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Bacow meets with global alumni

first_img Harvard’s many research ties to that nation reflect broad engagement, as President Bacow visits Focusing on people and place During the workshop, alumni leaders heard from Mark C. Elliott, vice provost of International Affairs and the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, on the state of the University’s international academic efforts. Elliott was joined by Thomas J. DeLong, Baker Foundation Professor of Management Practice and former Philip J. Stromberg Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, for a session on organizational behavior and the roles that reflection and gratitude play in leadership.Alumni traveled from around the world to take part. They represented clubs from Australia, Brazil, Ghana, India, Kuwait, Korea, Mexico, Quebec, Russia, Sweden, and many other nations. International shared interest groups included the Harvard Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development and the Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, among others.For the Saturday evening event, held at the Hermitage Amsterdam, Bacow engaged in a conversation with Deanna Lee ’84, former member of the Harvard Board of Overseers (2013-19), visiting professor of media studies at John Cabot University in Rome, senior adviser to the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and a distinguished former broadcast journalist who has reported from around the world. She is a member of the Harvard Club of Italy.“This whole weekend has been about the ideas of community,” said Lee, “with people sharing their experiences, learning from each other.”Bacow and Lee took questions from the audience on a range of topics, from the value of campus diversity and free speech to broadening access to Harvard courses through online learning and the University’s efforts in Allston. Lee also asked Bacow about the growth in public service and public-interest careers at Harvard — and whether alumni have a role to play in the lives and careers of current Harvard students, both now and after they have graduated.“This institution did not build itself. It exists because of those who came before us, often alumni, who were willing to devote their time and their effort, and in some cases their resources, to create an institution from which we all now benefit,” said Bacow. “And so there’s this wonderful tradition of each generation helping the next. And that’s represented by literally everyone that’s in this room — by alumni who’ve traveled far and wide to be here.”The HAA will next convene international club and SIG leaders during its annual alumni leadership conference to be held in Cambridge in February. Bacow stresses educational, civic partnerships Related Looking to China for lessons on helping the poor Harvard President Larry Bacow told an alumni audience, following on the heels of the first-ever gathering of Harvard international alumni leaders in Amsterdam, that the goal of lifting the global community will be accomplished through commitment to facing global challenges and, perhaps more commonly, to addressing concerns closer to home.“If you look around the world — and tonight is a great example — you find Harvard alumni who are actively involved in making the world a better place, in each and every community and country in which they are located,” Bacow said during a Saturday evening event hosted by the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) and the Harvard Club of the Netherlands. “As citizens of Harvard, but more importantly as citizens of our communities around the world, we each have to look for ways to try to make this imperfect, sometimes challenging, sometimes maddening, often difficult world a better place. Sometimes that’s by devoting one’s life to public service, but often it’s by helping just one person to lead a better life.”Bacow’s visit coincided with the HAA’s International Leadership Workshop, which took place throughout the weekend and which drew more than 150 volunteers who run local and regional clubs and shared interest groups (or SIGs) spanning six continents. Those alumni, along with about 100 other local alumni, attended the Saturday evening event with the president.Laura Birkman, M.P.A. ’12, president of the Harvard Club of the Netherlands, said in her welcome to the workshop that every School was represented at the session and attendees included graduates from the classes of 1970 through 2017. Birkman, whose work for the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies overseers a range projects in the fields of security and defense, described her Club’s cultural, academic, and social programming as “a way to provide a community platform that brings a little bit of Harvard to the Lowlands.”Harvard’s nearly 62,000 international alumni live in some 202 countries around the globe. The weekend workshop provided opportunities for alumni to learn from each other’s experiences — to build on leadership and organizational skills and learn new approaches, share resources, and exchange ideas for addressing challenges and opportunities.,HAA President Alice E. Hill ’81, Ph.D. ’91, who took part in the workshop, has stated a focus on deepening the HAA’s global outreach is among her goals for the year. A native of Canada who now lives in Australia, Hill is the first citizen of either of those nations to serve as HAA president.“Wherever I have moved in the world, the local Harvard community has included me and welcomed me unconditionally,” said Hill during the workshop. “I think part of why many of us chose Harvard, and perhaps why Harvard chose us, is because we share its values. This weekend we’ve seen this kind of inclusivity again — we’ve been able to gather with colleagues from Ethiopia to Argentina to Indonesia, to exchange ideas about what it means to be connected and engaged members of the Harvard community, and to discuss and share the values of this community no matter where we are in the world.”Previously, the HAA has organized regional meetings for alumni in a variety of international locations, but last weekend’s event marked the first time all international club and SIG leaders convened in one place outside of Cambridge. “As citizens of Harvard, but more importantly as citizens of our communities around the world, we each have to look for ways to try to make this imperfect, sometimes challenging, sometimes maddening, often difficult world a better place.” — President Larry Bacow Discusses urban issues with Phoenix mayor, others Incoming Alumni Association president seeks to deepen engagement with worldwide community of graduateslast_img read more

