Thursday | August 17, 2017

“The international media have come and gone. The satellite is gone. The journalists are gone. The headlines have changed. But the situation hasn’t. Please don’t forget about Dadaab. Don’t forget about the thousands of children dying each day. Continue to tell the stories of the people you met here in Kenya. Continue to let people know that this humanitarian crisis is only deteriorating. You are the generation I have been waiting for and together we can be the change here in East Africa.”

Even after being home from Kenya for only one week, the ending lines of Mia Farrow’s speech still replayed constantly in my mind. When I returned in August for my second trip to Kenya, it was overwhelming to see how much had changed in just one year. The Horn on Africa was now struggling with drought and the United Nations had just declared a state of famine. A combination of drought, on-going conflict and escalating food prices had placed over 12.4 million people in need of aid relief. Over 2.5 million children under five were acutely malnourished and wasting away. All in just one year. I just knew that I somehow had to do something to help the situation in East Africa, a place where I quite literally owe my life.

When I first decided to travel on a Me to We trip with Spencer West in July 2010, all I wanted to do was go as far away as I could from everything I knew. To a place where I could run away from everything. Runaway from my family. Runaway from my friends. Runaway from my life. Runaway from me. What I found in Kenya was the exact things I was running from. But like everything lost, it always has to be found. I found community. I found family. I found friends. I found happiness. I found myself. I was lost, but I was found in Kenya.

On September 9th with only one week left for the Canadian government to match donations through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund, I began Rafikis4Africa, a one-week challenge to fundraise $5000 to build a clean water project with Free the Children. On my first trip, I truly realized that I was part of larger movement, working to change the world by providing a hand-up and not a handout. This is the mentality behind the Adopt-A-Village model to create long-term sustainable change. Not instant quick fixes, but change that can last.

I created my own website (www.rafikis4africa.com) with information about FTC, the drought, my goal, resources and my story, which linked to my online personal fundraising page with FTC. Through sending out emails, reaching out to people in my community and running Rafikis4Africa Week at my school, complete with a Change4Africa homeroom coin challenge and a $2 Grubs4Africa dress down day, I not only achieved my goal but I surpassed it. By Wednesday, the midpoint of the week, I reached $5055! I decided to change my goal a bit. I decided to donate the first $5000 to FTC’s immediate relief efforts to be matched by the government, resulting in $10 000 really being donated. Because of the success of the campaign so far, my new goal is to raise an additional $5000 in 1 month to go towards building a clean water project. Rafikis4Africa has raised $6167 in just one week to support both immediate and long-term relief in East Africa!

Through Free the Children and Me to We programming, as well as getting the opportunity to have such inspiring facilitators this past year has truly taught me the life lessons needed to actually motivate and empower me to start Rafikis4Africa. Something that both Kailea and Alex tried to drill in my brain is to just attempt and try because you never know unless you do. You have nothing to lose. People dream of succeeding and achieving great things, but success can’t be achieved without trying. I think that’s what really differentiates a dreamer and a do-er. A dreamer only thinks about what it would actually be like to do something great but a do-er actually takes the risk and tries to do whatever they want to achieve. They try to make their dreams a reality. I believe that’s why many of us who fee like we are apart of the movement consider ourselves to be shameless idealists because we know that we can do whatever we set our mind to, even though sometimes the goal seems insurmountable. We redefine our possible and redefine the goals people think can realistically be achieved. But the truth is, any goal, big or small, can be achieved. It’s always possible. You just have to believe in yourself first.

