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media with a message

With a search for truth, love of art and hunger for innovation as their drive, our alumni are using film, photography, print and the web to send a message with a conscience.

TIDINGS Winter 2008 Edito r

Nadine LaRoche (BJH ’06) Editoria l Co m m i t t ee

Sherri Aikenhead (BJH ’85) Tim Currie (BJ ’92) Greg Guy (BJH ’87) Kyle Shaw (BSc ’91, BJ ’92) Design

Co. & Co. P ostal Ad d r e ss

Tidings c/o Alumni Association University of King’s College 6350 Coburg Road Halifax, NS, B3H 2A1 (902) 422-1271 King’s we bsi t e Ema il *  *  *  * Stories in this issue of Tidings were written by students and alumni of the School of Journalism. Submissions were also provided by faculty members. Tidings is produced on behalf of the University of King’s College Alumni Association. We welcome and encourage your feedback on each issue. Letters to the Editor should be signed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. The views expressed in Tidings are those of the individual contributors or sources. Mailed under Publications Mail Sales Agreement # 40062749

on the cov e r

Illustration by Kate Sinclair-Sowerby

Table of contents Letters from the Alumni Association President & Editor


Letters to the Editor


Classic King’s Photos


Dinner and a Movie Serving up some finer film food


Lives Lived: Hamilton Southam


FYP Texts Column “To sue to live...”


Music I’m Listening To Martin McCallum


Devoted to the Vote Former premiers lead the celebration for democracy’s 250th birthday


Postcard from Zanzibar A recent grad seeks the truth in a struggling paradise


Alumni Profile: Jim Rankin A born observer’s love affair


Books I’m Reading Peggy Heller


Photo Gallery


Our Beloved Wardroom Hits the Big Three-Oh


Book Review The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews


Cover Story Media with a Message


Alumni Profile: Andrew Murphy Uncovering the storytellers




In Case of Emergency Three web-savvy BJ ’99 grads keep you informed


Grammar 101 FYPers brush up on the English Language


Annual Golf Tournament


Love at King’s Opening our doors to youth at risk


New Faces on Campus


Nomination for Honorary Degree


Call for Hudson Award Nominations


University of King’s College Alumni Association 2008-2009


Lost Sheep


Branch Briefs


The King’s Seminar Discovering the Renaissance and the Reformation


Alumnotes & In Memoriam


L E T T E R F R O M T H E alumni P R E S I D E N T Hello fellow alumni, and greetings from your new executive, elected at the Annual General Meeting in September. I think you will find this an exciting year for your association. We have a dynamic executive with an amazing range of talents and experiences. And they don’t lack energy. Since the AGM, we have had an executive meeting to review the alumni endowment, review plans for the Wardroom’s 30th birthday, and start planning for the upcoming year’s budget. Our four appointed board members attended the Board of Governor’s meeting in October, where we briefed them on the association situation and plans. Those plans—tabled at the AGM—detail both ongoing and new initiatives. We plan to continue with our efforts to grow and develop our branches in major centres (see page 28); extend and strengthen our relationships with the King’s campus community and with alumni, wherever they may be; and deliver events around the globe. Our major new initiative will focus on our annual fund participation rate, which isn’t where we would like it to be. We pride ourselves on the value of our time at King’s, our loyalty and our College’s proven ability to achieve wonders despite having experienced many speed bumps and road blocks over the years. Yet, when we leave—for whatever reason or reasons—many

of us fail to appreciate two rather key points: first, King’s needs us to remain sustainable, and secondly, every dollar does count. This is a critical need for King’s. And our goal is to see alumni financial participation grow to the point where it stands with the best institutions in the country. To this end, your Alumni Association has formed a special task group that will work with President William Barker to find ways and means for bringing up the participation rate. Would you help us? We need your financial help, yes. But we also need your ideas and encouragement. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. One last wish: come back and visit the College. Consider attending one of our executive meetings. You’ll witness the dialogue and dynamics happening between graduates spanning 40 years. And, of course, you will definitely be excited by what is happening on campus these days. Advance notice for these events is given on the King’s e-newsletter that lands in your inbox—contact if you’re not receiving these notices and would like to be added to the list. Can I sign off by voicing the importance of raising our participation rate? If you appreciated your time at King’s, if you believe the institution is important and deserves to go on doing what it does very well, then we need to be able to say that our alumni are behind it. What do you say? Can we count on you? All the best to you and yours, and as they say in the Maritimes, “Don’t be shy, now. Come see us when you get a chance.”

David G. Jones (BA ’68, HF ’98) Alumni Association President

L E T T E R F R O M T H E e d itor I came back to a King’s Quad that looked exactly like the one I left behind: a sea of black gowns, nervous grins, proud smiles and new beginnings. My last full day on campus was my graduation from King’s, and my first posting as Communications Coordinator, two years later, was to help the Advancement team pull that very event together. This May, graduation day had me whirling around the Quad, one hand expertly pinning hoods to gowns, the other herding confused graduates toward the Library steps for their class photo—a surprisingly painful enterprise. Once the students had finally migrated to the far side of the Quad, and the President had been successfully located, it was my chance to reflect. As I stood next to the same photographer who snapped

my picture on those steps, I couldn’t help but get intoxicated by all the tradition, pomp and energy that had me head over heels for the College in the first place. I let myself relax into the calm of the moment and take in this mirrored image of my own fresh memories—a reflection that, of course, required a lowering of my gaze. And there they were: the graduates’ feet. Perched within my line of sight, the rows of expected black pumps and shined-up shoes were interrupted by white throwback tennis shoes, rust-hued tights, high-top sneaks, and when I looked up, cat-eye frames, black shades, and 80s eyewear dotted the graduates faces. Only at King’s, I thought. Only at King’s. And that’s just it. Only at King’s do we find opportunity to add our own to every experience, challenge and accomplishment, to stand out—though not without a cloak of modesty—from the crowd. It may have been red tights or vintage glasses on graduation day, but today, it’s making waves in Green politics, launching blogzines to fill the holes in conventional media coverage, or uncovering the truths buried behind a tourist-laden paradise. (continued on next page...) T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


In this issue, we explore such alumni stories, in particular those of the King’s men and women who are not only making a mark in their respective worlds, but fueling their impact with a message—a message of education, emotion and change. In government, our alumni are spearheading celebratory initiatives to spotlight their province’s impact on Canadian history (see page 10); in media, they’re leaders in an increasingly cyber-centered world (see page 16); in photography, our alumni are capturing the biggest moments of our lives (see page 8); and in film, they’re telling the stories untold, the stories forgotten and the stories

avoided (see page 18 and 24). Let these pages bring you the same moment I had back in May. Let them unwrap the King’s spirit and let them flood you with pride. Best,

Nadine LaRoche (BJH ’06)

L E T T E R s to T H E e d itor Tidings encourages its readers to comment on any aspect of the magazine. Letters must be signed, will be edited for space and clarity, and can be sent to 6350 Coburg Rd., Halifax, NS, B3H 2A1, or by email to True Foundations Dear Editor, I loved the piece on “The Philosophical Physician” in the summer 2008 issue of Tidings. What a great question: does a year with Dante make for a better doctor? When I was training as an intern/resident, I felt like we were all in Dante’s Inferno with the punishing hours, lack of sleep and lack of respect. However, I doubt many of my colleagues actually read Dante’s work as I did in the Foundation Year Programme in 1980. A year with Dante, Homer, Dostoyevsky, Plato and other great thinkers definitely helped to prepare me for the practice of medicine. It’s not that I’ve referenced The Epic of Gilgamesh in an examination room. But clearly in my practice of family medicine in Nova Scotia and Tennessee, and in my journey through life, I feel I have been well served by my time at King’s. Medicine is not the Black and White world portrayed on TV dramas. There are so many nuances in the care of a patient and much more time spent in the Gray zone of ambiguity than most people realize. Often, the diagnosis is not clear, the treatments vary widely and you walk a tightrope between doing something and doing nothing while attempting to do no harm. The FYP urged us to think and be articulate. We could be passionate and imaginative. These qualities prepare your brain for seeing the big picture and recog-

nizing patterns which can ultimately lead to the diagnosis in a challenging patient. I am nostalgic when I think of King’s and I can almost taste the President’s sherry. My paperback Penguin classics still have a place in my living room. I still think of Father Crouse dabbing his eyes when reading The Song of Roland. I am grateful for the breadth of knowledge and the in-depth study of the human condition and philosophies. It has especially helped me practice the very broad specialty of Family Medicine. I believe it makes you more open to subtleties, idiosyncrasies and local customs. When I first moved to Tennessee, patients would state the reason for their visit: “I’m down in my back,” “I have a knot in my breast,” and “I’ve got a hush puppy stuck in my throat.” Eventually, I figured out what these and many more expressions meant. Nothing would prepare a student better for any field of healthcare than the Foundation Year Programme. It lives up to its name in supplying a foundation in writing, creative thinking, philosophies, humanities and cultures that we all need in order to connect more effectively with our patients. I would be proud for my daughter to choose the University of King’s College when the time comes, no matter what endeavors she might choose thereafter.

New Atheists

Sincerely, Angela Hallett Joynes (BA ’83)

With gratitude, Ken Nickerson (BA ’51)

Greetings, I want to thank you for the excellent issue of Tidings (Summer 2008), and especially for “What I’m Reading” by Stephen D. Snobelen. I, too, have recently read two of the three by the “new atheists” that he mentions, and one of the opponents. I am delighted to learn of three others in his article, and plan to start on these soon. In return, I would recommend that he add to his list The End of Faith by Sam Harris (Norton, 2004). I began my concentrated reading in this topic while on what has become an annual visit to my roots in Dartmouth last summer. It has been refreshing and encouraging to find the views of skeptics such as myself being given public exposure and scholarly consideration in an era where theocracy seems to receive much promotion, at least here in the USA. I think my esteemed freshman year professors F. Hilton Page and George Grant would have been delighted with the debate, though they probably would have ended up on opposite sides. Professor Grant started off his course with Does God Exist? by A.E. Taylor. I am deeply grateful for that experience, and that was just the beginning! Thank you again, and very best regards.

Corrections In a report on the 2008 Brian Flemming Lecture in our Summer 2008 issue (page 15), we incorrectly referred to the date of the Indian Mutiny as 1957, when it is, of course, 1857. 2

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You ’ ve I d entifie d Yourselves … The Grad Class Executive of 1950 Left to right: Rev. C.O. MacInnes (LTh ’50), president, Anne (Harrington) Disher (BA ’50), vice president, Joan (McCurdy) Clayton (BA ’50), secretary, Amy Gill, honorary president and retiring librarian, and Fergus Fergusson (BSc ’50), treasurer. Thanks to Joan Clayton, Julian Bloomer (’43), Anne Disher, Bruce Ross (’54), and Jack Wilcox (DipJ ’49) for their assistance.

…C an You I d entify T hese A lumni ?

If you know who these alumni are, please contact us at

Do you have photographs from your time at King’s that you would like us to have? Please send them to the Advancement Office at King’s, 6350 Coburg Rd., Halifax, NS, B3H 2A1. We’ll appreciate your contribution.

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dinner and a movie Serving up some finer film food By Lindsay Cameron Wilson (BJ ’95) and Mark DeWolf (BSc ’93)


he King’s campus recently wove its way back into my memory, a welcome bout of nostalgia that arrived as I watched Love that Boy, a film by Toronto/Halifax-based filmmaker Andrea Dorfman. The campus features heavily, as do food, 21-year-old angst, love and knitting—themes we’ve all wrestled with at one point or another. Well, maybe not the latter, but if you haven’t, it’s time to start knitting and purling. I decided to contact Dorfman. I wanted the inside scoop behind these subtle, seemingly disparate themes. I also wanted to know, of course, what fuels this filmmaker. The conversation went like this: LCW: Why did you choose King’s campus for the college in Love that Boy? AD: A strong sense of place is an important quality in all of my films and my co-writer, Jennifer Deyell, and I always envisioned that the protagonist, Phoebe, would attend a small liberal arts college, like the kind that exist in the US. King’s, with its intimate campus, gorgeous trees and lawns, and architecture reminiscent of Ivy League universities, was perfect for Phoebe’s university. LCW: You always put knitting in your movies. Food also seems to play a major role. Why are these themes important to you? AD: I love knitting. Ever since my friend Janet and I taught ourselves to knit from a book in her basement in grade seven, I have been a knitter. Years later, when I was at NSCAD, I did an off-campus exchange at Cooper Union in NYC. While I was there, I went to a talk by a woman who was a conceptual artist and she told us that, if you are a woman and want to be taken seriously as an artist, you have to be a painter, sculptor, follow in the footsteps of other great artists—craft just doesn’t cut it. She specifically said, “No one is going to make it big as a knitter!” So I resolved to put knitting in every film I made.


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Actors Nadia Litz and Adrian Dixon in Andrea Dorfman’s Love That Boy, a film often backdropped by the King’s Quad. Photo: Tom Harting

LCW: How were the craft services (the film crew catering) while filming? AD: Craft services are one of the most important features of any film production. I’ve always believed that the happiness of a film crew is reflected on the silver screen. As I recall, the craft services on Love that Boy were amazing. LCW: Do you eat while watching movies, either at home or in the theatres? If so, what do you eat? AD: You know what? I rarely eat in front of the TV set if I am alone, but I love tucking into a good homemade pizza with my boyfriend and his kids in front of a good film. At the theatre, I never eat anything (I think the food at the concession stand is awful and so overpriced!) although I might’ve snuck a beer into a theatre once or twice… LCW: What would you suggest eating during Love that Boy? AD: I would suggest takeout—Vietnamese pho noodle soup.

LCW: Hmmm… I won’t give away the role pho plays in Love that Boy. For palatability sake, can we stick with homemade pizza? *  *  *  * LCW: My current favourite homemade pizza is topped with sweet potatoes, sage and cambozola. But what to drink? Mark DeWolf, a fellow graduate and sommelier, has a few thoughts on the matter. MD: I tend to think of pizza and wine or beer combinations with less strictness than other matches. I believe the spirit of the food begs for a more casual approach to pairing. Pizza, no matter how gourmet, is comfort food. The wines and beers of choice should offer a similar casual flair. No matter the combination of flavours, my wine choices veer to young, fruity and tangy red wines with just enough tannins to cut through the fattiness of the cheese. Big Bordeaux can stay in the cellar and who would ever coat their pizza with a Napa Valley Cabernet shellac? Look to cheery Italian reds such as Barbera, Dolcetto or a simple Tuscan wine

such as Rio Cassero Toscana Rosso available at Premier Wine and Spirits. Or, if you think of pizza as a from-a-box meal, enjoy a simple Zinfandel—an American pizza and wine classic. As for the beer, think malty lagers or red ales that conspicuously taste more like lagers than ales. I for one will be keeping a six-pack of Anchor Steam in my fridge for the next pizza night. ∂

sweet potato, sage and cambozola pizza Makes 1 × 12" pizza I sampled this unique combination many years ago at a Haligonian Italian restaurant, and have been inspired by it ever since. Ultra-thin sweet potatoes can be achieved with a sharp knife, or better still, a mandolin. • • • •

This recipe comes from Pizza! by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson (Goodbooks, 2006). Mark DeWolf is the editor of Occasions magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass, Nova Scotia’s most exciting wine club featuring tours to Tuscany, Argentina, Chile and Provence. Lindsay Cameron Wilson is a cookbook author, food stylist and writer.

• •

1 thin crust 12” pizza base 1 tsp chili oil (or olive oil and a sprinkling of chili flakes, to taste) 150 g cambozola cheese, roughly sliced 175 g sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced (roughly half a sweet potato) 4–5 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare one pizza base of choice so it is ready to be topped. Spread base with chili oil. Top with cambozola then slices of sweet potato. Scatter with sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10–12 minutes until crust is golden and sweet potatoes are cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve.

L ives L ive d

Hamilton Southam By Cigdem Iltan

Hamilton Southam receiving his honorary degree at King’s during the 1981 Encaenia ceremonies. Photo: King’s Archives


ordon Hamilton Southam’s colleagues remember him as a man full of grace, graciousness and thoughtful guidance during his time as chancellor to the University of King’s College from 1988 to 1996. Southam died on July 1, 2008, in his Ottawa home at the age of 91. Colin Starnes, president of the College from 1993 to 2003, says he was delighted when Southam agreed to be chancellor. “For King’s to attract someone of that national calibre at that time was incredible,” he says. “The national exposure he brought to King’s was great at the time. It was a very kind thing for him to take

on the job late in life.” Southam was thoughtful and perceptive about the university and its future, and took the time to travel from Ottawa each year for Encaenia ceremonies, says Starnes. “He was generous and gracious in being chancellor,” he says. “And after he was chancellor, he continued to be great help whenever we were fundraising. I think he believed in King’s being in favour of a vigorous liberal education.” Starnes’ fondest memory of Southam was the chancellor’s commanding presence at a Halloween masquerade ball in October 1993. “Hamilton was very tall,” he says. “He was a big man. He came in with this stunning gold mask similar to the comedy and tragedy faces, and underneath he was dressed all in black. He was totally game for that kind of thing.” Outside of the King’s community, Southam was well known for his contributions to art and culture. He founded Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and the Battle of Normandy Foundation for the 50th anniversary of D-day. Southam was

also a key figure behind the creation of the new Canadian War Museum and the Valiants Memorial. “He really was one of those great Canadians who decided to build Canada as something that was not simply English or American,” says Starnes. Son of Ottawa Citizen publisher Wilson Mills and grandson of William Southam, founder of the Southam newspapers empire, Hamilton Southam served as a soldier for six years in the Second World War. After the war, he was a journalist with the Times of London and an editorial writer with The Ottawa Citizen. Southam joined the Foreign Service in 1948, where his diplomatic career included serving as third secretary in Stockholm, charg d’affaires in Warsaw and ambassador to Poland. He then returned to Ottawa to take the reins of the information division of the Department of External Affairs. “Culture was traditionally in England and Europe or else in the States,” says Starnes. “Hamilton was a gigantic force in moving Canada into our own in ways that are unthinkable.” ∂ T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


F Y P T e x ts C olumn

“To sue to live…” By Dr. Thomas Curran, Assistant Professor, Foundation Year Programme

The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius dominates Michelangelo’s pavement for the Capitoline Hill in Rome. The Roman Emperor (who reigned from 161 to 180) raises his right arm in greeting and clemency.


he meaning of life is in its end, or, to speak more precisely, the meaning of life is to be found in its having an end. The Latin tag respice finem can be understood to exploit the rich ambiguity of the English concept of “end” just as fully as the Latin finis of which it speaks. Respice finem suggests that each of us must “take care for,” “remember” or “consider” the end, whether this is to be understood as the goal and purpose for which something is undertaken, or the end term in a series, which, in our case, is the days, months and years of a human lifetime. To praise the human condition for having an end seems to suggest a kind of modernist descent into hell. This praise appears at such variance with our common hopes and aspirations as to put us in mind of a bleak play by Samuel Beckett, or an even bleaker example of his prose: “One moment more. One last. Grace to breathe that void. Know happiness” (Ill Seen Ill Said, 1982). Beckett’s final prayer for obliteration, published in the very year of his death, is majestic in its simplicity: “…oh to end. No matter how no matter


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where. Time and grief and self so-called. Oh all to end” (Stirrings Still 1989). The ancients were able to articulate many of the same thoughts, without thereby eliminating the ambiguous character of life’s end, and without leaving behind only the potsherds of despair. As readers will know from an earlier column, I am not convinced that any writer in the whole of our literary history has ever surpassed the supreme images employed by the anonymous Egyptian poet of the 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. This ancient poet recorded a dialogue (or dispute) that he had with his Ba (or soul) well over 3,500 years before our time. Death, this poet argues, is like coming up for air, like recovering from a prolonged illness; death is like sitting on your porch enjoying a summer breeze, death is like “a clearing sky” after inclement weather, and finally death is like a homecoming after many years of wandering, or long years incarcerated in a dungeon. Death is then, in this lavish antiquity, to be welcomed with the same enthusiasm that our modern nihilism also requires— but there is, of course, a vast distinction:

for the archaic Egyptian, death is to be embraced because it is “the night of going forth to life” (Spell 178 of the Book of the Dead), death is the entrance to the “house of eternity.” The ancient Greeks were just as clear as their Egyptian forerunners that the outstanding distinction of human life was in its tragic finality. For them, the human soul did not have its origins in nature, and therefore, at the time of death, this soul could not be dissolved back into nature; but equally, since the soul was the form of the body, any existence independent of the body was at best a half-life, lived in shadow, without pleasure and without purpose. The fact that the human soul would in every case eventually be consigned to Hades made every moment of human life both glorious and precious. Human existence was a rich treasure which the Olympian gods could only enjoy vicariously in the lives of their mortal heroes and favourites. Ancient literary criticism understood this principle perfectly: Homer’s genius in his great epics (Iliad and Odyssey), the ancients declared, was to turn the humans into gods and the gods into humans. Nothing the gods undertook was of any consequence: their pettiness, their infidelity, their squabbles were all (paradoxically) ephemeral, whereas every human act of heroism, every human passion, every human exploit and adventure was of eternal significance. Nothing of this human world would ever be repeated in recognition of its total finality. Marcus Aurelius (who died 180) makes a magnificent contribution to this ancient theme: his Meditations (II.14) remind us that all of us are only capable of living the life that each of us is individually losing, and that each of us is only capable of losing the unique life that each of us happens to be living. Marcus Aurelius asks how it is possible for us to spend our time being envious for something that was never ours (viz. the future), and furthermore will

never be ours in any case? Each of us, the Roman Emperor reminds us, has no more and no less of the present than any other; so there are no grounds for regret, jealously and envy. All we have is the present, and no one can have any less present than any other. This preliminary ancient survey concludes with the Confessions of St Augustine of Hippo (died 430). His unflinching record of his “past foulness” is bitter in his

memory, but he can keep this record since he has been given the grace to understand his past as a “living death” by means of which he was “coming to life.” In Henry Chadwick’s translation, we almost have a repetition from that ancient Egyptian poet. Augustine describes his early manhood as a life of madness that would soon bring him sanity; it was “part of the process of recovering health.” Everything I want to say here has, of

course, been summarized more pithily by Shakespeare. In the 3rd Act of Measure for Measure, Claudio has apparently lost his stomach to plead (to sue) for his life, and thus declares:

To sue to live, I find I seek to die; And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.

Let it come on indeed! (To be continued) ∂

music I ’ m listening to Martin McCallum (BAH ’03), Teaching Fellow for the Foundation Year Programme

Martin McCallum (BAH ’03)


o be honest, I’ve avoided buying an iPod. Music tends to pull me in completely, or not at all. At the very least, a song frames everything I do while I listen to it. I think a constant soundtrack would cut me off from the world. And I might get hit by a truck. (In this respect, the perpetual philosophy of FYP is equally dangerous.) But at home, and at work, I have been listening to what are, to me, classics. I’ve recently discovered the early Rolling Stones. Somehow their youth and bravado makes more sense when they are—well—young, and not quite established. In particular, the early stuff from the Rarities (1971-2003) album is amazing—playful, raw and much more bluesy than the Stones I thought I

knew. I love its live tracks, which for me rejuvenate better known singles. I’ve also been revisiting Cream’s White Room, with Jack Bruce’s soaring yet gritty voice, and some of the Jethro Tull I grew up with on PEI. In particular, Songs from the Wood makes me thinks of a crazier, even-more-woodsy version of my parent’s house in the country. I’ve also been listening to early, melodic and moody Tom Waits, who is old even in his 20s. His 2006 compilation of left-over cuts and B-sides, Orphans, is wonderful and even uplifting in its gravelly way, particularly the “Bawlers” disc. Cooking with my wife calls for Feist’s The Reminder or Bob Dylan’s Modern Times. Playing drums to my brother’s guitar endlessly rejuvenates a love for Toronto and Montreal bands like Metric and Arcade Fire, and for the noisy soundscapes of the Animal Collective. Introduced by my brother-in-law to the West Coast “new folk” scene, I’m also really into artists like Devendra Banhart and Vetiver. The latter’s warm-voiced and pulse-driven album To Find Me Gone, is particularly brilliant. And I can’t say enough good about the haunting and emotive, soul-styled I am a bird now by New York singer and performance artist, Antony. Closer to home, I’ve been listening to Ruth Minnikin from Cape Breton, and Amelia Curran from Newfoundland. One luxury of living in Halifax is easy access to the best of Maritime music, and on a regular basis. In keeping with Tidings’ theme this issue, I’m increasingly taken by film and television scores. Over the summer, I saw

Sean Penn’s powerful Into the Wild. I have since, without success, repeatedly tried to find its epic and personal mood in Eddie Vedder’s other musical projects. His soundtrack almost steals the movie. By contrast, the guitar music of HBO’s Deadwood is seemingly innocuous, but sets up the whole movement of Season One. Deadwood is a Western drama set in a lawless 1870s gold-rush town. While it took me a while to get into—its violent

One luxury of living in Halifax is easy access to the best of Maritime music, and on a regular basis. drama ultimately is not of action but of characters—by the last few episodes, the play between excessive brutality, fate and an almost Shakespearean formalism is mesmerizing. The score, both in its long absences, and in its subtle themes and counter-motifs, stages perfectly its stark and vicious climax. On the classical front, I’ve come to love Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, despite my initial repulsion from its excessive, chromatic movement. And, I have enjoyed greatly the opportunity to teach it both at King’s and in the Clemente Program here in Halifax. For a break, however, I’ve been turning to Chopin’s piano music. Particularly his 9 Polonaises 23 Mazukas, performed by Janusz Olejniczac, slows down my listening, even as it draws me in. No chance here that I will be divided from the world; rather, it is stillness. ∂ T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


devoted to the vote Former premiers John Hamm and Russell MacLellan lead the celebration for democracy’s 250th birthday by Perry King


ing’s College has a reputation for breeding alumni who have contributed greatly to their areas of focus. John Hamm’s (BSc ’58) contribution to political life has, in retrospect, caused him to realize that democracy in Canada is one that has thrived over a long history. “Not all democracies have survived,” says the former Nova Scotia premier, adding that the longevity of democracy in the province is a unique and great thing. After years of politics and democratic process, Hamm and Russell MacLellan (BA ’62), who served as Nova Scotia premiers consecutively in the late 1990s, gave back to the province this year by forming and co-chairing Democracy 250. Marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of parliamentary democracy in Canada, Democracy 250 is a campaign of the provincial legislation launched to recognize Nova Scotia’s contribution to the history of democracy by establishing the first representative government in our country. With events— from symphony performances to an 18th century costume ball —igniting across the province throughout 2008, the initiative’s intention to celebrate is an obvious one. And through this celebration, the Democracy 250 management committee has aimed to help the public recognize and cherish Nova Scotia’s impact on North American history, says Moira McLeod, the initiative’s communications director. “We want to instill greater pride of place in terms of Nova Scotia’s role in shaping Canadian democracy,” she says. Instilling Hamm and MacLellan as cochairs of Democracy 250 was the right choice, says Janna MacGregor, the initiative’s communications and events advisor, pointing to their immense passion for the province of Nova Scotia. But what has impressed MacGregor the most about the two is their care for the next generation of voters. “Young people are the future, and they address the issue of voter apathy and apathy in general,” she says. “They have been


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Former Nova Scotia Premiers John Hamm (BSc ’58) and Russell MacLellan (BA ’62) photo: Communications Nova Scotia

able to connect with young people at our events and educational initiatives we’ve put on and partnered on throughout the year. They have very much enjoyed it.” This connection may find its roots in Hamm and MacLellan’s self-deprecating sense of humour, one that McLeod points to as a successful means of engaging with young people. The men would also share anecdotes about their initial experience with voting, communicating to youth that getting involved with politics is easy and not something to fear. “They dubbed themselves the ‘Antique Roadshow,’” she says. “They’re obviously talking to people well less than half their age so they were able to poke fun at themselves.”

“They dubbed themselves the ‘Antique Roadshow.’” With the federal election and Nova Scotia municipal elections having just taken place, Democracy 250’s emphasis on young people—a campaign coined “D250”—intended to boost voter turnout. Equipped with youth ambassadors and go-vote messaging, D250 served to both celebrate youth and rally new voters to go to the polls. Through its various events and actions, Democracy 250 has also aimed to honour citizenship, as well as veteran and current military service. But the initiative

was primarily put in place to educate the public about the value of democracy. “We want to re-engage people, in particular young people, relative to the value of our democracy,” says Hamm. Though Hamm and MacLellan worked toward different degrees at different times, they met during their time at King’s. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree at King’s in 1958, Hamm lived in the College’s residence while attending medical school at Dalhousie. MacLellan, who followed his Bachelor of Arts degree at King’s with law school in the early 1960s, met Hamm at this time. “[King’s] provides relationships, many of which last a lifetime,” says Hamm, noting that the friendships he created were the best part of the experience. “Many of the people that were friends of mine at King’s are still friends of mine.” And Hamm points to his education at the College as a foundation to the strong leadership he puts to practice today. “My interest in King’s has never waned,” says Hamm. “It was always certainly my opinion that I got a great grounding in what lay ahead when I went to King’s.” With 2008 winding down and the Democracy 250 mandate coming to a close, the initiative will continue to make recommendations to continue the efforts to boost young voter turnout. Hamm and others will not give up on working for the next generation. ∂

Postcard from Zanzibar A recent grad seeks the truth in a struggling paradise By Graham North (BJ ’08)


twisting concrete labyrinth of narrow alleyways curves in every direction: remnants of an Oman empire whose royal population seemed to thrive on a messy game of one-upmanship. Giant wooden doors with ornate engravings helped families flaunt prosperity to neighbours, and today, more than 500 of these intricate entrances give a facade of wealth to the busy centre of Stone Town, Zanzibar, although the rich nobles left long ago. For this paradise island off the coast of Tanzania, surface beauty is a familiar concept. Turquoise waters and deserted white-sand beaches make the region a tourist hotspot, particularly for Europeans who want to boast exotic trips to Africa with minimal effort. All-inclusive Italian resorts have popped up all over, offering such luxurious packages that travellers never feel the need to leave the hotel. I’m here because the Aga Khan Foundation has sent me to beef up communications for a network of 84 madrasa preschools, which offer basic education to Zanzibar’s predominantly Muslim population—roughly 99 per cent of the island. Most of the young Muslim children on the island are taught the Qu’ran and not much else, which is hardly sufficient preparation for a public school kindergarten class where students outnumber teachers 100-to-one. My organization, the Zanzibar Madrasa Resource Centre, empowers communities to contribute “tuition” (usually a dollar per month) to fund teaching salaries for otherwise-unemployed women to teach these children the basics of counting, reading and life skills. The result is a learning environment of exploration and caring that helps kids thrive and gives them a fighting chance at a life of opportunity. I arrived with the intention of leveraging my King’s journalism experience to shoot a video documentary to unveil the island’s quiet struggles: to show (rather than tell) the stories hidden behind Stone Town’s massive closed doors. Sadly, shooting a documentary would come at an impossible cost. There is a belief among the Zanzibari people that having your picture taken steals a piece

of your soul, hardly a way to gain trust and uncover the true stories that resort tourists never see. According to locals, the truth beneath the surface is one of drugs, corruption and poverty. FBI crackdowns on the ports along the mainland Tanzanian and Kenyan coasts have pushed heroin smugglers to abuse Stone Town’s open harbour waters as a transit point to Europe and beyond. Many of the Italian-owned resorts are thought to be laundering fronts for the drug profits;

Every day, I’m digging deeper, but it only makes me realize how little I’ve scratched the surface. they survive through under-the-table deals with the government. Despite 20 years of tourism in Zanzibar, more than half the island’s population survives on less than a dollar a day. The effect on Stone Town has been devastating. A 2006 study concluded that 8 per cent of young Zanzibaris abuse heroin—more than 20 times the global average. The street product is diluted with so much flour, however, that addicts have responded with a thrifty injection method to chase their high. It’s called “flash blood” and it’s simple:

instead of taking out the needle after you inject, your friend uses it to extract your blood, then shoots your blood into his arm to get the residue of the dope. As you can imagine, a bit of a risky practice, particularly when HIV rates are rising on the island. Every day, I’m digging deeper, but it only makes me realize how little I’ve scratched the surface. I want to be a catalyst for change, but I’m cautious of the thin line between idealism and naivety. I’ve been trying to earn local trust in simple ways. I’ve studied Kiswahili feverishly to avoid the stigma of being yet another mzungu, the semi-derogatory term used to describe white tourists. In a culture where you are expected to greet nearly anyone with whom you make eye contact, it’s extremely useful to be able to spark up a conversation. Make no mistake: to the naked eye, Zanzibar is paradise. In just a month, I’ve swam with dolphins, fed century-old sea turtles and lounged on countless perfect beaches. But these glorious translucent waters are diverting tourist eyes that should be scrutinizing an island whose people are still struggling. ∂ Graham North was awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal for journalistic and academic excellence upon graduation in May 2008 (see page 22).

Graham North (BJ ’08) with youth of Stone Town, Zanzibar T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


A lumni P rofile

Jim Rankin

A born observer’s love affair By Emilie Bourque

Jim Rankin (BJ ’92)


im Rankin (BJ ’92) didn’t come to photography through journalism. He came to journalism through photography. He got his first SLR film camera at the age of 12, and says a romance was born. “It really is like falling in love with something,” he says. “There’s an infatuation phase. And it’s a real lasting kind of love, and a tremendous outlet.” Although he’s involved in many facets of The Toronto Star, from feature writing to shooting video for online mini-documentaries, the award-winning journalist will never forget his first passion. “The really nice thing about making photographs is that, unlike writing stories, at the end of the day, you’ve actually created something you can look at,” says Rankin, who has been working full-time with The Star for 14 years. Things have changed a lot in journalism since Rankin graduated from the oneyear Bachelor of Journalism Programme at King’s in 1992. Luckily, he’s well suited for those changes, equipped with an eagerness for new technologies and a keen eye for documenting the world through any medium. As newspapers shrink and the public reaches for a mouse and keyboard to find news, organizations like The Toronto Star are turning their focus to the web, opening up endless reporting possibilities. Rankin now juggles his first love with a videocamera, audio-recorder and notepad.


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“Aside from just still photography, we’re thinking about audio now,” he says. “Photographers are gathering audio clips that go along with the pictures. And, we’re also getting into a bit of video, which is kind of... it’s fun, it’s exciting. It’s a very different kind of discipline than still photography, but the goal at the end of the day is the same: you want to tell a story.” He says a new web component TheStar. com is about to launch has gotten him more excited about photography: a photo column that can accommodate one image, a series of images or a photo essay, accompanied by some nice tight writing. “You can do a lot online that you can’t do in the paper,” he says. “You have a lot of real estate, and there’s no limit.” Some people think this change over to the web isn’t a good one, he says, and will water down the quality of work at The Star. But Rankin says that as long as the paper’s reporters keep trying to tell stories well—through any medium—they’ll be OK. “The Internet: it isn’t TV, it’s not radio and it’s not print,” he says. “But it’s all of them, at the same time. And it’s also interactive.” With so many different ways of conveying a story, Rankin doesn’t get to spend as much time with his camera as he’d like, and his photo editor Ken Faught wishes he worked with him more. But Faught says it’s no surprise Rankin translates well across so many mediums, because he’s a good documentarian, possessing an ability to notice and document aspects of the world, no matter what vehicle he uses. Faught says Rankin also has a knack for understanding what visual elements will push a story forward. “You try to make the world make more sense to your audience, and Jim’s really good at that,” he says. “He has a visual energy towards what he does. Once he locks and loads on a topic, he’s just tenacious going after it, and it’s inspiring.” His wife, Michelle Shephard, agrees.

She’s also a reporter at The Toronto Star, and knows all about telling stories. But she thinks it takes a certain type of personality to be a photojournalist, one that Rankin exemplifies. “The best photojournalists are not ones that become a part of the scene, but stand back and can often see things that other people don’t see,” she says. “He’s just a born observer, that’s always the way he’s been, and he’s got this beautiful eye for seeing a picture. And I’m not sure if you can learn that, I don’t think you can. I think it’s sort of a gift.” The respect for Rankin’s photography goes beyond his colleagues and family. In 2002, for example, the American-based National Press Photographers Association recognized him in its Best of Photojournalism Awards for his photo of a tattered American flag hanging beneath a windowframed woman, her head hanging heavy in her hand—a moment captured during the 9/11 tragedy in New York City in 2001. Whether he’s reflecting the emotional aftermath at a location like Ground Zero, or shooting while driving into a hurricane like

photo: Jim Rankin

Gustav in New Orleans, Rankin says it’s a privilege to be a front-row member in the audience of people’s lives, and to witness both great and disheartening moments. And it’s this privilege, and the impact that comes with documenting these moments, that motivates this photojournalist. “You get to see some stuff that most people will never have a chance to ex-

perience,” he says. “It’s a very powerful medium, where a single image can actually make a difference.” Rankin feels photojournalism can make people think about how they, and the world in which they live, function, and can inspire people to contribute to their communities more. A rewarding part of the job for him is how this awareness can

create potential change. With the rest of an exciting and transforming career left to shape in journalism, Faught thinks it’s safe to expect more good things from Rankin in the future. “I tend not to look backward with Jim, I tend to look forward,” he says. “He has so much potential that I think some of his best work is ahead of him.” ∂

books I ’ m rea d ing Peggy Heller, Director of the Foundation Year Programme, and Professor in the Contemporary Studies Programme

Peggy Heller in Helsinki, Finland


t’s a sad thing, but I rarely read whole novels any more unless I’m teaching them. If I can’t immerse myself, I don’t bother. Every so often, however, I’m able to take advantage of a special circumstance that gives me a long stretch of time—a treasured memory is spending a Boxing Day in bed, drinking coffee and reading all of Alistair MacLeod’s No Great Mischief in one go. My favorite place to read is on a train—a trip from Halifax to Montreal is perfect— but long plane rides work, too. Recently, on the way back from a conference, I was able to get through most of Väinö Linna’s The Unknown Soldier, a novel that has been read more than any other book in Finland except for the Bible. My friends are all too aware that I have become a Finnophile, if that’s a word, but my decision to read Linna came out of a different impulse. Around three years ago, on a train ride during a visit to Finland, I remarked on the calm beauty of the countryside we were passing through, and, instead of agreeing with me, my companion paused and said, “There were terrible

massacres there—terrible.” He urged me to read Linna’s fiction as a cure for my romantic notions about the Finns. First, I read the trilogy Under the North Star, which follows the fortunes of a family from the end of the Tsarist period through to Finland’s defeat during WWII. Now, I’ve almost finished The Unknown Soldier, which is about a machine gun company during the “Continuation War,” when Finland, on the German side, captured and then lost Karelia to the Soviets. The work is written in a terse and realistic style, portraying the meaningless suffering endured by ordinary soldiers sacrificed to the political ideologies of others. Evidently, Linna’s 1954 story helped create a mood of national reconciliation after half a century of bitter division between the Reds and Whites—a notable instance of the political impact a work of imagination can have. The Unknown Soldier, generally unknown outside Finland, was indebted to Tolstoy’s famous War and Peace, which I just re-read in August. While War and Peace is often acclaimed as “the greatest novel in any language,” I’m sorry to find it less profound than I used to. As a teenager, I reveled in Tolstoy’s deep reflections upon the meaning of life, while enjoying the love stories and skipping over the battle scenes. Now, I am annoyed by the author’s intrusive commentary—while enjoying the battle scenes and skipping over the love stories. I guess you really do have to choose between Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy after all. Most of my recreational reading, however, is not fiction, but journals and newspapers—especially during these politically charged and economically fraught times. I subscribe to the Globe and The

Chronicle Herald, regularly pick up The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Walrus and Foreign Inquiry—and receive The Times Literary Supplement and a few academic journals. My husband is driven to distraction by my inability to throw any of these away or even keep them in one place. There are also piles of history books around the house that I dip into on and off. I am particularly interested these days in works on empire, particularly ones that try to have a larger perspective on global history than the one supposed by “the rise of the West.” My favorite right now is John Darwin’s After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires 1400-2000, which came out last year. Darwin, who teaches global and imperial history at Oxford, gives a fascinating account of the history of modernity through the inter-relation of empires stretching from the British to the Japanese. Also on the go is Justin Pollard and Howard Reid’s The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind, Garth Fowden’s Empire to Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity, and Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac’s Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Asia. I am reading these because they treat topics about which I want to know more. But there are other works that I read over and over again just for their use of language. The poetry of Yeats and the stories of Jane Austen are revisited often. Mainly, however, I find myself returning to the humourist P.G. Wodehouse. I have read each of his Jeeves books so many times because of the brilliance of his wording—and of his punctuation. I suppose it is rather odd to notice how an author uses commas, but I find his a great marvel. ∂ T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


photo gallery

King’s 2009 Calendar of Events January 29: Faculty Lecture Series in Toronto with Stephen Kimber February 2: Faculty Lecture Series in Ottawa with Stephen Kimber February 5: Faculty Lecture Series in Vancouver with FYP Director Peggy Heller May 14: Encaenia Please visit for more information on these and other upcoming events, including the Annual Armbrae Dialogue at King’s. Also, remember that the Tuesday Toot pub night will be held every second Tuesday of the month at the Henry House in Halifax.

Top left: Over the Thanksgiving weekend, 40 King’s students experienced Nova Scotia’s natural beauty by paddling down the Annapolis River. Ron Haflidson later gave addresses on two ecological poets: Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry. Pictured here in the lead kayak is Max Ma, a FYP student, and Tim Blackwood, a thirdyear student. Middle left: The Canadian High Commission in London held an event in honour of Democracy 250, an initiative run by two former Nova Scotian premiers, on July 9, 2008. King’s alumni Rebeca Pate (BAH ’06), Chris MacNeil (BA ’94), Lyse Doucet (DCL ’03), John Hamm (BSc ’58), Ilenka Jelowicki (BA ’96), Russell MacLellan (BA ’62) and George Whitman (BSc ’62) (not pictured) were in attendance. Photo: Keith Herschell-Photographer London. Bottom left: King’s alumni, current students and members of the HMCS Sackville Trust enjoyed a screening of Corvette K-225, a film featuring scenes filmed both in Halifax and in the King’s Quad, on October 7, 2008. Top right: New and returning students were treated to an early fall BBQ in the Quad from alumni such as Mary Barker (BA ’67) and Eric Bednarski (BA ’99) on September 19, 2008. Bottom right: Jordana Kelly, Robert Craig (BAH ’78) and Dr. William Barker soaked up some Sicilian tunes at this year’s Atlantic Jazz Festival King’s night on July 17, 2008.


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photo gallery

Top left: David G. Jones (BA ’68), right, became the new president of the University of King’s College Alumni Association on September 13, 2008, during the association’s Annual General Meeting. Jones is joined by Steve Wilson (BA ’87), now the past president, and Dr. William Barker. Photo: Greg Guy. Middle left: Dr. Robert Crouse (BA ’51) is joined by Halifax Humanities 101 student Richard Gallagher (left) after a lecture on June 24, 2008, delivered by Dr. Michael Treschow in honour of Crouse, Professor Emeritus of Classics at Dalhousie and King’s College. Bottom left: Chris Elson (BAH ’86), Else Freyssenet (BJ ’93) and Avard Bishop (BA ’75) gathered for an alumni dinner in Paris on June 14, 2008, at the Balzar, rue des Ecoles. Top right: Current FYP students Adam Charney and Nick Grachev fashioned a pulley system to stretch from North Pole Bay to Middle Bay in late September 2008, a Quad conversation starter and engineering feat that was “squashed by the authorities,” says Charney, after only a few days. Bottom right: Adrian Molder (BAH ’08), Gordon Cleveland (BAH ’67), Susan Richardson (BA ’68) and Erica Simmonds (BJH ’05) gathered at the Duke of York for a Toronto Pub Night on June 25, 2008.

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our beloved wardroom hits the big three – oh


y spring 2009, the HMCS Wardroom Lounge—day student hot spot by day, on-campus bar by night—will have left its 20s behind. With the bar having opened on April 5, 1979, this academic year marks the Lounge’s 30th anniversary, and King’s is ready to celebrate. The celebrations, which will unroll throughout the year, got off to a rousing start with a pub night on November 1, 2008, held in the Wardroom. Award-winning singer-songwriter Terry Kelly (DCL ’01) played for almost three hours straight, as people danced, clapped and sang along. The WARDROOM XXX committee, the alumni behind the anniversary celebrations, was quite happy with the mix of alumni, students, faculty and staff who filled the bar.


Whether you were procrastinating from that paper with yet another game of foosball, flexing your debating skills over a couple of pints, or dressing up in drag in front of your peers, your times in the Wardroom were the stuff good stories are made of—and we’ve asked you to share:


During my second year at King’s (1983/ 1984), a variety show was held in the Wardroom. For some reason, I decided to go dressed in drag as Dolly Parton. I made a wig out of curled-up strips of yellow typewriter paper (we were still using manual typewriters in the School of Journalism back then), bought a dress at the Salvation Army (not a pretty sight, trust me), and filled two huge balloons with water to provide the ample cleavage for which Dolly is known. I can’t remember which song I lipsynched to, but I gave it my all and gyrated around like a banshee who had just been given a cayenne pepper enema. I was entertaining and—for a moment—felt pretty. Then, as I finished my song to the wild screams of the dozens and dozens of crazed fans watching, the assassination attempt occurred. Ballpoint pen in hand, Stephen Vail (BSc ’87) (now Father Stephen Vail, go figure) stabbed me/Dolly repeatedly in her—uhm—assets. All riled up from my sexy performance (or drunk on too much communion wine or beer), Stephen came after me like a starving coyote on a gravy-covered lamb, maniacal laughter and all.

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Along with signing a poster of the event upon arrival, attendees were encouraged to make donations to the Wardroom Renovation Fund. Most of the alumni who attended contributed, with donations ranging from $1 to $100, for a total of almost $700. Those who donated were given a corvette-inspired boat, designed by current student Coren Pulleyblank, to sign with their name and graduation year and hang on the donors wall. “We’re off to a great start with the year-long Wardroom events,” says Greg Guy (BJH ’87). “Some alumni here have not been back to the Wardroom since graduation. We hope to see everyone back in the Lounge for our next event, a coffee house on January 24.”

Instead of blood, I left a trail of water through the tunnel and back to my room in North Pole Bay, my one-and-only drag performance marred by an uncalled-for attack. To add insult to injury, my beautiful Salvation Army dress was ruined forever. I hope the very Anglican now-Father Vail doesn’t treat all the Roman Catholic drag queens he meets these days so brutally. –Brian Cormier (BJH ’86) Ripping the paper off the Lounge furniture when it first arrived, dancing for the first time with the man who was to become my husband, playing Risk for hours on end, and purchasing the bell as a class gift. –Judy White (BA ’79), Class Treasurer This friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, left the bar while the rest of us were pounding back last call. When we got home, he was walking from room to room in an alcoholic haze. He ended up leaving. We followed but couldn’t find him. The next morning, his clothes were piled in the bathroom, blood was on the door and a Canadian flag, tied into a type of cape, was on the living room floor. When he went through his pockets he found every CD in the Wardroom music collection. “You must have not known what you were doing,” I said.

“I hope so,” he answered. “Why else would I steal the French Kiss original motion picture soundtrack?” –Devin Stevens (BJH ’06) When I arrived at King’s in the 60s, the “Wardroom” was the College dining room. Visualize the whole residence sitting down to formal meal (yes, every day) in there—a space that also contained the entire kitchen. King’s waiters in those days were balance and footwork masters of great strength. They carried 13 dinners on a tray supported by one hand, serving from that tray as they whooshed by in a room so small that chair backs were only inches apart. When Prince Hall opened, that space became a little bit of everything: games room, canteen, hang-out room and, most importantly, the home of the ancient Commoner—our brave King’s newspaper that was then run off on a Gestetner, soon to be taken at light speed into the Age of Technology. Our shiny new Gestofax allowed us to get pictures and sketches into the paper. There’s still copies of the original Commoner around, but don’t get your hope up on owning one. Today, they command the upper thousands at global auctions. –David G. Jones (BA ’68), who worked as a waiter at King’s for $1.00 a meal. Got a story to tell? Send your stories to The goodies will make it into the next issue of Tidings.

THE DATES January 24: Coffee House Head to the place it all started for an 8:00 p.m. coffee house featuring students and alumni in the Wardroom Lounge. April 4: Official Birthday Party Mark your calendars for the Wardroom’s big birthday bash—details on their way! May 8: Special Event in the Quad Your fellow alumni are cooking up something incredible to commemorate our beloved Wardroom. Keep your eyes on your inboxes and the website for news of this big event! Peter Dawson (BAH ’85), Scott Weldon (BA ’80) and NDP leader Darrell Dexter (BJ ’83), in attendance at the Lounge’s 30th Anniversary kick-off party, show off their Wardroom cards from 1979.

B ook R evie w The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews Reviewed by Cigdem Iltan

Alumna Miriam Toews (BJ ’91) visited the College in early September 2008 for the launch of her latest novel.

The amount of chaos presented by page two of Miriam Toews’ (BJ ’91) fourth novel, The Flying Troutmans, would typically be enough to make even the most adventurous reader make a dash for the gardening aisle. But Toews’ artful and careful telling of one family’s mad struggle to regain some normality is sprinkled with enough humour to keep the story light without becoming superficial. Hattie leaves behind her life in Paris to return home to Manitoba and take care of her sister Min’s children. But when Min needs care from a psychiatric ward and Hattie realizes she needs an extra pair of hands, she packs the kids up into a minivan and begins to search for their father. The family’s road trip bears a fuzzy resemblance to other stories involving truthseeking treasure hunts, only with hard reality served up instead of a pot of gold. Toews’ writing playfully toys with the limits of humour and reality, but it was

difficult at times to believe everything in The Flying Troutmans. Eleven-year-old Thebes articulates herself with impeccably-timed precocity using crossgenerational pop culture references that are a smidgen too clever. Likewise, the tragedy that marks the beginning of the family’s problems is revealed early in the text and feels like a too-tailored explanation for the problems Hattie grapples with in the story. But while the events are sometimes difficult to believe, the emotions are not. Toews slices her storytelling scalpel deep into the family’s dysfunctional life and reveals layers of tender and heartbreaking memories. The comedy in the text is also spooned out generously but carefully. Readers who enjoyed Toews’ dark humour in A Complicated Kindness will savour the heartwarming and bittersweet anecdotes amidst the confusion and bedlam in The Flying Troutmans. ∂

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cover story

media with a message From baSEMENT grow-op dramas to nuclear warfare documentaries, King’s alumni are creating films with a conscience || By Elizabeth McMillan


uinn, the main character in Michael Melski’s (BA ’91) film Growing Op, studies Aristotle and dreams of having a normal life. He isn’t your typical teenager, but he’s one who might have fit in at King’s. Melski quotes The Odyssey’s Odysseus when he explains Quinn’s quest for normalcy. Twenty years after Melski’s Foundation Year Programme oral exams, it’s apparent something stuck. “In FYP, you’re really encouraged to think for yourself, not to believe the dogma that’s thrust at you,” he says. “That’s certainly Quinn.” Growing Op tells the story of a family that moves to the suburbs to hide the parents’ business: marijuana production. At age 18, Quinn rejects his anti-establishment parents’ philosophies and enrolls in high school. Despite the focus on drugs—the inside


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of the family home is filled with marijuana plants—the Cape Breton-born filmmaker wasn’t making a statement about decriminalization. For Melski, the film isn’t about drugs at all. “It’s about nature, the gravitational force of family and first love, and the forces in civilization that seek to thwart growth,” he says. “It’s a love story. A boy torn between idealism and roots. A universal conflict.” These themes, he says, go back to the works he studied at King’s, such as those by Homer, Plato and Aristotle. Melski says he’s attracted to projects that will sustain his own interest. He looks for stories with strong connections between people and asks himself if they appeal on a mental, emotional and comedic level. Citing Shakespeare’s poignant comedies, he says, “The highest art is when you can make people laugh and feel.” With Growing Op, Melski wanted to make

people think about their own lives. “Do we truly know the people we love and care about?” he asks. “Have we strayed so far from our roots that we’ve lost touch with who we are?” Growing Op debuted at the 2008 Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. Melski wasn’t the only King’s grad there. Filmmakers Scott Simpson (BA ’93, AMC ’95), Carl Laudan (BA ’97), Eric Bednarski (BA ’99), and Ariel Nasr (BAH ’05) also screened films.


o what is it about King’s that attracts or produces filmmakers? Halifax-based writer and director Simpson says it isn’t surprising so many filmmakers started at King’s. Film appeals to him, just like FYP did, because it covers different subjects and presents new challenges.

“History, philosophy, the human condition, composition, music: all of those are helpful if you move on to a film career,” says Simpson, whose short Dot’s Will won the award for inspired script in the 2008 Atlantic Film Festival. Andrew Killawee (BJH ’98), who works in television production, says FYP “is a good starting point for learning to comment on the world around you.” Brent Barclay (BA ’91), a film producer in Toronto, credits the first-year programme with inspiring a new worldview. “It was an exciting opening up of my eyes to all sorts of ideas and history,” he says. “It got me engaged intellectually. It prepared me in terms of ways of thinking and being open-minded and creative-minded.” That’s exactly what Carl Laudan was looking for when he enrolled at King’s after graduating from film school. He had the technical training but needed inspiration. “Subject, theme, the bigger questions in life: that’s what King’s teaches,” he says. During his time in Halifax, Laudan brought one such idea into fruition, founding the Independent Film Society at King’s, a student society that still exists today. He wanted to incorporate people into the collective who didn’t have previous film experience. In 1994, the society’s first year, the students involved raised $15,000 and produced two hours of finished work. Fast-forward 14 years and Laudan has completed his first feature film. Sheltered Life, shot in 19 days over a five-week period in Laudan’s native Vancouver, comes from a script that immediately grabbed Laudan’s attention. He knew it had a powerful message. It tells the story of Candice and Jo, an upper-middle class woman and her daughter, who find themselves in a women’s shelter. They must confront the violence in their lives. As Candice sinks into a drug-induced stupor, Jo befriends two other teenagers living in the shelter. Together the three struggle to come up with a utopia that would protect them. “There are so many complexities to each and every situation for people who go into the shelter,” says Lauder. “It’s a terrifying balancing act where you’re balancing general philosophies and policies on one hand, and real people on the other.” With his film, Laudan wants his audience to think about domestic violence and the solutions society offers.

“I wanted to give them images they’d be able to chew on, that would really speak in a cinematic language, speak to the characters and what they were going through,” he says. “I wanted to use emotion without being melodramatic so it would stick in people’s heads.” Domestic violence is largely ignored, Laudan says, and more resources, attention and money put toward prevention and support are necessary. “If we paid more attention to it and talked about it more, we might be able to come up with better answers.” Just as Melski refers to Odysseus, Laudan says that he thought about Euripides’s Bacchae when editing the script with writer Katherine Schlemmer. He translated the play’s ideas about justice, and the conflict between family and the state, into the film. Laudan says he’s attracted to projects that deal with power and philosophy, adding that potent imagery augments the cinematic experience. And in his hunger for films rich with extremes that test moral fibre—what he calls “storytelling at its finest”—it’s no surprise Laudan was exhausted after filming Sheltered Life. “It was emotionally difficult waging the war of attrition,” he says. His next films include a documentary about the multicultural community on his street in Montreal and a comedy set in the badlands of Alberta, projects that could be a little lighter than his last venture—but Laudan’s unsure. “There are always social messages, even in comedies,” he says.


ric Bednarski is also familiar with making films about the issues society likes to avoid. His first film, A Postcard from Auschwitz, explored his great uncle’s time in the Nazi concentration camp. His latest project, The Strangest Dream, tells the story of Joseph Rotblat, one of the scientists who developed the first atom bomb. The Polish physicist was the only person to walk away from the Manhattan

project before Hiroshima. Rotblat’s career didn’t end there. He started researching radiation, lobbied for nuclear disarmament and became a founding member of the Pugwash Conferences, an annual meeting of world leaders and scientists that started in Pugwash, NS. The film involved finding historical footage and shooting on four continents. But what appealed to Bednarski was the Nova Scotia significance. “It’s a forgotten but important part of local history,” he says. Bednarski knows it’s difficult to ignore the modern context of the war on terror, but he wanted to focus on Rotblat and the issues he raised. “I’ve never been a peace activist,” he says. “I’m sympathetic, I take interest, but I didn’t make the film because I was. I think [the threat of nuclear weapons is] a pretty significant issue in the world today and I don’t think it’s given much attention.” He wanted to make a film about Rotblat and the peace movement that continues to be relevant. The potential nuclear arms have to cause destruction long after the Cold War ended, Bednarski says, is something people prefer not to consider. “I wanted to examine the history of nuclear weapons but set it all in the present,” he says. “It’s still very much with us. People have to realize that it just didn’t go away. I think there is massive public ignorance. “It’s the end of the world. People don’t want to talk about that.” Rotblat’s morality shaped the scientist’s career, and Bednarski says ethics also affect documentaries. Filmmakers have an obligation to their subject and story to be fair, he says, adding that careful treatment of whatever he presents or whoever he interviews is necessary. “You have the power to twist any story and manipulate and make propaganda,” he says. “People trust you when they sit down with you or share their family footage or photographs. You owe something to them.”

