Looking for the MCHS ’60s Reunion & Celebration of the ’60s? The event turned out beautifully. Over the next while we’ll add additional highlights from the Oct. 17, 2015 reunion, which was attended by over 60 people. For the backstory, Click Here!
My name is Jaan Pill; I’m a documentary maker, writer, and beginner practitioner of mindfulness. I served as a member of the MCHS 2015 ’60s Reunion organizing team. Among other schools, I taught at Munden Park Public School. In 1990 I gave a series of lectures in Estonia that led to the founding of the Estonian Stuttering Association. I’m a co-founder of the Canadian Stuttering Association among other associations. I’ve been active as a volunteer organizer for thirty years. I enjoy stories and the absence of stories.
History of Long Branch (Toronto)
A current project – a draft of 10,000-plus words is in progress – involves the writing of A History of Long Branch (Toronto) – Draft 4 featuring brief, evidence-based glimpses of the history of Long Branch.
In recent years, I have benefited from excellent networking opportunities arising from past association with the Long Branch Historical Society, which after many decades of productive work is currently in a state of dormancy, as a consequence of organizational issues that became evident by June 2012.
Any group that seeks to speak on behalf of community interests requires a capacity for extensive planning and collaboration among significant numbers of people. Such work requires a clear structure for decision-making and a culture of mutual respect.
It is my hope that the Long Branch Historical Society will in time – maybe some years or even decades down the road – resume its valuable work, focusing upon the celebration of local history, under the guidance of a new generation of leaders. My own current work, with regard to local history, owes much to the networking that took place during the brief period of time that I was involved with the work of the society.
In the meantime, the Etobicoke Historical Society and a variety of websites – of varying degrees of accuracy, with regard to the information that is posted – serve as history-related resources for local communities. As well, neighbourhood associations and Jane’s Walk can readily perform some of the same work – such as event planning and information sharing – otherwise done by local historical societies.
Stories and the absence of stories
As much as I like stories, I also like not telling stories. A story – whether complex or simple; cogent or incoherent; whatever the qualities of the story may – doesn’t lead us anywhere in particular. To which I can add: That’s just my version of what stories are about. Your version may well differ from mine. Yours is equally valid, maybe more valid than mine, and I am interested to know what it is. I can learn from you.
I am a keen fan of lifelong learning.
In years past, I’ve organized Jane’s Walks in collaboration with Mike James of Niagara-on-the-Lake. I no longer lead walks but sometimes help other walk leaders organize them. If you want help with organizing a walk, please contact me at email@example.com. My most recent Jane’s Walk project has involved helping out with the organizing of a walk that will take place in Mississauga on Saturday, May 28, 2016 starting at 1:00 pm. The walk, led by Ward One, City of Mississauga Councillor Jim Tovey, is entitled: Small Arms Building – Then and Now.
My interests include:
- Community self-organizing
Six of my Vimeo videos can be viewed online. I worked with Steven Toepell to put together a digital portfolio for Andy Iadinardi, a construction superintendent. The six-minute video depicts the building of Aquaview Condominiums close to where I live. The banner at the top of the page, that you are now reading, shows a view of Aquaview, at Forty Second St. and Lake Shore Blvd. West in Toronto during its construction. My documentation of the building of Aquaview played a role in my subsequent involvement with Parkview School (see below). Here’s a September 2015 Facebook video that I did that I much enjoyed making:
I have been involved in volunteer work – and have developed a cool track record of success, in projects I have initiated – at the local, national and international levels for thirty years. Until I became involved in efforts to keep Parkview School in public hands, however, I did not have much interest in local history.
On Oct. 26, 2010, which is when my interest in local history began, I learned that Parkview School was being sold by the Toronto District School Board as it was surplus to its needs. In the end, it was sold to the French public school board Conseil scolaire Viamonde – rather than to a developer – at a cost of $5.2-million in funding from the Province of Ontario.
The deal closed on Aug. 30, 2011. A major, two-stage letter-writing project – we had received key, strategic advice that individually-written letters would work better than a petition, in the circumstances – and the work of TDSB Trustee Pamela Gough and the Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP at the time, Laurel Broten, enabled the community to achieve a good outcome. Peter Milczyn is the current MPP for the riding.
I have an email newsletter that I set up following a suggestion from Donna Magee of Toronto. I have a mailing list, which I maintain as a non-automated list of names on a Microsoft Word file, that I set up as part of the Parkview School project. Sometimes I send out many newsletters each month; sometimes (depending on my available time) a month or two goes by without a newsletter being sent out.
Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion – Oct. 17, 2015 at Old Mill Toronto
In closing, I want to mention that from the comments we’ve received, the Oct. 17, 2015 MCHS ’60s Reunion was an outstanding success. A newsletter sent out by Howard Hight of Boston and Diana Redden of Vancouver to our reunion database has been keeping people informed and entertained during the planning process. Additional photos will be posted at the MCHS ’60s Reunion Facebook Page and at the MCHS 2015 website, when time permits. Since the reunion ended, I’ve been catching up with other projects. Now that many of those tasks are out of the way, my thoughts are returning to the remaining post-reunion tasks that await me.
As a member of the organizing team, I want to express a huge thanks to all of the grads – as well as to MCHS Phys Ed teacher Soryl (Shulman) Rosenberg – who shared some great stories, and provided entertainment that manifested itself in a wide range of formats – including displays of prowess on the dance floor, and the playing of ‘Amazing Grace’ on the bagpipes. The latter tune, piped by Scott Munro, was in memory of MCHS students and teachers who have passed away.
In still another highlight of the evening, on Nov. 17, 2015 in Toronto, Soryl Rosenberg read out a message from Graeme Decarie, an early-1960s MCHS History teacher, who was unable to attend but who remains in ongoing touch with us via email. Soryl also presented an entertaining Show and Tell from her early-1960s career as a teacher at our high school.
If you want to search for topics at this website, use the internal search engine, or choose a word and add the words “Preserved Stories,” and search on Google. The Preserved Stories and MCHS 2015 websites were designed by Walden Small Business Marketing. I got help from Maestra Web Design with the launching of the sites. My headshot is by Walter Psotka. I learned about Walden Design, Walter Psotka, and Planet Dentistry from Executive Coach Barbara Lawson, to whom I owe many thanks.