September 22, 2016

Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty


Today’s show is on Quebec politics in the 50’s and in more modern time with guess Gérald Pelletier and of course the live callers.

Visit the Bookshop: click here.

Jean P.


September 21, 2016



Important things that happened on September 21 in history to remember.

In 1170, combined English and Irish forces, under the command of Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke and Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Leinster seize Norse-Gaelic Dublin, forcing Ascall mac Ragnaill, King of Dublin into exile.

In 1776, part of New York City is burned shortly after being occupy by British forces.

In 1792, French Revolution: The National Convention declares France a republic and abolishes the absolute monarchy.

In 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is published.

In 1964, Malta gains independence from the United Kingdom.

In 1972, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signs Proclamation #1081, placing the entire country under martial law and marking the beginning of his authoritarian rule.

In 1991, Armenia is granted independence from Soviet Union.







Jean P.


September 20, 2016




Catharine writes:

To-day is my 86th birthday. Listening to my husband Neil’s radio show, “Lemons and Laurels” on CJAD radio, Montreal, was a memorable gift.

Every Friday, he would ask his listeners, “What’s on your mind?” in that irresistible voice of his. Then he would throw out a breathtaking array of questions related to the key issues of the day. Five years ago, for example, he was already throwing out questions about Donald Trump and his attitude towards the Birther issue as you will see on an earlier blog. (see sidebar on blog)

By the way, one of the reasons our team is keeping the blog going is to encourage young people to write if they are so inclined, and to follow their dreams as Neil did in spite of huge obstacles.

Now back to yesterday’s  blog. Neil mentions Pierre Elliott Trudeau in passing and somewhat critically. However I know that he greatly admired Trudeau through the major part of his career. We both sat enthralled at the Paul Sauvé Arena, a night that proved to be a turning point in the 1980 Québec referendum on separation.

Neil honestly believed that Quebecers were better off within Canada as it gradually increased the status of bilingualism through train station announcements in every city across the country, and in countless other aspects of our national life.

There is also a picture of Neil watching Pierre Trudeau throw out the first puck at the inaugural hockey game of the Special Olympics in Toronto’s  Maple Leaf Gardens. We included that picture in the new book Neil McKenty Live — The Lines are Still Blazing! that we put out recently thanks to the help of a brilliant editor and writer Alan Hustak. I had collected 500 pages about Neil, including newspaper articles about his five books, his radio and TV shows, and his unpublished short gems of writing. Alan Hustak edited the whole thing into a readable short 100 plus pages and saved my sanity. A brand new edition has just been put out by the American publisher Lightmessages in Durham North Carolina. It will soon go out to libraries across Canada, a story of hope in the midst of impossible odds.

Neil coped with bipolar disorder and depression throughout a great deal of his life, unknown to anyone except close friends until he wrote his very honest memoir The Inside Story. We were married for 40 years and I consider it the greatest privilege of my life to have shared that journey with Neil, difficult though it often was. I hope to write more about that as I go along. Enough for now !!

Thank you to all those who follow this blog. Please feel free to send along any pieces of writing (short) of your own to put up on the Tuesday conversation on writing. I loved the poem that a four-year old from Ireland put up a couple of years ago, followed by her seven-year old sister.

To be continued thanks to the team of Richard, Jean, Rosie and Stéphanie.

Cheers, Catharine McK.


September 19, 2016



Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.



The subject of the show today is, Lemons and Laurels.





Jean P.


September 19, 2016


The conference will be held on Friday, October 28, 2016, at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel.

The Neil McKenty Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr. Anne Hallward, MD (Harvard). On the subject of :  The Fear of Labelling: Shame & Stigma, Silence & Suicide among Youth, Adults and Seniors. 


Here’s a bit of info on Dr. Anne Hallward, MD.  She is a psychiatrist in Portland, Main.  She had her medical education & training at the Harvard Medical School where she taught on the faculty and she co-created classes on Human Sexuality, Psychiatric Interviewing and Cultural Competence in Medicine.  She complete her residency at Cambridge Hospital-Cambridge Health Alliance and she teaches nationally about shame and traumatic silence, and was given the Exemplary Psychiatrist of 2013 award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  She also has a radio program at  Which was founded in 2008.

The conference will go on all day with many more speakers and specialists on the subject of Mental Illness.

Here are some useful links for the conference down below.

-The 11th Educational Conference on Mental Health:

-Toronto Don Valley Hotel:

And don’t forget to visit the Bookshopclick here

Jean P.

Neil McKenty Memorial Lecture

September 15, 2016

At the 11th Educational Conference on Mental Health on Friday October 28, 2016, there will be the Neil McKenty Memorial Lecture. It will be given by Dr. Anne Hallward and is entitled ‘The Fear of Labelling: Shame & Stigma, Silence and Suicide Among Youth, Adults and Seniors’.

Click below to see Catharine McKenty discuss Neil and mental health before last year’s conference.

Tuesday Writing Conversation: Polly

August 29, 2016

Click below to hear Florence Corey and Catharine McKenty discuss ‘Polly of Bridgewater Farm’.

Tuesday Writing Conversation: John Main part 3

August 16, 2016

Our series on John Main continues with this conversation between Michael Lane and John Main’s nephew, Eric Johnson.





Tuesday Writing Conversation: John Main part 2

August 8, 2016

Click below to see part 2 of Catharine McKenty discussing the background to writing ‘In The Stillness Dancing’

To be continued next Tuesday

Catharine writes:
a new edition of Neil’s biography of John Main will be published in the next couple of months by Light Messages in Durham, North Carolina. This American company is also producing a new edition of Neil’s memoir ‘The Inside Story‘. To my delight, they also did a brand new editions of our prize-winning book ‘Skiing Legends and The Laurentian Lodge Club‘as well as my book ‘Polly of Bridgewater Farm – an unknown Irish story‘.
Their brand new edition of ‘McKenty Live’, edited by Alan Hustak, will be featured at the Neil McKenty memorial lecture in Toronto on October 28th at the Mental Health Conferences Canada event.
These books are available on or Barnes and (see McKenty books). For schools, libraries or other groups they are offering a 40% discount for 25 copies or more of these editions.
I am truly grateful for this kind of sustained and enthusiastic support. My own aim is to share hope in difficult times as Neil did in his life and work.

‘In The Stillness Dancing’ can be ordered here.

Tuesday writing conversation: Where writing takes you…

August 2, 2016

In the video clip  below, Catharine McKenty discusses ‘In The Stillness Dancing: the Journey of John Main’