King’s Film Collective The film society Carl Lauden founded is still producing new films and filmmakers. Now known as the King’s Film Collective, the group has 30 members. Production is underway on Freshman 15—A Film about Frosh, the story of five friends living in residence experiencing university life for the first time. Over the coming months, the group plans to host outdoor movie nights and training workshops. T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8



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Photo: Ryan Heise

says, adding that he feels an obligation to witness what’s happening in Afghanistan because few people are willing to do so with an open mind. “Filmmaking is about engaging with the world in an authentic way,” he says. “I want to keep observing the world and making it into art.” Nasr says he didn’t intend to become a filmmaker when he started at King’s. But he discovered his passion along the way, much like other students, including Carl Laudan. “It’s a little incubator for crazy schemes and ideas,” says Laudan of the College’s potential to inspire. Scott Simpson took a film appreciation class at Dalhousie. Brent Barclay and Eric Bednarski explored theatre while at King’s but did graduate work in other subjects before focusing on film. Others, like Paul St. Amand, started in journalism. Now, these graduates have forged careers behind the camera and share their vision with audiences around the world. “Hopefully,” Michael Melski says, filmmaking is a career to “in some small way, do some good.” ∂

Photo: Candice Desormeaux


riel Nasr knows about using film to uncover misconceptions. His documentary Good Morning Kandahar tells the story of Afghan-Canadians living in Canada, a country at war with their homeland. Shot in Afghanistan and Canada, the film features interviews with Afghan-Canadians who work for a radio station in Canada that is broadcast in Kandahar. It also explores the army base in Wainwright, AB, where Afghan-Canadians dress up as both villagers and Taliban to simulate a conflict zone for the Canadian Armed Forces. “My intention was to be really openminded,” says Nasr. “I wanted to have a film that was fair, not something that was just polemic. Something that actually engaged with the world and the people in a way that was more respectful and mindful and didn’t turn people within the military into symbols of aggression or villains.” When Nasr first traveled to Afghanistan in 2005, the country was cautiously optimistic about new government and the involvements of the international community. On his second trip, earlier this year, Nasr couldn’t find anyone who supported the conflict, and instead found disappointed, disillusioned Afghanis. Despite this reality, Nasr says the Canadian media isn’t showing what was apparent in Afghanistan a year or two ago. “Things haven’t gotten better,” he says. “There are signs things are getting worse and worse. You really have to be delusional to believe that we’re winning, and yet, that’s what we see in the news.” And so it was crucial to the young filmmaker that he include in his film the perspectives of people living in Afghanistan, representing the reality of the situation. “It was important to make sure that I actually said something about how badly the mission was failing, how rapidly things were falling to pieces,” he says. Nasr relates personally to the AfghanCanadian perspective as it’s one he shares. Born to an American mother and an Afghan father, he grew up in Halifax and later, Toronto. Nasr, who is heading back to Afghanistan this fall for six months, says he won’t always make films about Afghanistan, but for now, he has a unique perspective he wants to share. “Because I am half Afghan, I have the ability to exist there and engage with the issues more effectively than somebody who doesn’t have that background,” he

alumni in the industry The film and television industry is loaded with King’s alumni. Here’s just a taste: Marc Almon (BA ’02), a founding member of the Independent Film Society, is now a producer resident at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. He has his own production company, Opolo Pictures, and plans to return to Halifax after the six-month course. Almon’s film The Wake of Calum MacLeod was nominated for the best live action film award at the 2008 Genies. It was the first Gaelic-language film made in North America.

She is currently casting the principles for the British feature 2nd Cumming.

Brent Barclay (BA ’91) has produced film projects ranging from Marion Bridge (2002) to How She Move (2007). He now runs his own production company, Calder Road Films, in Toronto. Barclay is turning his focus to TV and developing a slate of half-hour comedies and hour-long series.

Paul St. Amand (FYP ’00) now does video production and editing work at his company, Sanchin films. His films have been getting a lot of attention on the Internet, which he calls an “emerging market for short films.” His Parallels and Grover’s Mill have been nominated for awards at online film festivals including the Triggerstreet and National Screen Institute Online festivals.

Ilenka Jelowicki (BA ’96) is a casting director working in London, UK. She had a busy year working on the new Bond film, Quantum of Solace, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Disney’s Prince of Persia.

Andrew Killawee (BJH ’98) spent 300 days on the road in the past five year. He’s been busy working with Arcadia Entertainment, a private television production company based in Halifax. He is the series producer and sometimes director of “Go Deep,” an ocean documentary program for the History Channel.

There are more of you out there—tell us what you’re up to. Send your stories to

alumni profile

Andrew Murphy

Uncovering the storytellers By Lizzy Hill (BAH ’07)

Andy Murphy (BJ ’98) at the Berlin Film Festival


ndrew Murphy (BJ ’98) is in a cab, flying down a Berlin street at night, banging his fist against the roof. He has just finished an evening of schmoozing and drinking wine at the Kinderfilmfest, a night spent with his employer and friend Lia Rinaldo and another film festival director, Kathy Loizou, and the trio is heading to an after party. The radio is blaring “Knock Three Times”—cranked up at Murphy’s request—and everyone, including the driver, is singing at the top of their lungs, arms pumping and fists knocking against the inside of the cab. Berlin serves as an annual source of inspiration for Murphy, the programming manager of the Atlantic Film Festival, a job that places the power of picking out the festival’s roster in this Halifax native’s hands. Every year, Murphy scours the Berlin International Film Festival for up-and-coming independent films to bring back to Halifax by including them in the local festival, which runs for 10 days in September. “We’re a filter to bring the best stories we can on screen to an audience who might not otherwise have exposure to them,” he says. Murphy’s charisma, love of a good story and critical eye landed him the job with the Atlantic Film Festival, despite a lack of prior experience in the film industry.

A year after graduating from the King’s Journalism Programme in 1998, Murphy applied for a job as programming assistant with the festival. “I remember applying for the job and my friends who sort of knew of the festival said that I didn’t have a chance, because it’s all very insular and because I didn’t really work in film before this,” he says. Murphy surprised those skeptical friends by hitting it off immediately with Rinaldo, the Atlantic Film Festival director. Rinaldo, who hired Murphy and brought him back on full contract the following year, praises Murphy for his exceptional work ethic and humourous approach. “I found him really bright and funny and charming, and he just seemed like he had a whole lot of potential,” she says.

Murphy’s charisma, love of a good story and critical eye landed him the job with the Atlantic Film Festival. “Planning events is a tough job, and he does it all with a lot of grace and a lot of humour.” The respect between co-workers is mutual, and Murphy says he’s fortunate to work with such a stellar group of people at the Atlantic Film Festival Association. “We can laugh and joke and party together, but when it comes down to it, we’re all really dedicated to the cause,” he says. When selecting the festival’s films— this past year, the 1700 considered films were drilled down to 254—Murphy enjoys choosing the stories that bring underrepresented perspectives to the forefront. In particular, he’s the man behind the niche series “That’s So Gay,” which provides

lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals with the chance to have their voices heard within the festival. Eying a stand-out in the Berlin International Film Festival, Murphy brought The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela to the Halifax fest, a film directed by Icelandic filmmaker Olaf de Fleur that tells the story of transsexuals in the Philippines who take jobs as sex workers to earn their living. Murphy says he was drawn to the innovative nature of this “docu-drama” film, which explores the moral and ethical boundaries of life on the outskirts of society, and tells a tale not often told. “It’s great that more and more people are making films that give different communities a voice,” he says. Murphy also programs Viewfinders International Film Festival for Youth, a division of the Atlantic Film Festival Association that works with schools to help develop an active interest in filmmaking and international cinema in youth ages 3 to 18. Murphy hopes the five-day festival will help young people learn that “there’s more than just what’s on cable” and expand their horizons. “I think it’s crucial to offer training and opportunity for these young people to not only create and tell their stories but to witness stories from all over the world,” he says. Murphy has never made movies, nor does he intend to, joking that too many people would become his “worst critic” were he to attempt the venture. Nevertheless, he finds fulfillment in uncovering the good storytellers and promoting their films. “I think very few people are so lucky to work so hard on something and then, in the end, to actually see the fruits of their labour.” ∂

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Congratulations to the Class of 2008!


ith proud parents, friends and members of the King’s community as their audience, 231 students graduated from the College on Thursday, May 15, 2008. An additional 23 students graduated in October 2007, bringing the total to 254 King’s graduates. Members of the Class of 2008 are already diving into the next stages of their lives, one studying Shakespeare in England, another having just run in the federal election, some writing for newspapers in Russia, Africa and abroad, and others tackling challenges in far corners of the world. If you graduated in 2008, we would love to hear what you are up to. Email us at Along with the undergraduate degrees, three honorary degrees were awarded during the 219th Encaenia ceremonies held at the All Saints’ Cathedral: Suzie LeBlanc, an Acadian-born soprano and early music specialist, and George Cooper, CM, CD, QC, LL.D, a senior partner in the Atlantic Canada law firm of McInnes Cooper, became Doctors of Civil Law; and the Right Reverend Laish Boyd (BAH ’83) received a Doctor of Divinity. Cooper also delivered the Convocation Address and graduates Mitchell Cushman (BAH ’08) and Claire Guyer (BAH ’08) addressed their classmates as Valedictorians. Among several medals awarded throughout the ceremonies, the Governor General’s Silver Medal was given to Halifax-born Graham North (BJ ’08), and the King’s Silver Medal was awarded to Toronto’s Georgia Carley (BJH ’08), who also received the University Medal in Early Modern Studies. For full coverage of the week’s graduation events, including more photo galleries, visit

Jessica Adach Jennifer Adams Andre Amiro Danielle Andres Justin Antoine Thomas Bailey Katherine Barton Kelly Bazely Michael Beall Harrison Bennett David Bethune Alfred Billes Angelica Blenich Erin Bohan Vanessa Bonneau Lyndsie Bourgon Bronwen Bradley Michael Brison Lev Bubis Mark Burgess Jaime Burnet Aaron Burnett Sean Butler 20

Hartley Butler George Timothy Butters Laura Button Denis Calnan Georgia Carley Aaron Carpenter Clayton Catching Angelina Chapin Katherine Chapman Chris Chipman Marnie Chown Katherine Churchill-Smith Julia Clahane David Clair Melina Colley Katherine Connell Evan Corey Ricky Cormier Colleen Cosgrove Andrew Cragg

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Leanne Crossman Anthony Cushman Chloe Cushman Mitchell Cushman Mark Cwajna Jillian Dalziel Erin Delorey Sadiya Dendar Michelle Deruchie Jordan Desveaux Allison Devereaux Andrei Dezsi Scott Domenie Christopher Doody Hilary Drummond Oriana Duinker Lindsey Duncan Kelly Durnford Elizabeth Durrett Petra Eperjesi Leah Erdahl Adam Fage Regan Fahey

Emma Feltes Hilary Ferguson Christopher Ferrill Hayley Fisher Erin Fitzgerald Ashley Fitzpatrick Kristen Fry Caitlin Fullerton Isabelle Gallant Rebecca Garber Sascha Garrey Carrie Gilbert Catherine GleasonMercier Cara Gold Laura Gorman Daniel Goudge Kendra Grabo Jonathan Grady Sarah Greene Danielle Gutstein Claire Guyer Kendall Hall

Shauna HallCoates Dena Hamat Shani Hamilton Greenlaw Jason Handelsman Robin Harnden Kathryn Harris Laura Harris Kevin Harrison Shawn Hayward Stuart Hayward Jay Heisler Ira Henderson Cory Herc Margaret Herriman Matthew Herrndorf Amanda Hester Shannon Hilchie Carrie Hildebrand Faith-Anne Hine Trina Hirtle Rachel Hoecke

James Hoffman Tracey Holmes Whitney Hooper Rachel Hopwood Sarah Howell David Huebert Joel Hunking Liam Hyland Raylee Isenor Mark Jarvis Andrea Jerrett Michelle Kay Dana Kayes Jared Keddy Michael Keene Juanita King Katherine Kirkham Dana Kittilsen Andrea Klassen Dominic Lacasse Benjamin Landrus Holly Langille

Photos: Kerry DeLorey (BJH ’80), Calnen Photography


Stephanie Lawrance Jeffrey Lawton Christel LeBlanc Toban Leckie Christian Ledwell Jessica Lee Jamie Lee Matthew Leibl Rose Lipton Terrence Long Kaitlin Long Meghan Low Allison MacDougall Connor MacEachern Jennifer MacIntosh Jamila MacLean Michelle MacLeod Harris MacLeod Allison MacNeil Jill Mader Marissa Maislin

Carol Malko Micaela Mankowski Zachary Markan Wesley Marskell Graham Mason Joanne Mate Jennifer McCarthy Kylie McGregor Ian McIlwain Tara McLean Lauren McLean Leon McQuaid Gillian McWilliams Deborah MensahBonsu Sarah Metherall Zachary MilneHavery Benjamin Mitchell Erik Mjanes Adrian Molder Colleen Monahan James Munson

Kelly Murphy Ariella Naymark Richard Norman Stuart Norris Graham North Danielle Orbach Lesley Orr Ashton Osmak Paula Pacis Nina Paris Brendan Pinkofsky Emily Platt Amelia Pope Hilary Porter Stephanie Power Mairin Prentiss Caroline Purver Michelle Rabin George Rae Prasanna Rajagopalan Stefan Ramey Adrianna Ratcliffe

Erica Rayment Melissa Render Kathaleen Richard Simon Roach Meagan Robertson Andrew Robinson Simone Roher Daniel Rosen Jessica Ross Carol Ross Katherine Roy Caitlin Rutherford Andrew Sainsbury Alexander Sancton Allison Saunders Amy Saxton Alishya Schrauwen John Sclodnick Stephanie Shaw Katrina Shearer Matthew Sheffield Janet Shulist Jodie Shupac

Rebecca Siamon Dana Sipos Randor Peter Smallwood Stuart Smallwood Jason Smith Robin Smith Denise Smith Michael Smith Amy Smithers Cara Smusiak John Sommerville Samantha Sonshine Katherine Spencer Sarah-Jane Steele Gabriel Stein Daryl Stewart Fallon Stewart Ruby StocklinWeinberg Jonathan Stright Meaghan Sullivan Gina Sutherland

Wanda Taylor Amy Teitel Geoffrey Tobin Sarah Towle Katelyn Townsend Ruth Trainor Patrick Van Der Burg Roger Van Koughnett Whitney VanBlarcom Jeffrey Walters Yolana Wassersug Michael Weir Nicole Wells Daniel Wendt Jedidiah Wiebe Katharine Williams Jessica Wishart Caitlin Wolfe Richard Woodbury

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In Case of Emergency Three web-savvy BJ ’99 grads keep you informed By Michael Kimber (BA ’06)

With new technologies—unfortunately not available to this 19th century gentleman—the media can quickly and creatively alert the public of any breaking news.


ombies are attacking Halifax. Imagine starving droves of maddened mutants are coming to eat the brains of Haligonians and three mega-successful Internet moguls from King’s one-year BJ class of 1999 stand in their way. It’s fortunate that Amber MacArthur, Andrew MacDonald and Anjali Kapoor have mastered the Internet and are prepared to save your life. MacArthur, blogging new media specialist for CTV’s CP24, reports the top web news every week for Toronto’s most popular news station and doesn’t “believe in challenges, only opportunities.” Facing annihilation via zombie attack, MacArthur says she would alert the populace through Twitter, a micro-blogging site that allows users to inform their friends with short, text-based posts. MacDonald, who oversees the daily production of news and online content for the, would publish online warnings to the public and send out text messages to alert the populace to the movement of the evil horde, as well as publish real-time video of the carnage to alert the populace to the real danger. Kapoor, head of the Yahoo! Media Group, would hunker down in her Northern Ontario cottage and, using Google earth to locate the zombies, would use Twitter to organize war parties, and when the dust settled, she’d see if she could still order pizza online.


