Transcript: Gordon Cressy on kindness and mental health | Dec 21, 2003

Gordon Cressy stands on the ground level of a wood-paneled auditorium with an elevated stage behind him. He is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with short greying hair. He wears glasses, a black suit, blue shirt, and red tie.

Gordon Cressy says T. LAWRENCE,
THE FAMOUS LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
ONCE SAID THIS "ALL PEOPLE
DREAM BUT NOT EQUALLY."
THOSE WHO DREAM AT NIGHT IN THE
DUSTY RECESSES OF THEIR MIND
AWAIT TO FIND THAT IT WAS
VANITY BUT THE DREAMERS OF THE
DAY ARE DANGEROUS PEOPLE
BECAUSE THEY MAY ACT THEIR
DREAMS WITH OPEN EYES TO MAKE
IT HAPPEN.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
I WANNA TALK TO YOU TONIGHT
AS DREAMERS OF THE DAY.
PEOPLE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.
FAME IS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH,
FAME IS ABOUT DIGNITY.
FAME IS ABOUT BRINGING THINGS
OUT INTO THE OPEN.
FAME IN THE END IS ABOUT
TELLING STORIES AND MAKING A
DIFFERENCE IN LITTLE WAYS AND
BIG WAYS SO I THOUGHT THE BEST
WAY FOR ME TO START WAS NOT TO
TALK ABOUT MY LIFE AND WHAT
I'VE DONE BUT RATHER TO TELL
YOU A STORY AND I'D LIKE TO
TELL YOU THE STORY OF BILL AND
JIM.
BILL WENT TO LAWRENCE PARK
COLLEGIATE IN NORTH TORONTO.
HE WAS A GOOD ATHLETE, HE DID
PRETTY WELL AT SCHOOL.
HE WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY GOLFER.
HE WAS THE SECOND BEST GOLFER
IN ONTARIO.
HE WON HIS CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP A
NUMBER OF TIMES.
HE WENT OFF TO THE UNIVERSITY
OF TORONTO TO VICTORIA COLLEGE
WHERE HE DID QUITE WELL THERE.
HE HAD MANY FRIENDS, HE WAS
WELL LIKED, HE WAS POPULAR.
THAT WAS BILL.
WHEN HE WAS 24 HE TOOK HIS
LIFE.
HE JUMPED OUT OF THE SECOND
FLOOR OF SUNNYBROOK HOSPITAL
WHERE HE WAS STAYING.
HE HAD NOT BEEN DIAGNOSED AT
THAT TIME.
PEOPLE DISCOVERED LATER THAT IT
WAS SCHIZOPHRENIA.
TO ANY FAMILY WHO'S LOST A
CHILD THIS IS A TRAGEDY BECAUSE
MOMS AND DADS ARE NOT SUPPOSED
TO BURY THEIR CHILDREN.
WE ALL KNOW THAT.
THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE IS THE
NATURAL LIFE CYCLE AND OLD
PEOPLE DIE AND PEOPLE ARE BORN
BUT JIM WAS 24.
JIM HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER.
OR BILL HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER,
HIS NAME WAS JIM.
JIM ALSO WENT TO LAWRENCE PARK
COLLEGIATE.
HE ALSO WAS A GOOD GOLFER.
HE WAS HEAD OF THE ATHLETIC
BOARD AND HE WENT OFF TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO.
HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE GOLF
TEAM THERE AND HE GRADUATED AND
HE WENT OUT INTO THE WORKFORCE
AS MANY PEOPLE WHO WERE YOUNG
DID IN THE 70's.
HE LOST A COUPLE OF JOBS.
HE WENT OUT WEST.
HE WORKED AT THE BANFF SPRINGS
HOTEL BUT WHEN HE CAME HOME HE
SEEMED A BIT DEPRESSED.
HE WENT TO HIS MOM AND DAD WHO
LOVED HIM.
MOM AND DADS ALWAYS LOVE THEIR
CHILDREN.
HE WENT TO A DOCTOR WHO WENT TO
A PSYCHIATRIST AND THEN HE WENT
TO THE CLARK INSTITUTE WHERE HE
WAS DIAGNOSED WITH HAVING
SCHIZOPHRENIA.
HE WENT THROUGH MANY OF THE
THINGS THROUGH THE TIMES OF THE
70’s.
SHOCK TREATMENTS, MEGA
VITAMINS, LIVING ON A FARM.
HE EVENTUALLY WENT HOME TO HIS
MOM AND DAD WHO LOVED HIM.
HE COULDN'T GET A JOB, AT LEAST
NOT A FULLTIME JOB BECAUSE IT
WAS HARD AND MOST OF HIS
FRIENDS SORT OF WANDERED AWAY.
FRIENDS DO THAT SOMETIMES.
YOU SEE, SCHIZOPHRENIA'S KIND
OF THE FLIP OF ALZHEIMER'S.
ALZHEIMER'S IS WHEN THE YOUNG
LOOK AFTER THE OLD.
IN SCHIZOPHRENIA MORE OFTEN
IT'S THE OLD WHO LOOK AFTER THE
YOUNG.
JIM WAS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING
TO DO AND HE HEARD ABOUT A
LITTLE AGENCY IN DOWNTOWN
TORONTO CALLED CENTRAL
NEIGHBOUR HOUSE.
IT HAD A PROGRAM, A HOME HEALTH
PROGRAM AND A STROKE PROGRAM
AND JIM WENT TO DO SOME WORK
THERE.
HE'S BEEN THERE NOW FOR ALMOST
20 YEARS.
EVERY FRIDAY HE GOES TO THE
STROKE CLUB.
HE GOT A TINY JOB AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO HELPING
OUT IN THE CAREER CENTRE AND HE
GOES THERE TWO DAYS A WEEK.
HE HELPS CLIP THINGS FROM
NEWSPAPERS AND ARTICLES AND
MAGAZINES.
AFTER A WHILE HIS PARENTS GOT
OLDER AND IT WASN'T AS EASY TO
LIVE AT HOME ANYMORE AND HE
WOUND UP IN A GROUP HOME RUN BY
LOCKE COMMUNITY SERVICES THAT'S
ON ST. GEORGE STREET UH, AND
DUPONT.
HE'S BEEN THERE ABOUT 11 YEARS
NOW.
HIS FATHER PASSED AWAY AND TWO
WEEKS HIS MOTHER PASSED AWAY.
LAST WEEK AT THE FUNERAL JIM
READ THE 23rd PSALM.
ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, JIM
USUALLY COMES TO MY HOUSE
BECAUSE WE PLAY PING PONG
TOGETHER.
YOU SEE JIM'S MY YOUNGER
BROTHER AND HE'S WITH US
TONIGHT.
JIM, OVER THERE.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."
[Audience applause]

Gordon Cressy continues YOU SEE JIM
IS OF GREAT COURAGE BECAUSE HE
GETS UP EVERYDAY, DOES HIS BEST
AND THAT'S WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN
ALL OF US IS TO DO OUR BEST.
ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO JIM AND I
WERE TALKING AND WE SAID YOU
KNOW, IT'S TIME TO GO PUBLIC.
IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THIS
BECAUSE THE MORE WE TALK ABOUT
IT AND WE TELL PEOPLE AND
PEOPLE LISTEN WE'LL GET
UNDERNEATH THEM AND THIS WILL
NOT BE SOMETHING THAT'S
STRANGE.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S
ORDINARY.
THIS IS PART OF EVERY FAMILY
AND SO WE TALKED ABOUT IT AND
WE AGREED THAT THE TORONTO STAR
COULD DO A FEATURE ARTICLE
ABOUT IT AND THEN WE WENT TO
TALK TO OUR MOTHER.
OUR MOTHER DIDN'T LIKE THIS
IDEA OF A FEATURE ARTICLE IN
THE NEWSPAPER.
I REMEMBER SHE SAID, DEAR, THIS
IS NOT A GOOD THING TO DO.
BUT WE SAID IT'S IMPORTANT FOR
EVERYONE TO BE AWARE OF THIS.
MOM SAID THIS COULD HURT YOU IN
YOUR JOB AND I DON'T KNOW IF I
WANT PEOPLE IN THE RETIREMENT
HOME TO KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
NOW THAT'S A COMMON ATTITUDE
FOR MANY PEOPLE.
I TRIED EVERYTHING I COULD TO
CONVINCE MY MOM.
I WAS TOTALLY UNSUCCESSFUL BUT
WE FELT WE MADE THE COMMITMENT
TO DO IT AND WE WERE GONNA DO
IT.
AND SO I MADE THE LITTLE TALK
AND THE NEWSPAPER CAME AND THEY
TOOK A PICTURE OF JIM AND
MYSELF AND THE PAPER WAS ALL
SET TO GO THE NEXT DAY AND WHEN
I DID THE SPEECH ONE OF THE
PEOPLE IN THE ROOM WAS MICHAEL
WILSON WHO HAS DONE AS MUCH
FRANKLY FOR MENTAL ILLNESS OUT
OF OFFICE THAN HE EVER DID IN
POLITICAL OFFICE AND NOT THAT
EVERYBODY AGREED WITH WHAT HE
DID IN POLITICAL OFFICE, THAT'S
ANOTHER DISCUSSION FOR ANOTHER
TIME.
BUT HE CAME UP TO ME AND HE
SAID THAT WAS A WONDERFUL
SPEECH.
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
I SAID CALL MY MOTHER.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues AND HE DID.
THAT NIGHT I GOT A CALL FROM MY
MOTHER, SHE SAID, DEAR, I HAD A
CALL FROM MICHAEL WILSON.
HE'S A TORY YOU KNOW, DEAR.
AND I SAID, YES, MOM, I KNOW
THAT.
SHE SAID YOU KNOW, I THINK THIS
IS A GREAT IDEA.
