "He was one the youngest high commissioners ever sent," said his daughter, Hilary NICOLSON. "He relished it and did a phenomenal job of promoting Canada as a young and youthful country, full of prospects."
The three-year posting was replaced by another high-level appointment as Canada's ambassador to the United States, overlapping with the presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. It was under Mr. Ford's administration that Canada was invited to join the G-6 Group of Nations, making it the G-7. Mr. WARREN was said to have played a large role in that decision, and he also laid plans for the later move of Canada's embassy to Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the street from the White House.
When Mr. Ford died in 2006, Mr. WARREN recalled that the president "understood us, and there didn't seem to be huge, terrible tensions or problems. We didn't have a lumber dispute, and we didn't have water diversion."
Another accomplishment of note on his watch was an agreement reached between the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Research Council of Canada for the development and building of a "Space Shuttle Attached Remote Manipulator System," or the Canadarm.
In 1977, rumours surfaced that Mr. WARREN was being pushed out of his job because of conflict with Ivan Head, a top adviser to then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, over preparations for Mr. Trudeau's trip to Washington that February. Mr. WARREN was also rumoured to be on the short list for governor-general in 1979, but the job went to Edward Schreyer.
In 1977, he returned to Canada as co-ordinator of the Tokyo Round of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations, which were aimed at revamping the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. To the amazement of many, Mr. WARREN showed that Canada, a relatively small player by international standards, was able to exact concessions from Europe, the U.S. and Japan.
In fact, the way he put it, Canadian officials learned how to exploit differences among the three most powerful trading regions. Mr. WARREN said Canada had proved quite capable of digging in its heels on import restrictions. "Not unreasonable" was a phrase he often used to describe the concessions achieved by Canada.
While it's fair to say many Canadians would find topics such as tariff quotas and countervailing duties less than scintillating, Mr. WARREN truly loved the field. "He actually found the subject fascinating," his daughter noted. "The negotiating skills required, the subject matter. Free trade was something that he believed strongly in. Dry maybe, but for him, the subtleties were extraordinary."
He was recalled as a wonderful wit but a rather formal man who would arch his back at the dinner table to remind his children to sit up straight. However, he mellowed with age, his daughter pointed out.
On retirement in 1979, he was appointed vice-chairman of the Bank of Montreal and made responsible for its growing international network. Three years later, he was named to the Order of Canada. But another major challenge awaited. A month shy of his 65th birthday, the government of Quebec retained him as its free-trade policy adviser during the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
The Globe and Mail called his appointment "intriguing" and an ambiguous move by then premier Robert Bourassa, who "often sends out double messages of this kind, using someone's reputation to suggest that he is heading in one direction, and then moving in a quite different direction.
"On the face of it, it looks as if Quebec went out to get a big-league player; someone whose experience would match that of Simon Reisman," wrote Graham Fraser in 1986.
Mr. WARREN's presence suggested to others that Mr. Bourassa favoured the idea of the trade talks' success. And while there were some who said an independent Quebec's economy would be viable, Mr. WARREN's view was: "Viable means 'not dead.' That's not what I want for Quebec."
He wanted the best for all of Canada. As he warned before the House of Commons committee on the Meech Lake Accords, "If there is a split or some arrangement that is less efficient than what we have at the moment, I think we will lose something. Both Canada and Quebec will lose."
Jack Hamilton WARREN was born in Ridgetown, Ontario, on April 10, 1921. He died April 1, 2008 of natural causes in Ottawa. He was 87. He leaves his wife of 55 years Joan (TITTERINGTON,) children Hilary, Martin, Jennifer, and Ian, and nine grandchildren.
He is also survived by his Valleyfield shipmates, Stanley TAPSON (Sidney, British Columbia); Bill EDWARDS (Vancouver); Don GODWIN (Hamilton, Ontario;) and Ian TAIT/TAITE/TATE (Port Colbourne, Ontario
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-21 published
Leader in rehabilitative medicine pioneered the use of biofeedback
Brilliant student who went directly from high school to medical school developed breakthroughs in artificial limbs, trained more than 1,000 doctors and wrote or edited in excess of 60 books
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S10
Your body is not only a temple but a veritable fount of information. It is continuously feeding you vital data on how to make the best of what you've got. Getting stiff because you've been watching television for hours? That's a message. Sidelined by an unexpected head or backache? Another bulletin. Problem is, many of us are tone-deaf to our own biological feedback.
The truncated term of biofeedback was coined in 1969 in Santa Monica, California., and Doctor John BASMAJIAN became among its most enthusiastic proponents. It may have acquired a New Age vibe, but Doctor BASMAJIAN felt it was scientifically rock-solid, for here was a technique of using equipment, usually electronic, to reveal internal physiological events in the form of visual and audible signals. Patients hooked up the contraptions could then be taught how to manage these involuntary events by manipulating the displayed signals.
Biofeedback has been found to be a very effective therapeutic tool for the treatment of many stress-related disorders, including cardio-vascular diseases. In fact, it was Doctor BASMAJIAN's guess that half of all problems seen by family doctors were behavioural in origin, and that more standard but invasive treatments involving surgery or drugs could be drastically reduced if people only listened to their bodies.