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The zombie invasion is an unlikely attack but, in breaking news where lives are in danger, the Internet and its seemingly endless means of communication are often the first line of defense. Online journalism is not new to King’s: in 1995, professor Stephen Kimber began the College’s online course, the first in Canada. Good job, Dad. Tim Currie, instructor of the current online workshop, recalls that MacDonald, MacArthur and Kapoor demonstrated an eagerness to learn and try new technologies while enrolled in the programme. “It went a long way then,” he says. “And still does in the online industry.” From the first grueling days of boot camp—the packed first several weeks of the one-year journalism programme—the class of 1999 had already become a close-knit group. As friendships unfolded between MacDonald, MacArthur and Kapoor, it quickly became clear that the three had the skills to not just take on zombies, but to make it in the world of online journalism. And these great strides started early: while at King’s, MacArthur and Kapoor won an honorary award at the Atlantic Journalism Awards for an online story that spearheaded a then non-existent design­ ated driver program. “We were at the Liquor Dome on a Friday night and wanted a glass of water,”

says Kapoor. “The bartender would not give us a glass of tap water and insisted we buy a $3 bottle of water instead. At the time, I think beer was $1 cheaper than the water, which begged the question, ‘Why drink water, when beer is cheaper?’” Kapoor and MacArthur realized bars were discriminating against designated drivers by refusing free water or soda, she says, which in effect promoted drunk driving. And so after a little research, the story was born. “It ended up being recognized by the city council and they eventually put a designated driver program into effect,” says Kapoor. For MacDonald, whose primary inter­est was print, it took a little longer to realize the full potential of online. “Working on the web, you get to master the best qualities of existing traditional media—all under one URL,” he says. Things have changed a lot since MacDonald was in journalism school, when the influence of new media had yet to be fully appreciated. Five years after graduation, he realized the medium’s overwhelming power when Howard Dean’s run for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination ended in cyberspace chuckling. As soon as voters could watch Dean’s screaming “Yeah!” on repeat, his presidential dreams were over. Now, the power of the online community has been further fueled with bloggers, commentary and the renaissance of citizen journalism. Staying on top of the everexpanding nature of the online medium presents a challenge to journalists, as keeping up with this technological innovation is a constant struggle, says MacDonald. “It forced us to think about how the nature of storytelling as we knew it would change thanks to the potential flexibility the web offered to bring video, photos, audio and text together on a single page to tell a story,” he says. In the face of the web’s multimedia possibilities, MacDonald warns against forgetting journalism’s fundamentals, especially a keen eye for detail. The journalist

learned early on typos can hold as much impact as the latest technology. “One Sunday afternoon, I published my last batch of headlines and left,” he says. “Unfortunately, one of those headlines had a typo in it, so instead of saying, ‘Viagra soft drink banned in Japan,’ it said, ‘Viagra soft dink banned in Japan.’” MacArthur’s advice for young journal-

ists comes as a motivational push to lap up as much experience as possible. “Working nine to five is not enough these days,” she says. “Also, I think it’s critical that all new grads build a website and start building an online portfolio.” Much of what the three learned in their online program forecasted changes that would come in the online world much later.

Kimber had his students writing stories in top 10 lists and in series of online journals, anticipating blogging by more than five years. Welcome to the magical world of online journalism, where future trends are predicted and these online warriors are fighting to keep you informed. Because the world is, obviously, out to eat your brains. ∂

G rammar 1 0 1 FYPers brush up on the English Language By Jake MacDonald

Grammarian-in-Residence Dr. Milo Stening-Riding, Photo: Nadine LaRoche


r. Milo Stening-Riding is a Swedishspeaking Finn who has been living in Canada for over 30 years. English is her second language, and she has come to the University of King’s College to teach Foundation Year Programme students how to write. “Their mother tongue, English, is not taught with grammar,” she says. “It’s taught the natural way. You have an innate appreciation for grammar, and the only time it comes up is when you write an essay.” The directors of FYP hired SteningRiding as a Grammarian-in-Residence to help students cope with the heavy writing workload associated with the programme. “Our staff was discussing the difficulties that our incoming students have with grammar,” says Dr. Daniel Brandes, associate director of FYP. “Often, they are very bright and they catch on quickly to

the substance of the text, but have trouble articulating themselves.” Stening-Riding is offering a series of grammar workshops at King’s, with topics ranging from adjectives to punctuation. The workshops are not mandatory, however, and attendance has been low. “Maybe there’s some stigma attached to the workshops,” says Stening-Riding, adding that the series is not intended to be remedial “It’s meant to give the students new skills. It’s not just for those who are having problems. If somebody who gets a B wants an A, I’m available.” Mike Bowman, a current FYP student, doesn’t see much benefit in the program. “A seminar on the magic of adjectives doesn’t appeal to my interests,” he says. “I like to think I know how to use a verb.” Stening-Riding also conducts one-onone sessions with students, which seem to

have had a better reception. The students, though fewer in number, have become more and more engaged. “If we can avoid them feeling discouraged because their work doesn’t translate into the marks they had in high school, that would be great,” says Stening-Riding about the students. “The more confidence they have, the better readers and writers they become.” Current FYP student Delia MacPherson agrees. “It was tough at first, and not the most exciting topic in the world, but it’s starting to make a difference,” she says. Stening-Riding hopes the pilot program will find its legs as the year continues. “This is an experiment really,” she says. “We’ll see how it goes.” ∂

dr. milo’s list of top grammati cal difficulties •

• • • • •

Integration of quotations and documentation Introduction and conclusion Transitions between paragraphs Shifts: one/you Usage of qualifiers and intensifiers Subject/object/possessive relative pronouns: who/whom/whose Relative pronouns in restrictive and non-restrictive clauses: that/which/who Sentence fragments T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


annual golf tournament


early 90 members of the King’s community hit the green on Thursday, August 14, 2008, for the 15th Annual Alumni Association Golf Tournament, over a dozen more golfers than last year’s tourney. During the tournament, grey clouds hinted at rain for the later part of the afternoon, but held off the drizzle until the golfers had but a handful of holes left. Umbrellas were popped, rain jackets were pulled out, and participants kept on trucking through with smiles abound. And with a barbeque feast fit for kings (and queens) waiting back at the lodge, along with tables full of prizes, the rain did nothing to dampen the mood. Many thanks to our players, volunteers and sponsors, in particular the Golf Committee headed by Larry Holman (’69). The fundraising event, which took place at the Ken-Wo Golf & Country Club in New Minas, NS, helped to support several Alumni Association initiatives, including the Alumni Journalism Scholarship. This year’s scholarship has been awarded to Perry King of Toronto, ON, a 22-year-old graduate from the University of Toronto with an extensive journalism portfolio. Top left: Ken Taylor, Mark Lawlor. Top right: Betty Colavecchia (BA ’70), Faith Hatcher (’71), Mary Jane Rector, Anne Hare (BA ’70). Upper middle right: Larry Holeman (’69). Lower middle right: Gary Thompson (BA ’77), Paula Johnson, Andy Hare (BA ’70), Allan Thomson (BA ’70). Bottom right: Blaine Morash, Graham Morash, Harold Boutilier.


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LOVE at King’s

Opening our doors to youth at risk By Jake MacDonald


ove is always in the air at King’s. But on Tuesday and Thursday nights, a special type of love graces campus. On those nights, up to 30 young faces descend upon Prince Hall dining room to share stories and meals, before moving to classrooms and the photography lab. They are students taking part in Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE) Nova Scotia, a program that means a lot to the people involved. It’s a long-term violence prevention youth program, and it meets twice a week at King’s. Nevael, a high-school student who has attended the program for two years, says the people at LOVE are like family. “They care about you, everybody’s here to talk to you,” he says. “If I’m down, I can just come here and everyone will make me happy.” The program began in 2000, aiming to help young victims, witnesses and perpetrators of violence, a term that LOVE uses to describe “anything that hurts,” from bullying and abuse to alcohol and drug use. The students learn to express themselves through writing and photography, and are taught important leadership skills. “The first step to healing is discussion and uncensored expression,” says Sarah MacLaren (BA ’93), executive director of LOVE. “Sometimes the things we discuss in our program are the things that don’t get discussed in society. Those things need to see the light of day so our kids don’t go around with guilt and shame.” King’s is a founding partner with LOVE, and offers classrooms and darkroom facilities. Kim Kierans, the director of the School of Journalism at King’s, sits on the LOVE Board of Directors. She sees a tremendous value in opening the College’s doors to the greater community. “We’re not in ivory towers, are we?” says Kierans. “Our community is our students, it’s our faculty, it’s the people who live in our neighbourhood, the people who live outside of our neighbourhood, and we want them to feel welcome here.” Sodexo, the food services provider on

Volunteer Kathleen McKenna (BAH ’07) and LOVE participants on campus at King’s

“There’s good food here, it’s a good environment, cool people. Hopefully someday I’ll make it to a place like this.” –Nathan, a LOVE participant campus, also helps by offering a generous discount in Prince Hall so that the youth can sit down to a buffet meal before their activities. This experience goes beyond a full stomach. The youth are able to sit sideby-side with King’s students, which can prove to demystify the university world, says MacLaren. “[The LOVE participants] see a kid who’s only two years older than them, wandering around in their PJs, and they say, ‘That’s a university student? Maybe I can be a university student some day,’” she says. Nathan, a youth in his second year with LOVE, agrees. “There’s good food here, it’s a good environment, cool people.” he says. “Hopefully someday I’ll make it to a

place like this.” The positive atmosphere within LOVE at King’s seems to be infectious. Dennis Adams, registered social worker, is the programming director at LOVE. “I’ve been here for seven years, seven fast years,” he says. “It’s literally my dream job. I couldn’t be happier. There’s so much trust and honesty here.” At LOVE, Nathan says he can be himself, explaining his “story” in this trusting environment. “I can talk to Dennis and other people,” he says. “And I can do it without anyone judging me.” ∂ Last names of the LOVE participants have not been used at the request of the youth program. T i d ings | w inter 2 0 0 8


N E W FAC E S O N C A M P U S Foundation Y ear Programme Alexandra Morrison obtained her BA and MA from the University of Toronto and is set to defend her PhD dissertation in Philosophy at the University of Guelph this spring. She taught English and worked as a translator in the former Czechoslovakia, where she lived for three years. Morrison, who has also taught philosophy and political thought at the Universities of Toronto and Guelph, thinks that FYP is a unique and tremendously valuable programme. “In exploring the history of our culture and its ideas,” she begins, “FYP students become better able to function as critical and engaged participants in the cultural present.” Michelle Wilband received her BA from St. Thomas University in 2005, where she was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for highest academic standing, and her MA from the Classics Department at Dalhousie University in 2008. Her husband is Don of North Pole Bay, and so she both lives and teaches at King’s. Although she came in as a FYP outsider, she’s now getting a full experience of the all-around life of the College. “FYP is a tremendous learning experience for the teaching faculty as much as for the students,” she says. “It’s a delight to be engaged with students as they encounter the great minds of our history, and the fundamental questions of the human condition. The beauty of the programme is that it doesn’t seek to provide neat and easy answers. For teachers and students alike, FYP is an exercise in discovering what we don’t know.”

Contemporary Studies & History of Science and Technology Programmes Sue Campbell obtained her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1993, and had been teaching in Philosophy and Gender and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie since 1992. She is the author/ editor of four books dealing with issues in political subjectivities and identities, and her most recent research has been in the politics of memory, especially in 26

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contexts of restorative justice like Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. “I’m enthused about teaching Repairing the Past for Contemporary Studies,” she says. “I hope students will take the opportunity to engage with the rich interdisciplinary conversations that characterize recent reflection on our response to historic wrongdoing.” Georgy Levit studied the history of philosophy at the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, followed by completing his PhD in the history of biosphere theory at the University of Oldenburg in Germany, and working as a research scientist in the field of the history of evolutionary theory at the University of Jena (Germany). In 2008, a curiosity for the North American educational system took Levit to King’s, and he now teaches within both the CMSP and HOST programmes. At King’s, he has found a supportive team of professors, a system he deems nearly perfect, and innovative and fresh student mindset. “The students seem to me exceptionally motivated,” says Levit. “They come to your class to learn something, not simply to sit there and, at the end, get a diploma.” John H. Spencer obtained a BA in philosophy from Dalhousie and then spent several years in Japan and Korea before completing his PhD on the philosophy of physics at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. The HOST programme at King’s offers him a good opportunity to express his international experience and interdisciplinary research. “I strive to reawaken in my students a fundamental goal shared by all the ancient philosophers, which was to live philosophically,” he says. “The emphasis at King’s on studying primary texts is so important because we can immerse ourselves into the mindset of the ancients and rekindle their vision to help us with contemporary problems.”

