Saturday, September 12, 2015

PHIL, JANET, MARILYN & KEN

Two sets of friends from opposite sides of the Atlantic share time together again on this side. Happy to be together again, they playfully tease each other and laugh like kids!

Originally born in Devon, Phil has done it all! Together with his wife, Janet, they live in a small village on the edge of Dartmoor called, Bridestowe. "I've had several different lives," Phil says as he explains his various careers. He was a police officer, a welder, a painter/decorator and a truck driver. In his retirement he takes in the occasional horse race, walks and plays darts.

Janet Brattenbury, from Devon, England was a military nurse at the Dartmoor army training range. She enjoys walking together with Phil and their black lab named Gem, cooking and her two children and five grandchildren.

On this side of the pond, Marilyn grew up in north Toronto. After her two children were older, she went back to work with Yellow Pages and Bell. She became a national accounts manager for Yellow Pages for 10 years before retiring. Marilyn is a "big-time walker" walking her Rat Terrier rescue dog. The dog, who came to them from Alabama looks like a Jack Russell Terrier and not like a rat!

From East York in Toronto, hence the cap proudly displaying the letters of his high school, East York Collegiate Institute, Ken worked for the phone company climbing poles and installing switching equipment. He then went on to sell Yellow Page advertising and a short time, selling insurance. Ken makes the distinction that he goes golfing now rather than playing golf!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Friday, September 11, 2015

LUCIE

We have all been there! Mouth wide open and expected to carry on a conversation while hardened stainless steel tools are chipping away! Not so with Lucie Galerneau! Her's is a one way conversation that is both amusing and relaxing!

Born in Quebec City, Quebec, Lucie Is a dental hygienist at the One Yonge Dental office in downtown Toronto. 20 years ago, she broke the news to her mother in Quebec that she was heading to English speaking Canada and here she has been ever since.

Arriving from Quebec, the effervescent Lucie spoke very little English but found a job immediately as there was a demand for good well trained hygienists. The move to Toronto was a big one not only for her family but also culturally and in terms of language.

A lover of travel, Luci's passion is travel and exploring. With her husband and two children she travels, skies and relaxes with a good book to balance her days making smiles look beautiful.

LUCIE FUN FACT: When she arrived in Toronto her English was almost nonexistent. " 'Open your mout' was all I knew how to say. I would not even pronounce the 'H' ". She picked up English quickly but not without a few embarrassing! faux pas along the way! Next time you are in need of a good scaling and a gentle hand, Lucie will delight you and send you off with a brightly coloured tooth brush and a heavily accented "Au revoir".


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Thursday, September 10, 2015

JEREMY, HANNA & NATASHA

Taking a moment in their inflatable bandshell, Hanna poses with her dad, Jeremy and mother, Natasha at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Dad, Jeremy, is a commercial/industrial electrician for Back and McDonald and mom has taken time away from her wedding and family photography career to focus full-time on raising two-year old Hanna. 

FAMILY FUN FACT: "It has buttons," Hanna says with great excitement of the first robot she is making with her dad. We understand the buttons also make the robot move. No doubt the robot will be well photographed when it is finished!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

LINA & DANNY

Squeezing the last few hours out of the summer, Lina and Danny have come to Harbourfront in Toronto to enjoy the day. 

Lina, born and raised in London, Ontario is an ophthalmic technician at Sunnybrook Hospital. Graduating from the University of Western Ontario in biology and psychology. When she is not looking into people's eyes or diagnosing, she exercises her other senses. She enjoys cooking and trying new recipes and styles of food. To balance all this, Lina likes to hit the gym to work out.

An electrical engineer born in Montreal, Quebec, Danny's work specializes in cell phone networks for the international company Ericsson. Based in Montreal, Danny travels a lot for work and is often sent to various countries to work on cell phone networks. When he is not traveling, he keeps his feet on the ground playing golf and working out.

LINA FUN FACT: Summoning up her courage, Lina, someone who loves to swim, took a leap of faith and jumped of a huge high rock wall into the river when she went white water rafting outside Ottawa, Ontario.

