Mourning the golden age of journalism and the magic of random encounters
Tribute: Ward Perrin
Before media outlets became boutiques for different brands of thought and billionaires seeking ego affirmation, newsrooms were a place where friendships were born from shared professional purpose, and a gut need to get the story. Katherine Monk looks back on a newsroom shift when the world changed overnight, and a friendship was born from the tatters of the Iron Curtain.
By Katherine Monk
It’s mourning. In America. Again. I’m not just referring to the most recent mass shootings that left shell casings and broken lives in Nevada, or the broad swath of destruction left by apocalyptic weather patterns in the Midwest. I speak of the profound sense of loss that seems to define the collective psyche right now — not just in America, but everywhere.
Take a moment to process the prevailing winds of popular culture. Listen to the lyrics seeking absolute escapism, emotional oblivion and spiritual retribution. Then look at the cankered face of global politics, ...
Uncle Ed Nelson’s harmonica and the Zeffirelli-sphere
Movies/Tribute: Franco Zeffirelli and Ed Nelson
The late Italian director Franco Zeffirelli did more than inspire a generation of high school students to see their own truth in Shakespeare, he gave a veteran English teacher a good reason to blow his musical Hoehner -- and, in turn, blow your mind.
Lest We Forget the heroes once branded “enemy aliens”
Mickleburgh: Japanese-Canadian Veterans
Huddled under a colourful autumn canopy, in a secluded corner of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, Rod Mickleburgh found a Remembrance Day ceremony that refused to forget Canada’s racist past.
Bidding Adieu to Dave Barrett
Tribute: Dave Barrett
Funerals for public figures can often be stuffy affairs with formal speechmaking and half-hearted appeals to emotion, but the recent ceremonies for B.C.’s former premier were rife with real affection.
By Rod Mickleburgh
So, farewell then, Dave Barrett. A month after the remarkable NDP leader passed away, it was time for the public to bid adieu, formally and informally.
The official state memorial in Victoria came first, followed the next day by what was more a gathering of the clans at Vancouver’s Croatian Cultural Centre, not that far from where Dave Barrett grew up on the city’s rough-and-tumble east side. Both events were packed, befitting the immeasurable contribution he made to the province of British Columbia during his short 39 months as its first socialist premier. (Unlike today’s New Democrats, he never shied from using the term “socialist.”) Beyond his political legacy, there was an outpouring of real affection for someone who had ...
A Tribute to Dave Barrett, the Socialist Who Stormed the Gates
* In light of Dave Barrett’s recent passing, we took the opportunity to republish Rod Mickleburgh’s thoughtful look at the quiet, yet revolutionary, BC Premier.
Politics: Looking back at the first BC NDP victory in 1972
Rod Mickleburgh remembers the day the “socialist hordes” stormed the gates of Government House and Dave Barrett took the oath of office. There was no ceremony, no dancers, no tweets, but British Columbia would never be the same.
By Rod Mickleburgh
Watching the joyous, almost giddy swearing-in of the province’s new premier and his gender-balanced cabinet, I couldn’t help thinking of BC’s very first transition of power to the NDP, so long ago the Vancouver Sun had two full-time labour reporters. That historic ground-breaker took place way back in 1972, or five years before David Eby, the province’s new Attorney General, was born. July 18 was only the third such right-to-left tilt in BC history. Of course, that’s three more than the zero Stanley Cups ...
Irene Howard, History Is Her Story
People: Plaque unveiled for Helena Guttridge
Mayor's tribute to Vancouver's first female councillor strikes a personal note for Rod Mickleburgh, who in turn honours a chronicler he calls 'Auntie Irene'
By Rod Mickleburgh
(May 19, 2017) - At the age of 70, my beloved Auntie Irene, under her scholastic name of Irene Howard, published her definitive biography of Helena Gutteridge, Vancouver’s first woman “alderman”. Ten years later, when she was 80, she completed her remarkable book Gold Dust On His Shirt, a moving saga of her family’s working class life in the gold mines of British Columbia, feathered with impeccable research of the times. At 90 she published a very fine poem, which is reproduced below.
And one morning last month, at the age of 94 and a half, Auntie Irene sat in the front row of chairs arrayed in a room off the main lobby at city hall, looking as elegant and vivacious as anyone who pre-dated Vancouver’s Art Deco municipal masterpiece by 14 years ...