For more information on Rafikis4Africa and how to support the cause, please visit: www.rafikis4africa.com

June 28th, 2012

Posted In: Charity, Crestwood News

Anne-Marie Woods, aka Amani, is a Toronto performer who visited Crestwood for a Black History Month presentation in February 2017.  She entertained and educated students with her show Journey Into Me, a series of songs, raps and spoken word mixed in with her unique storytelling style. Journey Into Me is the story of how Black History and the Performing Arts changed Amani’s life. Amani has received many artist awards and grants, including the prestigious BBPA Harry Jerome Award for Entertainer of the Year. She has also done countless presentations for schools, corporations and organizations and has worked for various organizations such as CBC Radio, Young Peoples Theatre, and Artscape. Her new play, SHE SAID/HE SAID – a Theatrical Rhapsody – had a World Premiere in Montreal in 2016 at the MAI produced by Black Theatre Workshop Montreal. Her latest production The Three Friends, a new play on African Canadian History and Race Relations, just had a show at the Richmond Hill Performing Arts Centre and the Georgian Theatre in Barrie, Ontario.   Amani has performed and facilitated workshops in Canada, the United States, London, England and Trinidad West Indies. As a youth she had to overcome behavioural problems and cultural challenges and she believes that if she did not learn about channeling her energy towards something more positive or the importance of Black History and Culture that she would not have achieved any of the goals she has accomplished today. She wants everyone here to know that if she can change; then anyone can and that performing is an amazing and positive outlet.

We at Crestwood thank Amani for her performance and the oral history interview she was kind enough to do.

March 9th, 2017

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On Thursday, March 2, Crestwood students were privileged to meet MP Yasmin Ratansi, who represents the riding of Don Valley East.  Ms. Ratansi spoke with Crestwood students who will be visiting Tanzania over the March Break, where they will take part in a Me to We construction project.  Ms. Ratansi is a native of Tanzania, and she shared many valuable insights with the students.  She also sat down and did an oral history interview, answering students’ questions about her own life and experiences in both Africa and Canada. You can find it at http://www.crestwood.on.ca/ohp/ratansi-yasmin/ along with 100s of our other interviews.

 

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March 3rd, 2017

Posted In: Crestwood News, Upper School

The Grade 6 students are in the process of completing interviews with family members who were immigrants to Canada. The students were lucky enough to hear Mrs. Badler share a monologue about her immigrant story and her arrival to Canada from South Africa in 1996. She explained the challenges she experienced living under the apartheid regime, and described the political unrest in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The students enjoyed hearing about some of the obstacles she encountered when she arrived in Canada, such as snow days, buying milk from the grocery store, and teaching math using words like “nort” instead of “zero”. A huge thank-you to Mrs. Badler for sharing her immigrant story with us!

-Ms. Fuller

February 3rd, 2017

Posted In: Crestwood News, Lower School

George Elliott Clarke is a Canadian poet and playwright who is currently serving as the Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate.  His work largely explores the experience and history of the Black Canadian communities of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, creating a cultural geography that Clarke refers to as “Africadia”.  Of Afro-Metis origin, George is also researching that side of his family’s history.  George played a special role in Crestwood’s November 10, 2016 “Towards Reconciliation” Symposium, when he read his poem “Identity”.

November 14th, 2016

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This week students in Grades 4A & 4B used a Think-Pair-Share Strategy in order to decide upon a few interview questions to ask both Ms. Hektor and Ms. Badler.

Think-Pair-Share is a collaborative learning strategy in which students first work independently, then share their ideas with a buddy, and finally with the group in order to reach some sort of consensus. The strategy requires that students be inclusive, communicate effectively, and respect the ideas and opinions of others. This strategy fosters communication skills (both listening and speaking), and builds cooperative group skills.

We were fortunate in that not only did Ms. Hektor and Ms. Badler find time in their very busy schedules in order to respond to our questions, but they visited our classroom in order to do so!

What a treat!

Alison Green

Learning Strategies Specialist

The Interview

Interview Question #1:

What are two of the main differences between going to school now, and going to school when you were our age?