Early Season Snow Brings Hopes of a White Winter

first_imgWinter arrived a little early for some lucky folks in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including some BRO readers in North Carolina and West Virginia who documented their snowy adventures via Instagram.Photos from North Carolina, most taken over the weekend, show a light blanketing juxtaposed against the vibrant colors of peak fall foliage, while White Grass in West Virginia appears to have received a healthy enough dose to open its slopes to cross country skiers.It won’t be long now until ski resorts all over the Southeast begin blowing snow and welcoming skiers and snowboarders of all stripes. Until then, enjoy these pics of early season snow from West Virginia and North Carolina.last_img read more

Are you willing to step aside?

first_imgDoes the threat of not being reelected discourage incumbents from shirking their duties to be a high-performing board member or engaging in empire building with other board members and the membership at large? My hope is that all board members are committed to serving on the board to the best of their ability and adding value to the membership.One of my favorite questions to ask a board member is “Are you willing to step aside and make room for someone who can add greater value?” One board member shared that every morning she asks herself, “Am I giving the value needed? If not, why? If yes, how do I know?” Self-reflection, such as these questions, is a courageous leadership move. How much do I live in the legend of myself?Most credit unions have a semi staggered board of directors wherein a certain number of directors are up for reelection every year. A staggered approach to board elections has both benefits and potential problems. A major benefit is that the board has a constant supply of trained and ready board members for continuity. A potential challenge is presented when the chair and vice chair are up for reelection at the same time. In a high-performing board, this simultaneous reelection is not the same issue as when the boardroom is full of posturing and politics. If each board member is adding value, the membership will notice. Here are ways a board—and, hence, board members—can be seen as high performing.Elect a strong chair, one who provides leadership and direction; stay away from the “next-in-line” concept for electing a chair.Work in partnership with your CEO.Understand the role of the board.Hire and retain a high-performing and compelling leader as an expert CEO.Be in strategic partnership with the CEO; ask strategic questions and engage in strategic conversations. If you don’t know how, learn.Hold a compelling vision of the organization’s potential for serving the needs of the membership.Reflect the membership with relevant board diversity.Create a true strategic plan with emphasis on strategic.Stay in your lane and out of operations.Adopt a robust board meeting agenda.Establish a purpose to add value.Maintain an efficient board structure, including size of board, meeting agenda, 
committee structures, and officers who serve the greater good above and beyond 
self-promotion.Establish a strategic approach to board recruitment and composition to ensure the 
membership is represented.Adopt board learning plans and update them every year.Have frank conversations on how each board member adds value.Conduct periodic assessments to find out what you are doing well; invite the 
executive team to assess the board for effectiveness.Adopt a rigorous onboarding program.Create a plan to build the board with the right peopleIdentify and transition to the right board leaders for ongoing board renewal, 
development, and leadership succession planning.Dust off your governance structure and fine tune it for the board of the futureThis is a long list, and yet, everything falls into place with a committed, high-performing board. My suggestion is to take time in the next few months to discover the true potential of your board and lay a solid foundation that holds up for many generations to come. 77SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Deedee Myers Deedee Myers is founder and CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd. and co-founder of the Advancing Leadership Institute. For the past 20 years, she has been passionate about establishing and developing … Web: www.ddjmyers.com Detailslast_img read more