Some back pain, for example, "is just a tension headache that has slipped down." When muscles knot, it's "nature's way of splinting a muscle," he told the New York Times. "When a muscle knots or goes into spasm, it is protected by becoming immobilized and forcing its owner to rest. Rest is how the body recovers from injuries." A renowned anatomist and leader in the field of rehabilitative medicine, Doctor BASMAJIAN called himself the "putative father" of electromyography, the study of electrical discharge from muscles, and later, biofeedback.
"I started working on muscle in the days of polio and, afterward, when it was licked, people asked me why I continued," he told the Hamilton Spectator upon being named to the Order of Canada in 1995. "I was able to discover some things which became important later on."
Indeed, his research paved the way for developments in rehabilitative medicine, specifically, how muscle could be trained to recover from damage. His work also led to early breakthroughs in artificial limbs. Along the way, he invented several medical devices and procedures, including electrodes used to measure electrical impulses in muscle fibre.
He probably could have become wealthy from his inventions alone, but he didn't patent anything "because the money didn't interest me, and it took so long to get something patented when it could actually be in use if you just published a paper and made people aware of it."
Recalled as a tireless and passionate man who displayed an almost evangelical zeal for his work, Doctor BASMAJIAN ended his career as professor of medicine and anatomy at McMaster University and director of Hamilton's Chedoke Rehabilitation Centre. His professional output was matched by few: He authored or edited some 400 scientific papers and 60 books which sold more than a million copies.
The best-known volume, Muscles Alive, was the first collection of studies that used technology to study muscle behaviour during voluntary activity, and was said to have sparked the imaginations of countless students and health practitioners.
He embraced technology as few physicians of his age did. Recalled Dr. Carlo DeLuca of Boston University, who worked with Doctor BASMAJIAN as a graduate student in 1968, "within minutes of our encounter he asked me questions on how one could increase the input impedance of amplifiers indwelling electromyographic signals. I had never before heard such words from the mouth of a medical doctor. He insisted that we be passionate about our work. For John, science was a love affair."
He was born in Constantinople -- modern-day Istanbul -- to Armenian parents who had both lost spouses in the genocide of 1915-1918, which claimed up to 1.5 million of their countrymen. His father, Mihran, was just 15 when Turkish militiamen opened fire on a forced-labour battalion. The boy was unscathed and lay still among the dead until a vicious blow to his head from a scimitar knocked him unconscious and left a lifelong scar.
Bribery was the sole way out, and in 1922, Mihran, his wife Mary and their year-old infant Varoujan left on a French visa that was likely forged and cost a fortune. They landed in Marseilles and from there went to Ellis Island, the New York entry point for new arrivals to the United Sates. The clan discovered that Canada had a program that admitted immigrants as farmers' indentured servants, so in March, 1923, Mihran and Mary settled in Brantford, Ontario, where they broke their backs on a dirt farm for a year.
Their doted-upon only child, whose name had been anglicized to John, excelled at school, particularly in writing and literature. He was accepted straight from high school into medical school at the University of Toronto, where, owing to the Second World War, the six-year program was condensed by 18 months.
In 1943, he volunteered in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, ending up as a captain. All 119 members of the graduating class of 1945, in which Doctor BASMAJIAN placed second, were in uniform and became the medical officers who examined and discharged thousands of returning Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen.
He aimed for a residency in surgery but instead was hired by his professor, the famed John GRANT, head of the anatomy department, to teach gross anatomy at U of T's medical school for a year. He went on to residencies at two Toronto hospitals but further progress was cut short in the summer of 1948 by some ominous health news of his own.
A routine X-ray revealed a lung wracked by pleurisy. The suspected cause was the tuberculosis to which he'd been exposed by servicemen he had examined. In those days, the only treatment was complete bed rest in a sanatorium. He checked into one in Weston, Ontario, but continued to sink. His own doctor feared the worst.
It was only after treatment with the then-experimental antibiotic streptomycin that he bounced back. But medical authorities decided he was too weakened to perform surgery.
"They thought it would be too strenuous for him," recalled Doctor Harold Kalant, a former classmate of Doctor BASMAJIAN's. " They certainly misjudged his ability to go into surgery because he had so much fire in him, he easily could have done it. His dexterity was remarkable." For one thing, he was able to draw with both hands simultaneously, which was a great hit in the classroom, where he would sketch diagrams with one hand and label them with the other.
Back on the job at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Dr. BASMAJIAN began working with polio patients and electromyographic (EMG) equipment that had been developed by Canadian Army neurologists during the war. "Even though polio was soon to become rare because of new vaccines, I expanded my work with the EMG and it became my scientific obsession," he wrote in his 1992 memoirs, I.O.U.
He went on to work with stroke victims, amputees and spinal-cord patients, and never stopped experimenting in biomechanics and kinesiology. Once, he wired the fingers of his two daughters as they played piano to find out more about small-muscle use. Trumpet and trombone players sought him out to improve their embouchure - the use of facial muscles and the shaping of lips to the mouthpiece.
Teaching, though, was his strength. He continued as an anatomy professor at University of Toronto until 1957, moved to Queen's University in Kingston until 1969 (where he won a slogan-writing contest during Canada's centennial), then to Emory University in Atlanta, where he received cross-postings in anatomy, rehabilitative medicine and psychiatry. He and his family settled in Hamilton in 1977.
