Thursday, January 14, 2010

Maurice Leduc - WW2 Canadian Army Veteran

Bon Papa, as he likes to be called, is a hero. He fought in Europe during the Second World War after landing on the Normandy beachhead in June of 1944. His outfit drove trucks carrying food and supplies to the front lines in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He carried survivors from the concentration camps back to what remained of civilization.

Maurice met the love of his life, Adrienne, in Belgium in 1944. It was love at first sight for Maurice who often tells the story of the first time he Adrienne when she was decorating a Christmas tree. Apparently he whistled at her and without turning around she said "Oh, that must be one of those Canadians!" They were married on December 27, 1945, as soon as the army would allow it. After the war, many tragedies and much adversity, Maurice and Adrienne returned to Canada where they built a life for themselves. They recently celebrated their sixty-fourth wedding anniversary. Adrienne and Maurice have five children, seven grand children, and three great grand children. Bon Papa walks several kilometers every day, he always has a project of some kind and always does his best at whatever he chooses to work at. He's returned to Normandy every year since I have known him, to honor the men who landed on the beaches in 1944.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Adrienne Leduc - Author

Adrienne Bruynings was born in Baarle-Nassau on the Holland Belgium border in 1924. When war broke out in Europe, the Bruynings family was living in Herentals in Belgium. In December of 1944, she met the young Canadian soldier Maurice Leduc whom she married on 27 December 1945. She moved to Canada with Maurice in 1956 and now lives in North Vancouver where they recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
Adrienne wrote Antione - Coureur de Bois (Septentrion, 2008) over a fifteen year period characterized by intensive research into the genealogy of the Leduc family and early Canadian history. Originally published in English in 1992, the book has now been translated into French. Mme. Leduc has also written articles for Reader’s Digest, The Beaver and in Le Viquet and Nouvelles Racines in France.
Adrienne is also Gaetanne's mom. She is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I have ever met.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Toni Onley - Artist 2003

I met Mr. Onley at the Delta Airpark on a warm July afternoon. The Delta Airpark is a unique airfield. It is a grass strip with roots in the early days of aviation. You can walk out onto the field and talk with the pilots as they work on their aircraft.

When I arrived Toni had just rolled his beloved Buccaneer out of the hangar and was planning to fly to Painter's Lodge for the weekend. I think he liked that I was using a 4x5 Speed Graphic. We had very lttle time as it turned out, he struck this pose and seemed content to chat for a moment as I set up.

The following year Toni died from a heart attack while he was doing touch and go landings on the Fraser River. He was an exceptional individual who lived his life to the fullest. I was honored to meet him. His paintings for me, have a spiritual quality that speaks of the unique perspective one gets from flying above the great Canadian landscape.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vince Fairleigh at The Hollywood

The Hollywood Theater is without doubt one of my favorite places in Vancouver and I must say that Vince Fairleigh is one of my favorite people. Vince's family has owned the Hollywood for over 70 years and to celebrate their 74th anniversary we did Vince's portrait outside the theater. Normally, I would have shot this on 4x5 but I was very commited to this idea and just don't have a lens that is wide enough. So we shot it digital on the 5Dmk2, a wonderful camera in it's own right.

Vince is also a very talented Nisga'a artist whose work can be seen at the Anthropology Museum at UBC. Last summer he was thrilled to meet the Emperor and Empress of Japan during their visit here and his always smiling face was more radiant than ever. And I have just learned that he is going to be the artist in residence during the Olympics.

I always think of merchants as the face of the city, Vince is one of the best...