“Africa is rising”

first_imgHonourable Premier, Ms Thandi Modise,The Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Rob Davies and all Ministers and Deputy Ministers,Captains of commerce and industry,Ladies and gentlemen,It is my honour to join you today at this 4th International Trade and Investment Conference hosted by our government through the Department of Trade and Industry.By being here, you are joining a remarkably diverse group of premier leaders in both government and industry, from across the world, to discuss the vast array of opportunities in Africa.There is no doubt that over the past decade, Africa has come from being the so-called ‘hopeless Continent’ to being a rising star.Profound changes have taken place which has brought about this turnaround.We can count the fact that Africa has come from being the notorious continent with 16 raging wars in 2002, to a continent which is fast achieving peace and stability.Around two thirds of governments in Africa are democratically elected, compared with just eight in 1991. The newest democratic states are Guinea Conakry, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.The spread of peace and good governance is providing Africa’s entrepreneurs with the necessary conducive environment to promote themselves and establish their industries.They can now turn their ideas into major projects.These new developments are backed up by growth figures. According to the International Monetary Fund figures, region-wide GDP growth has averaged 5.5% from 2000 to 2010, more than double the rate we had in Africa during the 1980s and 1990s.It is remarkable that six of the world’s fastest ten growing economies were African. In eight of the past ten years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia.Naturally, we all want to see Africa’s growth acceleration being widespread and also fairly inclusive, with the poorest seeing significant improvements in their lives.Steady progress has also been made in education, health, sanitation, and in empowering women but as the progress with the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals shows, the continent has a long way to go. But it is good that progress is being made economically, as this will produce the resources we need to achieve economic growth and improve the quality of life.Ladies and gentlemen,As you can appreciate, we are standing in an incredibly privileged position today, where we can witness Africa’s epic comeback.We are all aware of Africa’s history. Many of us have even been closely intertwined with Africa’s struggles, pain and suffering. But today we can stand here and proudly watch Africa finally rising.There is no doubt that these are only the first rays of light, glorious Africa is yet to reveal itself.But despite all the good news, companies have been slow to enter Africa. Some executives are still missing the signals. Others question whether Africa’s surge is just the result of one-off lift by the global commodities boom, or whether it is really a sustained economic take-off? “Will Africa continue to rise,” they wonder, as the Economist asked last year?The answer to this is widely found. I expect that over the next two days this question will be answered numerous times, each time giving the same answer. Yes, – undoubtedly yes. Africa will continue to rise.But what Africa needs, is to have her own people to believe this, and to spread this powerful positive message using all the tools and information at our disposal. We need Africans to stop being pessimistic about their continent, and to be the leading spokespersons and ambassadors. If we do not believe what we see and experience, the rise of our beloved motherland, why should the rest of the world!I challenge all Africans today, to accept the fact that their continent is changing. They must release themselves from the shackles of self-doubt and celebrate these new developments.Many reports have been produced by reputable think tanks pointing to the rise of Africa.Some are busy studying what makes Africa finally succeed.The 2010 Mckinsey Global Institute report, which I suspect you are all aware of, “Lions on the move: The progress and potential of African economies”, it was found that natural resources explain only a part of the African story.It said natural resources account for just about a quarter of GDP growth from 2000 through 2008, while other industries, particularly manufacturing and services, contributed the rest.A further answer to the rise of Africa can be found in the current activities and developments taking place in Africa.Firstly, the African Union has taken a conscious decision about integration and to promote intra-African trade. Because of costly barriers, intra-African trade is unusually low. It averages 