WOULD YOU GET ME 30 COPIES OF
THE STAR TOMORROW 'CAUSE I
WANNA GIVE IT TO ALL MY
FRIENDS.
AND SHE DID JUST THAT AND WHAT
I LEARNED THERE WAS THAT IN
CHANGING ATTITUDES IT'S NOT
ALWAYS WE CAN DO IT, SOMETIMES
IT'S OTHER PEOPLE AND IT'S TO
FIND OUT WHO THOSE PEOPLE ARE
AND THEN GET TO THEM.
LAST WEEK I WAS IN MY MOM'S
APARTMENT CLEANING OUT SOME OF
HER LETTERS AND FILES AND THERE
WERE TWO ARTICLES.
ONE WAS ABOUT MICHAEL WILSON
AND HIS SON CAM AND THE OTHER
WAS ABOUT JIM AND MYSELF.
SHE'D SAVED THOSE SPECIAL.
SO THE FIRST THING WE HAVE TO
BE ABOUT IS HOW WE HELP CHANGE
ATTITUDES.
THE SECOND THING I HAVE UH, TWO
YOUNG SONS.
NOW THEY'RE 19 AND 15 AND I
THINK JIM, JOSEPH CALLED YOU
THIS MORNING.
JOSEPH'S A REALLY GOOD GUY.
HE SPENDS A LOT OF TIME WITH
JIM BUT WHEN JOSEPH WAS FIVE I
DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO TEACH
HIM HOW TO PLAY GOLF.
I LOVE GOLF.
MY WIFE WHO IS VERY SMART SAID
I DON'T KNOW HE'S READY TO PLAY
GOLF.
I SAID HE IS READY TO PLAY
GOLF.
I AM SURE OF THAT AND SHE SAID
OKAY.
SO I TOOK HIM OFF TO THE GOLF
COURSE AND ON THE SECOND HOLE,
IT WAS A LITTLE HOLE, I HIT MY
SHOT RIGHT OFF THE TEE RIGHT
ONTO THE GREEN.
I WAS VERY EXCITED.
I THOUGHT MAYBE I COULD MAKE A
BIRDIE.
MY SON HIT HIS BALL AND IT WENT
DOWN INTO THE RIVER.
SO I WAS ON THE GREEN AND HE
WAS LOOKING FOR HIS BALL IN THE
RIVER AND THERE WERE PEOPLE ON
THE TEE WHO WERE GETTING A
LITTLE FRUSTRATED SO I SAID A
LITTLE TOO LOUDLY, JOSEPH,
HURRY UP!
NOTHING HAPPENED SO I SAID
AGAIN, JOSEPH, HURRY UP!
THEN HE SAID DAD, COME QUICK!
SO I RAN DOWN THINKING MAYBE HE
FOUND THREE BALLS.
HE SAID LOOK AT THE BIG FROG.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues AND ALL OF A
SUDDEN I REALIZED THAT IT WAS
THE BIG FROG THAT WAS
IMPORTANT.
IT WASN'T THE GOLF GAME.
ONE OF THE THINGS ALL OF US
NEED TO DO IS LISTEN REALLY
HARD BECAUSE THERE ARE MESSAGES
THAT ARE PASSED THAT SOMETIMES
IN OUR RUSH WE MISS THAT
CONNECTION.
THAT CONNECTION IN MENTAL
HEALTH IS OFTEN MAKING THE
DIFFERENCE.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
IT MOVES US TO PROFOUND JOY.
IT'S CATCHING THAT MOMENT AND
FINDING THAT THING THAT WORKS
FOR ALL OF US.
FOR JIM AND MYSELF IT'S PING
PONG.
WE PLAY EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
WE PLAYED WHEN WE WERE 10.
WE'RE PLAYING WHEN JIM IS 52
AND I'M 59.
I TRY TO DENY IT BUT WE'VE BEEN
PLAYING TOGETHER FOR OVER 40
YEARS.
AND MICHAEL, YOU KNOW, YOUR DAD
HE PLAYS CHESS WITH HIS BROTHER
DAVID AND HE BEATS HIM EVERY
TIME.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues AND THEY'VE
BEEN PLAYING CHESS TOGETHER
PROBABLY FOR 50 YEARS, MAYBE
60.
THOSE ARE GOOD THINGS, THE
THINGS THAT CONNECT US OVER
TIME ARE WORTH DOING AND
THEY'RE WORTH TAKING THE TIME
TO DO AND FOR PEOPLE LIKE
MYSELF WHO SOMETIME SAY I'M
VERY BUSY.
THOSE ARE THE IMPORTANT THINGS.
MY WIFE WHO'S VERY SMART UH,
SAYS THIS TO ME AS I GO OFF TO
MAKE A SPEECH.
SHE SAYS I KNOW YOU MAKE GOOD
SPEECHES BUT IF YOU DON'T MAKE
IT AT HOME, YOU DON'T MAKE IT
ANYWHERE.
THAT IS VERY GOOD ADVICE.
WE MAKE IT AT HOME FIRST AND WE
MAKE IT BY TAKING TIME.
THE NEXT THING WE DO IS WE MAKE
SURE WE TELL OUR STORIES TO
ANYBODY WHO WILL LISTEN AND
SOMETIMES TO SOME WHO AREN'T
QUITE READY TO LISTEN BECAUSE
WE CONNECT WITH THEM.
AND EVERY TIME I TALK NOW AND I
FIND I GIVE TALKS ON OTHER
TOPICS BUT I ALWAYS WIND THE
STORY OF THE JIM AND BILL,
ALWAYS FOUR OR FIVE PEOPLE CAME
UP AND SAID YOU KNOW, I WANNA
TELL YOU ABOUT MY SISTER, MY
BROTHER, MY SON, MY DAUGHTER,
MY UNCLE, MY AUNT OR JUST TODAY
AT WORK ONE OF MY STAFF CAME IN
AND SAID... CLOSED THE DOOR AND
SAID, CAN WE TALK?
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IN THAT
TALKING THAT WE GET TO
BREAKTHROUGHS BECAUSE THE
DATA'S OVERWHELMING.
THE NEW REPORT'S THAT COMING
OUT FROM STATISTICS CANADA...
IT IS STARTLING PARTICULARLY
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE HOW MANY
PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR OWN AFRAID
TO SAY I NEED HELP OR EVEN
WORSE WHERE TO GET HELP.
GROUPS LIKE FAME ARE ABOUT
SUPPORT.
THEY ARE ABOUT MAKING THINGS
HAPPEN.
AN EVENT LIKE TONIGHT WHICH IN
EFFECT THANKS PEOPLE, THAT'S A
GOOD THING TO DO, WINNING
PRIZES, THAT'S A GOOD THING TO
DO.
CREATING AN AWARD OF FAME, A
HALL OF FAME, THAT'S A
WONDERFUL THING TO DO BUT WHEN
THAT PASSES AND IT DOES WE ALL
GO HOME, WE GO TO OUR OWN
PLACES AND IT IS AT THAT POINT
THAT TO ME WHAT A VOLUNTEER IS
ABOUT IS REACHING OUT.
IT IS REACHING OUT AND WE DO
THAT IN DIFFERENT WAYS.
FOR ME IT STARTED WHEN I WENT
TO TRINIDAD IN THE WEST INDIES.
I SPENT TWO YEARS THERE AND IS
THERE ANYBODY HERE FROM
TRINIDAD?
GOOD.
THIS IS GOOD.
SO I WENT THERE WHEN I 19 FOR
TWO YEARS WITH AN ORGANIZATION
CALLED CUSO.
I WENT TO WORK WITH THE YMCA.
I WAS MAKING $10 A WEEK PLUS
ROOM AND BOARD.
THAT WAS A LOT OF MONEY BACK
THEN AND AFTER I'D BEEN THERE A
MONTH THE HEAD OF THE YMCA WENT
BACK TO ENGLAND AND I WAS MADE
THE HEAD OF THE YMCA OF THE
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD.
I WAS 19.
I KNEW VERY LITTLE.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues WELL, AFTER
ABOUT A MONTH THEY SAID WELL,
WE NEED TO RAISE SOME MONEY.
NOW I KNOW A LOT ABOUT
FUNDRAISING NOW BECAUSE I RAN
THE UNITED WAY AND I WAS VICE
PRESIDENT OF A COUPLE OF
UNIVERSITIES BUT I DIDN'T KNOW
A LOT ABOUT RAISING MONEY THEN
AND I'VE HEARD TONIGHT ABOUT
FUND DEVELOPMENT FOR FAME SO
I'M GOING TO SUGGEST AN IDEA.
SO I THOUGHT ABOUT IT AND I
THOUGHT WHEN I WAS 17 GROWING
UP IN NORTH TORONTO WE USED TO
SELL CHRISTMAS TREES FOR THE
YMCA AND THROUGH THIS BRILLIANT
IDEA I THOUGHT IF WE SOLD
CANADIAN CHRISTMAS TREES IN
TRINIDAD THERE'D BE NO
COMPETITION.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."
[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues I CONVINCED
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, THE
YMCA OF PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD
TO ORDER 1,500 SCOTS PINE TREES
FROM THE YMCA IN ST. JOHN NEW
BRUNSWICK AND PUT THEM ON A
SHIP DOWN IN THE CARGO HOLD
NICE AND COOL AND THEY'D ARRIVE
FRESH.
WELL, I GOT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
INVOLVED BECAUSE YOU GET PEOPLE
INVOLVED AND THEY WENT TO THE
COMMUNITY AND HIGH COMMISSION
AND THE U.S. EMBASSY.
THEY GOT THE LIST OF ALL
CANADIANS AND AMERICANS LIVING
IN TRINIDAD AND THEY WENT OUT
AND PRE-SOLD 1,200 TREES.
