Ai Yi-Ying

Ai Yi-ying is a survivor of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, otherwise known as the “Rape of Nanking”.  When the Japanese invaded, her family was trapped, and many were killed at the outset.  Ms. Ai’s mother managed to save some of the family members, and they were able to escape to the nearby mountains, evading the

Ali, Habeeb

Mr. Habeeb Ali has been a friend of Crestwood since 2013, when he welcomed Crestwood students to the Toronto Islamic Foundation as part of our Houses of Worship Field trip. In addition to his scholarship on Islam, and his experience as an educator, Mr. Ali works with the International Development and Relief Foundation. In December

Amani

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

Augustine, Jean

In 1993, Canadian politician Jean Augustine became the first Black woman elected to the Parliament of Canada. An advocate of social justice, she worked as the principal of an elementary school before entering politics. Among her accomplishments as an MP was the introduction of a motion, passed unanimously, to have February proclaimed as Black History

Azarov, Vladimir

Vladimir Azarov grew up against the backdrop of Stalin’s Soviet Union.  He and family were relocated to Kazakstan while Vladimir was young; a standout memory involves a confrontation between his mother and a secret police officer.  In spite of the hardships, Vladimir had many fond memories of his early life, and it gave him the

Bharucha, Daraius

Daraius Bharucha is a past president of the Zoroastrian Association of Canada, and a winner of the 2012 Governor-General’s Award for Teaching Excellence.  In November 2014 he visited us at Crestwood, when he sat down with a group of students from Mr. Masters’ World Religions class, sharing his insights into this ancient faith.  Daraius is

Boothe, Shaun

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

Broere, Marie

Marie Broere was born in 1926 in Rotterdam. As a teenager, Marie witnessed the Rotterdam Blitz of 1940. Marie remembers her daily life, living under the German occupation of Holland. She remembers her father being taken from the streets by German soldiers, and managing to escape and return with his family. Being the eldest child

Chambers, Mary Anne

Mary Anne Chambers is someone who understands the power of community involvement. After emigrating from Jamaica with her family, she succeeded in the worlds of business and politics, first as a vice-president with Scotiabank, and then as an MPP and cabinet minister in Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet. All the while, she has worked tirelessly as a

Chang, Shiying

Chang Shiying grew up in the Chinese city of Nanjing, where his family held a prominent position in the community. Born in the early 1930s, Mr. Chang was a child of 4 when the War of Japanese Aggression reached his city. Unlike so many others, the Chang family had heard the news of the Japanese

Chen Chun Hua

Chen Chunhua is a Chinese citizen who was a victim of Japanese germ warfare during the Second World War.  She and her team are actively seeking justice and medical treatment for the ways in which she and so many others were attacked and harmed during that distant conflict.  One of her advocates, Mr. Wu Jianping, 

Chen Lifei

In July 2017 Crestwood teacher Scott Masters took part in Alpha Education’s Peace and Reconciliation Tour.  Seventeen educators, activists, lawyers, and documentarians toured China and Korea, learning about the Asian perspective on the Second World War, and exploring ways to raise awareness of this side of the war to an international audience.  The tour was organized by

Ciano, Sergio

Sergio Ciano was a young boy when World War Two began. He lived in Somalia, an Italian colony in Northern Africa. His father was an officer in the Italian Military Police. Sergio was interviewed for this project by Lowell Williams in early 2009.

Clarke, George Elliott

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

Daniel, Carmi

Carmi Daniel is a representative of Hashomer Hatzair, an NGO that works on behalf of Israeli causes and issues.  he was interviewed in December 2013 by Politics 12 student Matthew Cohen.

Davis, John T.

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

Deverell, Rita

Rita Deverell was born in Houston Texas, 1945. She is an only child who grew up in the United States.  She moved to Canada in 1967 to be with her husband. She got an M.A. in the history of religion soon after immigrating.  Rita has had many jobs such as being on a school tour

Du Peizhen

Du Peizhen was born in 1932 in Tieling, China. Her father was an officer who worked in the court, and her mother was a teacher. She should have had a happy and affluent family at that time, but Japan had occupied the North East of China at that time, called Manchuria. She directly experienced World

Ebrahim, Kassim

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

Elliott, Omar

Omar Elliott came to us courtesy of the Noor Culture Centre, a mosque and Islamic Centre in the Crestwood neighbourhood. Omar is from Guyana and has travelled extensively, living in South America, Europe, Asia , and North America. He spoke to a group of Crestwood students about his experiences and life’s lessons along his personal

Fahmy, Charazad

Crestwood has been very fortunate to build a partnership with the Noor Cultural Centre in the last few years. Kassim Ebrahim and Samira Khanji have welcomed us and have taught Crestwood students some very important lessons about Islam and tolerance and diversity. We visit each year, and members of the Noor community generously have shared

