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Norman Depoe: The Gold Standard

In 1938, DePoe left the University of British Columbia and signed up with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. He left for Europe as a wireless officer. Excerpt: …Service in Europe was a turning point. The action in Italy and Holland brought him face to face with death. In one Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
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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
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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
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Flag Day — Feb. 15, 1965

I always remember Feb.15. It is the day the maple leaf flag went up for the first time on the Peace Tower — and the day I started work on Parliament Hill in 1965. The Montreal Star office was a cramped alcove off a corridor adjacent to the main room of Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago
Posts

On losing a justice minister

The loss of Jody Wilson-Raybould from the Trudeau cabinet this week is no small matter, especially since she was a proud symbol of the government’s twin push to elevate women to high office and to pursue reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations. The PM virtually kicked her on the way out Read more…

By Robert Lewis, ago