Found WWII letters from Canadian hero reveal beautiful love story

“Every Sunday, the St. Lawrence Antique Market bustles with life in one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods. Vendors display a colourful array of relics and artifacts from earlier eras for bargain hunters like me to dig through. You can find vintage typewriters, jade and platinum jewelry, art deco credenzas and davenports, vinyl records and all sorts of other knick-knacks and doodads from the past. One Sunday late last year, I peeked into a cardboard box on the floor and found a stack of love letters tucked inside a Ziploc bag. They appeared to date between 1942 and 1944 and were written by someone named Edward Northern, who I learned was a flight lieutenant stationed overseas with the 420 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).”

Christine Estima – The United Church Observer – November 2018


Day of the Dead helped me find peace after losing my mom

Nancy Fornasiero – The United Church Observer – October 2018

Instead of retirement, these two nurses are battling Vancouver’s opioid crisis

Roberta Staley – The United Church Observer – July 2018

When friends decide to co-parent: A look at the modern family

Raizel Robin – The United Church Observer – June 2018

The Cosby Showdown

“Bill Cosby is within close enough range that I could sail a paper airplane at his head and be reasonably certain I’d hit my target. It’s early January, and I’m sitting in the centre of the second row at Hamilton Place, where Cosby is set to appear for his third and final Canadian performance, part of a North American tour continuing until this June. Four-teen theatres have already cancelled his show due to the storm of ongoing publicity surrounding the allegations of 30 women who claim he drugged and sexually assaulted them. While there have been a few small demonstrations outside his shows, no group has ventured inside the protected bubble of the concert halls where he continues to be adored. Until now.”

Anne Bokma – The United Church Observer – May 2015

Egerton Ryerson: The legacy of a tarnished hero

“A student-led social justice campaign at Toronto’s Ryerson University last summer was oddly reminiscent of the front-page volleys by a young Egerton Ryerson. The Methodist leader railed against Upper Canadian political elites as editor of the Christian Guardian almost 190 years ago. But this time, the target was Ryerson himself. Widely honoured as the parent of free, universal basic education in what is now Ontario, he also endorsed residential school education for Indigenous children. And the students feel the latter legacy trumps the former.”
Mike Milne – United Church Observer – March 2018