School of Journalism Sylvia D. Hamilton is a multi award winning Nova Scotian filmmaker and writer who is known for her documentary films as well as her publications, public presentations, and extensive volunteer work with artistic, social and cultural organiza-

tions on the local and national levels. She obtained her BA from Acadia University, her MA from Dalhousie University, and was awarded honorary degrees from Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie. Hamilton, whose long association to King’s includes once sitting on the Board of Governors and a daughter who recently graduated from the College, first came to King’s to teach as a Visiting Professor in 2004, and has since instructed the Advanced Television Workshop in the School of Journalism. “To be innovative is to take hold of your own life,” she says. “Think ‘What can I do?’ What do I want to do?’ Not, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s knowing how to switch on that creative part of the brain that ferments ideas, action, inspiration and growth. Education can, if we are open to it, unlock that creativity.”

Dean of Residence Nicholas Hatt (BAH ’03) holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from King’s College and the Atlantic School of Theology, and is currently pursuing further graduate work in Classics at Dalhousie University. A former program development director with YMCA Canada, he has also spent time in chaplaincy work at the IWK Health Centre and at three Anglican schools in Belize, Central America. Prior to his appointment as Dean of Residence, he was the Don of Middle Bay for three years. “I’m very pleased to take on this new role,” he says. “King’s really challenges students to think critically about the world and their place in it. A crucial part of that has to come from actually living in community with others, discovering the responsibilities that come with being a citizen. My goal is to help ensure that our campus remains a place where we can engage in just that pursuit.” Our new staff members include Eldon Colley (Facilities), Leslie Duncan (Athletics), Paula George (Bursar’s Office), Myra Hyland (BJH ’03) (Registrar’s Office), Nadine LaRoche (BJH ’06) (Advancement Office), Kate McHugh (Registrar’s Office), Tim Tracey (Journalism) and Basil Wile (Facilities); and our new Residence Dons are Angela Friesen, Abu Kamara, Chris Rice (BAH ’07), Tiffany Robertson, Colin Rose, Dan Wilband, and Chris Williams.

NOMINATION FOR HONORARY DEGREE All Faculty and Alumni, all members of the Board of Governors, excepting undergraduate members of the University, all Bachelors of Divinity and Masters and Doctors of the University, all Fellows and all Inglis Professors of the University of King’s College are invited to submit nominations for honorary degrees (DD, DCL, DCnL) and honorary fellowships (HF) (the honour of Fellow of the University may be conferred by the vote of Convocation upon any friend of the University for noteworthy services rendered in its behalf). Nominations should be submitted to the Clerk of Convocation, in care of the President’s Office, by noon on Friday, January 16, 2009. Convocation meets at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 in the Boardroom, Arts and Administration Building. Alumni of five years’ standing are eligible to attend Convocation and vote. All members of Convocation have a vote. *(see below)

Nominations should come in three parts:

1. The first part should be a letter to the Clerk of Convocation, in care of the President’s Office, stating the full name of the candidate that you are proposing, the person’s address, any relevant contact information and the honorary degree or fellowship for which you are nominating the person. 2. Attached with the letter should be a 300450 word statement explaining why this person would serve as an outstanding candidate for the honour. You should explain their achievements with details and why the nomination is relevant to the University of King’s College. It would be helpful if this were provided in electronic form. This statement will be presented to the Honorary Degrees Committee and, if the candidate’s name goes forward, may serve as the basis for a statement to be read aloud to Convoca-

tion as information for their vote. Please ensure the statement is no longer than 450 words or it cannot be used by the Committee. 3. To your letter and statement you may append relevant supporting material such as articles about the person or other information that can be used by the Honorary Degrees Committee in their judgement of this candidate.

It is important to remember that not all candidates nominated can be put forward to Convocation for a vote. The Honorary Degrees Committee will provide the best possible slate for consideration by Convocation. If you are in doubt about this procedure, you may contact the President’s Office (4221271 ext. 121) and we will provide you with assistance in preparing your nomination.

*As taken from the Blue Book of By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of the University of King’s College Convocation Composition 35. (1) Convocation shall consist of: (a) the Chancellor and Vice‑Chancellor of the University; (b) all Bachelors of Divinity and Masters and Doctors of the University; (c) all Masters of Arts graduating under the Agreement of Association between the University of King’s College and the Governors of Dalhousie College, dated the first day of September, 1923, or the fifth day of November, 1954, who may have been enrolled in King’s College or who may hold the Bachelor’s Degree therefrom; (d) all members of the Board of Governors of the University, excepting undergraduate members of the University; (e) all current members of the King’s Faculty and Inglis Professors; (f) all other Bachelors of the University of five years standing; (g) Fellows of the University. (2) All members of Convocation shall have a vote.

call for hudson award nominations The Alumni Association Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the Judge J. Elliott Hudson Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. This award was established in recognition of the outstanding contributions Judge J. Elliott Hudson (BA ’24, DCL ’57) made to the University of King’s College, to his profession as Family Court Judge and to his volunteer commitment. This award recognizes King’s alumni

who, like Judge Hudson, have made significant contributions to their discipline, community, charitable or volunteer work. This award will be presented at the Alumni Annual Dinner held in Halifax. •A  ll alumni of the university are eligible to be nominated for this award. •A  ny member of the Alumni Association may submit nominations. •A  wards will not be presented posthumously.

•O  nly one award will be presented annually and only if there is a suitable candidate. Please send submissions, including name of candidate, reasons for recommending this candidate, and references, to the Advancement Office at 6350 Coburg Rd., Halifax, NS, B3H 2A1, or by email to by Friday, February 15, 2009.

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University of King’s College Alumni Association 2008–2009

Executive Members

President David Jones (BA ’68) Vice-President Greg Guy (BJH ’89)

2008–2010 2008–2010

Treasurer Secretary

Graham McGillivray (BSc ’07) Laurelle LeVert (BAH ’89)

2008–2010 2007–2009

Past President

Steven Wilson (BA ’87)


Board of Governor Representative

Bob Mann (BA ’01)


Board of Governor Representative Andrew Laing (BAH ’86) Board of Governor Representative Daniel de Munnik (BScH ’02)

2008–2010 2006–2008

Committee Member Committee Member

Lara Schweiger (BAH ’95) Elizabeth Ryan (BA ’69)

2007–2009 2007–2009

Committee Member Committee Member

Chris MacNeil (BA ’84) Matt Aronson (BAH ’02)

2007–2009 2007–2009

Committee Member Committee Member

Barbara Stegemann (BA ’91) Sarah Hubbard (BA ‘86, BJ ’91)

2008–2010 2008–2010

Committee Member Committee Member

Allen McAvoy (BJ ’02) Harry Thurlow (BA ’95)

2008–2010 2007–2009

University President (Ex-Officio) William Barker Alumni Officer (Ex-Officio) Rachel Pink Student Union President (Ex-Officio)

formal branch leaders

Kaley Kennedy

Branch Leaders

Halifax Montréal

Mark DeWolf (BAH ’68) Matt Aronson (BAH ’01)

Toronto Calgary

Gordon Cameron (BA ’99) Nick Twyman (BA ’87)


Chris MacNeil (BA ’94)

Brian Cormier (BJH ’86) Rachel Pink

Regional Contacts New Brunswick Newfoundland

Ottawa Wendy Hepburn (BA ’05) Vancouver Alexis Paton (BScH ’07)

Boston Williams English (BAH ’07) Australia Johanna MacMinn (BA ’89)

New York City

Mordecai Walfish (BA ’07)

Interested in starting up a branch in your area? We’d love to hear from you—please contact Alumni Officer Rachel Pink at You can also sign up for our e-newsletter by emailing the Advancement Office at

LOST SHEEP We’ve lost touch with some of our alumni. Here’s a look at some of our alumni from 1984 and 1985 with whom we’ve lost contact. If you have any information regarding these, or any of the “Lost Sheep” listed on, please send us an email at James R. Brown (BJ ’84) Gilbert K. Chan (BA ’84) Marc Clark (BJH ’84) Jon Corkum (BA ’84) Peter Folkins (BAH ’84) Phillip Hussey (BA ’84) 28

Martine Jacquot (BJ ’84) Kelly Knight (BAH ’84) Tarra Kongsrude (BJ ’84) Chung Leung (BA ’84) Damon Loomer (BJ ’84) Donna Lowther (BA ’84)

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Douglas Morris (BSc ’84) James Mowatt (BSc ’84) Ginette Richard (BAH ’84) Julie Rosenberg (BJ ’84) Donna Shewfelt (BJH ’84) Mark Shupe (BJH ’84)

Dianne Bell (BAH ’85) Janet Bowles (BA ’85) Gillian Christie (BA ’85) Paula Fiander (BA ’85) Moritz Gaede (BA ’85) Jane Hirons (BA ’85)

Stephen Leavitt (BSc ’85) Darryl MacDonald (BA ’85) Gary MacIsaac (BA ’85) Lori Marshall (BA ’85) Andrew McKee (BScH ‘85) Lesley McKee (BJH ’85)

H. Sandy Murray (BA ’85) Peter O’Hearn (BSc ’85) Heather Smith (BAH ’85) Carolyn Stevenson (BJ ’85) Robert Swick (BScH ’85) Claudia White (BA ’85)



The Home Branch has had a busy last few months, with some popular activities continued and some new ones attempted. The Annual Alumni Golf Tournament in August was again a great success, despite some late-summer rain, raising over $9,000—a record amount—and providing an opportunity for old friends to reconnect. In September, branch executive members donned aprons for the second Annual BBQ in the Quad, welcoming incoming students. In perfect weather, students cheerfully lined up for hot dogs, veggie burgers and corn on the cob, courtesy of the King’s Alumni Association. October brought a new event: a movie evening, with a showing of Corvette K-225 starring Randolph Scott, a 1943 film shot partly in Halifax and, in particular, in the King’s Quad.  Many members of the HMCS Sackville Trust attended, and the College’s role as a naval training base during WWII was discussed in the Wardroom afterward. In late October, alumni and friends enjoyed a tour of the university archives, followed by sherry in the Senior Common Room, a Formal Meal and a FYP Extra lecture. While these events are going on, the monthly Tuesday Toots continue in the cozy surroundings of the Henry House pub. 

The Toronto Branch has filled the fall and early winter with three events sure to get Upper Canadian alumni through to 2009. First, for those who couldn’t attend the launch of the Wardroom’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, Toronto held a pub night in the closest thing we’ve found to that glorious basement here in the Big Smoke: a little bar called The Imperial Pub. Alumni came together on November 7, 2008, for an evening of pints, jokes and photo ops. Second, we all know that it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Toronto Branch’s Annual Christmas Party. This year we’ve shaken things up, moving from the University Club to The Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s city digs for soirée on December 11, 2008. This is our premier event each year, and one that attracts our largest crowd. Finally, for those among us who still yearn for the sort of academic fare that attracted most of us to King’s in the first place, the Toronto Branch will be hosting a guest lecture in January. Keep your email boxes open for details.

Montreal The Montreal Branch of the Alumni Association held its Annual Fall Cocktail at the home of Giancarlo Salvo (BA ’02) and his wife May Shawi. King’s folk gathered by the warm glow of Giancarlo’s television to watch coverage of the election results, an experience heightened by a supply of snacks, scotch, wine and beer provided by the Alumni Association. A good time was had by all! Alumni residing in the Montreal and surrounding area are invited to update their contact information by emailing Chapter Leader Matt Aronson (BAH ’01) at

Boston The New England Branch of the Alumni Association is planning a winter event to take place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Portsmouth is a lovely town right on the border between New Hampshire and Maine and not a far drive from Massachusetts. Keep your eyes and ears open for news on this exciting opportunity to catch up on what is new in the Quad.

our own media and technical prowess by taking some nearly-live photos that were sent back to the current FYP class. Having offered up a festive toast to the Queen for the fifth year running, our Christmas dinner is now a fixture on the London scene. Some 20 people gather round traditional—and not-so-traditional— seasonal foods, warmly welcoming participation from alumni of other Atlantic Canadian universities in Europe. Through 2008, we’ve been actively making better use of Web 2.0 technologies and are promoting our group or specific events in over 45 European countries via “pay-per-click” advertising, alongside Tidings and the regular alumni newsletters. We have an active group on Facebook ( and several of our members are on LinkedIn. We are also truly grateful for the fantastic word-of-mouth promotions that fellow alumni from around the world have lent in support of this Chapter. The coming year holds many more exciting events with a tour of Denis Severs’ house in London on February 15, 2009, and the 3rd Annual Haliburton Canadian Literary night in April 2009. The Later Haliburton has run readings of Canadian materials in London twice now, and our event in the spring promises to hold a cozy evening coordinated with the presence of Canadian authors and publishers in town for the London Book Fair.

Europe Although King’s ran a formidable quiz team at the 8th Annual Alumni Quiz Cup in Canada House, London, we were unable to defend our first place position from last year. Predictably, we did score highest in media, literature and history questions! Our “EuroFYP” event on November 2, 2008, was the most ambitious one to date, with coordinated and simultaneous gallery and pub outings in London, Paris, The Hague, Brussels and Berlin. Old connections were reestablished and we displayed

Current and future alumni John Stiles (BA ’89), Sarah Lilleyman (BJH ’07), Rebecca Pate (BAH ’06), Stephanie Lawrence (BAH ’08), Rachel MacLeod (BA ’07), Chris MacNeil (BA ’94), his daughter Julianna MacNeilRey and Jessica Lee (BAH ’08) are pictured in Trafalgar Square, London, during EuroFYP. Photo: Patricia Rey.