Fang Cai Pei

Fang Cai Pei and Ye Sai Chu are a married couple, Chinese citizens who were victims of Japan’s system of germ warfare during the Second World War.  Both of them are actively seeking justice for the ways in which they were exploited and harmed during that distant conflict.   Both lost many family members when Japan launched attacks

Flanzraich, Aaron

Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1966. A graduate of Bar Ilan University, he was admitted into the University’s prestigious Advanced Talmudic Institute. In 1990, he received a dual ordination from Yeshivat Sha’ar Ephraim and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. He has been the senior rabbi at Temple Beth Sholom in Toronto since

Gao Xiongfei and Li Liangjei

Gao Xiongfei and Li Liangjei are Chinese citizens who were victims of Japan’s system of forced labour during the Second World War.  Both of them are actively seeking justice for the ways in which they were exploited and harmed during that distant conflict.  Mr. Li is currently the President of the Chinese Slave Laborer Association,

Gould, Dennis and Raybell

Dennis and Raybell Gould are the grandparents of Crestwood student Sarah Gould.  Dennis and Raybell grew up in wartime England, where they experienced the bombings, the rationing, and the general anxiety of life in England at war.  Dennis enlisted in the Royal Navy near the end of the war, and he served aboard the HMS

Gutmanas, Aleks

Aleks Gutmanas is the External Secretary for the Bahai Community of Toronto. He visited Ms. Laforest’s World Religions 11 class in the fall of 2009 and later sat down with Alix Postan, Sy Greenberg, and John Shahidi for an interview.

Hamilton, Shelley

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

Hylton, John

John Hylton grew up in 1940s England, where his childhood was deeply impacted by wartime events. He remembers the Battle of Britain, the rationing, the V-1 attacks, and most importantly he remembers his father’s service as a physician. John was interviewed for this project by Alec Maavara.

Ikeda, Sid

Sid Ikeda is a past president of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. As a young boy he was relocated along with his family in the British Columbia interior, where he experienced the internment camps. He was interviewed by Colin Walker in January 2009 and has since come back to Crestwood several times to

Jal, Emmanuel

Emmanuel Jal was born in the Sudan on an unknown date in the early 1980s.  He went through a series of  struggles, including time spent as a child soldier in that nation’s civil war.  Emmanuel managed to survive that time, and after being rescued by an aid worker, he went on to build a life,

Jones, Eve

We met Eve Jones at the Castle Peak Retirement Suites in Bracebridge, where she presently lives.  Eve is one of several authors/editors who assembled At Your Age, a collection of stories of those who live there.  The residents felt it was important for them to record their stories, which serve as a great entry point

Jull, Megan

Megan Jull is the Pastoral Associate at All Saints’ Kingsway Anglican Church and is a postulant for ordination in the Diocese of Toronto.  This means that she is in the midst of the training and formation required to become a priest in the Anglican Church.  She hosts a popular blog where she posts a collection

Kielburger, Marc

Marc Kielburger is a co-founder of Free the Children. He and his brother saw a need to do something to help underprivileged children around the world, so they started up this influential NGO when they were teenagers. Their work shows that people of all ages can break the bonds of apathy and make a real

Kien Le

Kien Le spent his early life in Vietnam, growing up as the American phase of the war was coming to an end.  He recalls that he was not too impacted by the war in the early years, but since his father was in the navy, he and his family were on the move as the

Kim Han Soo

Kim Han Soo was born in northern Korea in 1918, during the time of Japanese occupation.  When the Japanese invaded the Chinese in 1937, Mr. Kim remembers an offhand remark from a Japanese officer, bragging about a Chinese girl he had raped and murdered.  It would prove to be a powerful lesson for Mr. Kim,

Lane, Ruth

Ruth Lane grew up in Wales, in the U.K.  She was six when World War Two began, and her memories of childhood against the backdrop of wartime restrictions remind us that the war was about much more than the battlefield itself.  Ruth recalled the American soldiers stationed nearby, the rationing, the bombing, and the disruptions

Lee Yong Su

Lee Yong Su is a halmeoni, or “grandmother”, a name Koreans use for the women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during the Second World War.  The Japanese military developed the term “comfort women” to describe these women who were coerced into this terrible existence.  Ms. Lee was kidnapped at the age

Levitt, Michael

Since 2015, Michael Levitt has served as a Member of Parliament in Canada’s House of Commons, representing the Toronto riding of York-Centre. As an MP, he has worked to represent his riding, one of the most diverse in Canada, as well as serving as a voice for Human Rights on the international stage. In March

Lewis, Chris

Chris Lewis is a member of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada.  He visited Mr. Masters’ World Religions class in October 2014, sharing his insights on Taoism and taking the students through a few Tai Chi movements.

