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June Callwood, Too

I don’t have nearly so much to say about June Callwood as I did about Kurt Vonnegut, but thanks to the Globe and Mail‘s Sandra Martin, I don’t have to. You can find a splendid memorial to the remarkable Ms. Callwood here. This fiery, compassionate woman probably wrote more books than Vonnegut, but she was a different sort of writer altogether. She’ll be remembered more for the causes she espoused and the amazing number of organizations she founded for the public good. (A propos of her crusading innovation, Martin makes a comment that reminds me of the old joke about Liberal MP Ken Dryden when he was a hockey player: that he’d written more books than his teammates had read.) She was a brilliant and angry woman who put both those powers to superb use.

I long thought that Trent Frayne was a fine writer on hockey and other sports, and he was. But I have come to admire him hugely in recent years as June Callwood’s husband. I learned what a fine and loving man, father and husband he was. It’s not easy to be married to smart, strong women, especially back in the 1950s when he and Callwood began. By all accounts, especially hers, he was a prince. And what a loss now for him, I don’t forget, as Canada mourns one of its outstanding women, his June.

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