U R R E N T
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Henry Heald: We
are sad to announce that Henry
Heald, long time journalist and freelance writer,
passed away during the month of November. We will miss him. A service
was held on December 4th. Several Media Club members
A book was published just weeks after his death on
November 17. Before I
Die: Not a Bucket List is a
collection of Henry's
"musings, poetry and prose, opinion, enlightenment, experience and
passionate conviction of the right and wrong way of thinking and acting
to produce a better world at home and abroad ..... A damn good reporter
caring more for people than things." The book was printed by the
University of Toronto Bookstore - Ten percent of
sales go to Henry's favourite charity.
Henry was a former
member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, honorary member of the
Ontario Institute of Agrologists, life member of the Canadian
Farm Writers and a faithful member of the Media Club of Ottawa.
Long time Media Club of Canada member, Jean Portugal has died at at
home in Scarborough at age 95. As her half page obituary in The Globe
and Mail on January 2 says, Jean "spent years chronicling the accounts
of Canadian Veterans of the Second World War, and published their
stories as We Were There, in seven volumes."
Her books, published in 1998 by the Royal Canadian Military Institute,
contain 350 illustrations, 1.2 million words and 3,500 pages. She
interviewed 750 Canadian war veterans for the series.
Jean worked six decades as a journalist and government communicator.
She worked for the Peterborough Examiner, and The Globe and Mail and
was copy desk editor-in-chief for the the division of Maclean Hunter
that published business magazines. She was also a freelance
correspondent in Mexico, and covered foreign-reporting assignments for
The Globe and Mail in Asia, reporting from Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand
She was an honorary member of two Canadian regiments, was named to the
Order of Canada and received other commendations for her work.
June Coxon: June's article under the headline 'Pink Teas' was published in
the April-June 2016 issue of Taste and Travel
Jayne Simms-Dalmotas: Jayne has been writing the meeting
Iris ten Holder: Iris has been battling shingles
since August 2016.and hopes to save eyesight in her left eye with
the help of surgeon Peter Agapitos.
Iris continues exhibiting her work in fibre arts and
photography at her studio in Britannia and restore photogaphs to
origial brightness and colour.
Shirley Van Dusen:
Helen Bednarek VanEyk:
Virany wrote in
her July 15 blog, (www.cozybookbasics.wordpress.com), that notes she
took while attending Northrop Frye's lectures at university have become
part of a 700-page book. Northrop Frye's Lectures, edited and
transcribed by Robert D. Denham, contains notes from Courses Frye gave
from 1947-1955. The book includes eight sets of Marg's notes which she
says she took in shorthand because she didn't want to miss one word.
"My favorite course was Greek and Latin (called Literary
a chapter title.)," Marg writes, "which Fye sneaked in as an extra for
our fourth-year class." She added that "Frye never wrote down any of
his lectures - not even a plan for them. Student notes are the main
source of what he said except for one video and recordings of public
speeches he gave." She also noted that the book is sold at Cambridge
Scholar Publishing in the UK and on Amazon, for a price most couldn't
Rosaleen Dickson**: Rosaleen Dickson has moved to a
in West Ottawa
Dawn Monroe: Dawn has survived
two heart attacks and is now
convalescing. We wish her a speedy recovery.
** honorary member
Susan Korah, a
former long time club member who's still actively interested in the
Media Club but spends most of her time working out of the country has
had a travel article published in Ottawa Life magazine about Istanbul.
To find the piece she wrote: Click
and Travel International
The latest issue of Taste and Travel International (issue 25,
October-December 2016) features articles by two former Media Club
members. On page 76 you'll find Susan
Korah's story 'Istanbul's Imperial Cuisine' along with three
tempting recipes. A few pages over, on page 86, is an article by Susan Hallett entitled 'Lavender's
Blue Dilly Dilly'. She too includes a few recipes - one for lavender
shortbread and another for lavender cheesecake. The other connection
this magazine has with our club is its publisher. You may recall that
in the early days of the magazine Janet
Boileau spoke at one of our meetings, discussing the joys and
trials of launching a publication in today's world. Her Taste magazine
was launched in 2011.
The biography of former club member Olive Dickason is being written by
Darren Prefontaine, professor at the Gabriel Dumont Institute, in
Saskatchewan. He expects to have the book published by next Spring. At
that time, when he is in Ottawa, we will hold a book launch for him.
Watch the website for further news about this.
Thomas Virany Tells Tales of His
by Iris ten Holder and June Coxon
While the Federation of University Women held their
registration night on the main floor of Ottawa City Hall the Media Club
of Ottawa met upstairs in the Billings Room, kicking off the Fall
season with the club's traditional Meet and Greet evening. Nearly 20
people, including several non-members, were on hand for the September
19 meeting to hear guest speaker Thomas Virany, husband of club member
Margaret Virany, discuss his varied work history including a journalism
Tom's visual presentation included stories of his family's early days
in his home country, Hungary, his interesting careers and how while
earning his B.A.Sc. at the University of Toronto he volunteered to work
for the daily university newspaper, The Varsity, to perfect his English.
After two years he not only became editor of The Varsity, following in
the footsteps of the likes of Canada's 10th prime minister William Lyon
MacKenzie King and the CBC radio's long time host of Morningside, Peter
Gzowski, but that was where he and Margaret met.
