02 December 2005

The passing of a Wee Giant

I rose this Friday morning to find a distributed email of personal significance waiting to be downloaded to my In Box. Many thanks, first of all, to James Deahl, a Past President, and to Donna Allard, President of the Canadian Poetry Association, for sending out the following notice:

Dear fellow CPA members,

It is my sad duty to announce the deaths of Margaret Saunders and David Hillen earlier this week. Both were buried today [Thursday, 1 Dec 2005].

Margaret and David were both very active in the Hamilton literary scene and in the old Hamilton chapter of the CPA. Margaret died of cancer; David died of heart disease.

Cards and notes can be sent to the family of Margaret Saunders at 178 Bond St N, Hamilton ON L8S 3W6 and to the family of David Hillen at 111 Cannon St E, Hamilton ON L8L 2A2.

Both Margaret and David had been ill for quite some time. Their passing is a great loss to Canadian letters and, of course, to all Hamilton-area writers. They were well loved.


James Deahl
Margaret Saunders was a poet, editor and publisher. We first met during my young pup 15-months in Toronto in 1979-80 when she was editor and publisher of WEE Giant magazine. She must have been in Toronto for an Axle Tree Coffee House reading or something like that. She later published poetry of mine in her mag. Because of something I did, or said, or that happened early on, Margaret jokingly called me her guardian angel and that stuck for years whenever we met.

Margaret was active in the Haiku Society of Canada and at their annual gathering at the monastery in Alymer, Québec the participants had early morning walks on the rocks of les rapides Deschênes on the Ottawa River. The year I attended, Margaret started the group writing of a linked renga later published as sounds of an occasional monk (Haiku Canada Sheet, 1988).

Margaret is one of the poets who was so encouraging of me when I first went public with my poetry. I've always had good thoughts and good memories about her. As James wrote above, Margaret was truly well loved.

T: Pennsic XXXII
loc: comCtr
temp: 7
world wings
tap letters for words
december rain

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