Archive for the ‘Memoirs’ Category

What’s on your mind? Victoria Day, Dollard Day or Empire Day and much much more

May 22, 2017

What’s on your mind? on Exchange. Discussion of various subjects, including Montreal and Ottawa conference of the United Church and the ordination of homosexuals.


https://neilmckentyweblog2.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/whats-on-your-mind.mp3

BLAST FROM THE PAST!

May 18, 2017

Here is Neil on the other side of the microphone taking part with another guest for a program discussing  »learning in retirement ».

Haven’t lost his touch!!

 

 »Montreal AM Live » Originally broadcast on 01/28/93

NEIL’S RADIO SHOW

May 17, 2017

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Exchange on CJAD with your host Neil McKenty

The Lines Are Blazing!!

Today’s subject is all about radio, with the live callers.


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Jean P.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

May 16, 2017

 

The Senior Times

Pit Stop by Neil McKenty

On the Shrivers, the Special Olympics and floor hockey.

I was enjoying a winter holiday in Palm Spins, California, when it was announced that Sargent Shriver gad died.  I met Shriver, married to President John Kennedy’s sister Eunice, in the early 70’s.  I’ll come back to that in a moment.

Mr. Shriver was the founding director of the Peace Corps, the signature success of Kennedy’s New Frontier.  He directed Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, founded Head Start, created the Jobs Corp and Legal Services for the Poor.

He served as President of the Special Olympics, which was founded by his wife.

Writing in the New York Times, Bob Herbert said that  »Mr. Shriver affected more people in a positive way than any American since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. »

When I met Mr. Shriver in 1971, he struck me as an enormously enthusiastic and energetic man.  I met him to discuss an award the Kennedys were making to Jean Vanier, the son of the former governor-general.  Mr. Vanier was being honoured by the Kennedys for his work with the mentally challenged.

My boss at the time, the Toronto philanthropist and sportsman Harry  »Red » Foster, thought it would be appropriate if Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wrote a short statement to be delivered at the awards ceremony in Washington.

I called Mr. Trudeau’s office and he agreed to send a short statement to honour Vanier.  There was, however, one condition: The statement would be in both English and French and must be read that way.

I explained Mr. Trudeau’s condition to Mr. Shriver and he readily agreed to find someone who would be able to handle the French.

At the event, however, somebody dropped the ball.  To my exasperation, the statement did not get read in French.

I expressed my anger to Mr. Shriver.  He was upset as I was and apologized profusely.

As this was playing out, we were negotiating with Mr. Shirver’s wife, Eunice, for Canada to play a larger role in the Special Olympics.  We had a Canadian Special Olympics at Exhibition Park in Toronto and we had been invited to join the Kennedys for the first international Special Olympics in Chicago.

One of the most successful elements of our own Olympics was floor hockey.  We had convinced the National Hockey League to get behind this project and we were eager that Mrs. Shriver accept floor hockey into the American Special Olympics.

To that end, I had several meetings with Mrs. Shriver in Washington.

What a though lady she turned out to be-though in the sense she knew what she wanted and used any means to get there.  Smart, too.

I was not the only person who thought if Mrs. Shriver had been born later she might well have become the first female president of the United States.

She questioned me carefully about the suitability of floor hockey for the Special Olympics program.

I am writing this wile still in Palm Springs.  While here, I’ve talked to a number of Americans about the Obama presidency.

Most people seem all for it or all against it.  There is no middle ground.  As one of the naysayers put it:  »My husband had a job under George Bush and he lost his job under Obama. »

My own view is unchanged.  If the unemployment rate comes down one full point or more, Obama will win a second term fairly easily.  I mean, who is likely to beat him?  Michelle Bachmann, the poor person’s Sarah Palin?

Published in February 2011.

Jean P.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

May 15, 2017

McKenty Live.

On today’s program, Neil talks about train transportation with Transport 2000 director Guy Chartrand. And the live callers.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ONE AND ALL

May 14, 2017

 

 

I can scarcely believe the privilege it is for me to see this film after all these years.

There is my beloved Mum serenely happy on her wedding day, July 25, 1929. There is my dad in contented attendance. From what people tell me, Dad was simply an amazing human being. On my desk I have a picture of him at his graduation from McMaster University, Toronto, Canada. His stated aim was – ‘‘to sail beyond the sunrise’’. And indeed he did.

He and his brothers started an orphanage in India, in the early 1920s. Dad went around to the mill owners asking for jobs for the orphans. He and his brothers used to pray all night for the food and supplies they needed. As he told my mother, the next morning there would be a knock at the door, and there would be someone with a basketful. He also told her that the first time he laid eyes on her, when he was giving a talk at the Christian Mission Alliance College in Nyack, New York, he went back to his room, got down on his knees and prayed ‘Lord, give me a chance to meet this woman or take her out of my mind.’ A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. There was my mother holding in her hand an invitation to Dr. Turnbull to speak at a gathering in Toronto. The letter was signed by my beloved granny, Lydia Orford Fleming. You can see her in the film with her peaked black hat.