10%, which is less than half the level in other emerging market regions.Creating larger regional markets will increase specialisation and competition and boost manufacturing.A continental free trade area is being established.And at a regional level, the Tripartite Free Trade area, bringing together COMESA, SADC and the East African Community will create a market of 26 countries, with a population of about 600-million people and a combined GDP of one trillion US dollars. This augurs well for the economic future of these regions.Secondly, the infrastructure developments that have been undertaken in Africa will eliminate most of the hindrances to growth.It is widely known that Africa’s inadequate infrastructure is one of the main factors inhibiting trade, integration and economic development.It has been calculated that if the continent continues to narrow its infrastructure gap, economic growth will receive a further large boost – perhaps by as much as 2 percentage points a year.In view of this, the AU has set up the Presidential Infrastructure Championship Initiative, a continental committee of eight NEPAD Heads of State and Government, to champion infrastructure projects at the highest level.South Africa is also chair and champion of the North-South Road and Rail Corridor project.This corridor cuts across eight countries in eastern and southern Africa and aims to facilitate trade by upgrading road, rail, power and port facilities, as well as simplifying cross-border regulatory procedures. This will enable producers and traders to access regional and international markets more easily.The projects have already passed the feasibility studies phase and should be at the implementation phase by 2016.Encouragingly, Africa is now able to spend about 72 billion US dollars a year on infrastructure, but there remains a 480 billion US dollars shortfall over the next decade to provide for unmet needs, particularly in water, power and transportation, and there is much scope for private participation and investment in this area.Domestically, you would be aware of our own massive infrastructure development programme, which I announced in February this year.We are on course to spend billions of rand on infrastructure in the coming years, focusing on rail, roads, energy, water, sanitation and the communication sectors throughout the country.The plan also includes the building and refurbishment of universities, further education and training colleges, schools and hospitals. We have been working hard to unpack the projects and development implementation timelines.This week the three spheres of government are meeting to discuss implementation. The programme will change the South African landscape. It will boost job creation, improve access to basic services and boost the competitiveness of our economy. You will get details later today in this conference.I invite you to join us on this infrastructure journey and find areas in which you can participate.Thirdly, ladies and gentlemen, on why Africa is succeeding, Africa’s demographic composition is bound to fuel long term growth. In 2010, 42% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population was younger than 14 years old.By 2050, the continent will be home to one in five of the planet’s young people and will have the world’s largest workforce of 1.2 billion. In that year, one in four workers in the world will be African, compared to one in eight from China, reversing today’s balance.While other regions rapidly age, Africa will enjoy a demographic competitive advantage of young, energetic and increasingly educated workers to power the continent’s services and manufacturing sectors.Finally, the growth of the information and communications technology sector in Africa has been phenomenal.The number of mobile phone users has multiplied 33 times to 316 million users since the year 2000.The internet is spreading around Africa at an even faster pace. These trends have strong positive effects on growth.For example, for every 10 new mobile phones per 100 people a country adds, GDP is likely to increase by 0.8 percentage points.Due to the lack of fixed line internet infrastructure, roughly 39% of mobile users access the internet via mobile. This has opened an entire new portal for assistance in health and education, in especially the most rural areas.Ladies and gentlemen, indeed Africa is rising, and the signs are there for all to see.What is left is for the business sector to grab the opportunity and reap the rewards of this growth, in a manner that promotes inclusive growth, and which creates decent work for the African people.Africa is indeed open for business.It is my pleasure to declare this Africa Dialogue Conference officially open!I thank you.last_img read more

Pro Tip: How to Create After Effects Assets in Adobe Illustrator

first_imgI’ve now separated the towers. I also went ahead and created a few extra icons that I want to animate in After Effects using the same technique. Time to bring this into After Effects. To save your project, simply hit cmd+S on a Mac or ctrl+S on a PC. Now we can begin creating. I will be creating a set of animation icons and want my final animation to take place on a bubble, so I’ll create that first in the bottom (currently the only) layer. Notice that I’ve named the layer — whatever you name the layer in Illustrator is what the layer will be named in After Effects.It’s very important to keep things organized as you create; you don’t want to get forced into a distracting game of Where’s Waldo with your layers. I’ve created a new layer for the person icon I drew at the bottom (aptly named “GuyAtBottom”). This will allow me to animate the “Bubble-BG” and “GuyAtBottom” layers independently when I bring this into After Effects. Designing your own motion graphic assets makes your animation unique. Here’s how to easily create After Effects assets in Adobe Illustrator.We’ll start by creating everything in Adobe Illustrator and then moving it all into After Effects. The beauty of creating in Illustrator is that the elements are vector based, so we can scale them as needed once we bring them into After Effects. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that we will be working in layers. It’s very easy to go straight to creating once you open Illustrator — and that will put everything on a single layer.Drawing the Asset in IllustratorThe reason we are creating different elements on separate layers is because each layer, when imported into After Effects, will become its own layer in the composition and can be animated individually. If all of the elements were made on one layer in Illustrator, they will all merge together in After Effects, essentially being no different than a still image.First, create a new document (File -> New). You’ll want to set the resolution to the same size that your After Effects comp will be. For this example, I’ll go with 1920×1080. Be sure your color mode is set to RGB. Importing the Asset Into After EffectsOnce you have After Effects and your project open, go to File -> Import -> Files.When the dialog box pops up, select your Illustrator project file. At the bottom of the dialog box, be sure you tell it to import as “Composition – Retain Layer Sizes.” This tells After Effects that you want to work with your layers and to keep the bounding box at the edges of the layer and not at the edges of the entire comp.   If you imported it as footage, it would merge all of your layers together.Now that the Illustrator project is successfully imported into After Effects, you can see that a comp has been created for us. When you open that comp, you can see that all of your layers are there from Illustrator. Also, the individual layers can be found in the project tab and used elsewhere within your animation.Pro Tip: If you’re working in After Effects and notice that the shape of one of your icons (or whatever you’re making) is off, you can go back into Illustrator, fix the shape, and save the project like normal. When you alt-tab back to After Effects, the change will take effect without messing up your animation. Just be sure that you don’t MOVE the asset in illustrator; this could throw your animation off.Since I made each asset on its own layer, I can change the color of each.  added a slight drop shadow to the circle, and animated each layer as I saw fit.Next time you have a motion graphic you need to get done quickly, use this technique to see exactly what it’s going to look like on the final frame. You can show the client a near-final looking still frame without losing valuable animating time.If they decide to change one of the icons (or whatever you’re making), you can replace the content in that layer in Illustrator and all of the animation keyframes and attributes you’ve applied to the layer in After Effects will still be there, but with the new icon!Want to learn more about animating in After Effects? Check out our 15 After Effects Tutorials Every Motion Designer Needs to Watch post here on PremiumBeat. For the next icon, I have a chat bubble with four circles in it. I want the chat bubble itself to animate on the screen. Then, after the chat bubble is completely on the screen, I want the little circles inside it to animate on one at a time. In this situation, I need to put the bubble and each circle within it on their own layers.We’ve only got two little icons and a simple circle background, but we’re already at seven layers. This is why it’s important to label as you go and not come back to do that afterwards. Not labeling your layers properly is why we can’t have nice things.For the third icon, I have four buildings that I want to animate individually as if they’re growing out of the ground. But while I was creating them, I got too excited and forgot to put them on their own layers.Easily fixable — just create a new layer for each building so you can separate them. Then select the second building only (the first building will stay on our current layer).Now, hit cmd-x (Mac) or ctrl-x (PC) to cut the building. Select the new layer you created for the second building. With that layer selected, hit cmd-shift-v (Mac) or ctrl-shift-v (PC).This does what’s called a ‘paste in place,’ which pastes whatever you’ve cut or copied in the exact same place that you cut or copied it from. However, since we had the new layer selected, the building was pasted onto the new layer instead. Now we can separate the other buildings as well.last_img read more

Play By The Rules Promotional Booklet

first_imgPlay by the Rules has created a promotional booklet. Please see below to read what they have to say and to download a copy of the booklet.Play by the Rules provides information, resources, online training and promotional campaigns, but it is so much more than this . . .   . . . it is an ethos or a way of thinking – that everyone involved in sport should be able to do so in an enjoyable, safe environment, free from discrimination, harassment or bullying.We’ve produced a new free promotional booklet which outlines the work we’re doing to make your sport safe, fair and inclusive and how you or your organisation can utilise Play by the Rules effectively. You can download the booklet at www.playbytherules.net.au/resources/promotional-booklet or if you would like a hard copy sent to you please send an email to [email protected] with your address details.Yours in sport,The Play by the Rules team Related LinksPlay By The Ruleslast_img read more

