Saturday, 29 November 2014

Josef Dietrich came to Canada with $28 in his pocket


Josef Karl Dietrich
Josef Karl Dietrich
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 European born employees of Litton told. He came to Canada with only $28 in his pocket. Although poor when arrived, he applied his Austrian technical training to find a job and a career at LSL.  He spent his whole Canadian working career with the firm.

I am sorry to hear that Josef Karl Dietrich passed away on November 24th. This is his obituary from the Morris Funeral Chapel in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Josef Karl Dietrich
February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014

JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. 
ETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society - www.alzheimer.ca/pklnh  
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.PsL1tpYO.dpuf
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanvill - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#comment-115972
OSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society - www.alzheimer.ca/pklnh  
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.krN3TM5W.dpuf
Josef Karl Dietrich
February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014 - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.krN3TM5W.dpuf
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.krN3TM5W.dpuf
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/services/#sthash.Ec4tkxEW.dpuf
Josef Karl Dietrich 1921 - 2014
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society -
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/services/#sthash.Ec4tkxEW.dpuf
Josef Karl Dietrich 1921 - 2014
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society -
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/services/#sthash.Ec4tkxEW.dpuf

Saturday, 1 November 2014

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

RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction Spotlight: We Were Here First  with Thomas KingLee MaracleSamual Watson and Waubgeshig Rice.
"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) and West Coast writer  Lee Maracle (Celia’s Song) sharing notes with two Australian Indigenous writers - Samuel Wagan Watson (Smoke Encrypted Whispers) and Ellen van Neerven (Heat and Light, winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award).

Thomas King signs his book, His wife Helen Hoy watches on
For Thomas King, We Were Here First is not as an important question as Who Owns The Land Anyway? "It all begins and ends with our land.  We can settle most differences (between the First Nations' people and the Canadian Government) but we have lost so much land we now have to draw that line in the sand."

The two Australian authors have roots in the community of the native indigenous people of Beaudesert in the Queensland region on Australia.  Both agreed with King that it is the stories of their people's  land that inspires and motivates indigenous writers.

The onstage IFOA conversation, presented by the Taylor Prize, was also part of Planet IndigenUS  --  a programme that gives prominence to the voices, stories and cultures of Indigenous people. This project is assisted by the Australian Government.

We Never Thought You (White People) Would Stay - explained Lee Maracle (below left).
Lee Maracle has been published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide, and is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels and works of non-fiction. She was born in North Vancouver and is a member of the Stó:lō Nation. Maracle's latest novel, Celia’s Song, chronicles one Native family’s harrowing experiences over several generations, after the brutality, interference and neglect resulting from contact with Europeans.



Samual Wagan Watson (middle) is an award-winning raconteur from the southside of Brisbane who hails from an honourable ancestry of Birri, Munanjali, Gaelicand Germanic peoples. His poetry collection Smoke Encrypted Whispers won the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and the New South Wales Premier’s Book of the Year. He latest work is a collection of poetry, Love Poems and Death Threats. He is now writing a cookbook!
The moderator at the IFOA event was CBC’s Waubgeshig Rice (right), video journalist in Ottawa. An Anishinaabe from Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, Waub believes that staying true to his roots has been key in his success as a journalist and published autho
r.





"It is all about the land," explained author Thomas King.Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. For 50 years, he has worked as an activist for Native causes and has taught Native literature and history at universities across North America. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. King presents both his RBC Taylor Prize-winning book, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, and his first literary novel in 15 years, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction finalist The Back of the Turtle at the IFOA Friday night in Toronto.
Ellen van Neerven is a writer of Aboriginal and Dutch descent whose work has appeared in many publications, including The Best of McSweeney’s, Voiceworks and Review of Australian Fiction. 
She currently lives in Brisbane where she works as an editor for the black&write! project at the State Library of Queensland. Van Neerven presents her debut novel and the winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award, Heat and Light. Divided into three sections, it is inspired by the intersection of familial history, location and identity, and takes readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real.



After the lecture ... Friends, authors, sponsors and audience members gathered in the Harbourfront book selling lounge. 
From the left to right: RBC Taylor Prize Founder Noreen Taylor, 2007 Taylor Prize winner Rudy Wiebe ( Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest), RBC 2014 Taylor Prize Shortlisted author and the Toronto Book Prize winner Charlotte Gray (Massey Murder) and Vijay Parmar, President, PH&N Investment Counsel and RBC Taylor Prize trustee.