Ms. Hektor  – Well for one, when I was in 10 years old I was enrolled in an experimental Grade 5 class. We had hay on the floor and animals roaming freely in the classroom. There were snakes, and mice, and even a raccoon named Cecelia. The teacher’s approach to learning was very open minded, and back to nature. For example, once a week we were loaded onto a bus, and set off to explore different archaeologist dig sites. We learned first hand how to plot, map and research these areas. It was a very hands-on approach to learning. We also went camping on the weekends.

Ms. Badler – I attended school in Africa. There were no computers at that time. (Can you even imagine!) The staff was also very strict.

Interview Question #2:

What was your first real job growing up?

Ms Hektor  – I worked at Northern District Library at Yonge & Eglinton. My job title was “The Page”. My job was to take all of the books that people had returned, and place them where they ought to be. I had to follow Dewey Decimal System in order to do this, just like we do now.

Ms. Badler – My first job was as a server in a restaurant. I was living in South Africa at the time.

Interview Question #3:

What it is like being a Principal, and the head of a division?

Ms Hektor  – I really love being the Principal of the Junior division. It can be hard at times but only because I am responsible for everyone’s safety, and I care so much about our students and staff here at Crestwood. I have a lot to be mindful of. On the other hand, I love seeing everyone in a positive light, and it’s so easy to do! Every day I see or hear a great deal about all of the amazing things that our students and staff are doing throughout the day.

Ms. Badler – From the time that I was a little girl I wanted to be a schoolteacher. In fact, I used to line up all of my stuffies and pretend that they were my students. My wonderful dad even made me a teacher’s desk and chalkboard for me. I was lucky that my childhood dream came true. I love working with all of our students and their families here at Crestwood.

Interview Question #4:

What three things do you love the most about being at Crestwood?

Ms Hektor  – The students, their families, and our stunning location. We also have an amazing staff. Our staff really does care a great deal about our students, families and their peers.

Ms. Badler –I love the students here at Crestwood, and being in such a gorgeous valley surrounded by nature. I also appreciate the people who I work with.

Interview Question #5:

What was your favourite series of books when you were little?

Ms Hektor  – I really loved Harriet the Spy. I loved that she was a detective and was always investigating something. She was so clever and curious, and looked so closely at the people and things around her.

Ms. Badler – I loved a series about a little redheaded girl, her pet horse and her monkey. Her name was Pipi Longstockings. She had the most amazing adventures.

Interview Question #6:

Do you have a pet?

Ms Hektor   Yes, I have two cats, and they are very, very special to me. They are both quite different, and very precious.

Ms. Badler – I have two little dogs Maxwell and Mimi. I also have a lion haired bunny named Henry. He loves to wear a top hat made especially for him.

October 14th, 2016

Posted In: Crestwood News, Lower School

Lions and Tigers and Maasai Warriors, oh my! Crestwood is excited to once again be partnering with the We organization (formally Me to We) to journey to Tanzania and bring an incredible travel, educational and service opportunity to our students. Following the success of our previous trips to Ecuador and Nicaragua, Crestwood is expanding our global citizen education in the communities of Tanzania, Africa.

Crestwood Preparatory College and We share similar goals- we aim to inspire youth to play an active role in their local and global communities and to provide an opportunity for students to further develop their leadership potential in a safe and experiential atmosphere.

There will be a Parents Information Meeting with the trip leaders and coordinators, including our representative from We, on Thursday, September 22, at 5pm in the Learning Commons.

Trip Highlights:

The trip will take place March Break 2017 (March 9th-20th)

Available to all students in grades 10-12

Experience, learn from and work with other cultures

Earn community service hours

Parent information night is September 22nd at 5pm in the Learning Commons

Contact Ms. McCourt (christina.mccourt@crestwood.on.ca), Ms. Postma (cassy.postma@crestwood.on.ca), or Mr. Wan (ronny.wan@crestwood.on.ca) for more information  