I WAS LOOKING PRETTY GOOD.
THERE WAS AN ARTICLE IN THE
NEWSPAPER WITH MY NAME WAS IN
IT.
I SENT IT HOME TO MY MOTHER.
MY MOTHER SHARED IT WITH THE
BRIDGE CLUB.
SHE WAS VERY PROUD OF HER SON,
EVERYTHING WAS GOING GREAT AND
DECEMBER THE FIFTEENTH THE TREES
WERE TO ARRIVE AND THEY DIDN'T.

Gordon Cressy continues WHOA, I MADE
A LONG DISTANCE CALL, I SAID
WHERE ARE OUR TREES?
THEY SAID, Mr. CRESSY, WE'RE
TERRIBLY SORRY WE SHOULD'VE
CALLED YOU, THERE WAS A FIRE ON
THE SHIP.
I SAID, OH, NO.
THEY SAID GOOD NEWS.
I SAID WHAT COULD BE GOOD?
THEY SAID WE SAVED THE TREES.
I SAID WELL, WHERE ARE THEY?
THEY SAID WE PUT THEM ON
ANOTHER SHIP AND THEY'RE COMING
DOWN AND THEY SHOULD GET THERE
ABOUT DECEMBER THE TWENTY-FIRST.
I SAID WHOA, THAT'S REALLY
CLOSE.
THEY SAID WELL, CALL BERMUDA,
SEE HOW THE SHIP'S DOING.
I PUT IN ANOTHER LONG DISTANCE
CALL TO BERMUDA TO DISCOVER
THAT THERE WAS A DOCK WORKER
STRIKE IN BERMUDA...

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues THEY HOPED IT
WOULD CLEAR IN A FEW DAYS AND
IF ALL WAS WELL THE TREES WOULD
ARRIVE ON DECEMBER THE TWENTY-SEVENTH.
THERE WAS AN EMERGENCY MEETING
OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT
THE YMCA IN WHICH THEY PUT
FORWARD THIS MOTION TO SEND
THIS YOUNG CANADIAN VOLUNTEER
HOME.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues IT IS AT THIS
POINT YOU NEED TO ADAPT AND
ADJUST QUICKLY WITH A GOOD
SENSE OF HUMOUR SO I SUGGESTED
THAT FOR THAT YEAR ONLY WE
WOULD HAVE CHRISTMAS IN
TRINIDAD ON DECEMBER THE 30th.
THIS IDEA DID NOT GO OVER VERY
WELL AND THE NEXT MORNING TWO
OF THE PEOPLE ON OUR BOARD AND
MYSELF WENT DOWN TO V.W.I.
BRITISH WEST INDIAN AIRWAYS AND
SUGGESTED TO THEM A WONDERFUL
MARKETING OPPORTUNITY IN WHICH
THEY WOULD GIVE US AN AIRPLANE
FREE OF CHARGE, WE WOULD TAKE
ALL OF THE SEATS OUT OF THE
AIRPLANE, WE WOULD FLY THE
AIRPLANE TO GRANT P. ADAMS
AIRPORT IN BARBADOS.
WE WOULD GET THE TREES OFF THE
SHIP, PUT THEM ON SOME TRUCKS,
DRIVE THE TRUCKS OUT TO THE
AIRPORT, TAKE THE TREES OFF THE
TRUCKS AND PUT THEM ON THE
AIRPLANE AND FLY BACK TO
TRINIDAD AND GET THEM ALL READY
TO BE SOLD.
LOW AND BEHOLD THEY AGREED.
HEADLINE TRINIDAD GUARDIAN
NEWSPAPER CHRISTMAS TREE
AIRLIFT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR
LOCAL YMCA AND ON SUNDAY
DECEMBER THE TWENTY-SECOND TWO OF US,
TWO STEWARDESSES, 10 BOTTLES OF
OLD OAK TRINIDAD RUM WHICH IS A
VERY FINE RUM, FLEW TO
BARBADOS, ARRIVING ALL INTACT,
GOT DOWN TO THE DOCKS TO
DISCOVER WE FORGOTTEN
COMPLETELY IT WAS SUNDAY AND
THE DOCKWORKERS WEREN'T WORKING
BUT MANY OF THEM WERE AROUND
AND EIGHT BOTTLES LATER OF
TRINIDAD RUM THEY WERE WORKING
AND THE TREES CAME OFF THE SHIP
ONTO THE DOCKS, WE PUT THEM
ONTO THE TRUCKS, WE DROVE THE
TRUCKS OUT TO THE AIRPORT, WE
TOOK THE TREES OFF THE TRUCKS,
WE PUT THEM ON THE AIRPLANE AND
TWO OF US, TWO STEWARDESSES ON
TOP OF FIFTEEN HUNDRED SCOTS PINE TREES
FLEW BACK TO TRINIDAD ARRIVED
ALL INTACT AT PIARCO AIRPORT,
TOOK THE TREES OFF THE PLANE,
PUT THEM ON THE TRUCKS, DROVE
DOWN INTO PORT OF SPAIN,
ARRIVED AT THE YMCA CHRISTMAS
CAROL AND IN 48 HOURS WE SOLD
OUT ALL THE TREES, MADE A
PROFIT OF 8,000 DOLLARS FOR THE LOCAL
YMCA AND ON DECEMBER THE TWENTY-EIGHTH
THE TRINIDAD GOVERNMENT BANNED
CANADIAN CHRISTMAS TREES ASKING
PEOPLE TO GROW LOCAL TREES AND
WE SPAWNED A LITTLE COTTAGE
INDUSTRY THAT EXISTS TO THIS
DAY.
NOW I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE
WHOLE STORY BUT THERE'S A TINY
PART MORE BECAUSE ABOUT FOR
YEARS AGO THIS FELLOW IN HIS
40's CAME TO ME AND HE SAID YOU
TAUGHT ME HOW TO SWIM AT THE
YMCA.
HERE'S A PICTURE AND I SAID OH,
GEE, THAT'S RIGHT.
I SAID COME TO OUR HOUSE AT
CHRISTMASTIME.
WE SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND I
TELL THE CHRISTMAS TREE STORY
NOW FOR THE EIGHTEENTH TIME MUCH TO
MY WIFE'S CHAGRIN I MIGHT ADD
SO I TOLD THE STORY AND THIS
YOUNG FELLOW GOT UP AND SAID
THERE'S ANOTHER PART TO THE
STORY.
AND I SAID WELL, WHAT WAS THAT?
HE SAID WELL, TWO OF US WERE
HELPING SELL THE TREES ACTUALLY
THREW 20 OF THE TREES OVER THE
BACK FENCE, WHEN DOWN ON THE
CORNER AND WE SOLD THEM
OURSELVES AND MADE 200 DOLLARS
OURSELVES.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."
[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues WAS THE
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.
AND THEN ABOUT UH, TWO YEARS
AGO THERE WAS A FELLOW, STUART
MACLEAN WHO MANY OF YOU... HAS
A SHOW CALLED "THE VINYL CAFE."
AND HE SAID IT'S THE 40th
ANNIVERSARY OF CUSO AND WE
HEARD ABOUT THIS CHRISTMAS TREE
STUFF, IS THAT TRUE?
AND I SAID YES AND HE SAID
COULD I PUT IT ON THE RADIO?
AND I SAID FINE SO HE DID AND
THEN I GOT A CALL THAT NIGHT
FROM SOMEBODY IN B.C. WHO SAID
IS THAT A TRUE STORY ABOUT
THOSE CHRISTMAS TREES?
AND I SAID YES.
AND HE SAID WELL, UM, I'M A
MOVIE PRODUCER AND I SAID OH,
YES?
I DID "THE BEACHCOMBERS" AND
THIS AND THAT AND HE SAID DID
YOU EVER SEE THE MOVIE "COOL
RUNNINGS" WITH JOHN CANDY ABOUT
THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM.
I SAID YES, THAT WAS VERY
FUNNY.
HE SAID THIS IS THE SAME MOVIE
IN REVERSE.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues SO I WAS
FIGURING OUT WHO'D BE THE STAR
TOM CRUISE OR SOMETHING VERY
EXCITING LIKE THAT.
MY WIFE SAID TO ME WHO'S VERY
SMART.
SHE SAID YOU BUILT YOUR WHOLE
LIFE ON ONE STORY, THE MOVIE
WILL NEVER GET OFF THE GROUND
AND IT HASN'T BUT IF IT DOES I
WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT IT ALL.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues NOW YOU MAY
WONDER WHY I TOOK SO LONG ON
THIS STORY.
THERE ARE TWO OR THREE REASONS.
ONE, WE NEED TO HAVE FUN.
WE NEED TO HAVE FUN.
MENTAL ILLNESS IS OFTEN NOT A
LOT OF FUN.
WE ALL KNOW THAT.
THERE IS PAIN IN MENTAL
ILLNESS.
THERE IS DISCONNECT.
THERE IS OFTEN ANGER.
WE NEED TO GET TO JOY AND WE
CAN FIND JOY IN QUITE WONDERFUL
WAYS.
PART OF JOY IS FINDING THE
THINGS THAT WORK.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT JIM DOES
THAT UPSETS ME IS THAT HE CAN
STILL BEAT ME ON THE GOLF
COURSE.
WE GO OUT AND WE PLAY GOLF.
HE HAS THIS VERY ELEGANT SWING.
WE GET SOME JOY THERE.
WE GET JOY ON THE PING PONG
TABLE.
JIM I WOULD THINK WOULD SAY HE
GOT GREAT JOY READING TO MY
BOYS WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG.
THEY CALL HIM UNCLE JIM.
NOW WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
I THINK 'CAUSE MY BOYS TREATED
UNCLE JIM AS THEIR UNCLE.
HE'S UNCLE JIM.
HE HELPED TEACH THEM HOW TO
READ.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO
UNDERSTAND IS EVERYBODY CAN
HELP SOMEBODY.
JIM HELPS AT THE STROKE CLUB.
HE HELPS AT THE STROKE CLUB.
THERE WAS THIS WONDERFUL STORY
OF SONJA WHO WAS 12 WHO WAS
BLIND AND SHE WAS BORN BLIND
AND WHEN SHE FIVE SHE WENT OFF
TO THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND.
WHEN SHE WAS 11 SHE WENT TO HER
MOM AND DAD AND SAID I WANNA GO
TO A ORDINARY SCHOOL AND HER
MOM AND DAD SAID BUT THE SCHOOL
FOR THE BLIND IS GOOD FOR YOU
BECAUSE THEY HAVE EVERYTHING.
SHE SAID I WANNA BE WITH
ORDINARY KIDS.
SHE WAS A SPUNKY LITTLE KID AND
HER MOM AND DAD WENT TO THE
SCHOOL BOARD AND THEY DECIDED
TO HAVE AN EXPERIMENT, A PILOT
PROJECT.
THEY'D TAKE 10 KIDS WHO WERE
BLIND AND THEY'D PUT THEM IN A
REGULAR SCHOOL AND SEE HOW IT
WOULD WORK OUT.
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?
EVERY TIME YOU TAKE A RISK
SOMETHING SPECTACULAR CAN
HAPPEN AND IN THIS LITTLE
SCHOOL BESIDE THE SCHOOL THERE
WAS A DAYCARE CENTRE AND
EVERYDAY THE DAYCARE TEACHER
USED TO READ TO THE KIDS FOR
NAPTIME AND YOU KNOW WHAT THE
DAYCARE TEACHER FOUND WITH THE
LIGHTS ON AND THE SUN COMING
THROUGH THE WINDOW THE KIDS
DIDN'T TAKE THEIR NAP AND SHE
COULDN'T READ THAT WAY SO SHE
TURNED THE LIGHTS OUT AND SHE
CLOSED THE BLINDS DOWN AND THEN
SHE FOUND SHE COULDN'T READ
BECAUSE IT WAS TOO DARK.
SO SHE USED A FLASHLIGHT AND
THE KIDS WERE DISTRACTED.
SONJA HEARD ABOUT THE PROBLEM
AND SHE CAME IN AND SHE SAID
I'D LIKE TO READ TO THE KIDS IN
THE DARK.
I'D LIKE TO READ TO THE KIDS IN
THE DARK AND OF COURSE SHE DID
BY BRAILLE WITH HER HANDS WHICH
WAS THE ONLY WAY SHE KNEW HOW
TO READ.
TO THE LITTLE KIDS IT WAS A BIT
LIKE MAGIC.
HERE WAS SOMEONE READING WITH
THEIR HANDS BUT THEY TOOK THEIR
NAP.
NOW WHAT WILL THOSE TWO AND
THREE YEAR OLDS THINK WHEN THEY
GROW UP ABOUT BLIND PEOPLE?
WELL, I THINK THEY'LL VIEW
BLIND PEOPLE AS NOT PEOPLE WITH
A WHITE CANE TO HELP ACROSS THE
STREET BUT RATHER PEOPLE WHO
ARE WORTHY OF BEING FRIENDS
WITH AS EQUALS.
WE KNOW THAT SONJA FELT GOOD.
SHE WAS DOING SOMETHING THAT NO
ONE ELSE COULD DO.
NOW IN A NUMBER OF DAYCARE
CENTRES BLIND KIDS WHO READ TO
THE PEOPLE FOR NAPTIME.
MY FIRST FULLTIME JOB AFTER I
HAD A DEGREE IN SOCIAL WORK WAS
RUNNING A GROUP HOME FOR KIDS
IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW.
THEY'D BE BETWEEN THE AGES OF
15 AND 17.
NOW I'D LEARNED A LOT ABOUT
GROUP HOMES.
PEOPLE LIKE THEM.
THE FURTHER THEY ARE LOCATED
FROM WHERE THEY LIVE, THE MORE
THEY LIKE THEM.
WE HAD A NICE GROUP HOME.
WE CUT OUR GRASS, OUR PLANTS
WERE NICE.
OUR NEIGHBOURS DIDN'T LIKE US.
OUR NEIGHBOURS DIDN'T LIKE US.
SO I HAD AN OPEN HOUSE TO
INVITE OUR NEIGHBOURS.
OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR HAD AN
OPEN HOUSE TO SEE WHO WAS
COMING TO OUR OPEN HOUSE.
WE COULD NOT CONVINCE THEM
TALKING BUT IN NOVEMBER THERE
WAS A MAJOR SNOWSTORM AND I GOT
OUR BOYS UP EARLY AND WE
SHOVELLED EVERYBODY'S WALK AND
THEN WE STOOD ON OUR PORCH AS
OUR NEIGHBOURS CAME OUT.
THEY DIDN'T LIKE US BUT THEY
SAW THAT THEIR WALK WAS
SHOVELLED.
NOW THEY COULD'VE TAKEN THE
SNOW OFF THE LAWN, PUT IT BACK
ON THE WALK AND SHOVELLED IT
AGAIN BUT THEY SAID THANK YOU.
IN THE SPRING THERE WAS A
GARBAGE STRIKE.
ONE THING YOU HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND ABOUT GARBAGE
STRIKES THEY NEVER IN THE
HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAVE
OCCURRED IN THE WINTER.
THEY ALWAYS OCCUR IN THE SPRING
OR THE SUMMER WHEN GARBAGE
SMELLS.
WE HAD A VAN.
WE PICKED UP EVERYBODY'S
GARBAGE.
WE TOOK IT TO THE DUMP.
WE TOOK IT TO THE DUMP.
WE PUT ONE OF THE PEOPLE ON THE
STREET ON OUR BOARD AND THEN
WHEN A WINDOW BROKE AND A
WINDOW DID BREAK OUR NEIGHBOURS
HAD BECOME OUR FRIENDS.
ONE OF OUR KIDS WAS VERY GOOD
AT STEALING TELEVISION SETS.
HE KNEW THE SIZE OF EVERY TV
WITHIN A FIVE BLOCK RADIUS.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED ON
OUR STREET OWNED A TELEVISION
STORE.
HE HIRED HIM PART-TIME.
THAT KID TODAY OWNS SEVEN
TELEVISION STORES.
WE TOOK THE SKILL AND WE PUT IT
IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
WE NEED TO FIND WHAT THOSE
CONNECTIONS ARE.
WHEN I USED TO CHAIR THE BOARD
OF THE TORONTO BOARD OF
EDUCATION I TALKED TO OUR
PRINCIPALS AND I SAID GET
INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY.
I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS
TALKING ABOUT BACK THEN BUT
SOMEBODY GOT IT.
ONE OF THEM DECIDED HE WOULD GO
AROUND THE CORNER TO THE SENIOR
CITIZENS HOME AND HE WENT THERE
AND HE SAID WHAT DO YOU THINK
OF US?
WE'RE YOUR NEIGHBOUR.
AND THE HEAD OF THE SENIOR
CITIZENS HOME SAID WE DON'T
LIKE YOU.
WHY?
WELL, YOUR KIDS STOMP ON THE
GRASS.
THEY'RE LANGUAGE IS BAD AND
THEN HE SAID THE MAGIC WORDS.
AND THESE ARE THE MAGIC WORDS.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
THEY'RE AMAZED IF YOU USE THAT
LINE.
SOMEONE'S REALLY ANGRY AT YOU,
STOP, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND
SAY WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
NEXT, RIGHT?
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
WELL, ALL OF A SUDDEN THIS
ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS SENIOR
CITIZENS HOME THOUGHT ABOUT IT
AND HE SAID WELL, 80 PERCENT OF THE
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIS
SENIOR'S HOME ARE WOMEN.
THEY'RE ON A FIXED INCOME.
THEY DON'T GET TO SEE A KID,
MAYBE ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IF
THEY'RE LUCKY AND THEY CAN'T
AFFORD TO GET THEIR HAIR DONE,
CAN YOU HELP?
OH, LIGHT GOES ON FOR THE
PRINCIPAL.
THERE'S A HAIR DRESSING PROGRAM
AT THE SCHOOL.
HE GOES BACK TO THE SCHOOL, HE
TALKS TO THE HEAD OF
HAIRDRESSING, WHO GETS THEIR
HAIR DONE?
WELL, THE OTHER KIDS AND THE
RARE TEACHER THAT WILL RISK IT.
TWO WEEKS LATER THE SENIORS ARE
COMING ACROSS AND GETTING THEIR
HAIR DONE FREE OF CHARGE.
THEY'RE TALKING TO THE KIDS.
THE KIDS HAD ALREADY WRITTEN
OFF OLD PEOPLE AND ALL OF A
SUDDEN THE KIDS ARE COMING OUT
AND SAYING OOH, THAT WOMAN WAS
A NURSE IN CHINA WITH Dr.
NORMAN BETHUNE.
WE JUST STUDIED ABOUT THAT.
SOME OF THE KIDS STARTED TO
VISIT THE SENIORS.
THE SENIORS THEN FOUND THEY
COULD HAVE LUNCH IN THE SCHOOL
CAFETERIA FAR CHEAPER THAN
ANYWHERE ELSE.
THE NOISE LEVEL IN THE SCHOOL
WENT WAY DOWN.
WELL, THAT WOULD BE A NICE
STORY BUT IT'S NOT QUITE THE
END AND THE END WAS THIS.
THE BUDGET CUTS CAME.
THE SCHOOL BOARD, THE TEACHERS
FEDERATION CAME DOWN AND SAID
DON'T CUT THE BUDGET, IT WILL
HURT THE KIDS.
