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Showing posts from November, 2014

Josef Dietrich came to Canada with $28 in his pocket

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Josef Karl Dietrich

When I worked in the PR department for Litton Systems Canada I often had to take military leaders on plant tours. They wanted to see the company's expertise in making navigation systems for commercial aircraft, war planes and cruise missiles.

With a background in Journalism and zero understanding of anything to do with precision engineering, I soon memorized a mostly-true patter that I could deliver while walking backwards down the production lines.

Of course, when dealing with people who actually knew something of what they were looking at, I was hopelessly over my head.  No one knew this more than the men and women who spent their working lives at LSL (what we called Litton Systems Canada). Some let me drown, others, like Joe Dietrich always threw me a lifeline - he was always willing to address our guests and explain in detail while Litton was the best. He did in English or in German 
and he was always the hit of the tour.

Josef's life-story is one that other…

We Were Here First - We Never Thought You (White People) Would Stay

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BIG NAMES. SRO EVENT. SPONSORED BY RBC TAYLOR PRIZE

"We weren't concerned because we never thought you (white people) would stay ..." laughed  First Nation's author Lee Maracle at  last night's RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction Spotlight: We Were Here First.  Well-known CBC Host (not that one - it was CBC videographer Waubgeshig Rice) had asked Maracle and three other celebrated indigenous writers from Canada and Australia to comment on the evening's theme  - We Were Here First.

The Friday evening book event was an integral part of the closing weekend of Harbourfront's International Festival of Authors.  The festival, now in its 35th year, brings the world's biggest names in literature to a number of Harbourfront stages  along Toronto's waterfront.

The  Friday night panel had two famed two Canadian First Nation writers - RBC Taylor Prize 2014 winner Thomas King (The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America)…