September 15th, 2016

Posted In: Crestwood News, Upper School

Albert Mahon was born into a large family in south London, England in 1923. He grew up in a working class neighbourhood, where school was not a top priority.  Instead Albert went to work, and much of his childhood and early years were spent working a variety of jobs, as well as helping with his siblings. Once he was old enough to enlist, he was sent to a number of training camps in England, where he readied himself for the fight to follow.   He was sent to North Africa, where as an AA gunner he was involved in the defence of Bizerte harbour.  From there he went Italy to fight; he was stationed in a variety of locales, notably the Allied airfields in Foggia. He stayed in the British Army until 1946, finishing in Italy, where he was a guard in the war crimes trials that were underway. After returning to England Albert met his wife, and the two of them moved to Canada where they started their family. Albert became actively involved in the church, and participated actively in choir, where he made a reputation for himself.  In 2016, he was interviewed at Kensington Gardens Health Centre by Scott Masters.

August 3rd, 2016

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Ray Cameron is a veteran of the Merchant Navy.  When the war came he was living in Lindsay, Ontario, where he had been on the farm and had worked on the Great Lakes as a seaman.  When Norway was pulled into the war, the Norwegian merchant marine made the decision to recruit in Canada, and Mr. Cameron signed up.  Soon he was off to New York, and he set off across the Atlantic on the first his crossings.  Ray was able to travel the world during his years, making journeys to Europe, Africa and Asia, all the while carrying the supplies that were integral to the war effort, and putting himself in harm’s way as the Axis forces did all they could to interrupt those vital supply lines.

Ray visited us at Crestwood for our April 2016 Veterans’ Breakfast, and Mr. Masters was able to visit him in his home in June 2016, where he was interviewed for this project.

July 12th, 2016

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Lawrence Fish was born in Crowle, England in 1923. He was the eldest of four siblings. In school he went to seventh grade and then started to work in farming and driving trucks. Most of his childhood was spent working as well as helping with his siblings. In 1941, once he was old enough to enlist, he was sent to training camp and was then sent to North Africa and Italy to fight. He stayed in the British Army until 1946, where he finished his service as part of the army of occupation stationed in Austria and Greece. After returning to England Lawrence moved to Canada where he soon met his wife and later had five children. In 2016, he was interviewed by his granddaughter Angeline Dine, and in the summer he was visited by Scott Masters for a follow-up session.

June 13th, 2016

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Crestwood’s YARRD/Me to We and Female Mentor Group clubs are very proud to have hosted Jean Augustine this past Thursday. Ms. Augustine was the first African Canadian woman to be elected to the Canadian Parliament (1993) and the first to serve in the federal Cabinet. She was Minister of State for multiculturalism (and the status of women) from 2002 to 2004 and she also served as the first Fairness Commissioner for the province of Ontario. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and a proud Canadian, lessons she shared with her Crestwood audience.  We thank her for her time and wisdom, and we thank Mr. Pagano for his sponsorship of this event.  Stay tuned for the Jean Augustine oral history project!

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April 15th, 2016

Posted In: Crestwood News, Upper School

Did you know that Crestwood has an extended family? CPC has been fostering children through the Foster Parents Plan for twelve years.

CPC is pleased to introduce three of the children who have benefited from the Foster Parents Plan. Gertrude Banda (pictured) is ten years old and lives in Zambia Africa, Jandry Tumbaco (pictured) is 9 years old and lives in Ecuador and Therese Pale (not pictured) is 3 years old and lives in Burkina Faso.

Every year Crestwood holds a Multicultural Day. Not only does this allow the entire school to sample some great food and learn about immigration to Canada, but funds are also raised in support of our Foster Family.  It takes a community to raise a child and it’s wonderful to know that Crestwood has been a part of that community for these children. This year, Multicultural Day is on Friday, February, 5th.