Lipson, Rabbi Leslie

Rabbi Leslie Lipson grew up in Rochester, New York; he connected to Canada by attending Camp Ramah for ten summers as both a camper and on staff.  After graduating from Haverford College,  Rabbi Lipson traded currency on Wall Street and then returned to Toronto to work on his MBA at York University.  After working in

Loc Le

Loc Le spent his early life in Vietnam, growing up as the war raged around him and his family.  He recalls that he was not too impacted by the war in the early years, but with 1968 and the Tet Offensive, he and his family were on the move, staying ahead of the NVA and

Lv Faxue

Lv Faxue grew up in postwar China.  He shared his memories of the 1950s and 1960s with Crestwood student Victoria Xu in March 2014; they are here overdubbed in English by Victoria.  Mr. Xu’s memories include growing up against the backdrop of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, as well as the changes

Marcharia, Bodia

Bodia Marcharia is the current president of Friends of the Congo, an NGO dedicated to improving the quality of life for the Congolese people. Bodia is a passionate speaker, and she addressed many of the region’s concerns, among them conflict minerals and the conditions facing Congolese women. Bodia visted Crestwood in January 2012, where she

Matsuoko, Tamaki

Tamaki Matsuoka began her career as an elementary school teacher in Osaka, Japan.  As she taught her students about Japan’s past, she became aware of the many gaps in her and their knowledge; this led her to become an advocate for remembrance and recognition of the real history of Japan’s World War Two aggression, notably the

McCarney, Rosemary

Rosemary McCarney is President and CEO of Plan International Canada Inc. (Plan Canada), an international and humanitarian development organization.  Founded as Foster Parents Plan, this NGO now works in more than 45 developing countries helping children and their families achieve lasting improvements in their lives.  That includes the notable “Because I am a Girl” campaign. 

Mohammed, Tahir

On April 28, 2017, Crestwood World History and Religion students took a day to take in the multireligious and multicultural character of Toronto.  Students visited a Sikh gurdwara, a Hindu temple, and in the afternoon we visited the Noor Cultural Centre and Mosque, to take part in Friday prayers.  It was a day for students to put

Muinuddin, Talat

On April 28, 2017, Crestwood World History and Religion students took a day to take in the multireligious and multicultural character of Toronto.  Students visited a Sikh gurdwara, a Hindu temple, and in the afternoon we visited the Noor Cultural Centre and Mosque, to take part in Friday prayers.  It was a day for students

Mutabazi, Eugene et Rosalie Uwimabera

Eugène Mutabazi et Rosalie Uwimabera sont les deux survivants du Génocide au Rwanda en 1994. Eugène à passé son enfance au Congo, et puis au Rwanda dans les années 80s. Toute la famille de son père à été assassinée dans les massacres avant le Génocide, entre les années 1959 et 1973. Quand il a retourné

Nemat, Marina

Marina Nemat was born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran. At the age of 16, she was arrested on false charges and spent more than two years in the infamous Evin prison, in Tehran, where she, along with many of her friends, was tortured. She was condemned to die, but survived because one of the Revolutionary

Ohori, Joe

Joe Ohori was born in 1931 in Vancouver, British Columbia. When he was nine, his parents sent him to Japan with his sister but later his sister left and he was alone. He was adopted by a family in Hiroshima. The day the bomb dropped Joe started the day off by waking up early to

Patil, Raj

Dr. Raj Patil is a representative of the Jainist Society of Canada.  He spoke to the World Religions class in October 2014, sharing his insights about this ancient faith.  The students in the class completed this oral history project as a group, and they and Mr. Masters thank Dr. Patil for his generosity.

Perhar, Ranbir

Mr. Ran Perhar is a valued member of the Crestwood community. In the spring of 2013 he welcomed Crestwood students to his gurdwara, and in the winter of that year Mr. Hawkins’ World Religions Class had the opportunity to return the welcome. Mr. Perhar was able to offer students a glimpse into how Sikh beliefs

Pietrzyk, Jenny

Jenny Pietrzyk was born in 1920s Poland, and she was a teenager by the time the war came.  Finding herself in eastern Poland, Jenny and her family were in the Soviet zone, based on the Molotov-von Ribbentrop Pact.   While the early years brought deprivation, the real onslaught for Jenny and her family came in

Ratansi, Yasmin

Yasmin Ratansi is the Member of Parliament for Don Valley East.  A native of Tanzania, in March 2017 she visited with Crestwood students bound for Tanzania, telling them about her time there.  The students learned about the ins-and-outs of Tanzanian culture and other economic and environmental realities.  After her talk with the Me-to-We students, she

Rotondo, Dominic

Domenic Rontondo was born in Italy, in the early months of World War Two. When his father went off to war, his mother saved Domenic’s life during aerial bombing that devastated their village and killed most of the family. Domenic was raised by his grandparents and learned about his early life through them and other