10 months agoUNCOVERED: The 3-step process for Liverpool to make new signings

first_imgUNCOVERED: The 3-step process for Liverpool to make new signingsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool’s three-step approach to making new signings has been revealed.The Times has detailed how different members of Liverpool’s management structure work together to bring in new additions.The three-step policy is as follows:Firstly, a footballer cannot be signed unless he is wanted by the manager.Secondly, the player must also have the blessing of FSG. The owners have the right to say no and stop all plans to sign the player.For example, if manager Jurgen Klopp wanted to bring in an older striker in for £40 million, but FSG did not want to part ways with that kind of cash for a player whose career could soon be over, then the choice would rest with them.Thirdly, the transfer must be in keeping with the latest trends of the transfer market. Spotting opportunities and assessing availability should set guidelines for purchasing and selling. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Ohio State Football: Ohio State’s Cardale Jones Mocks Women Sports Fans On Twitter, Claims He Was Hacked

first_imgCardale Jones posts seeral tweets about women and sports.Cardale Jones Women Sports Fans 4Twitter hasn’t been the best place for Cardale Jones. There was, of course, the “I didn’t come here to play school” incident a couple years ago. There has also been the trolling of Joakim Noah and the transferring to Akron prank that upset some of his fans. Then, last night, the Ohio State national champion-winning quarterback appeared to mock women sports fans during the NBA Finals. Jones’ account tweeted the following last night: Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.21.11 AM@CJ12_ Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.21.31 AM@CJ12_ Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.21.45 AM@CJ12_ Jones, though, claims he was hacked.I need to change my Twitter password— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) June 5, 2015BTW, those wasn’t my tweets about females and sports, I don’t comment on race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, politics or gender, goodnight— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) June 5, 2015people wait patiently just to see when you screw up, go stalk someone else’s social media— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) June 5, 2015The “I was hacked” defense when some poor-tasting tweets are sent out is an unbelievable one in most cases, but maybe Jones is telling the truth.last_img read more

Stephen A. Smith Bashes Curt Schilling, Challenges Him To A Debate

first_imgStephen A. Smith and Curt Schilling. Stephen A Smith ESPNESPN/SmithFormer Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling was fired by ESPN last month after a series of controversial social media posts – and he’s made it clear that he isn’t exactly impressed with the network’s decision. One of his former coworkers isn’t exactly impressed with Schilling’s take on the whole matter.Stephen A. Smith, who is a lightning rod for controversy himself, took some shots at Schilling on the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio show. He also challenged him to a debate regarding Schilling’s firing – noting that he’d need ESPN’s permission. Smith repeatedly mentions that Schilling’s unwillingness to listen to his employer is what lost him his job.“You (Schilling) want to sit here and have a debate about what really went on?” an indignant SAS asked. “Name the time and place and I’ll show up, with the permission of ESPN — of course. I guess listening to my boss makes me a bad guy. Well guess what? I’d rather be bad than stupid.”“I can’t stand people who worked for ESPN that depart from ESPN clearly harboring whatever bitterness they harbor and try to throw talent under the bus — like talent has something to do with them being gone,” Smith said on SXM. “I have nothing to do with it.”“Let me speak up on behalf of ESPN when I say this to Curt Schilling: …You are gone not because you have conservative views instead of liberal views. Your ass is gone because you did not want to listen,” Smith said on SXM. “ESPN tells me to shut-up, they’re my employer whether I like it or not. If I want to keep my job, I’ve got to shut the hell up.”Smith is clearly playing the company man card, for whatever it’s worth. It’s an interesting take from someone who has gotten himself in trouble with his employer before.Either way, we’d love to see this debate. We doubt it’ll ever come to fruition, however.[NY Daily News]last_img read more

