Blog

Gaspar Corte-Real statue controversy

In the past few weeks I have been asked by various media outlets in Canada and Portugal to weigh in on the topic of statue toppling in what pertains to the monument to Gaspar Corte-Real outside the Confederation Building in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Here are the resulting newspaper articles, television and radio pieces:

Andrew Hawthorn, “How a controversial St. John’s statue was actually propaganda for a Portuguese dictatorship,” CBC.ca, June 14, 2020

Maria João Caetano, “Entre a aventura marítima e a pesca do bacalhau: esta é a história da estátua de Corte-Real,” Diário de Notícias, June 16, 2020

Interview for “Câmara dos Representantes,” RDP radio, June 29, 2020

Interview for “Focus Portuguese,” OMNI TV, July 13, 2020

Thank you!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out to my book launch. I am honoured and delighted that I got to share this milestone with so many old and new friends. I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the book. Here are some photos taken by Gilberto Prioste. A couple of his photos are featured in the book.

Book launch: This Pilgrim Nation

I’m launching my book This Pilgrim Nation on Wednesday, January 15, starting at 7am, at the Supermarket Bar on 268 Augusta Avenue, Kensington Market. The event will feature a brief performance by the Portuguese guitar maker and player Nuno Cristo, a conversation between myself and Dr. Susana Miranda, and a reading from the book. Refreshments will be provided. See here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/500665777202899/

City Builders documentary episodes 3-4 & new oral history videos now online

Episode 3, titled “New Heights,” focuses on the introduction of new building techniques and materials (i.e. concrete forming, flying form and drywall) in Toronto in the 1960s and how they disrupted the industry, especially its unions. It examines the controversial organization of concrete forming workers and the intense battles between international and national unions. This episode features interviews with the former labour organizers and construction workers John Stefanini, Marino Toppan, Quinto Ceolin, Rocco Lotito, and Angelo Zaccaria.

Episode 4, titled “New Lows,” focuses on the infiltration of organized crime and the multiple episodes of violence in Toronto’s construction industry in the 1960s-70s, leading up to the Royal Commission on Certain Sectors of the Building Industry (1973-4). This episode features interviews with journalist and author Catherine Wismer and the former Local 183 business manager John Stefanini.

Also available are nine new oral history videos featuring the retired construction workers, union organizers, and community advocates António Filipe, Carlos Botelho, Gunter Hartleb, John Ferreira, Mamadou Bah, Norm Pike’s family, Pasquale Cerra, Quinto Ceolin, and Rosemarie Powell.