Sallie, Rabia

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,

Santos, Rowena

Rowena Santos is actively involved in Ontario and local politics. She is a member of the provincial NDP, where she serves as Vice President, and she is affiliated with the organization Equal Voice, which seeks to promote women’s involved in Canadian politics, and she has twice spoken to Politics and Female Mentor Group students at

Shukyn, Murray

We met Murray Shukyn at the Baycrest Terraces in January 2015, as part of the new Crestwood-Baycrest initiative to document Jewish history in postwar Toronto.  And Murray made interesting contributions in that regard.  Murray grew up in the shadow of World War Two, and he reached maturity in the context of the 50s and 60s,

Sim Jin Tae

During the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of Korean civilians, along with thousands of others in the occupied territories, were conscripted for Japan’s war effort, a topic that is only on the periphery of Western historiography and education. During their visit to Seoul, members of the Alpha Education Peace Tour were able to meet

Singh Nagra, Pardeep

Pardeep Singh Nagra is a Canadian athlete and human rights activist. He came to speak to Mr. Masters’ History 10 class in the spring of 2010 and again in 2011, which he followed up with an interview by student representatives from the YARRD club. Pardeep’s story is an inspirational one; he came to Canada from

Stickley, Charlcie

Charlcie Stickley came to Canada at 7 years of age. After her fathger left, her mother had to clean houses; it was a hard life for her mother. Even as a student, Charlcie was aware of economic realities of Great Depression and felt restricted in school. In June 1942, she met her future husband. When

Subhani, Munni

Munni Subhani came to us through the Noor Cultural Centre, where she is a member of the congregation.  Munni is an accomplished dancer who has taught north Indian classical dance for years at her dance school in Toronto. She says she has found that dance benefits not only the body, but the soul as well,

Thiyagarajah, Nayani

Nayani Thiyagarajah is a speaker and community activist and a director  and a producer, a daughter of the Yalpanam-Tamil diaspora, as well as a writer, performance artist, and filmmaker. She has worked extensively with multiple arts-based organizations and performance groups across Toronto, including Manifesto Community Projects, ArtReach Toronto, b.current Performing Arts, and Schools Without Borders. She

Thu Nguyen

Thu Nguyen grew up in Vietnam, growing up as a series of wars raged around him and his family.  He recalls that he was not too impacted by the war in the early years, but with 1968 and the Tet Offensive, he and his family were on the move, staying ahead of the NVA and

Turner, Davina

Davina Turner was in the CWAC Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Corps as WW2 came to a close. She toured Europe with her band, entertaining the occupying troops stationed in northern Germany. She met her future husband on the troop ship as they returned to Canada. After the war Davina settled into life in postwar Toronto, doing

van Dyk, Jerry

Jerry van Dyk was born Sept. 13, 1933 in the Netherlands, in the northern province of Friesland.  Jerry saw the beginning of the German when the planes of the Luftwaffe flew overhead on their way to bomb Rotterdam in 1940, and he witnessed the German occupation of his country from 1940-44. His family lived in

Vania, Zatoon

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

White, Edith

We met Edith White at the Castle Peak Retirement Suites in Bracebridge, where she presently lives.  Eve is one of several authors/editors who assembled At Your Age, a collection of stories of those who live there.  The residents felt it was important for them to record their stories, which serve as a great entry point into

Wintrob, Kitty

Kitty Simmonds was a spirited 10-year old girl, growing up in London’s east end.  She grew up with family and friends, and was living a normal childhood life.  When the war came, that all changed; entire schools and neighbourhoods were evacuated to the countryside.  Kitty was not happy about leaving; she did want to be

Wu Jianping

In July 2017 Crestwood teacher Scott Masters took part in Alpha Education’s Peace and Reconciliation Tour.  Seventeen educators, activists, lawyers, and documentarians toured China and Korea, learning about the Asian perspective on the Second World War, and exploring ways to raise awareness of this side of the war to an international audience.  The tour was organized by

Wu Xianbin

Wu Xianbin is a private citizen in Nanjing, China, one with a passion for history.  His commitment to keeping alive the memory of the Nanjing Massacre is second-to-none, as evidenced in the private museum he has founded in the city.  Mr. Wu believes that history offers a guideline not only to the past, but to

Ye Sai Chu

Fang Cai Pei and Ye Sai Chu are a married couple, Chinese citizens who were victims of Japan’s system of germ warfare during the Second World War.  Both of them are actively seeking justice for the ways in which they were exploited and harmed during that distant conflict.   Both lost many family members when Japan launched attacks

Zhao Zong Ren

Zhao Zong Ren is a Chinese citizen who was a victim of Japan’s system of forced labour during the Second World War.  He is actively seeking justice for the ways in which he was exploited and harmed during that distant conflict.  Mr. Zhao  – only 14 at the time – recalls being tortured by the