THE TRUSTEES LISTENED AND THEY
REALIZED THAT WAS A SELF-
INTEREST ARGUMENT.
YES, THE TEACHERS WERE
CONCERNED ABOUT THE KIDS BUT
THE TEACHERS DIDN'T LIVE IN
THEIR AREA AND THE TEACHERS
WERE ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR
JOB.
WHEN THREE BUSLOADS OF SENIORS
FROM CHESTER VILLAGE CAME DOWN
TO THE BOARD AND SENIORS ALL
VOTE AND SAID DON'T CUT THE
BUDGET, IT'LL HURT THE KIDS.
THE SCHOOL BOARD LISTENED.
THEY DIDN'T CUT THE BUDGET.
WHAT HAD HAPPENED IN EACH OF
THOSE INSTANCES AT THE GROUP
HOME AND IN THE SCHOOL THE
PEOPLE HAD EARNED IT, THEY
EARNED IT.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO DO
IN MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT GET UP
AND SHOUT BUT WE GOTTA EARN IT.
WE'VE GOT GOOD STORIES TO TELL.
WE GOT BREAKTHROUGHS TO TALK
ABOUT.
WE GOT STATISTICS, WE'VE GOT
INFORMATION AND WE NEED MORE
MONEY FOR RESEARCH AND WE KNOW
THAT CLEARLY.
WE NEED TO CONVINCE THOSE
PEOPLE IN POWER AND POLITICS
THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO
DO.
WE LISTEN TO TONY CLEMENT, HE
TALKS ABOUT SUPPORT FOR THIS.
WE DON'T KNOW HE'LL BE HERE IN
A COUPLE OF WEEKS BUT HE MIGHT
BE AND IF HE IS WE WANT HIM AS
AN ADVOCATE.
AND IF NOT AND THE OPPOSITION
COME TO POWER, WE WANT THEM AS
ADVOCATES BUT AS IMPORTANT IT
SEEMS TO ME AS BREAKTHROUGHS IN
RESEARCH IS THE DIGNITY OF
EVERYBODY AS A HUMAN BEING.
IT'S ABOUT HOW WE TREAT EACH
OTHER.
THAT IS ABOUT TAKING TIME.
THAT IS ABOUT BEING A BIT
PATIENT.
THAT IS WHEN PEOPLE SHOUT AT US
WHO ARE ILL TAKING IT.
IT'S NOT EASY SOMETIMES.
WE KNOW THAT.
IT'S NOT EASY SOMETIMES.
GROUPS LIKE FAME MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.
THE WORK OF SCOTT SIMMON AND
JULIA MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
THE MICHAEL WILSON'S COMING OUT
AND SPEAKING IN PUBLIC MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.
WE IN THE END ARE ABOUT MAKING
A DIFFERENCE.
THE LAST TABOO WAS A GREAT
TITLE.
IF WE ARE LOOKING FOR THIS
DECADE THE BREAKTHROUGH AND
WE'VE SEEN BREAKTHROUGHS IN
HEALTH SINCE THE 1900's.
IT IS THE BREAKTHROUGH OF
MENTAL HEALTH.
IT IS GETTING IT ON THE FRONT
BURNER.
IT IS TALKING ABOUT IT AS
INDIVIDUALS AND AS FRIENDS AND
AS NEIGHBOURS.
IT IS ABOUT QUALITY OF LIFE AND
IT IS ABOUT GOING FOR JOY AND
IT IS FINDING THE STORIES THAT
CONNECT.
SOMETIMES IT'S POETRY.
SOMETIMES IT'S SONG.
SOMETIMES IT'S SKILL SET.
MY WIFE WORKS AT THE CENTRE FOR
ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH.
LAST YEAR THEY HAD THE EXHIBIT,
THE ART EXHIBIT OF PEOPLE FROM
AROUND NORTH AMERICA.
IT WAS EXTRAORDINARY.
EXTRAORDINARY.
THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT IN THE
PRESS.
NOT A LOT.
THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT.
SO AS WE LOOK TO ADVOCATES WE
SHOULD ALWAYS START WITH
OURSELVES.
WHAT CAN I DO?
AND I GUESS MY CHALLENGE IS WE
CAN ALL DO A LITTLE MORE.
WE CAN DO IT ON OUR STREET.
WE CAN DO IT WITH OUR SONS AND
OUR DAUGHTERS.
WE CAN DO IT WITH OUR MOMS AND
DADS AND FOR MY MOM AND DAD WHO
HAVE BOTH PASSED AWAY THEY SAID
IN THE END WE ARE OUR BROTHER'S
KEEPER.
WE CAN DO IT IN THE ADVANCING
DRUGS BUT IN THE END WE BUILD
COMMUNITY, WE BUILD COMMUNITY
BY UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING
EACH OTHER AND OUR DIFFERENCES.
ALL PEOPLE DREAM BUT NOT
EQUALLY.
THOSE WHO DREAM AT NIGHT IN THE
DUSTY RECESSES OF THEIR MIND
AWAIT TO FIND THAT IT WAS
VANITY BUT THE DREAMERS OF THE
DAY ARE DANGEROUS PEOPLE FOR
THEY MAY ACT THEIR DREAMS WITH
OPEN EYES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
WE MUST ALL HAVE GREAT DREAMS.
WE MUST NOT EVER GIVE UP.
TO MAKE A GREAT DREAM HAPPEN WE
MUST FIRST HAVE THAT GREAT
DREAM.
WE WANT THAT FOR OUR CHILDREN.
WE IT THAT FOR OUR BROTHERS AND
SISTERS.
WE WANT THAT IN TERMS OF DIGNITY
AND THEN WHEN GREAT
DREAMS START TO HAPPEN YOU
SEE THOSE BREAKTHROUGHS, LET US
CELEBRATE THEM.
LET US SHOUT IT TO THE RAFTERS
BECAUSE IT CREATES A MOTIVATION
AND INCENTIVE THAT WE CAN ALL
BREAKTHROUGH.
AND WE ARE THE BETTER FOR THAT.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
LAO TSU, THE CHINESE
PHILOSOPHER CENTURIES AGO SAID
THIS "GO TO THE PEOPLE.
LIVE WITH THEM AND LOVE THEM.
START WITH WHAT THEY KNOW AND
BUILD ON WHAT THEY HAVE BUT OF
OUR BEST LEADERS WHEN THEIR JOB
IS DONE THE TASK ACCOMPLISHED,
THE PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY WE DID
OURSELVES.
WE DID IT OURSELVES."
THE STRENGTH IN THE END IS
HOLDING HANDS AND THEN BEING
ABLE TO LET GO OF IT.
SO PEOPLE MOVE ON.
MY FATHER WAS A BANKER ALL HIS
LIFE.
AND WHEN HE RETIRED HE GAVE ME
A POEM AND I'D LIKE TO SHARE IT
WITH YOU AND IT'S CALLED
"AROUND THE CORNER."
AND IT GOES LIKE THIS: "AROUND
THE CORNER I HAVE A FRIEND IN
THIS GREAT CITY THAT KNOWS NO
END YET DAYS GO BY AND WEEKS
RUSH ON AND BEFORE I KNOW IT A
YEAR IS GONE AND I NEVER SEE MY
DEAR FRIEND'S FACE FOR LIFE IS
A SWIFT AND FATEFUL RACE.
OH, HE KNOWS I LIKE HIM JUST AS
WELL AS IN THE DAYS WHEN I RANG
HIS BELL AND HE RANG MINE.
WE WERE YOUNGER THEN BUT NOW
WE'RE BUSY, TIRED MEN, TIRED OF
PLAYING A FOOLISH GAME.
TIRED WITH TRYING TO MAKE A
NAME.
TOMORROW I SAY I'LL CALL ON
JIM, JUST TO SHOW HIM I'M
THINKING OF HIM BUT TOMORROW
COMES AND TOMORROW GOES AND THE
SPACE GROWS AND GROWS.
AROUND THE CORNER YET MILES
AWAY, HERE'S A TELEGRAM, SIR,
JIM DIED TODAY.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE GET WE
DESERVE IN THE END AROUND THE
CORNER FORGOTTEN FRIEND."
MY FATHER'S MESSAGE WAS ABOUT
KEEPING IN TOUCH.
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY,
WITH FRIENDS, WITH PEOPLE WHO
STRUGGLE.
SO MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS
SIMPLY THIS.
WHEN YOU GO HOME TONIGHT, CALL
SOMEBODY YOU'VE BEEN THINKING
ABOUT CALLING.
YOU WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER FOR
IT AND SO WILL THEY AS A MATTER
OF FACT, I'M VERY TIRED AND I'M
NEVER AGAIN GOING TO SEND A
CHRISTMAS CARD THAT SAYS MUST
GET TOGETHER FOR LUNCH THIS
YEAR.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues WE'VE ALL HAD
THEM AND YOU KNOW WHAT IT
MEANS?
YOU'LL GET ANOTHER CHRISTMAS
CARD WITH THE SAME MESSAGE.
FORGET THE CARD, PHONE THE
PERSON UP, TALK WITH THEM.
WE ARE BETTER FOR CONNECTING.
MENTAL ILLNESS IS ABOUT
CONNECTING.
IT IS ABOUT GOING DEEP INSIDE
OURSELVES TO HOLD ON WHEN WE
NEED TO, HUG WHEN WE NEED TO,
AND BE THERE.
AND BE THERE.
AND UNDERSTAND THAT EACH OF US
HAS A RESPONSIBILITY AND THAT
RESPONSIBILITY IS NOT TO WALK
AWAY.
NOT TO BE A SPECTATOR.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO BE A
PARTICIPANT.
FRANKLY WE'RE TALKING HERE
ABOUT THE FIELD OF ACTION.
