Saturday 1 August 2015

Back to Camp for Terry "Aislin" Mosher as Kanawana gets set to honour master cartoonist

Terry “Aislin” Mosher, the main editorial cartoonist for the Montreal Gazette, has received many well deserved honours in his lifetime. On Saturday August 8 he will go back to Camp Kanawana in the Laurentians for the first time in more than 60 years. There he will accept the 2015 YMCA Kanawana “Pip” Award. 

Terry Mosher
Mosher will be the eighth person to receive the award, established to recognize the contributions of distinguished Kanawana alumni.  He was a camper there in 1952 and 1953.

“Obviously I’m very pleased about all this, particularly given that my five grandchildren will be there for the presentation, all of whom have either attended, do presently attend or will attend Camp Kanawana,” Mosher share with me. “Kanawana was very important to me given that I remember the layout of the camp surprisingly well – and I haven’t been back since 1954! I am told that it has hardly changed. So, I am anxious to tour the camp next Saturday with organizer Andrew Caddell.”

Previous recipients of the award included Richard “Itche” Kerr, a Montréal volunteer working with the physically challenged; Richard Patten, former Ontario MPP and cabinet minister; Stuart McLean, broadcaster and author; Bruce Netherwood, YMCA leader and author; John Cleghorn, former CEO of the Royal Bank; ; the late Sam Lazarus, NGO volunteer, along with the Lazarus family, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kanawana in Sam’s memory; and Jeniene Philips Birks, a former broadcaster and community volunteer with the Oral School for the Deaf.  
James and Pip on Parliament Hill.

The “Pip” Award is given annually to a former camper, counsellor or supervisor at Camp YMCA Kanawana who best exemplifies the values of selflessness and contribution to the community. The award is a memorial to Philip “Pip” Caddell (1913‐2004), Second World War officer, executive and Montreal community volunteer, and his grandson, James Caddell (1973‐2005),  UN Peacekeeper, McGill graduate, NGO Worker and federal public servant. Both attended YMCA Kanawana – “Pip” as a camper in 1928 and James as a camper and counsellor in the 1980s and 1990s. The “Pip” Award Committee is composed of Kanawana alumni who were friends and family of “Pip” and James. 

“In his professional life, Terry Mosher has always taken seriously the journalist’s credo to ‘comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,’” said award sponsor Andrew Caddell,  who grew up on Benny Farm in NDG and in Montreal West. “The purpose of this award is to recognize people who have taken the values they learned at Kanawana and applied them to the larger world. Terry Mosher has been a caring community volunteer who has dedicated himself to the disadvantaged. The ‘Pip’ Award Committee felt Terry Mosher’s volunteer work and professional accomplishments made him a very deserving recipient.”

Caddell calls  Mosher a great role model within the community as a director of the Old Brewery Mission as well as his remarkable career as one of Canada’s most respected cartoonists. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and received an honorary Doctor of Letters from McGill University, two National Newspaper Awards and five individual prizes from the International Salon of Caricature. He was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and the Canadian Cartoonist's Hall of Fame.  “I am delighted to have reached the point in my life where I can give back in my own way,” Mosher says. “However, the most satisfying way to do so, I have discovered, is anonymously. So, enough said."

Mosher lived in a lot of places growing up.  “As a youth, I attended fourteen different schools in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City,” he says. “From the time I was seven until I was fourteen, we lived in Montreal in the upper part of a coach house  -a converted garage, really-  in an alleyway between Lincoln Avenue and Saint Luc (what is now called de Maisonneuve) between Fort and Chomedey. Being several blocks from the old Forum, those were the happiest years of my young urban life. John Little, the painter, was our downstairs neighbour, and I have included a sketch he did of our funky little building at the time.That’s me directing the neighbourhood hockey game below from the upstairs right-hand window. My parents, Jack and Norma (in respective windows) always tried to get me out of the city for a period of time during summers and sent me to a series of camps, Kanawana being my favourite. I attended Victoria School, King's School and Westmount Junior High during that period. I moved back to Montreal from Quebec City when I was twenty-two, and, despite periods of time abroad, I have been here ever since.”

Pip  was one  the leaders on the committee that built the Montreal West Arena and pool. “Like many of the greatest generation, my father did not seek the limelight for the things he did,” Andrew says. “ His grandson, James was very much that sort of person, and he wanted to have an award at camp that recognized those attributes of his grandfather.  So, not long before he died, we agreed the ‘Pip’ award should recognize people who are exceptional, but who make their contributions in the spirit of Non Nobis Solum.   When James died, it made sense to make the award in both their memories.”

James was a former Canadian Forces peacekeeper with a taste for adventure who did a tour of duty in Bosnia and performed tsunami-relief work in India. Ten years ago he was overcome by altitude sickness in Bolivia and died. He was only 32. His tremendous life story is told beautifully in this article. 

YMCA Kanawana has been contributing to the well‐being and success of hundreds of youth ages 7 to 20 for over 120 years. Children are invited to take part in a safe and unique outdoor experience while learning about the environment and sustainable development.   Established in 1894, YMCA Kanawana was the first summer residential camp in Quebec. It is accredited by the Association des camp du Québec and is a founding member of the Association. For more information, visit

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