In Memory

Joesph William Cousineau
17 November, 1955 – 17 February , 2019

I am very shocked and very sad to share this news of the sudden death, by fire, of my old friend and lover, Joe Cousineau. He was born in Tofino, BC and he died on February 17, in his cabin near Tofino, BC. Joe was a one of a kind human who lived life according to his own songs. Not many understood Joe, but many would find the warmth in his heart and the stories in his head, just as I did.

He sailed the seas of Barkley Sound, Clayoquot Sound, Nootka Sound and all the way to Haida Gwaii. He was the best boatman, ie: I always felt safe, as much as one can on those challenging seas. Indeed, he was born with sea legs and it was Joe’s love of the sea which encouraged me to get my own sailing Skippers ticket.

I have so many amazing memories of our time together in the Pinkerton Islands of Barkley Sound, on the float house he built. There was one trip, we had been floating and stormbound in the back of Barkley Sound for weeks, in a cold and dark February. One day the sea seemed calmed enough, at least from our perspective, to head to town. So the tugboat Moe was fired up and we cast off.

However, on the other side of Hand Island, the sea was not so calm and even though it was my suggestion, there was no turning back. The swells were approaching from every direction. It seemed to me that the entire Pacific Ocean was piling and roiling on that shallow rock beneath us, as we headed past Beg Island and into Ucluelet Harbor.

Those swells, the thumps of them ending in green water cascading over the wheelhouse, on that stunning midwinter day. I was trying not to get too scared-sick while being awed by the beauty of it all.

And Joe, he was singing.

I don’t ever remember Joe being a singer, but on that day he was belting out every Christmas carol he could remember. About halfway across the passage, we noticed the hawser, a tow rope, had fallen off the stern and was going to sink, then wrap itself around the prop. Joe was finessing that wheel, and singing those songs, and by osmosis was encouraging me to hang on with my eyelashes, and wrangle that wayward hawser back onto the deck. What team work!

Oh memorable moments, one loves those which can be told over and over for decades.

When on the water, Joe would always get the destination. He was the one who was the most adept with those swells and those rocks and that fog and that rain. I would have gone anywhere with him, as long as it was on water.

And who could forget the time, at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, where Joe and I were the invited partiers onto a big and beautiful multi-story converted tugboat. Just before docking, we learned the engine had now gone haywire and we were about to ram into the event jetty not 100 meters away. When all else fails, the skipper let Joe have at the engine and, of course, Joe stopped that ship. It was a moment that saved not just a gorgeous ship, but likely the lives of those onboard and on the docks.


Image: He was at the wheel of the Moe, doing what Joe did best and what Joe loved to do. He was an ocean swell whisperer. Where Joe went, the swells, that would scare-sick anyone else, would lie flat for his passing. He was one awesome boatman.

I would have more pictures, except a few days after we met, Joe left my camera on the beach at 52 Steps. The tide came in and the tide went out. He found the camera, about 300 meters from where he had left it. It was a day’s search, and it was that day I fell for the guy, and damn the camera.

Although it has been a decade since I last saw Joe, and more than two decades since we hung out together, He will always have a special place in my heart and mind. If I thought he could hear me, my last words for him … “Go gentle on yourself, Joe.”

Thank you Eydee and Anamarjia for seeking me out at this sad time. I know he loved you very much and to have him gone now is a big hurt. Big hugs all round.

Obituary : by Anamarjia
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/en-ca/obituaries/port-alberni-bc/joseph-cousineau-8240328

Media: hashilthsa
https://hashilthsa.com/news/2019-04-10/human-remains-discovered-warn-bay-identified

#JoeCousineau #vancouverisland #tofino #ucluelet #clayoquot #barkleysound #WoodenBoatFestival

Maya Plisetskaya Dances Ballet Documentary 1964

In 1964, two years after I danced with the Bolshoi and danced on stage with Maya Plisetskaya, this 1 hr 12 min documentary was made. Though today the ballet style looks almost ancient, in the day she was groundbreakingly awesome. I had a thing about her broken wrist lines, but what do I know? 😉

Maya was born on November 20, 1925. She died at age 89 on May 2, 2015. 