Tom told tales of his early days working with the mainstream press when
he interviewed everyone from movie star Za Za Gabor, to members of a
biker gang called Black Riders and people belonging to a nudist camp on
He talked about how he met Margaret, their marriage in 1955 and how,
decades later they co-edited and published the Aylmer Bulletin from
Some of Tom's stories made national news and while editing the Bulletin
his article about Jean Claude Duvalier, aka Baby Doc, Haiti's brutal
president who ruled from 1971-1986, was picked up by news media across
Tom's journalism career also includes working for Canadian Press,
MacLean Hunter and CBC t.v. As a freelancer he worked on such programs
as The Nature of Things and xxxx. Before his journalism career he also
worked as a patent officer in Toronto and an engineer in Montreal.
In addition to Tom's talk he and Marg arranged an abundant display of
documents, newspaper clippings and books written by Tom during his
varied career from his proud beginnings in Hungary through his youth
and many undertakings as a journalist to his emigration to Canada and
further career path in this country.
In a spirit of camaraderie Helen Bednarek Van Eyk took on hosting
duties for the evening, ensuring tasty food arrived from Cafe 111
Lisgar. Jayne Simms Dalmotas also pitched in to help, handling
membership renewal and guest registration for Iris ten Holder who was
present but still recovering after suffering a severe virus attack in
Tom was introduced and thanked by club president, June Coxon.
Inside The Olympic Bubble
Media Club of Ottawa members who attended the meeting of October 24,
2016 were treated to a fascinating double-bill presentation.
Sisters Lorraine and Aline Lafrenière, both of whom have worked
behind the scenes at numerous Olympic Games, Paralympics and Pan
American Games, described what it’s like be in the surreal
Lorraine Lafrenière is the Chief Executive Officer of the
Coaching Association of Canada. She said that the most important lesson
she has learned from the Games is “resiliency – how to
balance the planned and unplanned incidents that occur”. You need
to expect the unexpected.
Aline Lafrenière was a Press Attaché for CBC and Radio
Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympics. She recalled many magical moments,
meeting and working with broadcasters whom, until that point, she had
seen only on television. She is particularly proud of the role
she and her team played in facilitating the production of profiles of
Canadian athletes at the Games.
Both women spoke of how the host country has a profound impact on the
culture of the Games and the Olympic Village, imbuing them with a
distinct personality. They felt it was an amazing gift to see the
way in which these various cultures colour the nature of the Games,
influencing everything from the security to the lay-out of the venue.
Aline and Lorraine said that their experiences have allowed them to
meet many incredible people, including the “super volunteers,
from doctors to seamstresses and greeters, who make the Games
memorable”. They also spoke of being impressed by the
athletes’ courage and their devotion to their sport –
athletes like Sue Halloway, who competed in both Winter and Summer
Olympics in the same year, and Silken Laumann, who won a bronze medal
only 10 weeks after a disastrous rowing accident, and multiple
The women pointed out how the Olympic Games have changed since
their initial involvement in the 1980’s. Security has become a
major consideration. So, too, has the use of performance enhancing
drugs. Another change they noted is how traditional journalistic
coverage has been overtaken by social media. Since 2012 in particular,
Lorraine said, “It has evolved from a tightly controlled
situation to a free-for-all.” One very positive element is the
growing media and spectator interest in the Paralympics Games.
With their first-hand observations, the women helped those present
understand how this ancient sporting tradition has continued to thrive
and evolve and why it is important not only for the athletic
competitions, but as a means of building bridges among nations.
Busting Myths About Indigenous Peoples
by Jayne Simms-Dalmotas
Canadians have grown up with
stories that perpetuate myths and stereotypes about Indigenous
peoples. Author and journalist Waubgeshig Rice works hard to
change such misconceptions and to raise greater awareness of Aboriginal
issues through stories and humour.
As a young boy, he understood the importance of stories to pass on
knowledge and culture, and he had a passion for literature. But he
didn’t see the connection to journalism until, in high school, he
spent a school year in Germany. On his first day at school, he learned
that his new school mates had an infatuation with an image of the North
American Indian, fostered by books and movies, and that they had been
expecting someone in full head dress. He wrote home about his amusing
experiences, and soon was asked to write a monthly article for the
“Anishinabek News”, a publication of the Union of Ontario
He began to truly appreciate the power of stories to bust myths and to
raise awareness. It sparked his interest in journalism and he went on
to graduate from Ryerson’s journalism program. His first foray
into journalism was with the Weather Network where he had the
opportunity to develop stories connected to the weather, with an
Aboriginal angle. This led to general assignment reporting with CBC. He
is proud of his work on ReVision Quest with CBC Radio One, a program
where the point was to bust myths about Aboriginal people, through the
use of satire and humour. He currently enjoys working on CBC
Indigenous, which presents an aggregate of Indigenous news stories in
various formats, including print, broadcast and on-line. He has high
praise for the CBC because they have encouraged the development of this
Indigenous unit, but, at the same time, acknowledges that it is an
ongoing challenge to reflect diversity in Aboriginal voices.
In response to a question about mistakes in reporting about Aboriginal
people and issues, he said that the biggest factor is a lack of
accuracy – presenting them as a single entity rather than many
diverse First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples with different
languages, backgrounds and cultures. He also pointed out that terms
used to describe Indigenous peoples are often incorrect (such as
confusing Innu with Inuit), and he recommended that reporters consult
authoritative sources for guidance, such as Duncan Mccue’s web
site on “Reporting in Indigenous Communities”.
On a positive note, he said that he sees a greater appetite today for
information about Indigenous peoples, in large part because of the
revelations about the Residential Schools experience through the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission.