James’ Brand New Blog

A vote of thanks to David Winninger & Gina Barber

- October 27th, 2010

There was a really unpleasant & gloating letter in The Free Press today about the defeats of London council members David Winninger and Gina Barber.

David & Gina are both friends of mine & hardly need me to help answer such attacks if they feel the need to. I do appreciate the letter, gloating, sarcasm & all, because it spurred me to write something I should have written early Tuesday. By then it was apparent David would lose to Denise Brown (in Ward 11, where David had been a long-time councillor) & Dale Henderson would win in Ward 9, where Gina Barber was running.

I would like to thank David, someone I’ve known since we were teenagers, for his unswerving intelligence & idealism over the years. David worked hard & cared about London & his community. He has thoughtful responses to a myriad of issues, local & global.

The same is true about Gina Barber. I don’t know Gina nearly as well. But she was one of those who helped slay at last the bogeysaurus of London municipal politics, board of control.

As for the winners, I don’t know Denise Brown (I don’t think) & have written about Dale Henderson, who is determined, energetic & with along mayor-elect Joe Fontana a fine drummer.

Good luck to you, Denise & Dale. Let’s see what you & the new council & new* mayor can do.

PS Joe Fontana is so new* that back in 1982-1983 I used to call his fine aldermanic self during my secretarial duties at Museum London’s forerunner to remind board members about their monthly meetings.

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7 comments

  1. charles says:

    Fontana’s local political career goes back to 1978, elected Alderman re the northeast Detention Centre location issue. Then a citywide chosen Controller, retiring to enter federal politics for North London in 1988. Retired that to return to local politics, unsuccessfully in his first try for the Mayor’s chain of office. Media excitement over ” !longest serving mayor !!” (lady # 3), obscured long service by others. (Beedle 1955 was the shortest ??)
    Re Alex Knox, retreated to the UK over the US blacklisting issue, don’t forget his Honourary Degree from UWO in 1981.

  2. james.reaney says:

    Beedle the shortest? Maybe so. Who was the worst?
    As for Alexander Knox, I have a Hesperian Club executive photo with Knox and Ms Wyatt I will find a home for at JBNB.

  3. charles says:

    How would you measure worst or best (no pun intended) ? Each is a product of his/her times.
    Cornish’s name is often dragged out by scandalmongers, but the extended family are pretty sick of the cheap shots.

  4. james.reaney says:

    I’m sure somebody at the biz school would have a formula when their new building gets done.
    The Best? That is good. I promise not to use JBNB to pick on Cornish. Will leave that to others.

  5. charles says:

    Just looking at the list again .. was James Frederick Gosnell the shortest , quitting, not defeated, (opening the door for a female appointee) ? At times like this one does miss Orlo’s sharp eye on local politics. Mind you, terms were shorter, and the job even unpaid for some time.
    Most colourful continues to be Wenige, right ? And spanned the most time in local history -1928 to 1950 with a couple of breaks. A-MD=B’s claim is for continuous terms.

  6. james.reaney says:

    There was an O. Miller, a young woman, will have to check her name in the same Oxxys as Alexander & Louise . . . Wenige was colourful indeed … maybe the job will be unpaid again, eh?

  7. Dan Brock says:

    Personally, it’s a tossup for me as to whether Frank Cornish or George Wenige was the more colourful. They both were colourful individuals while majors.
    As for the mayor of London the shortest time: George Beedle became mayor, effective April 1, 1955 and resigned, effective August 8, 1955, in order to take up his duties as superintendent of the Dr. John Dearness Home for Elder Citizens. Fred Gosnell resigned, effective March 6, 1972, owing to ill health. Assuming he took office sometime in December 1971, Gosnell would appear to have served the shortest time as mayor since the incorporation of London as a city, effective January 1, 1855.

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