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T he K ing ’ s S eminar

Discovering the Renaissance and the Reformation The King’s Seminar continues its trek through the history of Western thought


his, says former King’s president Colin Starnes, is where it gets easy. On the road along the history of Western thought, the leg through the Renaissance and the Reformation is the first one that’s easily recognizable, he says, and it’s one he’s excited to share with participants of The King’s Seminar’s third installment, The World of the Renaissance and Reformation. This four-month course, beginning in January 2009, leaves behind the failed experiment of the Middle Ages, and explores the dawn of contemporary civilization, when the people in Western Europe began to create the world that we still live in today. “The Middle Ages collapsed in the West,” says Starnes, the man behind The King’s Seminar. “It was a total freakin’ mess. And nobody dreams of fixing it. So they’re looking to find another way to build the world.” The course will focus on the art, philosophy, architecture, politics, science, religion and music from 1300 to 1600, engaging in the works of Da Vinci, Galileo, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, More, Montaigne and Luther, among others. Starnes and more than a dozen members of the College’s current and past faculty will explore the Waning of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation, uncovering to participants the way in which the period recategorized the world—in particular, in the way it reformulated the separation between church and state—and gave birth to our modern concepts of science, the human person, economy, politics and freedom. The World of the Renaissance and Reformation comes as the third and final installment of The King’s Seminar’s initial three-year trial. The Seminar is a not-for-credit program that offers lectures and tutorials on subjects related to the academic offerings at the College. The Ancient World launched the series in 2007, followed by The Medieval World in 2008, courses that attracted professionals, retired people and past King’s students who felt they may not have lapped up all FYP had


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to offer. Whatever their reasons, Starnes says participants are thankful for having this rich material presented to them in a way they can access easily but which they simply could not do on their own. “They know that there is Plato, there’s Homer, there’s Dante, there’s Virgil, there’s all the great people in the Renaissance, the singers, the painters and Shakespeare and, except Shakespeare, it’s too far gone now,” he says. “You can’t just pick them up on your own and figure it out and get enjoyment out of it.” Cathy Porter, who attended the first Ancient World course, says it was a search for purpose and direction in her life that brought her to the program. The seminar gave her what she was looking for, and with new drive, she is now enrolled full-time at King’s as of this fall. “You don’t know how little you know until you open your mouth in a class like that,” she says, adding that the professors’ passion to teach, and the students’ eagerness to learn, lends to incredible lectures and mind-opening tutorials. “It’s better than FYP. It’s better than university.” Participants like Porter, who has taken The Medieval World and will participate in The World of the Renaissance and Reformation in the New Year, have the opportunity to engage in an educational experience in a whole new way, says Starnes. The course comes to their doorstep with downloadable lectures that fill their car stereos or computer screens, and the learning experience is a genuine one. Without the second interest of obtaining a credential from the course, The King’s Seminar’s participants are engaging in the material to satisfying a curiosity—to learn. “They don’t want a degree, and they don’t want a dinky thing that says you took the course,” says Starnes, “Not being able to get at these wonderful works has been like a pebble in their shoe. They’ve always wanted to read this stuff.” But finding the people hungry for this education hasn’t been easy. They’re out there, says Starnes, but they’re tough to find. Advertising is too limited—and ex-

Former King’s President Colin Starnes. Photo: courtesy The Chronicle Herald

pensive—of a medium to properly convey the uniqueness of The King’s Seminar, and so pushing the series to the media, where space allows a proper explanation, is the only way to spread the word, he says. And with a recent article published in Metro Canada causing an onslaught of phone calls and emails, he’s not wrong. “I’m absolutely convinced that people would like to do this,” he says, “But we just need to find them.” Participants interested in attending The World of the Renaissance and the Reformation, offered in Halifax, Toronto and Ottawa with classes held once every two weeks, plus tutorials, need not have attended the other installments. The courses are designed to be self-standing and each begins with an introductory lecture that wraps up all the necessities to tackling the works and thoughts for the months ahead. Interested parties can contact nadine., or (902) 422-1271 ext. 136, for more details. ∂

A L U M N OT E S Th e ’60s George Burden (’74) received the Days Inn-Canada Award for best family travel article in 2007 for “Marking a Milestone in Montreal,” published in the Rogers Media national newspaper The Medical Post. The award was presented at the Travel Media Association of Canada’s Annual Meeting in Halifax in February 2008. Additionally, Burden also received a 2007 First Prize from the North American Travel Journalism Association in the Destination Travel: International (Newspaper) category for “A Forty Eight Hour Flirtation with Lisbon,” also published in The Medical Post.

Th e ’70s Robert Craig (BAH ’78) is now working for the Learning and Access Services unit of the Library of Parliament, Ottawa. Admiral Glenn Davidson (BA ’73, DCL ’07) has been appointed Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic.

The ’80s Juliet M.D. Fullerton (’84) recently married John Morand at St. Mark’s Church, Port Hope, on June 14, 2008. She also completed a Masters of Science & Bachelor of Education in New York at Daemen College in August 2007. She’s currently teaching with the Separate School board and proud mother to two teenage daughters: Kate, 15, and Andrea, 12. Fullerton is happily settled in Port Hope with her family and two dogs, Bear and Lucy, and says visits and news from the King’s clan are always welcome.

his time in India, Murray will complete an MSc in Defence and Strategic Studies at the University of Madras. Carolyn (Blunden) Sisley (BA ’83), received her Certified General Accountant designation at the CGA graduation gala on October 25, 2008. Sisley is the Senior Administrator of the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University.

The ‘90s Vanessa Burns-Trivett (BA ’91) is the new Associate, Major Gifts with CNIB in Halifax. Her husband, Dan Trivett (BA ’92), is a librarian with the Halifax School Board. They have two girls: Olivia, 10, and Lily, 5. John Cochran (BA ’92) has recently been promoted to the position of Controller for the Cambridge Suites Hotel in Halifax. As well, he is currently in studies pursuing the accounting designation of CGA (Certified General Accountant). Beth Edwards (BSc ’95) and Christopher Culligan are happy to announce the birth of Sophie Elizabeth Edwards Culligan on April 26, 2008, at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto. Sophie is a sister for William, and a first granddaughter for Carolyn (Gilroy) and Paul Edwards of Halifax, and Kathy and Henry Culligan of Port Hawkesbury. Sara (Hunter) Folkes (BA ’99) and her husband Sean welcomed their second child on September 28, 2007, a daughter named Mackenzie. She is welcomed by her brother, Hunter, born on April 9, 2006.

Ann Leamon (BAH ’83) earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College, Vermont, in January 2008 and a poem of hers appeared in the Summer edition of The Lyric magazine. She was named a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Business School in June 2008.

Kirk Graham (BA ’99) is pleased to announce that he has joined Evoco, Inc. as an account executive. Evoco Inc. is a leading provider of project and program construction management software. Fellow alumni can contact Graham by email at

Major Stephen Murray (BA ’85, HC ’87) was posted to the Indian Defence Services Staff College in May 2008 for a one-year staff college exchange. During

Victoria Goodfellow (BJH ’98) married Steve Nicholls in September, 2008. Alumni can contact her at vlgoodfellow@

John Haffner (BAH ’94) has been selected as a 2008 Yale World Fellow by Yale University. The fellow program, which aims to build a global network of emerging leaders and to broaden international understanding, conducts a worldwide competition each year to select 18 highly accomplished individuals from diverse fields and countries for a four-month leadership session at Yale. Haffner is the Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning at Ontario Power Generation. Megan O’Brien Harrison (BJH ’98) and David Harrison are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Theodore Gregory “Ty” Harrison, on April 20, 2008. Ty’s proud big sisters are Meredith and Ella. Harrison is employed as the Clerk/Development Officer for the Town of Hampton, NB, and fellow classmates and alumni may reach her at megan_obrienharrison@ Dr. Stuart Henderson (BA ’99) received his PhD in History from Queen’s University in June, 2008. His dissertation, “Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto, 1960-1970,” was completed under the cosupervision of Karen Dubinsky and Ian McKay. Henderson’s study has been awarded the prestigious John Bullen Prize from the Canadian Historical Association, honouring the best PhD dissertation in Canada. Henderson was also recently awarded the Lynton Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship at McMaster University, where he teaches Canadian and American History. Fellow alumni can contact him at srhenderson@ Ken Lima-Coelho (BJ ’96) has left the CBC after 12 years. He’s now Manager, Visitor Experience at Western Canada’s largest museum, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. He and his wife Tara are proud parents to Ashlyn (born in February 2008) and Adam, 3. Catherine (Elgie) Novis (BAH ’93), her husband Tim, and the children have moved to the UK. Tim accepted the position of Chaplain at Wellington College, one of England’s top five public schools. She is very excited about being asked to assist

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A L U M N OT E S / in memoriam in the Classics department teaching Latin & Greek and encourages fellow members of the King’s community travelling in the area to contact her (through the King’s Advancement Office) and visit. The Rev’d Jonathan Rowe (BAH ’99) has been appointed Curate of the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for a three-year term. He and his wife Emily (Hunter) Rowe (BA ’97) and their daughter Frances moved to St. John’s, NL, in late August 2008. Robyn Tingley (BJ ’97) was appointed Vice President, Human Resources and Communications of Ingram Micro EMEA in August 2008 and will be located at headquarters near Brussels, Belgium. Tingley joins Ingram from Bell Aliant, and previously, NBTel. Zachariah Wells (BAH ’99) recently edited and published an anthology of Canadian poetry, Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets, a collection of his favourite sonnets written by Canadians from the 19th century to the present day. With the help of co-author Rachel Lebowitz and illustrator and NSCAD alumnus Eric Orchard, Wells also authored the children’s book Anything But Hank!, published in early fall 2008.

Th e ’00s Brian Adeba (BJ ’05) was married to Tereza Murya on June 28, 2008, in Ottawa, ON, and has joined Ottawa-based Tech Media Reports as an editor in June 2008. Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze (BA ’01) is currently working in Toronto as a journalist with Maclean’s magazine. Erin Boudreau (BJH ’01), who reports for CBC News: The National, won a Gemini in October 2008 for Best Reportage. Kathryn Crooks (BA ’06) was appointed Management Associate of Halifax contemporary dance company Mocean Dance in October 2007.


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Jonathon Driscoll (BA ’03) left the army, completed a filmmaking certificate program in NB, and spent the summer of ‘08 studying Russian language in Minsk, Belarus, and filming reenactment festivals. Fellow alumni can contact him at jrdrisco@ Jennifer Evans (BJ ’02), after working for DFAIT and the YES program as a journalist for the Al Ahram Weekly, an English-language weekly based in Cairo, Egypt, moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to become the Deputy Editor for Motive Publishing’s Books Arabia division. She then became the Features Writer for entertainment/lifestyle publication Hello! Magazine’s Middle East edition before moving back to Canada to become the Staff Writer for Hello! Magazine’s Canadian edition, published by leading consumer publisher Rogers Publishing Ltd. She is now based in Toronto. Mike Landry (BJH ’07) left his position at Halifax’s alternative weekly, The Coast, to intern at The Walrus. Since finishing up at the Toronto magazine, Landry has launched the blogzine Things of Desire (, a weekly digest on the latest in the Canadian art scene. Nadine LaRoche (BJH ’06) has recently joined the FASHION Magazine team as a regional reporter for Halifax; she was among the 10 winners of the magazine’s coast-to-coast search for Canada’s top fashion bloggers. In fall 2008, she and her brother Christopher LaRoche (BJH ’04) won’s contest to name the upside-down question mark. The winning title: Interroverti. Alasdair McKie (BJH ’00) was married to Emma Evans on April 26, 2008, in Toronto, Ontario. Clare O’Hara (BJ ’05) was married to Johnathan Hastings on November 1, 2008, in Toronto. Heather Sawers (BJH ’05) was married to Michael Clarke on June 9, 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Faculty, Staff & Special Friends Roberta Barker (BAH ’96) was touted “Best Professor” in the 14th annual Best of Halifax readers poll conducted by The Coast. Melanie Frappier published a book review in the November 2008 issue of the Literary Review of Canada, titled “Tabloid Science.” She also wrote the chapter “‘Being Nice is Overrated’: House and Socrates on the Necessity of Conflict” in the recently published book “House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies,” and an abridged version of that chapter has been published in the 4th Quarter 2008 issue of The Philosophers’ Magazine under the title, “Nice is Overrated.” Fred Vallance-Jones, with CBC’s David McKie, has written the textbook Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Comprehensive Primer (Oxford University Press), the only foundational guide to CAR written from a Canadian perspective.

IN MEMORIAM Elaine (Cook) Burke (BA ’63) passed away on October 15, 2008, in Burlington, ON. Amy Dobson (’02) passed away on October 13, 2008, in Dartmouth, NS. Thomas Domenie (BA ’69) passed away on June 12, 2008, in Halifax, NS. Anne Marie Gibson, of Bedford, NS, passed away on May 25, 2008, surrounded by her family. Christy MacKenzie (BA ’76) passed away on October 3, 2008, in Halifax, NS. Hamilton Southam (DCL ’81), who held the post of King’s Chancellor between 1988 and 1996, passed away on July 1, 2008, in Ottawa, ON.

THANK YOU SPONSORS AND PARTICIPANTS OF THE 15th Annual King s Alumni Golf Tournament.

Together, we raised more than $6,000 for the Alumni Journalism Scholarship. Our sponsors care about education and we encourage you to support their businesses. MASTERS LEVEL


Halifax Glass & Mirror Limited. Dartmouth: (902) 468-5312 Halifax: (902) 454-8100

ASAP Products Group Atlantic Film Festival Association Barrington Market Superstore Bell Bay Golf Club Budget Car Inc. CMHC Carsand Mosher Charm Diamond Centres The Chronicle Herald Colonial Honda Corporate Express Cox & Palmer Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa

Dundee Resort & Golf Club The Fairmont Algonquin Furs & Leathers by Seymour Global Television Network Golf Central Harris & Roome Supply Ltd. Helly Hanson Holiday Inn Select The Inverary Resort K&D Pratt Ken-Wo Country Club The King’s Bookstore The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites

Maritime Travel Nova Communications Nova Trophy O’Regan’s Pink Breen Larkin Rodd Mill River Resort Salty’s Scotia Tire Service Scotsburn Dairy Group ServiceMaster Stewart McKelvey Tim Hortons University of King’s College Alumni Association

To sponsor or participate in the 2009 tournament, contact Paula at (902) 422-1271 ext 128 or

King’s Mentorship Program Whether you want to be on the air as a journalist, growing your own company, studying at Harvard or teaching in Japan, King’s Alumni can help you get there!

Talk to someone who was where you are

The King’s Mentorship Program matches an interested King’s student or recent alumnus (the mentoree) with another King’s alumnus (the mentor) who can provide guidance by sharing their “life after King’s” experience.

and is where you want to be

We are currently seeking Mentors and Mentorees. If you are interested, please contact for more information.

HOME and AUTO I NSU RANC E for members of the University of King’s College Alumni Association Insurance program supported by: UNIVERSITY OF




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Projet : Annonce People Concept 2008/GENERIC

Publication : Tidings

Épreuve # : 1

N de dossier : MM7571-08-M_MM_GE_EN•ukings

Format : 7x7.625

Date de tombée : 24/10/08

Client : Meloche Monnex

Couleur : 4 couleurs

Graphiste : MJ Bisaillon


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ATTENTION : Merci de vérifier attentivement cette épreuve afin d’éviter toute erreur.

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Tidings c/o Alumni Association University of King’s College 6350 Coburg Road Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

Tidings Winter 2008-2009  

The University of King's College in Halifax's alumni magazine

Tidings Winter 2008-2009  

The University of King's College in Halifax's alumni magazine