DANNY FUN FACT: Oddly enough, another white water rafting story. This on in Uganda when he was doing work in that country. Danny's group arrived at the river two hours late and missed their rafting experience. Not to worry though, Danny still had his thrill ride! Instead, he trusted the safety standards of the local outfitters and went for a bungee jump over the same river.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Monday, September 7, 2015

LESLIE

Born in Tokyo, raised in South Australia, West Virginia and Alberta, Canada would normally be enough to conjure up an image of a person I want to know about. But that is just the start of who Leslie Scrivener is.

Leslie has lived on a houseboat in Kashmir and also taught English in Iran in the days of the Shah.

For decades, Leslie worked as a feature writer at the Toronto Star and as a Faith and Ethics writer. Her writing about the human spirit feeds her curiosity about belief, motivation and change. WHY is the biggest question that drives her most. 

Leslie knew Terry Fox and wrote a biography of him after he died. She is now part of a group working to see a Terry Fox memorial erected in Toronto. She is always working, even if she’s not! She is constantly observing people and situations, "I see stories everywhere - they are there, at our feet, waiting to be uncovered and told". 

Along with her architect husband David, they have raised four children and live in an beautiful house he designed and built. 

She is now working on a project for Voices from the Street, an exceptional leadership training program in Parkdale that delivers awesome, life changing outcomes. Participants have gone on to affect social policy, find jobs, and understand they have a lot to contribute to society. 

LESLIE FUN FACT: Leslie plays her baby grand piano and gets all "swoony" over a Brahms intermezzo. But also digs country music! 

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Sunday, September 6, 2015

TONY

Paying homage to his other boss, The Boss, Tony Clement stands with Dobro guitar slung low around his neck singing. Heard above the sound of the falls behind, comes the chords of a Bruce Springsteen classic. Tony is in the house!

His father, an emigrated Greek Cypriot and British-born mother lived in Manchester, England where Tony was born. At the age of 4 the family moved from England to Canada where they arrived in Hamilton, Ontario.

When his parents split up, he moved with his mother to Toronto, eventually settling in North York where he attended high school at George Vanier before finishing his undergrad in political science and history at the University of Toronto. He was accepted into law school at U of T and was called to the bar in 1988.

"I realized early on that drafting subordinated debentures for banks was not really my preferred focus," he says of his duties as a newly minted corporate lawyer. It was when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 that he saw a chance to use his legal education and a budding entrepreneurial talent to work in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Bouncing between Moscow, Bucharest, Prague and his home in Toronto, he began to see a greater world unfolding. 

After his experiences in Eastern Europe he shifted his attention closer to home and family and entered provincial politics for just over 8 years. With a larger view of things, and an interest in national politics, he was elected to the governing Conservative party. "Through the good graces of the people of Parry Sound/Muskoka, I was elected in 2006," he says of his seat in northern Ontario. 

Tony, always one who loved the north, began visiting the area in the early 1990's and that changed his life. They bought a home in the village of Port Sydney overlooking the falls. "This is a pretty powerful place. It is what grounds me after the stress of the office".

"When I turned 50, I'd always thought I'd like to play guitar. I was always a big rock 'n' roll fan, so I though't I should really do this," he says of of his growing repertoire of songs and collection of guitars deserving of their own man cave! "I thought I should start learning to play or arthritis and other old man ailments might kick in," he says laughing of the desire to learn something new and to stretch his mind and keep him sharp.

There is a large performing arts tradition in the Parry Sound/Muskoka area. "I have about two dozen or so songs down. People thought it would be funny to throw the politician on stage and see how he does." Tony is loving the balance that playing gigs with others and singing gives his life. "I'm not the greatest by any means, but that's ok, I love learning," he says as he strolls over the rocks and down to the falls behind the family home. 

TONY FUN FACT: One day, while in the House of Commons during question period, he was asked a question. Acknowledging the question and rising, he answered the question this way: 

"Well Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question. But may I say... 'For the men who hold high places, must be the ones who start, to mold a new reality, closer to the heart' . I looked up at the the two gods of Canadian rock, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the Rush and held my arms out at them looking down from the gallery."

Take a walk along the rocks down from the Port Sydney falls and you might just hear, if you listen really closely, you just may hear the chords of Closer To The Heart.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN