Archive for the ‘Historic blog entry’ Category

RADIO SHOW!

June 19, 2017

 

 

Here is an episode of Exchange with Neil on CJAD.

This episode is on welfare.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

* Adjust your volume.


https://neilmckentyweblog2.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/welfare.mp3

Jean P.

ARE WE LOSING OUR PRIVACY?

June 12, 2017

Neil had a knack for asking the questions that need answering. Back in 2009, he wonders in the post below about technology and privacy – with the information-gathering that companies such as Facebook, Google are engaged in – this is more important than ever.

A new study says emerging   technologies are threatening our privacy and anonymity. Now the focus on safety and security trumps the call for privacy.  And many countries, including Canada, are considering introducing  ID cards which will have a chilling effect on privacy..  Also judicial rulings in some jurisdiction have lowered the threshold for police to detain people and make them identify themselves.  Furthermore the use of video surveillance in public places is increasing diminishing the de facto anonymity once enjoyed in those spaces. The study finds that technology such as radio frequency identification chips and software built into everything from the clothes we wear to the furniture on which we sit appear be transforming communications systems from  “architectures of  freedom to architectures of control.’ “The space for private, unidentified activity is rapidly shrinking.’

Are you concerned we are losing our privacy.? Should security considerations always trump privacy considerations?

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BULLIED?

June 8, 2017

Eighteen per cent of Quebecers  strongly agreed with the following statement.  « I have been bullied at my school or workplace ».

That figure was about the same as the national average.

Only one per cent of Quebecers admitted they had bullied others by word or deed.

When I  was going to a Catholic school in the thirties, I had to cross a bridge to get back home.  A young punk named Turner started to wait at the end of the bridge to pummel and hassle me.  It was scary.  Finally my father went to see the bullies’ parents and it stopped.  What a relief.

Have you ever been bullied?

BLAST FROM THE PAST

May 31, 2017

 

McKenty Live with host Neil McKenty.

On today’s program, Neil talks about the environment with guest David Suzuki.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

May 30, 2017

 

Catharine writes:

To my surprise I was sitting in a restaurant this morning, enjoying a cup of Mocha coffee and having a riveting conversation about writing and all its’ possible permutations and combinations with a young waitress I had never met before. Earlier this morning I had been thinking about Barbara Moser’s comment about Neil (Barbara is publisher/editor of Montreal’s Senior Times) she wrote “He’s edgy, he’s provocative and he’s ours.”

This is a comment about Neil who wrote a column called Pitstop every month for the Senior Times newspaper here in Montreal.

Well, wouldn’t you know I was sitting in a dentist’s chair earlier today while my dentist described his patient, Neil, in similar terms “We had the craziest and best arguments about all kinds of subjects. Sometimes Neil would rise half out of the chair, sometimes he was furious with my point of view, but if my argument made sense, had some logic to it, he’d admit it. My sense was that these discussions owed a great deal to his Jesuit training, how to formulate an argument clearly.”

Well, why should I be surprised? There was himself, my husband, never happier than when he found himself in the midst of an argument, even in the dentist’s chair!

Neil also loved to write, starting from the time he entered an oratorical contest aged nine. I found his original hand-written version among his papers in an old black suitcase that had been stored unopened in our cellar for some twenty years. The title was “When Grandad was a Boy” and will be included in the book about Neil being published later this year by Shoreline Press in Montreal with veteran journalist Alan Hustak as editor.

Over the years, Neil tried his hand at all types of writing – at age fifteen he became a stringer for the Peterborogh Examiner under Robertson Davies. He went on to write 5 books which you’ll see <here>

I had the fun of working on two of these books with him. From the time I was ten I had scribbled stories and playlets for my cousins and friends. Never in a million years did I expect to write a book. Too much work, I thought, as I watched Neil hour after hour at his typewriter (later his computer of course).

Has anybody else reading this felt the same and left bits of writing hidden away in a cupboard?

I did recently get an iPad but I see myself as more-or-less computer illiterate. And when I did find myself compelled to write a book (launched at my 79th birthday with the best Irish band in the city), believe it or not the whole thing was written by hand. Years ago, in 1970, I had started typing lessons, then landed a job as speechwriter for the Ontario Minister of Education, complete with secretary. End of typing lessons. I was working six days a week, researching, writing and rewriting, to keep up with my boss who was a splendid orator, when I met Neil on the dance floor.

Two weeks after our August honeymoon in 1972 he landed the job as Editorialist for CJAD, known as the best English-language station in Montreal. We moved lock, stock and barrel down the 401 to Montreal. He would be writing editorials in one corner of our tiny apartment on the 21st floor of a building behind the old Montreal Forum, while in another corner I was scribbling a story for the Reader’s Digest. I had landed a job there as researcher, then was lucky enough to be sent to Quebec City to write a piece for their Explore Canada book.