EACH OF US NEEDS TO GET TO
ANOTHER, TO GET INVOLVED.
AND THAT'S HOW THAT FLAME GROWS
BECAUSE WE REACH OUT TO ONE
ANOTHER.
WELL, THE STATISTICS ARE IN, WE
READ ABOUT THEM LAST WEEK IN
THE PAPER.
THE NUMBERS OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO
ARE DEPRESSED IS EXTRAORDINARY.
THE CONNECTION SOMETIMES WITH
EVEN THEIR OWN FAMILY IS NOT AS
HIGH AS IT SHOULD BE.
WHEN WE SEE THIS SIGNAL AND WE
NOW KNOW HOW TO DETECT THE
SIGNALS IS GET THERE.
THE WORK FOR CENTRE OF
ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH
AROUND FIRST EPISODES IS
TERRIFIC TODAY.
IT IS BREAKTHROUGH STUFF.
WE GET PEOPLE AT THE START.
AND ONCE WE DO THAT THEN WE,
EACH OF US HAVE AN OBLIGATION
THAT'S WHAT ALUMNI IS ALL
ABOUT.
WELL, LET ME BRING THIS TO A
CLOSE.
FAME HAS A KEY ROLE.
THAT ROLE IS ABOUT TELLING THE
STORIES.
THERE ARE LOTS OF STORIES OUT
THERE.
THE STORY OF MY BROTHER BILL
AND JIM IS NO DIFFERENT THAN
HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF THEM
BUT ONCE WE GET THAT STORY OUT
TO OTHERS THEN ANOTHER STORY
POPS UP AND ANOTHER ONE.
WE WILL BREAK THROUGH BECAUSE
WE ARE TENACIOUS.
WE WILL PRESERVE AND IF WE'VE
LEARNED ANYTHING FROM MICHAEL
AND AL BURNEY IS YOU STAY THE
COURSE, DRIVE ALONG THAT BLOOR
VIADUCT TODAY.
IT ACTUALLY LOOKS GORGEOUS.
THEY STAYED THE COURSE.
THEY MADE SOME FRIENDS.
THEY DID WHAT I CALL NUDGE,
NURTURE, NUDGE, NURTURE AND
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE THEY HAD
TO HIT SOMEBODY EN ROUTE AND
THEN MADE SOME NEW FRIENDS,
MADE SOME NEW FRIENDS.
MY MOTHER USED TO PUT IT THAT
SONG WHEN WE WERE YOUNG MAKE
NEW FRIENDS AND KEEP THE OLD.
ONE IS SILVER AND THE OTHER IS
GOLD.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.
WE ARE MAKING NEW FRIENDS
THROUGH THIS CAUSE.
BUT DON'T FORGET OUR OLD
FRIENDS AND EVERY TIME WE GET
SOMEBODY ON SIDE HUG THEM AND
LET THEM GO.
HUG THEM... AND START WITH OUR
FAMILY AND WE REACH OUT.
SO IN ASKING ME HERE TONIGHT
MAYBE WHAT YOU'VE ASKED ME TO
DO IS SHARE.
SHARING IS HOW WE MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IS ABOUT
PARTICIPATION AND IT'S ABOUT
ACTION.
IT IS NOT GOING SILENT.
THE SILENCE IS NOW OVER.
NEVER AGAIN LET US BE SILENT.
LET US STAND UP WITH CONFIDENCE
AND SAY THAT MENTAL HEALTH IS
ON THE FRONT OF THE AGENDA.
LET US HELP THOSE WHO ARE
MENTALLY ILL BE OUR
SPOKESPEOPLE BECAUSE THEIR
STORIES ARE REAL AND WHEN WE
HAVE THOSE BREAKTHROUGHS
CHAMPION.
GRAND DREAMS.
JOY AND HUMOUR FOR WHAT WILL
SUSTAIN US WHEN THE TOUGH TIMES
COME AND THEY DO COME BUT IT IS
KEEPING ON THE POSITIVE SIDE IS
HOW WE BREAK THROUGH.
I THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME,Gordon Cressy stands on the ground level of a wood-paneled auditorium with an elevated stage behind him. He is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with short greying hair. He wears glasses, a black suit, blue shirt, and red tie.

Gordon Cressy says T. LAWRENCE,
THE FAMOUS LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
ONCE SAID THIS "ALL PEOPLE
DREAM BUT NOT EQUALLY."
THOSE WHO DREAM AT NIGHT IN THE
DUSTY RECESSES OF THEIR MIND
AWAIT TO FIND THAT IT WAS
VANITY BUT THE DREAMERS OF THE
DAY ARE DANGEROUS PEOPLE
BECAUSE THEY MAY ACT THEIR
DREAMS WITH OPEN EYES TO MAKE
IT HAPPEN.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
I WANNA TALK TO YOU TONIGHT
AS DREAMERS OF THE DAY.
PEOPLE WHO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.
FAME IS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH,
FAME IS ABOUT DIGNITY.
FAME IS ABOUT BRINGING THINGS
OUT INTO THE OPEN.
FAME IN THE END IS ABOUT
TELLING STORIES AND MAKING A
DIFFERENCE IN LITTLE WAYS AND
BIG WAYS SO I THOUGHT THE BEST
WAY FOR ME TO START WAS NOT TO
TALK ABOUT MY LIFE AND WHAT
I'VE DONE BUT RATHER TO TELL
YOU A STORY AND I'D LIKE TO
TELL YOU THE STORY OF BILL AND
JIM.
BILL WENT TO LAWRENCE PARK
COLLEGIATE IN NORTH TORONTO.
HE WAS A GOOD ATHLETE, HE DID
PRETTY WELL AT SCHOOL.
HE WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY GOLFER.
HE WAS THE SECOND BEST GOLFER
IN ONTARIO.
HE WON HIS CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP A
NUMBER OF TIMES.
HE WENT OFF TO THE UNIVERSITY
OF TORONTO TO VICTORIA COLLEGE
WHERE HE DID QUITE WELL THERE.
HE HAD MANY FRIENDS, HE WAS
WELL LIKED, HE WAS POPULAR.
THAT WAS BILL.
WHEN HE WAS 24 HE TOOK HIS
LIFE.
HE JUMPED OUT OF THE SECOND
FLOOR OF SUNNYBROOK HOSPITAL
WHERE HE WAS STAYING.
HE HAD NOT BEEN DIAGNOSED AT
THAT TIME.
PEOPLE DISCOVERED LATER THAT IT
WAS SCHIZOPHRENIA.
TO ANY FAMILY WHO'S LOST A
CHILD THIS IS A TRAGEDY BECAUSE
MOMS AND DADS ARE NOT SUPPOSED
TO BURY THEIR CHILDREN.
WE ALL KNOW THAT.
THE NATURAL LIFE CYCLE IS THE
NATURAL LIFE CYCLE AND OLD
PEOPLE DIE AND PEOPLE ARE BORN
BUT JIM WAS 24.
JIM HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER.
OR BILL HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER,
HIS NAME WAS JIM.
JIM ALSO WENT TO LAWRENCE PARK
COLLEGIATE.
HE ALSO WAS A GOOD GOLFER.
HE WAS HEAD OF THE ATHLETIC
BOARD AND HE WENT OFF TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO.
HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE GOLF
TEAM THERE AND HE GRADUATED AND
HE WENT OUT INTO THE WORKFORCE
AS MANY PEOPLE WHO WERE YOUNG
DID IN THE 70's.
HE LOST A COUPLE OF JOBS.
HE WENT OUT WEST.
HE WORKED AT THE BANFF SPRINGS
HOTEL BUT WHEN HE CAME HOME HE
SEEMED A BIT DEPRESSED.
HE WENT TO HIS MOM AND DAD WHO
LOVED HIM.
MOM AND DADS ALWAYS LOVE THEIR
CHILDREN.
HE WENT TO A DOCTOR WHO WENT TO
A PSYCHIATRIST AND THEN HE WENT
TO THE CLARK INSTITUTE WHERE HE
WAS DIAGNOSED WITH HAVING
SCHIZOPHRENIA.
HE WENT THROUGH MANY OF THE
THINGS THROUGH THE TIMES OF THE
70’s.
SHOCK TREATMENTS, MEGA
VITAMINS, LIVING ON A FARM.
HE EVENTUALLY WENT HOME TO HIS
MOM AND DAD WHO LOVED HIM.
HE COULDN'T GET A JOB, AT LEAST
NOT A FULLTIME JOB BECAUSE IT
WAS HARD AND MOST OF HIS
FRIENDS SORT OF WANDERED AWAY.
FRIENDS DO THAT SOMETIMES.
YOU SEE, SCHIZOPHRENIA'S KIND
OF THE FLIP OF ALZHEIMER'S.
ALZHEIMER'S IS WHEN THE YOUNG
LOOK AFTER THE OLD.
IN SCHIZOPHRENIA MORE OFTEN
IT'S THE OLD WHO LOOK AFTER THE
YOUNG.
JIM WAS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING
TO DO AND HE HEARD ABOUT A
LITTLE AGENCY IN DOWNTOWN
TORONTO CALLED CENTRAL
NEIGHBOUR HOUSE.
IT HAD A PROGRAM, A HOME HEALTH
PROGRAM AND A STROKE PROGRAM
AND JIM WENT TO DO SOME WORK
THERE.
HE'S BEEN THERE NOW FOR ALMOST
20 YEARS.
EVERY FRIDAY HE GOES TO THE
STROKE CLUB.
HE GOT A TINY JOB AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO HELPING
OUT IN THE CAREER CENTRE AND HE
GOES THERE TWO DAYS A WEEK.
HE HELPS CLIP THINGS FROM
NEWSPAPERS AND ARTICLES AND
MAGAZINES.