In between were speaking tours and visiting professorships around the world, including one in 1963 to the Soviet Union that resulted in questioning by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the leadership of a slew of medical and scientific societies.
His son Haig, a surgeon in Cobourg, Ontario, believes his father trained more than 1,000 Canadian doctors.
He was an avid believer in behavioural medicine - the "third great clinical revolution in a century" - which he said consisted of two parts: Biofeedback and self-regulation.
His work ethic was legendary. His family recalled that he could read journals and check the proofs of his latest book while his children played and the television was on. On several occasions, he would raise his head and ask, "What are we watching?"
As for his own family's health, "we were not coddled," said his daughter, Sally BASMAJIAN. "My Dad believed that positive thought could cure almost anything. Our sick days were few and far between."
In late 1989, Doctor BASMAJIAN spent two months in Armenia for Project Hope after an earthquake that claimed some 50,000 lives in the region. He estimated there were 100,000 survivors, including many children, with severely impairing injures, about half of whom would continue to have significant handicaps.
He had an "obsessive passion" for two things: His family and science. "I've loved it," he once said, "and the most satisfying part is knowing that by teaching, I have been able to pass knowledge on and help thousands of people."
John Varoujan BASMAJIAN was born in Constantinople (Istanbul) on June 21, 1921 and died in Burlington, Ontario, on March 18, 2008, of natural causes. He was 86. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Dora (Lucas), children Haig, Nancy and Sally, and four grandchildren.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-05-24 published
Lowly, near-blind proofreader 'lived and breathed poetry'
Toronto poet was not above hawking his work on street corners to help make ends meet. 'He had dreams like we all do, but making money was not a big part of his life'
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S11
Toronto -- Eric LAYMAN was cranky, expansively intelligent, argumentative, affable, eccentric, possessed of an open mind that was balanced by a solid conviction that he was right, and perennially hovering near penury.
In other words, the perfect poet.
Few on Toronto's artistic scene fit the bill as well as Mr. LAYMAN, down to the beret worn at a rakish angle over flowing hair or the squashed hat and scarf combo. Fewer still had the audacity to stand on a street corner in Yorkville in the mid-sixties and sell their verse to passersby.
A lover of language and science fiction (and notably of anything to do with Star Trek), he spoke a passable Klingon, learned to read Hebrew, and could hold forth on the links between Hungarian, Finnish and Basque, followed by a flourish of politics or current events. His poetry had its sensitive moments, but it was marked mainly by a moodiness fleshed out with vivid images and spare, accessible language. Like the beginning of this 1986 offering, The Technician:
This hand, because decay is
slow but pitiless,
applies the oilcan to the
force-feeds the flame that lamps
the midnight cities
defends from rust and wear the
Mr. LAYMAN authored one full-length book of poetry, To a Stark and Clean Place (1987), containing 39 poems, and two chapbooks, Satires and Sunbursts (1976) and The Brightest Fire (2005). Another chapbook, Secular Hymns, is due out later this year. He also wrote short stories and book reviews for the science fiction-fantasy fan club U.S.S. Hudson Bay's newsletter, The Voyageur, and penned The Smoke Police for The Intended, a country rock band.
"He lived and breathed poetry," said his friend and fellow poet, Julie McNEILL. "He was always thinking. He was more involved in the creative process than anyone I knew."
But there was a living to be made, and he did it by selling real-estate ads, writing the odd article and proofreading for the Toronto-based weekly, The Canadian Jewish News for more than 30 years. Mr. LAYMAN had his physical limitations - deeply damaged smoker's lungs and miserable eyesight, a congenital problem - but those never got in the way. A lanky man with an erect bearing, there was an unmistakable air of dignity and healthy self-esteem about him. He bicycled everywhere, even in the foulest weather. Newspaper proofs were read with his nose touching the page.
Despite the half-inch thick glasses, or maybe because of them, few errors got past him. Canadian Jewish News staffers knew when Mr. LAYMAN was at work. Anguished cries of "Oh, who the hell wrote this?" often punctuated the quiet, sometimes followed by a rhubarb with an editor.
The job, which took about three-quarters of his time, was crucial. For too many years he had been underemployed and the job meant "I actually have enough to eat and can afford the exorbitant postage to mail manuscripts to publishers too backward-thinking to accept submissions by e-mail," he once told listeners of radio station CIUT's Sunday afternoon poetry program, Howl.
Even though he made barely earned enough to get by, "he wasn't one to bemoan the fact that he wasn't wealthy," said his brother Rod. "He had dreams like we all do, but making money was not a big part of his life."
He was the eldest of five children born to a stay-at-home mother and a career air-force pilot who had seen action during the Second World War. He spent his early years in Western Canada and in London, Ontario, before his family finally settled in Toronto in 1957. The peripatetic existence, a troubled relationship with his father and Mr. LAYMAN's failing eyesight probably contributed to his turning inward and assuming a scholarly bent, noted his brother.
He was already a fixture on Toronto's coffee house scene when he earned a B.A. in modern languages in 1967 from the University of Toronto, where he'd belonged to a club called Radicals for Capitalism. For a while, he sold advertising for The Globe and Mail before landing at The Canadian Jewish News in 1974.