Needless to say, Dr. Turnbull found many an occasion to come to Toronto for speaking engagements. He had spoken on platforms across Canada and the U.S. and was known as the dress code of the Alliance. When he proposed, my grandmother was in total shock. Her daughter Queenie, as she was known, (born in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year, 1897), was a rebel who wanted to wear bloomers on Sunday of all things, and had begged her mother to take her to China with her where she stayed for two years with her missionary sister Stella and brother-in-law Murdoch Mackenzie.

Granny arranged for a quiet wedding on Donlands farm, no white dress or big wedding for this rebel daughter. A choice that obviously suited this happy couple. There is Uncle Murdoch with his white beard welcoming the guests as they arrive by car. He is just back from China where he walked on foot among a people he loved for 30 years.

I first saw this film just about a year ago when Jean P. found it among a box of assorted tapes including some of Neil’s radio tapes. Interestingly, Dad was also a radio broadcaster. He had walked on foot in South America for many years, looking for locations for missions. Then he found a radio station on a Russian ship and brought it back to New York, where it allowed him and others to broadcast a message of love and hope to people that needed both.

The night of Mother’s Day 1930, he was being driven by one of his students back to Nyack from a broadcasting session in New York to be with my Mum who was four months pregnant with me. It was a dark night. The car turned a corner, hit a pileup of sand and skewered into a ditch, smashing up against a stonewall. Dad, asleep in the back seat, was killed instantly.

Granny was staying with my mother and came quietly in the night to tell her the news. Since Dad had little money in the bank, my mother had no other choice but to sell the home they had just bought on campus in Nyack. Then she packed up her bags and returned to Donlands to live with her mother and two older sisters. Just four years ago, I read for the first time a letter she wrote to her brother, Goldie, “I am determined not to go under. I feel a spiritual strength being given. I am grateful beyond measure.’’

The night before Neil’s funeral, I entered his now empty room and was about to break down completely. Those words ‘’Grateful beyond measure’’ floated into my consciousness. It carried me through the next days and weeks. At the funeral a friend of Neil’s and mine, Delores Kumps, came up to me and said, “Catharine, I had the most amazing dream last night. There was Neil, large as life, and he said to me, “Delores, be happy!” I knew it was a message for me as well. I can just hear Mum and Dad cheering.

Neil could always make me laugh. Never will I forget the time the red sleeve of his dressing gown caught fire during our supper. To read the full story, look on the blog two days ago or at the end of the book put together by our friend Alan Hustak. Neil McKenty Live! 

NEIL’S RADIO SHOW

May 11, 2017

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Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.

The Lines Are Blazing!

On this one, its mostly miscellaneous interviews on different subjects and something special at the end.


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NEIL’S RADIO SHOW

May 10, 2017

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Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.

The Lines Are Blazing!

On this show, Neil discusses with Clark Davey, Montreal Gazette publisher and the live callers.


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Jean P.

VINTAGE RADIO SHOW

May 8, 2017

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Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.

The Lines Are Blazing!

On today’s program, Neil talks with Mr. Stanley Hart, Canada’s leader labor negotiator and lawyer about the transit strike. And of course the live callers.


https://neilmckentyweblog2.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/transit-strike.wav

GOOD LUNCH WITH GREAT PEOPLE

May 5, 2017

 

Catharine writes:

Today, May 4th, I attended a packed luncheon hosted by the Irish-Canada Chamber of Commerce. Our Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of Ireland gave speeches emphasizing the strong bond between the two countries, with a firm emphasis on expanding trade embedded in a treaty with the European Union.

The speeches were met with a sustained standing ovation from approximately 500 people. A historic moment, when Canadians could reassert a certain independence from the whims floating across the border south of us.

I presented a copy of my book  Polly of Bridgewater Farm to the Irish Prime Minister, and also to Thomas Mulcair. To my great amusement, as you can see in the photo, a selfie with Mr. Mulcair, who knew Neil over many years, was the result.

I also presented a copy of Neil Mckenty Live to our Prime Minister. There on page 19 is a picture of his father about to throw out the first puck at the launch of floor hockey for the mentally challenged at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, as part of the Canadian Special Olympics. Neil worked for three years with Red Foster, the Kennedys and Brian O’Neill of the National Hockey League to  bring those Special Olympics to Canada and there Neil is standing behind Pierre Trudeau in the picture.

Neil’s story and Polly’s story both tell of hope in times of adversity. What keeps me young at heart is sharing both these stories as widely as possible. The response to both continues to grow.