AFTER A WHILE HIS PARENTS GOT
OLDER AND IT WASN'T AS EASY TO
LIVE AT HOME ANYMORE AND HE
WOUND UP IN A GROUP HOME RUN BY
LOCKE COMMUNITY SERVICES THAT'S
ON ST. GEORGE STREET UH, AND
DUPONT.
HE'S BEEN THERE ABOUT 11 YEARS
NOW.
HIS FATHER PASSED AWAY AND TWO
WEEKS HIS MOTHER PASSED AWAY.
LAST WEEK AT THE FUNERAL JIM
READ THE 23rd PSALM.
ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, JIM
USUALLY COMES TO MY HOUSE
BECAUSE WE PLAY PING PONG
TOGETHER.
YOU SEE JIM'S MY YOUNGER
BROTHER AND HE'S WITH US
TONIGHT.
JIM, OVER THERE.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."
[Audience applause]

Gordon Cressy continues YOU SEE JIM
IS OF GREAT COURAGE BECAUSE HE
GETS UP EVERYDAY, DOES HIS BEST
AND THAT'S WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN
ALL OF US IS TO DO OUR BEST.
ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO JIM AND I
WERE TALKING AND WE SAID YOU
KNOW, IT'S TIME TO GO PUBLIC.
IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THIS
BECAUSE THE MORE WE TALK ABOUT
IT AND WE TELL PEOPLE AND
PEOPLE LISTEN WE'LL GET
UNDERNEATH THEM AND THIS WILL
NOT BE SOMETHING THAT'S
STRANGE.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S
ORDINARY.
THIS IS PART OF EVERY FAMILY
AND SO WE TALKED ABOUT IT AND
WE AGREED THAT THE TORONTO STAR
COULD DO A FEATURE ARTICLE
ABOUT IT AND THEN WE WENT TO
TALK TO OUR MOTHER.
OUR MOTHER DIDN'T LIKE THIS
IDEA OF A FEATURE ARTICLE IN
THE NEWSPAPER.
I REMEMBER SHE SAID, DEAR, THIS
IS NOT A GOOD THING TO DO.
BUT WE SAID IT'S IMPORTANT FOR
EVERYONE TO BE AWARE OF THIS.
MOM SAID THIS COULD HURT YOU IN
YOUR JOB AND I DON'T KNOW IF I
WANT PEOPLE IN THE RETIREMENT
HOME TO KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
NOW THAT'S A COMMON ATTITUDE
FOR MANY PEOPLE.
I TRIED EVERYTHING I COULD TO
CONVINCE MY MOM.
I WAS TOTALLY UNSUCCESSFUL BUT
WE FELT WE MADE THE COMMITMENT
TO DO IT AND WE WERE GONNA DO
IT.
AND SO I MADE THE LITTLE TALK
AND THE NEWSPAPER CAME AND THEY
TOOK A PICTURE OF JIM AND
MYSELF AND THE PAPER WAS ALL
SET TO GO THE NEXT DAY AND WHEN
I DID THE SPEECH ONE OF THE
PEOPLE IN THE ROOM WAS MICHAEL
WILSON WHO HAS DONE AS MUCH
FRANKLY FOR MENTAL ILLNESS OUT
OF OFFICE THAN HE EVER DID IN
POLITICAL OFFICE AND NOT THAT
EVERYBODY AGREED WITH WHAT HE
DID IN POLITICAL OFFICE, THAT'S
ANOTHER DISCUSSION FOR ANOTHER
TIME.
BUT HE CAME UP TO ME AND HE
SAID THAT WAS A WONDERFUL
SPEECH.
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
I SAID CALL MY MOTHER.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues AND HE DID.
THAT NIGHT I GOT A CALL FROM MY
MOTHER, SHE SAID, DEAR, I HAD A
CALL FROM MICHAEL WILSON.
HE'S A TORY YOU KNOW, DEAR.
AND I SAID, YES, MOM, I KNOW
THAT.
SHE SAID YOU KNOW, I THINK THIS
IS A GREAT IDEA.
WOULD YOU GET ME 30 COPIES OF
THE STAR TOMORROW 'CAUSE I
WANNA GIVE IT TO ALL MY
FRIENDS.
AND SHE DID JUST THAT AND WHAT
I LEARNED THERE WAS THAT IN
CHANGING ATTITUDES IT'S NOT
ALWAYS WE CAN DO IT, SOMETIMES
IT'S OTHER PEOPLE AND IT'S TO
FIND OUT WHO THOSE PEOPLE ARE
AND THEN GET TO THEM.
LAST WEEK I WAS IN MY MOM'S
APARTMENT CLEANING OUT SOME OF
HER LETTERS AND FILES AND THERE
WERE TWO ARTICLES.
ONE WAS ABOUT MICHAEL WILSON
AND HIS SON CAM AND THE OTHER
WAS ABOUT JIM AND MYSELF.
SHE'D SAVED THOSE SPECIAL.
SO THE FIRST THING WE HAVE TO
BE ABOUT IS HOW WE HELP CHANGE
ATTITUDES.
THE SECOND THING I HAVE UH, TWO
YOUNG SONS.
NOW THEY'RE 19 AND 15 AND I
THINK JIM, JOSEPH CALLED YOU
THIS MORNING.
JOSEPH'S A REALLY GOOD GUY.
HE SPENDS A LOT OF TIME WITH
JIM BUT WHEN JOSEPH WAS FIVE I
DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO TEACH
HIM HOW TO PLAY GOLF.
I LOVE GOLF.
MY WIFE WHO IS VERY SMART SAID
I DON'T KNOW HE'S READY TO PLAY
GOLF.
I SAID HE IS READY TO PLAY
GOLF.
I AM SURE OF THAT AND SHE SAID
OKAY.
SO I TOOK HIM OFF TO THE GOLF
COURSE AND ON THE SECOND HOLE,
IT WAS A LITTLE HOLE, I HIT MY
SHOT RIGHT OFF THE TEE RIGHT
ONTO THE GREEN.
I WAS VERY EXCITED.
I THOUGHT MAYBE I COULD MAKE A
BIRDIE.
MY SON HIT HIS BALL AND IT WENT
DOWN INTO THE RIVER.
SO I WAS ON THE GREEN AND HE
WAS LOOKING FOR HIS BALL IN THE
RIVER AND THERE WERE PEOPLE ON
THE TEE WHO WERE GETTING A
LITTLE FRUSTRATED SO I SAID A
LITTLE TOO LOUDLY, JOSEPH,
HURRY UP!
NOTHING HAPPENED SO I SAID
AGAIN, JOSEPH, HURRY UP!
THEN HE SAID DAD, COME QUICK!
SO I RAN DOWN THINKING MAYBE HE
FOUND THREE BALLS.
HE SAID LOOK AT THE BIG FROG.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues AND ALL OF A
SUDDEN I REALIZED THAT IT WAS
THE BIG FROG THAT WAS
IMPORTANT.
IT WASN'T THE GOLF GAME.
ONE OF THE THINGS ALL OF US
NEED TO DO IS LISTEN REALLY
HARD BECAUSE THERE ARE MESSAGES
THAT ARE PASSED THAT SOMETIMES
IN OUR RUSH WE MISS THAT
CONNECTION.
THAT CONNECTION IN MENTAL
HEALTH IS OFTEN MAKING THE
DIFFERENCE.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
IT MOVES US TO PROFOUND JOY.
IT'S CATCHING THAT MOMENT AND
FINDING THAT THING THAT WORKS
FOR ALL OF US.
FOR JIM AND MYSELF IT'S PING
PONG.
WE PLAY EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
WE PLAYED WHEN WE WERE 10.
WE'RE PLAYING WHEN JIM IS 52
AND I'M 59.
I TRY TO DENY IT BUT WE'VE BEEN
PLAYING TOGETHER FOR OVER 40
YEARS.
AND MICHAEL, YOU KNOW, YOUR DAD
HE PLAYS CHESS WITH HIS BROTHER
DAVID AND HE BEATS HIM EVERY
TIME.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues AND THEY'VE
BEEN PLAYING CHESS TOGETHER
PROBABLY FOR 50 YEARS, MAYBE
60.
THOSE ARE GOOD THINGS, THE
THINGS THAT CONNECT US OVER
TIME ARE WORTH DOING AND
THEY'RE WORTH TAKING THE TIME
TO DO AND FOR PEOPLE LIKE
MYSELF WHO SOMETIME SAY I'M
VERY BUSY.
THOSE ARE THE IMPORTANT THINGS.
MY WIFE WHO'S VERY SMART UH,
SAYS THIS TO ME AS I GO OFF TO
MAKE A SPEECH.
SHE SAYS I KNOW YOU MAKE GOOD
SPEECHES BUT IF YOU DON'T MAKE
IT AT HOME, YOU DON'T MAKE IT
ANYWHERE.
THAT IS VERY GOOD ADVICE.
WE MAKE IT AT HOME FIRST AND WE
MAKE IT BY TAKING TIME.
THE NEXT THING WE DO IS WE MAKE
SURE WE TELL OUR STORIES TO
ANYBODY WHO WILL LISTEN AND
SOMETIMES TO SOME WHO AREN'T
QUITE READY TO LISTEN BECAUSE
WE CONNECT WITH THEM.
AND EVERY TIME I TALK NOW AND I
FIND I GIVE TALKS ON OTHER
TOPICS BUT I ALWAYS WIND THE
STORY OF THE JIM AND BILL,
ALWAYS FOUR OR FIVE PEOPLE CAME
UP AND SAID YOU KNOW, I WANNA
TELL YOU ABOUT MY SISTER, MY
BROTHER, MY SON, MY DAUGHTER,
MY UNCLE, MY AUNT OR JUST TODAY
AT WORK ONE OF MY STAFF CAME IN
AND SAID... CLOSED THE DOOR AND
SAID, CAN WE TALK?