He returned to University of Toronto in 1977 and completed a master's degree in comparative literature with an emphasis on German writers, including his personal favourite, Goethe. Other influences were author Ayn Rand, Appalachian folk ballads, philosopher Baruch Spinoza, Beethoven and Joan of Arc.
During the seventies and eighties, he participated in workshops held by the poetry groups Phoenix and Squid Inc., and was published in their anthologies. His work also appeared in Seraphim Editions' well-regarded 1999 anthology, The Edges of Time, alongside that of Leonard Cohen.
The art itself was never easy and he knew it. Yet, at the same time, "it's really quite simple," he explained. "I hang in there and forge ahead, even when the odds of success make what I'm doing seem rather stupid. Often, what seems the 'stupid' thing to do is the most life-affirming - and that's why I do it."
That was also why he kept plying his craft "in a cold, uncaring city jam-packed with too many other artists chasing too few dreams," once wrote his friend and fellow poet Lloyd Landa. "That's why he often rides his bike long distances in all kinds of weather, just to clear his head, eats meals at midnight, and tries to cram in a couple of hours writing before he finally calls it a night."
To Mr. Landa, Mr. LAYMAN was an avatar of a "wonderfully bloody-minded perseverance," someone who brushed aside laments about the shrinking opportunity for Canadian artists simply by responding that the answer is to "plug away, every day. Too many artists I've met are paralyzed by the understandable angst created by insurmountable roadblocks to getting themselves seen, heard or read. They tend to agonize over obstacles instead of focusing their energies on writing that next great play or song."
The Smoke Police ("Undercover smoke police skulk in holes and corners") railed against what Mr. LAYMAN felt were the Orwellian powers of the state to regulate smoking in public places. "A smoker has the right to smoke anywhere that permits it - with the owner of each bar having the right to say yes or no," he wrote in 2001. "My right to smoke in a bar is an extension of the owner's property rights. That the government has the power to ban smoking does not give [it] a moral override." He tried to quit smoking himself on several occasions, finally succeeding only after he became ill two years ago. But he continued to support freedom of choice, reasoning that "an attack on the rights of one person is an attack on every other person's rights."
The Star Trek thing was more than just an interest. Knowing he couldn't legally sell stories about Captain James Kirk and the Starship Enterprise, Mr. LAYMAN invented his own universe, complete with rich detail. The inhabitants were called the Hlu, and had their unique identities, culture and language. Their gravity was stronger than ours and their climate harsher. But they had a strong oral tradition, passed down through stories and, of course, poetry.
He set his poems to existing songs and wrote the odd haiku, but was genuinely stumped when someone challenged him to write a tanka, which consists of 31 syllables over five lines. "This is hard!" he exclaimed, though he knew it was supposed to be.
He could be quick-tempered and excitable, a trait his brother calls "an impatience with the world." But that mellowed as the years went by, he added.
His love of puns was legendary, and new ones were met with "that's not bad," or "that's awful." Only once was he stopped in his tracks, when a colleague offered a convoluted bit about Mahatma Gandhi, who, as the setup went, walked barefoot and had a diet that resulted in bad breath. The result was a "super-calloused fragile mystic hexed with halitosis." Mr. LAYMAN stood perfectly still for about a minute, then quietly pronounced, "I can't decide whether that's so good, it's terrible, or so bad, it's wonderful."
He left behind a library of 600 volumes of poetry, though curiously, nothing by Shakespeare.
In workshops, Mr. LAYMAN tried to expand his students' understanding of form. "Most of them don't know much beyond free verse; some had never heard of a sonnet," he observed. "But above all, I want them to understand that if they want to be writers, they should write. Keep writing. Then revise. Edit. Write again, until they have something that truly stands up."
Like this kiss goodbye, titled All I Need is Heaven:
I'll know life's joys to overflow
far sooner flames than rust.
Before I go, I'll share what
though the womb reclaim
I'll leave a little joy behind me
this is my final wish.
This is all I need of heaven,
and no post-mortem bliss.
Lawrence Eric LAYMAN was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, on December 15, 1943 and died in Toronto on April 27, 2008, of complications from emphysema. He was 64. He leaves sister, Molly, and brothers Rod, John and Bill. A celebration of his life takes place tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Lodge, 110 the Esplanade, Toronto.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-14 published
Canada's dean of glaciology warned of coming climate change
Geological Survey of Canada expert studied ancient ice cores and set the stage for the current focus on global warming. In 1969, he was part of a team that reached the North Pole on foot
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S12
Toronto -- Glaciers spoke to Roy KOERNER the way trees and rocks speak to a shaman. Considered the dean of glaciology in Canada and widely known as Fritz, Doctor KOERNER likened the giant chunks of ice to a museum. He considered them "the proverbial canary in the coal mine, an early warning to the rest of the world of the consequences that climate change is bringing," wrote Ed Struzik, last year's Atkinson Fellow, in a harrowing newspaper series on global warming.
For hidden in the layers of ice "is a record of every atmospheric event of the past - summer melts, acid snow, cooling trends, volcanic activity, industrial pollutants, even bomb testings.
"The deeper down you go, the farther you go back in time," Mr. Struzik said, describing Doctor KOERNER's regard for the treasure trove of data in glaciers. "The more sophisticated the technology you use to interpret the cores, the more detailed the information you retrieve."
Dr. KOERNER's study of layers in ice cores to reconstruct climate history of the last 11 millennia set the stage for the current focus on climate change. And as an old-school explorer of both polar ice caps, he was among just a handful of adventurers to be awarded the Polar Medal with both Arctic and Antarctic clasps.
He was perhaps best known for one of the most audacious expeditions of all time, showing the world that the intrepid explorers of yore still existed, by crossing the icebound Arctic Ocean on dog sled from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Vesle Tavleoya, a small rocky island off the north coast of Svalbard in Norway.
He and three fellow British explorers - including the renowned Sir Wally Herbert, who died a year ago - left with four dog teams on February 21, 1968, arrived at the North Pole on April 5 the next year (where they celebrated with tinned beef stew), and finished on May 30, 1969. In all, they trekked 5,800 kilometres, aided by periodic supply drops from Canadian Forces aircraft.
They endured marauding polar bears, man-eating crevasses, five months of total darkness, and temperatures plunging to -50, a feat that has never been repeated. The achievement was hailed by British prime minister Harold Wilson as a "feat of endurance and courage which ranks with any in polar history." Prince Phillip, the group's patron, called it "among the greatest triumphs of human skill and endurance."
Not only did Doctor KOERNER and his team become the first people ever to make the Arctic traversal, they may have been the first humans to reach the North Pole by foot (where they also conducted the first surface survey of the ice).
"Were they really the first to reach the [North] Pole?" wondered the Ottawa Citizen. "Probably. U.S. Navy explorer Robert Peary had made the same claim 60 years earlier, but later examinations of his diary and other evidence has led researchers to suspect he was never closer to the Pole than eight kilometres and probably much further."
A self-effacing, irreverent man with an indomitable spirit and seemingly indestructible runner's body, Doctor KOERNER sounded concerns about shrinking glaciers and a warming Arctic long before the current preoccupation with climate change.
By studying oxygen isotopes and the thickness of summer melt layers, he and his fellow scientists demonstrated three decades ago that while the warmest summers occurred 10,000 years ago and the coldest only 150 years ago, the summers over the past century have been the warmest in the past 1,000 years.
However, "he wasn't an alarmist," noted Geoff Green, founder of Students on Ice, an award-winning organization based in Gatineau, Quebec, that takes teenagers on learning expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.
"He said, 'here's my data from 40 years and here's the trend,' recalled Mr. Green, who accompanied Doctor KOERNER on 10 expeditions to both poles." He let others use that as a baseline for a lot of the understanding of how our climate is changing. He didn't have an agenda. He was a scientist - a giant in his field. He was one of the greatest polar explorers of our time."
Possessed of an arid English wit, Doctor KOERNER described himself as a "relic" of the British Empire. The youngest of three sons born to a housewife and a dock worker in the busy British naval port of Portsmouth, he studied geography at the University of Sheffield, where he graduated in 1954. He taught briefly, but a wanderlust he developed as a young fan of exotic travel prompted him to set sail in 1957 for Hope Bay, Antarctica, as a meteorologist with the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, now the British Antarctic Survey.
"It was a dog-sledding base," he would recall, "and we travelled up and down the peninsula and, of course, you are surrounded by glaciers, so naturally I got very interested."
He spent the next 2½ years as senior meteorologist and glaciologist near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. For his work there, he received the Polar Medal from the Queen.
In 1961, already known as a top glaciologist, he joined an expedition to Devon Island in the Northwest Territories, where he spent two years studying the ice cap. His work earned him a doctorate from the London School of Economics, and laid the foundation for his later research elsewhere in the Canadian Arctic.
As part of an annual Arctic ritual, Doctor KOERNER returned to Devon Island about a year ago, looked out over Jones Sound, which separates Devon from Ellesmere Island, and noticed that it was ice-free. "I began my career in glaciology on Devon," he rued to Mr. Struzik. "I never thought I'd ever see that part of the Arctic Ocean open so early in the year."
In 1963, he joined the geography department of Ohio State University's Institute of Polar Studies as a research associate, where he concentrated on glaciers, but also on analysis of snow stratigraphy, or layering. For that work, he later received the United States Antarctic Service Medal.
Following his epic trans-Arctic crossing, for which he received the second clasp to his Polar Medal, Doctor KOERNER joined the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources in Ottawa as a research scientist and head of the Ice Core Laboratory. According to his son Justin, he chose to settle in Canada partly because the government had acquired the equipment needed for deep drilling of ice cores.
With it, he could bore down 300 metres to the 100,000-year-old bedrock under the Agassiz ice cap on Ellesmere Island. Those results, which showed that summers were indeed getting warmer, were in general agreement with results from similar work in Greenland, where glaciers were melting twice as fast as previously believed.
Dr. KOERNER was also part of the department's Polar Continental Shelf Project, which studied the mass balance of Arctic glaciers and past climate through ice-core analysis, but also helped define exactly where the polar continental shelf was in an effort to establish Canada's sovereignty claims in the High Arctic.
He studied the ice caps on four islands: Devon, Meighen, Ellesmere and Melville Island, thus spanning all the climate regions of the Canadian Arctic. As his long-time friend and colleague David Fisher wrote in the London Times a few days ago, "his approach to polar science was direct, critical and focused on the essentials."
During his time in Ottawa, Doctor KOERNER taught geography at Carleton University. Over the course of his career, he published more than 70 scientific papers and book chapters, mainly in the field of glaciology. He was also active in the early stirrings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which, along with Al Gore, was awarded last year's Nobel Peace Prize.
He took his work seriously but not himself. On field trips with Students on Ice, "he was the king of irreverence," Mr. Green recalled. "The kids absolutely adored him. He had a way of educating and inspiring and entertaining that was quite unique. He was the only guy I knew who could make a graph hilarious."
In 1979, Doctor KOERNER was named head of the Geological Survey of Canada's glaciology group, where he continued to work until his formal retirement in 1999. Until this year, he was the Canadian representative to the International Arctic Science Committee.
His final research interest was on reductions in acid snow due to our declining use of sulphates, a result that he identified as part of the global warming equation, according to Natural Resources Canada.
But no matter how reserved he was, he could not hide his concern over climate trends. "When you add up all of these unusual things we've been seeing in the Arctic over the past few years," he said last year, "you really realize just how warm things are getting up there."
Down below, too. In his early days in Antarctica, he was honoured for his work with the naming of his own topographical feature - Koerner Rock, a 600-metre-high stone mountain near Hope Bay. Over the years, the glacial ice has since melted to the extent that there are now three Koerner Rocks.
Mr. Green wants to see a glacier named after Doctor KOERNER in the Canadian Arctic, and plans to keep alive a project of Doctor KOERNER's that Ottawa approved just recently, in which two Inuit youth from Grise Fiord, Nunavut, Canada's most northern settlement, will be taken on a trip to Antarctica this December to do some ice coring.
Roy Martindale (Fritz) KOERNER was born in Portsmouth, England, on July 6, 1932, and died in Ottawa on May 26, 2008, after cutting short his last Arctic trip due to colon cancer. He was 75. His wife, Anna (née KOWALCZYKE) died in 1989. He leaves his children Eva, Davina, Kristina and Justin.
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CSILLAG email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-06-28 published
'Aggressive and very entrepreneurial,' she ranked among Canada's top Chief Executive Officers
The head of Dover Industries took her company from annual revenues of $10-million to $228-million. She thought nothing of phoning federal finance ministers late at night to give them a piece of her mind
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲▼ to The Globe and Mail, Page S12
Toronto -- Mona CAMPBELL was 33 years old when her father died and left behind some companies that milled flour and made ice-cream cones. She'd been the major shareholder in the businesses, and stepped into the top executive slot two years later, in 1954, at a time when women in corporate leadership were unheard of.
Her own father, the wealthy industrialist Frederick MORROW, "didn't think women should be doing this sort of thing," Mrs. CAMPBELL recalled in a 1986 interview. "To begin with, it was sort of a question mark, which makes you want to do that much better. I had no formal training. I had done a lot of work for voluntary organizations, dealing with budgets, scrounging for money. It's really the same thing in a small way."
Either she was being coy or very humble. When she took over, the company had annual revenues of $10-million. Last year, Burlington, Ontario-based Dover Industries Ltd. had revenues of $228-million and employed 475 people.
Described as "Canada's first conglomerate," with interests in paper products, flour milling and straw manufacturing, as well as the ice-cream-cone business, Dover Industries is today one of the largest Canadian-owned flour-milling companies in operation.
Mrs. CAMPBELL served as the company's president, chief executive officer and, until her death, as board chairwoman. In 1976, she became the first woman elected to the board of Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Her success belied a view about women in the corporate world that today could be charitably described as quaint. In a 1980 interview with the Financial Times, Mrs. CAMPBELL declared that single women couldn't be depended on in business "because suddenly romance hits and they marry and maybe their husband moves, so they move." Married women, meantime, are inflexible and may interrupt their careers to have children.
Besides, few women crave the power that comes with the position, she believed. "The majority of women are not interested."
A lot of them feel they just don't need the extra hassle, she told The Globe and Mail the year before. "They are willing to do a great job but I don't know how many more want the added responsibility of representing shareholders." She did not foresee other women serving on her company's board. "One's enough."
She chafed at being called an industrialist. "This is just a job," she said in 1968. "It's not that difficult."
Mrs. CAMPBELL travelled the world and gave away millions of dollars to the arts, notably to the Royal Ontario Museum, where there's a curatorship in her name, and the National Ballet School in Toronto since its inception in 1959. "She knew every student by name," said the National Ballet School's artistic director and co-Chief Executive Officer, Mavis STAINES, who added that Mrs. CAMPBELL often took students to her sprawling Mohill Farm in Puslinch, Ontario, for weekends spent frolicking with her beloved dogs and horses. Ballet, Mrs. CAMPBELL once declared, "is the love of my life."
She was named to the Order of Canada in 1996. In 2001, the Association of Fundraising Professionals honoured her as its outstanding philanthropist of the Year.
She was an only child born into privilege. Her father was a financier who founded the Essa Securities Company, sat on the boards of 15 corporations and amassed a large fortune. He started Dover Industries in 1940 by acquiring and merging three companies - a flour mill, a grain dealer and Robinson Cone, which made ice-cream cones, straws and packaging materials in Hamilton.
