Monday, June 24, 2013

Toronto Book Launch, June 7, 2013

Lynda Robinson (with her housekeeper, Gloria) gave me 
a splendid book launch for The Chaplain, Book Five of The Alford Saga, 
at her Forest Hills home in Toronto. She is the chairman of 
Sulby Hall Publishing, and Director of all AP in Ontario.

Lynda’s husband, Harry Boyd, who played pro hockey 
with me in the 50s, enjoyed the party.

 I was most honoured by the presence of Canlit’s icon, 
Douglas Gibson and his wife Jane.

So exciting to see again my old CBC friends from the 50s and 60s: 
Peter Tiedemann, Gordon Hinch, and Tom Farquharson.

Also Ann Tait, former script assistant who worked 
with us in Drama, now a film producer.

Lillian Jarvis, graceful as ever, the great friend of my first wife,
 Angela Leigh, both of them principal dancers with the 
National Ballet of Canada in the 50s.

The pollster, Derek Leebosh, son of my long-time accountant Bernie 
Leebosh and Vivian his wife, enjoyed talking to my lawyer, Rolf Piehler,
 himselfthe son of the “Great Piehler,” a wise and learned guru professor.
Rev. Randy Murray, the former incumbent at New Carlisle, came 
from his new parish in Toronto, to buy The Chaplain. He talked 
with the talented Andrew Sabiston, whom I had discovered in 
Ups 8& Downs, and who went on to act in many TV films and series 
and wrote a successful opera, Napoleon.

My lovely and most talented Russian friend, Ksenia Shubina,
 who works at Google, got time off to buy a book and join festivities. 
Our friend Marion Davidson is in the BG.

Special CBC friends, Sarah and Tom Farquharson are great 
supporters of the Saga. Tom was my favourite cameraman 
in the days of Live Television in CBC’s Golden years of the 50s 
and 60s, and Sarah worked for years in the Design Department.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ottawa, AGM of Writers' Union, June 2013

In Ottawa for the AGM of my writers union, the TWUC, 
I took Joan for her birthday to lunch at the Parliament buildings.

Philip Toone, the hard-working, excellent MP for Bonaventure and 
the Maggies, and Assistant Whip, brought us to the “Members’ cafeteria”. 
 There we spoke with the head of the NDP, Thomas Mulcair.

After the lunch in the fine dining room...

... Philip gave us a tour, which included the marvellous Senate Chamber.

Philip presented me with the silver jubilee medal 
given by the Queen to certain Canadians...

...beneath the Peace Tower, which I always admire.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Canadian Military Chaplaincy Retreat, Cornwall, Ontario, June 2013

Col. The Ven. John Fletcher invited me to the 
annual Chaplaincy Retreat in Cornwall ON to give a talk.

I spoke to a packed hall about the Boer War and The Chaplain, 
Book Five of The Alford Saga. The Rt. Rev. Peter Coffin is front centre.

The Bishop Ordinary (meaning the Head Bishop) to the 
Armed Services, Peter Coffin, is a friend who hails from the Gaspe Coast.

After my talk, Brig. Gen’l Karl McLean, The Chaplain General, 
warmly endorsed The Chaplain which he had read.

After the talk, the chaplains of many differing faiths and 
branches of Christianity lined up to buy The Chaplain.

Monday, June 17, 2013

University Club, Montreal, June 11, 2013

After St. Matthias I was invited to speak to the Irish Canadian 
Benevolent Society at the prestigious University Club in Montreal, 
with several presidents of other clubs in attendance.

I gave a rather amusing account of events in Book Three 
of The Alford Saga, The Pioneer, in which my Grandfather 
comes to Montreal in the 1850s.

The event had been arranged by the former Lord Archbishop 
of Montreal, the Rt Rev Bruce Stavert (on L). 

Afterwards the president of the Society, 
Robert Ouellette, presented me with a book.

Friday, June 14, 2013

St. Mathias, Montreal, May 27, 2013

On the Monday I was given a small reception at St Matthias 
Church in Westmount for the Chaplain.
The former Lord Archbishop of Quebec, the Most Rev. Bruce Stavert, 
who now in his retirement assists the Rector, the Rev. Kenneth Near, 
arranged the reception.
I was thrilled to meet Jane, the daughter of the distinguished actor 
Bill Needles who not at 92 is thriving and who worked with me 
in the 50s on CBC television. She is a parishioner of 
The Rev. Ken’s St. Matthias Church. She is seen here with Ken Near.

Andrea Hazelwood was on hand again to help sell 
The Chaplain and other books in The Alford Saga.

The reception was much enlivened by our friends: Sylvia Safdie 
is a terrific artist, some of whose works we own. 
She too bought The Chaplain.

Charles Faubert, a former Quest Films associate, and of course
  ;-) now successful in business, works with another successful 
former Questite, Robert Gervais, son of the 
distinguished Andre Gervais, sometime President of the 
Canadian Bar, who represented me.
Yurij Luhovy, Ukraine’s number one documentary maker, 
saved many of my films by his brilliant editing. He added the Chaplain 
to his other Saga volumes.

Stewart Harding, who worked with me for many 
early years, has become one of Canada’s best line producers.

Parishioner Audrey Scott is the widow of Harry, cousin of 
Peter Dale Scott and grandson of the august padre of WWI 
and poet, Frederick George Scott.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Trinity Memorial Church, Montreal, May 26, 2013

On Trinity Sunday, I preached from the pulpit in 
Trinity Memorial Church, founded by 
my uncle, Col. the Ven. John M Almond, 
subject of The Pilgrim, and The Chaplain.
I had been invited by the incumbent, the Rev. Joyce Sanchez.

I first tried out the pulpit, where my Uncle Jack 
himself would preach...

... and looked out at the magnificent church.

I was in for a sumptuous treat, for the service was one of the 
most enjoyable and uplifting I have ever attended, made 
spectacular by a great choir and the magnificent Cassavant,
  played to perfection.
After the service, we had a reception, and I signed The Chaplain, 
especially for the brilliant choirmaster, Brian.

Andrea Hazelwood helped me with The Chaplain.
I met another author, Russel Brooks.

Like Maureen Odude, and Sylvia Braithwaite, most of the 
parishioners have been attending for over thirty years.

Frank Dottin has actually attended for fifty years.  
My Uncle would have been so proud of him.