Childrens books explore restoration amidst tragedy of Halifax Explosion

first_imgHALIFAX – A fresh generation of children’s books is finding the grace notes in Halifax’s worst moment — a massive explosion that levelled much of the city 100 years ago but inspired acts of kindness that still resonate.The books vary on how closely they approach the widespread injury and nearly 2,000 deaths that resulted from the massive Halifax Explosion of Dec. 6, 1917, when a French munitions ship collided with a Belgian relief vessel in the city’s wartime harbour.Still, as hurricanes and earthquakes batter communities around the globe, the retelling of Halifax’s time of trial tend to come together in their desire to find hope amidst the floods and rubble.“I didn’t want to dwell on the destruction, but more on the help that people gave,” said Marijke Simons, author of The Flying Squirrel Stowaways: from Nova Scotia to Boston (Nimbus), one of two picture books for young children that recall how Boston residents rushed north in a train to assist.Other books deal with the experiences of a Halifax newsboy, and of an orphaned girl who loses her family.The Christmas tree given each year as a gift by Halifax to its southern neighbour is a key theme for Simons as well as for illustrator Belle DeMont and her father John DeMont in their book The Little Tree by the Sea: From Halifax to Boston with Love (MacIntyre Purcell Publishing).The main character in The Little Tree by the Sea is an imaginary tree that grows on the slope of Citadel Hill overlooking the city, calling out in alarm as the Mont Blanc collides with the Imo.Belle DeMont’s fiery depiction of the blast doesn’t shy away from the terror of the event, though the story shows just a few examples of injured citizens.Canary yellow streets and pea green city buildings prior to the event move into more sombre indigos and deep purple skies and seas afterwards, as the tree’s cry for help drifts across the water to Boston.The little tree eventually grows tall in the “city by the sea” and offers itself as recollection of love.“It’s finding the sweet that counters the bitter always, in any situation. My favourite kids’ books are ones that goes down and up just like life does. You find solutions. You find silver linings,” Belle said in an interview.Simons’ book only references the explosion indirectly, though it is focused on coping with adversity. The artist and teacher has created flying squirrels whose enormous eastern spruce becomes the annual gift from Halifax to its southern neighbour, forcing them to seek a new home.Simons, her husband and her granddaughter travelled to the site at Waycobah, N.S., and watched as Mi’kmaq elders performed a smudging ceremony in the tree’s honour before it was cut and loaded on a truck for its journey into Halifax and then southwards.The author leans over to speak to her granddaughter as the sacred ceremony unfolds, saying, “Boston sent us a trainload of nurses and doctors. No one forgets a kindness like that.”She says she was inspired by how the Bostonians responded with its supplies, people and its knowledge of how to rebuild.The artist said in her research she also ran across the work of the Massachusetts-Halifax Health Commission, formed as a direct outcome of the explosion, which produced health reforms that saved lives for generations to come.More detailed accounts of response are found in Allison Lawlor’s non-fiction book Broken Pieces: An Orphan of the Halifax Explosion (Nimbus), aimed at seven- to 10-year-old readers.Lawlor tells the story of 14-year-old Barbara Orr, who was walking to a friend’s house when the explosion occurred. Readers learn about rescue efforts and historical events such as the bravery of Vincent Coleman, the railway dispatcher who stayed at his station to send out a warning.The writer quotes television personality Fred Rogers, who said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me: ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”Jacqueline Halsey, whose book Explosion Newsie (Formac) was published in 2015, will join John and Belle DeMont and Simons to discuss how children relate to the city’s most notable moment at a book festival in the city this weekend.Her book told the story of nine-year-old Macky as he delivers newspapers both before and after the explosion. His efforts help people discover their injured loved ones.The former librarian says children continue to need stories of disaster and of redemption, for this is what life is like.“My mother grew up in the Blitz, night after night being bombed … and my daughter was in Fort McMurray (Alberta) and her house was burned in a blink of an eye,” she said in a telephone interview.“Looking back at the Halifax Explosion you see people rise again. If you love your community and you love each other, you can rebuild.”Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous versions said The Little Tree by the Sea was published by Nimbus, not MacIntyre Purcell.last_img read more