A devout Catholic who scandalously married the daughter of a Baptist minister, Mr. MORROW donated a large tract of land in Toronto's north to the Sisters of Saint_Joseph. Morrow Park opened in 1960 and today has an infirmary, residences, a girls' school, and a retreat where Pope John Paul stayed during his 2002 visit to Toronto for World Youth Day.
Mrs. CAMPBELL's first marriage was in 1940 to John BAND, a dashing navy officer who hunted U-boats during the Second World War and became an insurance executive and collector of Canadian art. They cut glamorous figures in society and had three children before going through an acrimonious divorce in 1955.
In 1960, she married Jim BINNIE, father of Ian BINNIE, a justice on Canada's Supreme Court. That, too, ended in divorce. Finally, in 1967, she married Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth CAMPBELL, a career army man who once authored a scathing report from the Korean front that described the venerable Lee-Enfield.303 rifle as "almost useless." He operated a farm near Guelph that raised cattle and thoroughbreds, and died in 1990.
Mrs. CAMPBELL often said she liked people. Her daughter, Sarah BAND, is more specific: "She loved men."
She loved animals, too, and their welfare was a top priority. Mrs. CAMPBELL was a leading supporter of the Ontario Humane Society and was awarded naming rights to an animal adoption centre in Newmarket, Ontario - Mohill Village. She also endowed the Col. K.L. Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, which promotes the welfare of animals through research and education, and the Col. K.L. Campbell Graduate Travel Grant in Equine Studies, both at the University of Guelph.
She was formal and had an old-world elegance, but lean, angular features that bespoke a stern countenance. According to her friend Brenda Nightingale, however, "she was the most generous person you ever met." Her daughter noted Mrs. CAMPBELL's fastidious concern with her appearance: "Every thread on her had to be perfect."
Highly political and a staunch Conservative, she thought nothing of phoning Michael Wilson, finance minister under Brian Mulroney, late at night to give him a piece of her mind, Ms. Nightingale recalled with a laugh.
In business, she was "very aggressive and very entrepreneurial," noted Dover Industries' current president and Chief Executive Officer Howard ROWLEY. " She was very willing to reinvest money back into the company. That's why we've been able to grow at the rate we have."
Her board approved a plan in 1968 to erect a $2-million flour mill in Halifax - the first modern flour mill in Nova Scotia - but rebuffed her move to enter the flour market in Montreal. "A new flour mill in Montreal 10 years ago would been a howling success," she insisted at the time.
She oversaw the company's five subsidiaries: Robinson Cone, Cherry Taylor Flour Mills, Howell Litho and Cartons, Taylor Grain Ltd. and Dover Mills Ltd. of Halifax. A firm believer in acquisitions, the company under her hand bought a paper-box concern in 1956 the Howell Lithographic Company in 1960; Bondware, a paper cup and container firm in 1981; and another flour mill in 2003. The packaging business was sold in 2005.
Dover Industries was touted as Canada's first diversified company but was not as diverse as it appeared. The ice-cream cones came from Cherry Taylor flour and were packed in Howell cartons. Dover Mills ground the flour from Taylor Grain and shipped them in packages that were lithographed in-house.
Still, it was a multi-faceted operation and "she could walk out into the different plants, and she knew most of the people by name," Mr. ROWLEY said. "Truck drivers would phone her from their trucks and talk to her about whatever was on their minds. It could be work-related or just to say hello. And she'd take the call."
Mrs. CAMPBELL treated the company as her inheritance. "I thought I'd have a go at running it," she said in 1968. "My father told me that I would be all right as long as I had a good lawyer, a good accountant and a good banker. We've got them and we've never looked back."
But in case anyone doubted who was in charge, she had this to say in 1980: "When we go out to buy out a company, I'm the one that does the deal." She died the day of her company's annual meeting.
Mona Louise CAMPBELL was born February 3, 1919, in Toronto. She died May 29, 2008, of natural causes in Aiken, South Carolina, where she had lived for several years and where her favourite activity was a Tuesday-night needlepoint group called Stitch and Bitch. She was 89. She leaves her children John BAND, Sarah BAND and Vicki McRAE, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
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CSILLAG firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-07-16 published
Academic became a religious triple threat
Denied the voice she sought in Catholicism, she converted, then mentored hundreds of other women
By Ron CSILLAG, Special▲ to The Globe and Mail, Page S8
Joanne McWILLIAM felt she was outside her beloved church, looking in. Faced with the lifelong prospect of being denied the voice and role she sought in Roman Catholicism, she found an alternate route. She became an Anglican and a priest.
A religious pioneer and predictor of change who mentored and encouraged hundreds of women in academia and the priesthood, Dr. McWILLIAM tallied several milestones: She was the first woman to earn a doctorate in theology from the University of Toronto's Saint Michael's College; the first ordained woman to receive tenure on the divinity faculty at U of T's Trinity College; and the first Canadian woman elected president of the American Theological Society.
She was recalled as a warm, self-effacing woman, but serious about many things: teaching, her church and advancing the cause of women, both in her field and beyond. Her son, Gonzalo DUARTE, recalled a T-shirt his mother bought him in 1977 bearing the words: "Men of quality are not threatened by women for equality." It was a message she carried and heeded throughout her life.
