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Celebrating and remembering Arnold Amber, longtime CMG leader

Dear fellow CMG members,

As many of you will know, Arnold Amber passed away early this month, on September 4 th.

Arnold’s dedication and work over several decades as a founder and leader of our union is deeply valued and appreciated. He was an advocate for working people and for quality journalism in Canada and around the world.

For those wishing to honour Arnold’s memory, his family has indicated that in lieu of flowers, those so inclined are invited to please make donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, or Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).

For those in or near Toronto – Memorial Service and Book of Condolences

There will be a memorial service this upcoming Sunday, September 24 at 2 p.m. at the Fairmont Royal York (Imperial Room), 100 Front Street West, Toronto. The service is open to all of Arnold Amber’s friends, colleagues and comrades.

Please RSVP to Arnold’s daughter, Jeannine, at Jamberstar@gmail.com .

A book of condolences is also available for CBC employees to sign, just outside the 4th floor newsroom in Toronto, by the purple elevators. The book will be there until this Friday. Please consider making the time to record your thoughts and memories of Arnold, to share with his family.

Sharing thoughts and memories

Here are some reflections shared by fellow Guild members and others who’ve worked with Arnold:

“Arnold was a warrior in the fight for what’s right and fair. He did it in many ways, in his personal life and with many organizations. But his impact on the union movement at the CBC and at other media workplaces has been profound… As a friend, he’ll be remembered as someone who always asked about your family and remembered your answer. But it’s his role as a mentor, as a leader and as a thoughtful and smart soul that we will all miss when we’re tackling the next big issue.”
– Lise Lareau, former President, Canadian Media Guild (Read full piece)

“Arnold was a brilliant man who applied himself with equal discipline and passion to journalism, the labour movement, and defending freedom of the press. All of us who knew Arnold will never forget his intelligence and sense of humour. He could be impatient and crusty, but he had a deeply tender and vulnerable side that made you love him.”
– Martin O’Hanlon, President, CWA Canada (Read full piece)

“Arnold did nothing by half measures. He never shirked a call, difficult decision, political fight, or confrontation with management. He wore down opponents with his wit and intelligence and in so doing, inspired a generation of journalists and union activists, myself among them… We are so grateful for the time we had with him.”
– Carmel Smyth, former President, Canadian Media Guild (Read full piece)

“From the first time I met Arnold 20 years ago until the last time I saw him a year ago, Arnold demonstrated a constant commitment to the union and to a progressive world. He never gave up fighting for his life despite debilitating disease and he never stopped fighting to build the movement.”
– Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America

“Arnold Amber was of labour, and his passion and defence of it went back to the traditions he learned from his grandmother who worked with textile unions in Montreal. He worked hard on behalf of his peers at CBC and later for all the workers in what is now CWA Canada. As a leader he never forgot where he came from. He was truly a man of substance.”
– Bernie Lunzer, President, NewsGuild-CWA

If you would like to share your own memories and reflections of Arnold, please do so and we will compile these on CMG’s website.  Your contribuations may be sent to info@cmg.ca  .

With warm regards, in solidarity,

Kamala Rao
President, Canadian Media Guild

Jonathan Spence
President, CBC Branch, Canadian Media Guild

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