 

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January 15th, 2016

Posted In: Crestwood News, Upper School

Jim Shontaler was born in the Canadian west, growing up in the difficult days of the Great Depression.  As there were some family problems, Jim spent many of his early years in an orphanage.  With the war underway and with no firm direction before him, he joined up as soon as he was able, heading off to training and then overseas.  Jim headed first to north Africa and Italy, to begin his “baptism under fire”.  He were in the thick of it, right away, fighting through the defensive lines in Italy, where he was wounded.  From there his unit was shipped north, and they participated in the liberation of France, Belgium, and especially the Netherlands, where Jim had many good experiencess.  Jim’s memories of those times are clear, and his stories are ideal for Canadians looking to find insights in the minds of young Canadian men in the 1940s.

We met Jim in his room at the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing, where he was interviewed for this project in April 2015.

May 12th, 2015

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Edward “Ted” Hoare grew up against the backdrop of mid 1930s London. Ted eventually received a scholarship to attend a uniform school, but he wasn’t able to attend due to a lack of financial resources. He eventually got a job and registered for conscription at the age of fourteen, and he subsequently joined the Home Guard at the age of sixteen.  Ted recalled hearing about Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and he was well aware of the different political parties that existed  in prewar England.  Ted enrolled in the war after turning eighteen.  Training took place mainly in England and included operating a machine gun and mine laying. Ted then made his way overseas to North Africa and Italy, where he eventually and took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino.   There he suffered a wound that brought his “life in khaki to an end”.  When the war concluded, Ted returned to England and eventually emigrated to Canada, where he raised a family.

We interviewed Ted at the Muir Retirement Home in Newmarket in January 2015.  Amal Ismail-Ladak took the lead on this interview, along with students Izabella Osme, Akib Shahjahan, and Danielle Gionnas.

February 16th, 2015

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Walter Bell is the father of Mrs. Sue Brownlee, a Crestwood Staff member. As a member of Britain’s Royal Artillery in World War Two, Mr. Bell began training in England, before heading to Freetown, Sierra Leone to train African troops. He eventually took his trained troops and headed to Burma, where he fought for Britain against the Japanese, until the end of the war. In January 2015, he sat down with Mrs. Brownlee and Crestwood student Danielle Gionnas to share his experiences.

February 16th, 2015

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The big day is fast approaching.  The Crestwood Junior Choir is working hard preparing for their upcoming performances at the Ontario Vocal Festival at Mayfield High School in Caledon and the Kiwanis Music Festival at Crescent School on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015.  We are performing an array of songs for these events which include the hit “Rockin’ Robin”, an African song called Kuwa Furaha (which is a song about joy) and a ballad dedicated to the students, staff, and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in the aftermath of their tragedy called “We Will Stand With You”.

February 12th, 2015

Posted In: Choir

The big day is fast approaching.  The Crestwood Junior Choir is working hard preparing for their upcoming performances at the Ontario Vocal Festival at Mayfield High School in Caledon and the Kiwanis Music Festival at Crescent School on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015.  We are performing an array of songs for these events which include the hit “Rockin’ Robin”, an African song called Kuwa Furaha (which is a song about joy) and a ballad dedicated to the students, staff, and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in the aftermath of their tragedy called “We Will Stand With You”.

February 9th, 2015

Posted In: Choir

Every year during the first week of February, Grade 8 and 9 Geography students research a country from all different parts of the world.  The students learn about how this country and their people have helped to impact our Canadian society and how to make some of that country’s most delicious foods.  This year on February 6th during junior and senior lunch, the students will be selling some of these great foods.  Each student will make either an appetizer, main dish or a dessert native to the country they have studied.  Students will also dress up in Native attire and become experts on their country’s food, traditions and culture.  All money raised on this day, goes towards helping to sponsor our three foster children- two girls from Africa and a boy from Ecuador.  This event is always one that both the students and teachers look forward to.MulticulturalDay MulticulturalDay1

January 30th, 2015

Posted In: Crestwood News

On October 2nd, Ms. Williams and Mr. Masters took members of the YARRD/Me to We club to We Day, at the Air Canada Centre. The students had the chance to see musical acts such as Hedley and Kardinal Offishall, and they had their social consciences tweaked by the Kielburger brothers, Chris Hatfield, Queen Noor, and Joe Jonas, among others. The students were so motivated that they began their first charitable challenge on the bus ride back to Crestwood, with Jasmin Katz leading the way in raising $50 to purchase a goat for a family in Africa.
Ms. Williams and Mr. Masters look forward to the students continuing their efforts throughout the year, and in making Crestwood’s own Human Rights and Tolerance Symposium a big success!

October 3rd, 2014

Posted In: Crestwood News

Shaun Boothe is a fixture in the Toronto hip hop community, one we have been proud to host a number of times at Crestwood.  He first visited The CHC classes in 2011, where he showed Mr. Masters’ and Mr. Hawkins’ classes an alternative approach to modern history, using hip hop as a means to teach about some key figures in recent history.  These can be seen at http://shaunboothe.com/1.0/biography-series/.

We were so impressed that we had to have him back, and he was the keynote, end-of-day speaker at Crestwood’s First Diversity and Human Rights Symposium in November 2013, where he delivered a message of hope to hundreds of students from schools all across Toronto.  This year he visited Crestwood with John T. Davis and Shelley Hamilton, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage.  The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.

March 17th, 2014

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John T. Davis is a legend on the Toronto music scene, where he is known professionally as a high energy jazz/blues/gospel organ player. The Hammond B3 Organ is his instrument of choice, but he also plays the piano and synthesizer, and sings.
John also arranges music, playing originals and standards of many diverse styles, both instrumental and vocal, written by the many great musicians who have influenced him over time.   John was born in Virginia in 1945, where he grew up and went to school against the backdrop of the Jim Crow of the segregated American South.
We were pleased to host John at Crestwood this year.  He visited us in February with Shaun Boothe and Shelley Hamilton, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage.  The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.

March 17th, 2014

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Shelley Hamilton is a singer/entertainer based in Toronto, and one we have gotten to know very well over the years at Crestwood.  Shelley is a woman of many talents, whose diverse portfolio can be seen at her website at http://www.shelleyhamilton.ca/.  She has done supply teaching here and has been involved in many Black History Month initiatives at Crestwood.  These have included vocal workshops, historical studies of the Harlem Renaissance, and performances of her one woman play “A New Hope”, based on the historical accounts of John Clarkson’s mission to America in 1791 to improve the conditions of the Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia and to promote the colonization of Sierra Leone in Africa. The storyteller, through the voices of those who made the journey to Nova Scotia, tells of their hardships and hopes for a better life in this new land. The show has received widespread acclaim, and we were proud to host it at Crestwood.

This year Ms. Hamilton visited Crestwood with John T. Davis and Shaun Boothe, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage.  The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.

March 17th, 2014

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Mr. Masters and Mr. Hawkins are happy to announce the winners of this year’s Black History Month competition. We had many impressive submissions this year, covering topics as varied as Rosa Parks and Kardinal Offishal. Students showed the amazing contributions to North American culture and history by African-Americans and African-Canadians. Selecting a winner and a runner up was no easy task, but after much deliberation, the decision has been made. Our runner up, and winner of $50, is Sabrina Wasserman for her comic on Canadian Opera sensation Measha Brueggergosman. And the grand prize winner, for her comic featuring a time travelling Jackie Robinson, is Marina Morris. Good work ladies- and thank you to all those who participated in the contest.

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March 6th, 2014

Posted In: Crestwood News

On February 7th, Crestwood will celebrate it’s 13th annual Multicultural Day Symposium. It is a day when the Grade 8 and Grade 9 geography students showcase a researched country and display their findings and also includes some fantatsic food for the entire school during period 4 and period 5. Students will be dressed in their country’s native clothes as they sell tantalizing treats from the country they have chosen. All money raised for this event goes toward the sponsoring of two foster children located in Malawi, Africa and Ecudaor, South America. Thank you for your participation and come prepared to try some fantastic foods.