Another piece I wrote, about 2 Quebec children’s writers, never got published, but it landed me a rewarding experience as literary agent for one of the sisters, Suzanne Martel. Then one of her publishers, Heritage, asked me to take all his French-language children’s books to sell to libraries and bookstores in Toronto. I ended up collecting all the new French-language children’s books from his and other publishers at the Christmas Salon du Livre, lugging them on the train, and having a ball going around Toronto to sell them. This gave me enough money to visit my mom in Toronto every 2 months. That experience also stood me in good stead when Michael Price of Price-Patterson published our book on the early days of skiing in the Laurentians and Montreal (Skiing Legends and the Laurentian Lodge Club, now available on Amazon as book and ebook). We had more fun tootling around with the trunk of our car loaded up with copies, to all the local bookstores in the Laurentians, Montreal and Toronto. Thanks to Neil’s skill in writing, this book became a best-seller, and won the international Skada award 2002 for the Best Skiing History at Vail, Colorado.

Working on this book with Neil and going to Ireland with him earlier ( a first for both of us) must somehow had an encouraging effect on my own interest in writing.

Neil had been asked to write the biography of a remarkable Benedictine Monk, John Main, who had been invited by Bishop Crowley to found a monastery right in the heart of Montreal, based on an ancient tradition of silent meditation found in early Christianity. This, at a time when many English-speaking Montrealers were leaving the city in the wake of the FLQ crisis.

Going to Ireland sparked Neil’s interest in his own O’Shea ancestors (on his mother’s side) and my determination to find the farm that our Fleming family (on my mother’s side) had left in 1847, in the midst of the famine. Neil’s family were Catholic, O’Sheas from the south and McKentys from the Glens of Antrim in the far north. My family were Northern Irish Protestant, from the Dromore/Omagh area, not all that far from the Glens of Antrim as I realised later.

Those visits to Ireland with Neil strengthened my awareness of the riches of Irish history, far deeper than sectarian differences that in many cases had economic and political causes.

The long-term result was that the book I eventually wrote, Polly of Bridgewater Farm – an unknown Irish story – was reviewed in both Catholic and Protestant newspapers and accepted into Catholic, Protestant, and integrated schools in the North.

A Dublin broadcaster told me he had never realised that Protestants suffered along with Catholics during the Famine,” the Great Hunger” as it has been called. I was asked to read from the book by the mayor of Monaghan at the first ever memorial in their city of the Irish Famine. And an Omagh school principal wrote me that “we need more books like this, that speak of hope in the midst of adversity.”

All the above experiences have shown me the power of each of our stories, to build connection with other people, and to bridge differences of outlook, age and background. Also the importance of making sure these stories don’t get lost.

This raises questions about writing. What kind of writing interests you most? Have you tried your hand at poetry? Writing your family story or a novel? Trying a short story?

Have you done a lot of essay writing? Is anything of this a labour of love or a drudge? Do you re-write?

Have you done an article for a student newspaper or any other publication?

I loved Vin Smith’s story of his 40 books, some published, some not.

Have you tried to get a book published, what was your experience?

When Neil wrote his memoir, The Inside Story, I tried 40 publishers without success. Some would say “maybe in a year’s time” then someone gave me the name of Judy Isherwood, founder of Shoreline Press. I will never forget what happened next. But that is a story for another time.

NEIL’S RADIO SHOW

May 3, 2017

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Exchange on CJAD  with host Neil McKenty.

The Lines Are Still Blazing!

What’ a on your mind?


https://neilmckentyweblog2.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/whats-on-your-mind.wav

BLAST FROM THE PAST

May 1, 2017

 

McKenty Live with host Neil McKenty.

On today’s program, Neil talks about the environment with guest David Suzuki.

CAN SCIENCE EXPLAIN THE BIG BANG?

April 13, 2017

 

Thousands of physicists at a vast underground complex near Geneva have begun a project to try to reenact the “Big Bang” to try to explain the origins of the universe and how it came to harbour life. The scientists plan to smash particles together to create, on a small scale, re-enactments of the event that started up the cosmos.

Cosmologists say the Big Bang occurred some 15 billion years ago when an unimaginably dense and hot object the size of a small coin exploded in what was then a void, spewing out matter that expanded rapidly to create stars, planets and eventually Life on Earth.

Scientists will try to produce tiny collision that will recreate the heat and energy of the Big Bang. Protons will collide at nearly the speed of light, and the enormous energy will shatter them and turn matter briefly into energy. As this energy reforms into matter, the physics world hopes to see – briefly – particles that are believed to have come into existence after the Big Bang, 15 billion years ago. Particle detectors will collect the flying fragments the way a windshield collects bugs.

The scientists will be looking for one particle that has never yet been seen, the “Higgs boson” that would confirm what matter is made of. It is also known as the “God particle”.

So in the coming months, beams of particles will crash together in the giant tube, and scientists will sift through the wreckage looking for the secrets of the universe.

Do you think they will succeed? Stephen Hawking (the “black hole guy”) doesn’t. He is willing to bet they will not find the “God particle”, the elusive particle seen as a holy grail of cosmic science.

What do you think?

Will science eventually be able to explain the “Big Bang” and the origins of the universe?

Even if they did, would that tell us how the “Big Bang” occurred. Was it spontaneous combustion or was God the cause?

And if God is the cause, why did He create the universe? One answer is that God created us to test us, to give us a chance to choose him or reject him. The result of our choice is eternal life in heaven or hell.

But if God is the cause of the universe, can science tell us anything about its origins? I shouldn’t have thought so.

What do you think?

 

Walter and Victoria Turnbull

April 12, 2017

 

It is an amazing gift for me to watch this silent footage of my parent’s wedding, July 25th 1929 at Donlands Farm. The farm stretched way back to the Don River from Don Mills Road, then a two-lane country road on the eastern edge of Toronto.

It is such fun to see all the guests arriving in their distinctive Twenties outfits.

There is my dad, Walter Turnbull, serenely happy standing beside his bride, Victoria Turnbull. As a young man he was quite a rebel. At Stoney Lake in Ontario, he would go out in the family canoe alone, give a great war-whoop and fall overboard backwards just to scare his poor mother. There was one apple tree in the backyard at the home of his parents in Peterborough, Ontario where his dad owned the local hardware store. When the Baptist minister opened the basket of apples from Mr Turnbull, he found an indignant bite had been taken out of each one.

Later my dad and his brothers built an orphanage in India during the great famine. His first wife died in childbirth after their return on the long voyage home from India. He went on foot through South America looking for locations for missions, then became Dean of men at Nyack, the headquarters of the Christian Missionary Alliance.

My grandmother still could not quite believe that this famous man — who had spoken from platforms across the US and Canada – was about to marry her rebel daughter Victoria, who wanted to wear bloomers on Sunday of all things. Grandmother, whom we see in her distinctive peaked hat, insisted the wedding be a quiet one, out at the farm, no white dress or long train for this bride. The minimum of fuss, which suited my mother to a T. Later my grandmother would go three times on that long ocean voyage to India, where she was supporting medical services for women, along with her surgeon-daughter, my aunt Evelyn.

We also catch glimpses in the film of my uncle Russell, then still a stockbroker in New York, dapper uncle Murray and their brother Goldie. There are the blissfully engaged couple, Agnes, my aunt, and her fiancée Eric Bentley.

A very special moment in time. My parents spent their honeymoon in Quebec, part of it on the Peribonka River, which later provided the name for their cottage on Lake Simcoe, where I enjoyed many happy days as a child. Mother and Dad made their home in Nyack, New York where they bought a house, and Dad continued his work as the much-loved teacher who thought nothing of the occasional pillow-fight with his students. He had found a whole radio station on a Russian ship, established it in New York, and used it to broadcast a message of faith, hope and love to South America.

Faith, Hope and Love – these themes resonate for me as I watch this film — this eternal moment in time. This footage is the closest I have ever come to seeing my dad alive, as others saw him. Ten months later, my mother was four months pregnant with me when she received the news in the middle of the night that dad had been killed instantly in a car crash.

At crucial times in my life I have felt his presence. Most notable was an occasion when I was suddenly called on to speak to a large and intimidating audience in England following my husband Neil. Shaking in my boots, I walked up the steps to the platform. Suddenly I knew exactly how dad felt — as though I was standing in his shoes. I was able to handle the microphone with ease, and was told afterwards I had riveted my audience.

Not long ago, I was shown a letter that my mother wrote her brother Goldie at the time of dad’s death. In it she wrote of her determination not to go under, and her sense of a spiritual strength being given. She ended with the words “grateful beyond measure”. I can only repeat those words as I think of the enduring legacy left to me by both my parents, faith, hope and love.

Catharine Fleming McKenty

BLAST FROM THE PAST

April 10, 2017

NM001

McKenty Live with host Neil McKenty.

On this episode of McKenty Live, Neil talks about alcoholism, especially children of alcoholics, with guests: Ann Denis and Heather Webster.