The murder of Stephanie Rengel

stephanie rengel
Stephanie Rengel

Originally Posted: Jan 6,  2008.    Yet another senseless murder of a young girl took place in Toronto.  Perpetrators and motives will eventually be discovered … I think we can safely assume the values of our human-ness, our frailness,  our hopes and peace were all missing from the street on which she was murdered on New Years Day, 2008.  
Posted: Mar 20, 2009. _ Stephanie’s murderers were two: … the puppet master and the puppet.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rengel-s-murderer-sentenced-to-life-1.841915

Crazy Taliban Kill Shirley

Published: Thursday, August 14    Victoria Times-Colonist 2008

Shirley Case
Shirley Case

Shirley Case with the International Rescue Committee was one of four aid workers killed in Afghanistan.

VICTORIA – Shirley Case, one of three foreign aid workers killed this week in Afghanistan, is being mourned by the people who knew her during her years in Victoria.

Case, a 30-year-old woman from Williams Lake, B.C., attended the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University. In 2000, she completed an undergraduate degree in leisure-service administration at UVic, then earned a master’s degree in human security and peace-building at Royal Roads in 2005.

 

Continue reading “Crazy Taliban Kill Shirley”

Bob MacGregor – Favourite Uncle Dies

It’s been annus horribulus.  My favourite uncle, Bob MacGregor, died and I’m heartbroken.  I will always remember him as the most generous, most fun and most caring person.  His death shocked our family and we will miss him terribly.

This picture was taken during our visit to Toronto in July 2007.  We spent three days with Uncle Bob.  He was amazing.

Read more – CBC Obit

Continue reading “Bob MacGregor – Favourite Uncle Dies”

Aline Gregory Wainwright – My Mother – Obituary

Aline Margaret Gregory Wainwright (nee MacGregor)WAINWRIGHT, Aline Gregory (nee MacGregor)
Born September 3, 1930 – Died April 9, 2008
Aline left us peacefully, at Hospice Niagara after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

Well remembered for her dedicated work as an active feminist, she was  a co-founder of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women  in Canada.  She was a member of Women for Political Action and in the  1972 federal election was a candidate in Rosedale Riding in Toronto.   In 1975 she played a prominent role in organizing the first World’s  International Women’s Year Conference held in Mexico City, and in 1977, was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.

Born in Toronto in 1930, Aline is predeceased by parents Alexander and Catherine MacGregor, by sister Catherine (Kitty) Mann, and by brothers  John and Howard MacGregor.  She is survived by husband John  Wainwright, by brother Robert (Bob) MacGregor of Toronto, by daughters Catherin (Cody) Gregory of Victoria, B.C. and Deanne (Dedee) Gregory of  Burnaby, B.C., by step-children John Wainwright of Edmonton, Deborah   Jarvis of Grimsby and Jane Wainwright of Grimsby, and by grandson  Garnet Clare of Whistler, B.C. 

She will be deeply missed by family  and friends.

An announcement will be forthcoming about an open house to celebrate Aline’s life at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club,  70 Westchester Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Hospice Niagara would be gratefully appreciated.

See her story here. 
http://alinemw.ca

Aqsa Parvez Killed

We are all responsible!

Aqsa Parvez
Aqsa Parvez

This time, not in Afghanistan or Iran or Pakistan but in the Canadian city of Toronto, a sixteen-year-old girl has become a victim of religious prejudice, veil, political Islam, and the compromise with it of the Western governments. This time, the killer is a father who kept pressurizing the neck of his daughter Aghsa (Aqsa Parvez) until the very last minute of her life.

We are all responsible for it.

How long are we going to witness thousands of women and children become victims of stoning to death, mutilation, burning, self-burning, and getting thrown off the balconies? For how long are we going to remain accustomed to this violence that has taken over us and our societies?