January 28th, 2014

Posted In: Crestwood News

Stanley Grizzle has led an illustrious life, and Crestwood students were fortunate to meet him in the spring of 2013 – on several occasions – and we are indebted to Kathy Grant and the Legacy Voices Project for setting up that introduction.

Stanley Grizzle was born in Toronto in 1918, to Jamaican parents who immigrated to Canada in 1911. He grew up in downtown Toronto, where he attended Prince Edward School and later Harbord Collegiate.  He became a railway porter at the age of 22 to help support his family. In 1938 he became involved in the executive of the porters’ union, initiating a period of activity which would make him one of the leaders in the black Canadian campaign for civil rights.  After receiving his conscription notice, he served in the Canadian Army in Europe during World War II, where he was trained as a member of the medical corps.

After the war, Stanley’s political role continued to grow, and he was eventually appointed a Judge of the Canadian Court of Citizenship by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, a first for an African Canadian.

Stanley received the Order of Ontario in 1990 from Lieutenant-Governor Lincoln Alexander and the Order of Canada in 1995 from Governor General Romeo LeBlanc.  He also received the Order of Distinction from Jamaica for his valuable contributions to Canadian society.  Most recently he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by Ontario Lieutenant-Governor David Onley, celebrating Stanley’s contributions to Canadian history.

May 28th, 2013

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Charles Mann is a Canadian veteran of World War Two who served with the Black Devils.  Originally from Port Hope, Charles and his family were affected by the Great Depression, like so many other Canadian families.  Charles left school for work, but with the coming of the war, he enlisted in the army, and when they asked for men to sign up for special services training, Charles jumped at the opportunity, soon finding himself in the Second Parachute Battalion.  From there, he went to Montana, where Canadian and American soldiers together went into the Special Services, later to be re-named the Black Devils.  After the arduous training was complete, the first destination was Alaska, but the Japanese had left just weeks before the Devils arrived.  He was then shipped off to Africa, and from there he saw combat in Italy and southern France; Charles welcomed VE Day in London, England.

Charles visited us in May 2013, where students Sarah Mainprize and Stephanie Erdman took the lead in his interview.

May 22nd, 2013

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A South African Jew, Mr. Leonard Rubinstein volunteered to fight with the British 8th Army the “Desert Rats” in WW2. After seeing action in Bardia, he was captured and spent the remainder of the war in Axis POW camps, where he was fortunate to keep his religious identity secret from the Gestapo. Mr. Rubinstein came to Crestwood to speak to students, was very happy to be involved in this video project and was interviewed on two occasions in his home by Mr. Masters’ students.

February 20th, 2013

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Zatoon Vania grew up in South Africa, where she experienced the full weight of the Apartheid regime. She and her husband fought that system and became members of the African National Congress, where they worked with Nelson Mandela. Zatoon came to Canada in the mid-1960s, where she raised a family and pursued a career. We met her at the Noor Cultural Center, where Crestwood students from the Youth Against Racial and Religious Discrimination YARRD club attended Friday prayers at the mosque and were welcomed by members of the community.

July 9th, 2012

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Rabia Sallie is the sister of Zatoon Vania, who also appears on this page. Rabia too is fom South Africa, where she grew up under the shadow of Apartheid. Like here sister Zatoon, Rabia also braved the consequences and challenged the intolerance of that system. We met her at the Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto, where she spoke to a delegation of Crestwood students in April 2011.

July 9th, 2012

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Kassim Ebrahim grew up during the Apartheid era in South Africa. Later a teacher in Rhodesia and Zambia, he eloquently provided Crestwood students with a glimpse into the history of Apartheid, as well as telling them his own stories and sharing his memories. We met him through the Noor Cultural Center in Toronto, where he initially shared his stories with Crestwood students.  He has since visited us at Crestwood, where he spoke to the World religions class in March 2015.

July 9th, 2012

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