Dr. McWILLIAM was a kind of religious triple threat. As a trained philosopher, theologian and priest, she had a wide knowledge of secular thought, of Christianity (especially its early development) and of what it takes to shepherd a congregation - all within a liberal framework. "She understood deep traditions very thoroughly, yet could advance new developments without fear," said Canon Alyson BARNETT- COWAN, a friend and colleague.
A tolerant woman, she had a healthy respect for those of other denominations and faiths. "She didn't have a proselytizing bone in her body," said her son, Sean DEWART. " She was not remotely judgmental."
An internationally acknowledged expert on the theology of St. Augustine, Dr. McWILLIAM's specialty was patristic studies, which focuses on the early church fathers. She wrote or co-wrote dozens of books, articles and book chapters on Augustine, feminist theology and Christology, the study of Jesus's divine nature.
For 15 years, she was a single mother and pursued her academic credentials while raising four children, who recognize today that she was a tireless advocate for women's rights who established herself as a major figure in a largely male domain, yet devoted years to studying the harsh patriarchy of the early Christian church.
Dr. McWILLIAM was raised in an ecumenical environment. She was the only child born to an electrical engineer who'd been a sapper during the First World War - a Catholic who had known discrimination in Toronto - and a stay-at-home mother who converted to Catholicism from the Presbyterian church. It was an arrangement that was deemed controversial in its day.
Their daughter graduated in philosophy and history from the University of Toronto in 1951, earning the Cardinal Mercier Medal in Philosophy, and completed a master's degree in the subject in 1953.
The next year, she married Leslie DEWART, who was born in Spain and raised in Cuba. His medical studies were interrupted by a strike, so in the early 1940s, at 19, he came to Canada to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. He flew reconnaissance missions over the North Atlantic and went on to teach philosophy at Saint Michael's College. The couple divorced in 1972.
During the mid-1950s, Doctor McWILLIAM held a variety of jobs. She taught high school and lectured in philosophy at the University of Detroit. For a brief time, she was a reporter at the Toronto Star, covering "magistrate's court," but grew disenchanted. "She felt she was too much the observer and not enough of a participant," said daughter Elizabeth DEWART.
She returned to school and earned a second master's degree, this one in theology, from Saint Michael's College in 1966, followed two years later with a doctorate in theology, also from Saint Michael's. "She was an unbelievably hard worker," said Ms. DEWART.
Over the ensuing years, she held several teaching positions at Saint Michael's College, the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto's religious studies department, which she chaired for two terms.
But something was gnawing at her. She never voiced an outright disappointment in the Catholic Church, but "she felt things needed to change… that she didn't have a voice," said one of her former doctoral students, Ellen LEONARD of the Sisters of Saint_Joseph.
She found that voice in the Anglican Church of Canada, whose synod on whether to ordain women she addressed in 1975 as a Catholic theologian. The following year, in November, the church ordained its first female priest.
"I remember her telling me that she was leaving the [Catholic] church," Ms. DEWART recalled. "It was so solemn. She didn't see the opportunity to become a priest. That was a huge decision for her."
Dr. McWILLIAM became a deacon in the Anglican Church in 1987, the year she married Peter SLATER, an Anglican priest and fellow theologian, and was ordained a priest the next year, at the age of 60. For one thing, she felt it was important for female students to have a female priest on the faculty.
While continuing to teach, transferring from the Catholic Saint Michael's College to the divinity faculty at Trinity College, Canada's oldest Anglican theological school, she served as honorary assistant at Toronto's Christ Church Deer Park. In 1997, she was appointed by Michael Peers, then leader of the Anglican Church of Canada, to a high-level review of central religious issues. The first Primate's Theological Commission, which lasted until 2003, produced three workbooks to assist the church on "fundamental theological questions."
She addressed such matters as the nature of God. The Christian tradition of labelling the members of the Trinity - the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit - as "persons," was "on the whole a bad decision," she wrote (noting that Augustine and many others have said so) "because when we use it, we cannot but think of human persons, and attribute the characteristics of human personhood to God."
The Trinity "is a mystery and cannot be explained in any rational way."
An optimist, she felt the global Anglican communion will weather its spasm over homosexuality and avoid schism. She cited examples of other threats to unity - slavery and the place of women - that failed to split the church.
Dr. McWILLIAM taught for five years at the Episcopal Church's General Theology Seminary in New York, the first woman to hold a chair in dogmatic theology. Back in Canada, she contributed to the decision in 2001 to provide joint recognition to Anglican-Lutheran ordinations in this country.
Health conscious before it was fashionable, she ingested plain yogurt and chicken livers for breakfast. But a regular tipple of sherry was never turned aside. Minutes after doctors informed her that her cancer was untreatable, she asked her daughter Leslie to drop by for a glass, reasoning that "there's no point allowing life to go completely to the dogs."
Still with sherry, just a few weeks before her death, she insisted that her son Sean pour from an older bottle. When he asked why he shouldn't open the fine new one he had just bought, she replied, "I'm saving it!"
She died a week before the worldwide Anglican church voted to allow women to serve as bishops.
Joanne Elizabeth McWILLIAM was born in Toronto on December 10, 1928, and died there of cancer, nine years after the first diagnosis, on July 1, 2008. She was 79. She leaves husband C. Peter SLATER, children Leslie GIRODAY, Elizabeth DEWART, Sean DEWART and Gonzalo DUARTE, and 12 grandchildren.
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