Chapter News and views

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Several Hamilton Chapter members attended a well-attended community ceremony in Beasley Park recently in honour of our late friend Bill Simone. The event was called Stories and Snacks because Bill liked to tell stories and share cookies and beverages with everyone, including those at Beasley Community Centre as well as with our Hamilton Chapter when Bill was our refreshment coordinator and supplied us with coffee, tea, juice and mounds of cookies. So, folks told loving stories about Bill, and we enjoyed refreshments.

We were saddened recently to hear reports of the passing of Bill Simone, VP for Life of the Beasley Community Centre and a longtime Hamilton Chapter supporter. Bill was for many years our refreshment provider and brought his community lens to our discussions of social justice issues. More confirmation of this sad news and a commemmorative picnic in Beasley Park we understand is forthcoming. We may also be able to contribute to a memorial bench in Bill's name in the park.

Don McLean, longtime chapter member and steering committee member for several years, has just been given an honourary degree by McMaster University for his community leadership and environmental and social justice activism. Congratulations from the whole chapter, Don! Here's a message from Don's longtime friend and fellow activist Jim Quinn, and the link to the virtual ceremony, including Don's short, extraordinary speech!

In 2016 I nominated my friend and colleague in environmentalism Don McLean for an honorary doctorate at McMaster University. I rounded up a dozen good people to write letters of support for the nomination and today Don is Dr. Don. Here is a short video with his powerful acceptance speech. Don rarely reads anything. He usually comes across as spontaneous and conversational and gifted with an incredible ability to speak effectively with an amazing and detailed memory. I think he read the speech because of the tight time restrictions that he had.

Our chapter is very sorry to announce the passing this summer of local farmer and long time chapter member and supporter Gwenn French. The Frenches always brought delicious chicken dishes to our pot lucks. Don McLean wrote in response to hearing from Gwenn's son of her passing that he was "privileged to have known [Gwenn] through local groups like the Council of Canadians."

Our chapter is very sorry to announce the passing of long time chapter member and supporter Tony Matthews. More photos in the Photo Gallery

We had a terrific time at the ECM, performed for us live on Zoom by James Gordon, with the assistance of Braden Phalen. You can find the original, whole soundtrack of the live in-person (remember that??) show on bandcamp.