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The Battle for Acceptance

For decades, the Parliamentary Press Gallery excluded woman members. It was an old boys’ club and it took strong, independent women like Genevieve Lipsett Skinner to break down the barriers. She had been a reporter in Winnipeg, a lawyer, a member of the Political  Equality League  and one-time political candidate. Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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A Great Reader

Narrator Richard Clarkin and I recently took to Zoom to discuss recording Power, Prime Ministers and the Press and how he managed to bring life to anecdotes and voices from 150 years of history during some 30 hours of studio work.

By Robert Lewis, ago
Posts

Flight into Shanghai

The two teachers and their two children were in the Philippines on a Lunar New Year holiday from Shanghai when the outbreak took hold. With their school shut down in China, they decided to fly to New Zealand where friends in their old neighbourhood put them up. Six weeks later, Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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A Woman of Influence: Sara Jeanette Duncan

In 1884 the twenty-five-year-old Duncan persuaded John Cameron, then editor of the Toronto Globe, to pay for articles on the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans. She also sold freelance pieces on the world’s fair to the Washington Post, the London Advertiser, and the Memphis Appeal. That Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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A golf story

Before he won the Liberal leadership in 1990, Jean Chrétien was my guest in a foursome at the Peter Gzowski Invitational, an annual golf tournament to raise money for Frontier College’s literacy programs. Our honorary caddy was the great Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston. As they headed down the first fairway, Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
Posts

Deer Town

As I rolled down the car window to take a picture, the deer looked up blankly, then resumed munching on the lawn of a neighbouring house. Welcome to St. Andrews, NB, where the deer run wild in the streets and backyards, chomping their way through hedges, gardens and flower beds. Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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Fishing with The Chief

I’m indebted to Brian Dempson of St. John’s  for sending me this picture with his comments on my book. He is the son of one-time Toronto Telegram reporter Peter Dempson (far right) who, with Press Gallery colleagues Mark Harrison of the Toronto Star (far left) and Clark Davey of the Globe and Mail, joined John Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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On matters of principle

The departure from cabinet came with a stark, unequivocal statement: “I resigned as a matter of principle. The point was finally reached when I considered that my honour and integrity required that I take that step.” So spoke Conservative defence minister Douglas Harkness in the House of Commons on Feb. Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago