For this issue I was all set to tell you why February is one of my favourite months, rich with celebrations and affirmations, like Black History Month and Chinese New Year’s.
But there are also a number of purely fun events. Like Groundhog Day – a great way to kick off the month. Who doesn’t love pitting Wiarton Willie against Punxsutawney Phil and Shubenacadie Sam to see whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter?
Then there’s Valentine’s Day – how sweet it is having a perfect excuse to eat chocolate – followed closely by Family Day. And, bonus: February is the shortest month of the year, taking us that much closer to spring.
But, as often happens, events conspired against my upbeat message for the February issue. In short succession, three notable figures from Don Valley West died: John Godfrey, Alan Redway, and Peter Russell.
Lorna Krawchuk and Carol Burtin Fripp knew John Godfrey personally and share their memories with us. Lorna also writes about Alan Redway, well-known in East York – and a prolific Leaside Life columnist and letter writer. If you visit our site at leasidelife.com, you can read some of his many articles for us. Long-time Leasider Peter Russell was profiled by columnist Allan Williams after the publication of Professor Russell’s book Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests, in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, in 2018.
It’s not often we lose so many notable (local) figures in such a short time. I was sorry to have to pivot from my earlier “sweet” message for February.
RIP John Godfrey, Alan Redway and Peter Russell.