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IN THAT
TALKING THAT WE GET TO
BREAKTHROUGHS BECAUSE THE
DATA'S OVERWHELMING.
THE NEW REPORT'S THAT COMING
OUT FROM STATISTICS CANADA...
IT IS STARTLING PARTICULARLY
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE HOW MANY
PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR OWN AFRAID
TO SAY I NEED HELP OR EVEN
WORSE WHERE TO GET HELP.
GROUPS LIKE FAME ARE ABOUT
SUPPORT.
THEY ARE ABOUT MAKING THINGS
HAPPEN.
AN EVENT LIKE TONIGHT WHICH IN
EFFECT THANKS PEOPLE, THAT'S A
GOOD THING TO DO, WINNING
PRIZES, THAT'S A GOOD THING TO
DO.
CREATING AN AWARD OF FAME, A
HALL OF FAME, THAT'S A
WONDERFUL THING TO DO BUT WHEN
THAT PASSES AND IT DOES WE ALL
GO HOME, WE GO TO OUR OWN
PLACES AND IT IS AT THAT POINT
THAT TO ME WHAT A VOLUNTEER IS
ABOUT IS REACHING OUT.
IT IS REACHING OUT AND WE DO
THAT IN DIFFERENT WAYS.
FOR ME IT STARTED WHEN I WENT
TO TRINIDAD IN THE WEST INDIES.
I SPENT TWO YEARS THERE AND IS
THERE ANYBODY HERE FROM
TRINIDAD?
GOOD.
THIS IS GOOD.
SO I WENT THERE WHEN I 19 FOR
TWO YEARS WITH AN ORGANIZATION
CALLED CUSO.
I WENT TO WORK WITH THE YMCA.
I WAS MAKING $10 A WEEK PLUS
ROOM AND BOARD.
THAT WAS A LOT OF MONEY BACK
THEN AND AFTER I'D BEEN THERE A
MONTH THE HEAD OF THE YMCA WENT
BACK TO ENGLAND AND I WAS MADE
THE HEAD OF THE YMCA OF THE
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD.
I WAS 19.
I KNEW VERY LITTLE.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues WELL, AFTER
ABOUT A MONTH THEY SAID WELL,
WE NEED TO RAISE SOME MONEY.
NOW I KNOW A LOT ABOUT
FUNDRAISING NOW BECAUSE I RAN
THE UNITED WAY AND I WAS VICE
PRESIDENT OF A COUPLE OF
UNIVERSITIES BUT I DIDN'T KNOW
A LOT ABOUT RAISING MONEY THEN
AND I'VE HEARD TONIGHT ABOUT
FUND DEVELOPMENT FOR FAME SO
I'M GOING TO SUGGEST AN IDEA.
SO I THOUGHT ABOUT IT AND I
THOUGHT WHEN I WAS 17 GROWING
UP IN NORTH TORONTO WE USED TO
SELL CHRISTMAS TREES FOR THE
YMCA AND THROUGH THIS BRILLIANT
IDEA I THOUGHT IF WE SOLD
CANADIAN CHRISTMAS TREES IN
TRINIDAD THERE'D BE NO
COMPETITION.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."
[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues I CONVINCED
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, THE
YMCA OF PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD
TO ORDER 1,500 SCOTS PINE TREES
FROM THE YMCA IN ST. JOHN NEW
BRUNSWICK AND PUT THEM ON A
SHIP DOWN IN THE CARGO HOLD
NICE AND COOL AND THEY'D ARRIVE
FRESH.
WELL, I GOT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
INVOLVED BECAUSE YOU GET PEOPLE
INVOLVED AND THEY WENT TO THE
COMMUNITY AND HIGH COMMISSION
AND THE U.S. EMBASSY.
THEY GOT THE LIST OF ALL
CANADIANS AND AMERICANS LIVING
IN TRINIDAD AND THEY WENT OUT
AND PRE-SOLD 1,200 TREES.
I WAS LOOKING PRETTY GOOD.
THERE WAS AN ARTICLE IN THE
NEWSPAPER WITH MY NAME WAS IN
IT.
I SENT IT HOME TO MY MOTHER.
MY MOTHER SHARED IT WITH THE
BRIDGE CLUB.
SHE WAS VERY PROUD OF HER SON,
EVERYTHING WAS GOING GREAT AND
DECEMBER THE FIFTEENTH THE TREES
WERE TO ARRIVE AND THEY DIDN'T.

Gordon Cressy continues WHOA, I MADE
A LONG DISTANCE CALL, I SAID
WHERE ARE OUR TREES?
THEY SAID, Mr. CRESSY, WE'RE
TERRIBLY SORRY WE SHOULD'VE
CALLED YOU, THERE WAS A FIRE ON
THE SHIP.
I SAID, OH, NO.
THEY SAID GOOD NEWS.
I SAID WHAT COULD BE GOOD?
THEY SAID WE SAVED THE TREES.
I SAID WELL, WHERE ARE THEY?
THEY SAID WE PUT THEM ON
ANOTHER SHIP AND THEY'RE COMING
DOWN AND THEY SHOULD GET THERE
ABOUT DECEMBER THE TWENTY-FIRST.
I SAID WHOA, THAT'S REALLY
CLOSE.
THEY SAID WELL, CALL BERMUDA,
SEE HOW THE SHIP'S DOING.
I PUT IN ANOTHER LONG DISTANCE
CALL TO BERMUDA TO DISCOVER
THAT THERE WAS A DOCK WORKER
STRIKE IN BERMUDA...

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues THEY HOPED IT
WOULD CLEAR IN A FEW DAYS AND
IF ALL WAS WELL THE TREES WOULD
ARRIVE ON DECEMBER THE TWENTY-SEVENTH.
THERE WAS AN EMERGENCY MEETING
OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT
THE YMCA IN WHICH THEY PUT
FORWARD THIS MOTION TO SEND
THIS YOUNG CANADIAN VOLUNTEER
HOME.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues IT IS AT THIS
POINT YOU NEED TO ADAPT AND
ADJUST QUICKLY WITH A GOOD
SENSE OF HUMOUR SO I SUGGESTED
THAT FOR THAT YEAR ONLY WE
WOULD HAVE CHRISTMAS IN
TRINIDAD ON DECEMBER THE 30th.
THIS IDEA DID NOT GO OVER VERY
WELL AND THE NEXT MORNING TWO
OF THE PEOPLE ON OUR BOARD AND
MYSELF WENT DOWN TO V.W.I.
BRITISH WEST INDIAN AIRWAYS AND
SUGGESTED TO THEM A WONDERFUL
MARKETING OPPORTUNITY IN WHICH
THEY WOULD GIVE US AN AIRPLANE
FREE OF CHARGE, WE WOULD TAKE
ALL OF THE SEATS OUT OF THE
AIRPLANE, WE WOULD FLY THE
AIRPLANE TO GRANT P. ADAMS
AIRPORT IN BARBADOS.
WE WOULD GET THE TREES OFF THE
SHIP, PUT THEM ON SOME TRUCKS,
DRIVE THE TRUCKS OUT TO THE
AIRPORT, TAKE THE TREES OFF THE
TRUCKS AND PUT THEM ON THE
AIRPLANE AND FLY BACK TO
TRINIDAD AND GET THEM ALL READY
TO BE SOLD.
LOW AND BEHOLD THEY AGREED.
HEADLINE TRINIDAD GUARDIAN
NEWSPAPER CHRISTMAS TREE
AIRLIFT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR
LOCAL YMCA AND ON SUNDAY
DECEMBER THE TWENTY-SECOND TWO OF US,
TWO STEWARDESSES, 10 BOTTLES OF
OLD OAK TRINIDAD RUM WHICH IS A
VERY FINE RUM, FLEW TO
BARBADOS, ARRIVING ALL INTACT,
GOT DOWN TO THE DOCKS TO
DISCOVER WE FORGOTTEN
COMPLETELY IT WAS SUNDAY AND
THE DOCKWORKERS WEREN'T WORKING
BUT MANY OF THEM WERE AROUND
AND EIGHT BOTTLES LATER OF
TRINIDAD RUM THEY WERE WORKING
AND THE TREES CAME OFF THE SHIP
ONTO THE DOCKS, WE PUT THEM
ONTO THE TRUCKS, WE DROVE THE
TRUCKS OUT TO THE AIRPORT, WE
TOOK THE TREES OFF THE TRUCKS,
WE PUT THEM ON THE AIRPLANE AND
TWO OF US, TWO STEWARDESSES ON
TOP OF FIFTEEN HUNDRED SCOTS PINE TREES
FLEW BACK TO TRINIDAD ARRIVED
ALL INTACT AT PIARCO AIRPORT,
TOOK THE TREES OFF THE PLANE,
PUT THEM ON THE TRUCKS, DROVE
DOWN INTO PORT OF SPAIN,
ARRIVED AT THE YMCA CHRISTMAS
CAROL AND IN 48 HOURS WE SOLD
OUT ALL THE TREES, MADE A
PROFIT OF 8,000 DOLLARS FOR THE LOCAL
YMCA AND ON DECEMBER THE TWENTY-EIGHTH
THE TRINIDAD GOVERNMENT BANNED
CANADIAN CHRISTMAS TREES ASKING
PEOPLE TO GROW LOCAL TREES AND
WE SPAWNED A LITTLE COTTAGE
INDUSTRY THAT EXISTS TO THIS
DAY.
NOW I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE
WHOLE STORY BUT THERE'S A TINY
PART MORE BECAUSE ABOUT FOR
YEARS AGO THIS FELLOW IN HIS
40's CAME TO ME AND HE SAID YOU
TAUGHT ME HOW TO SWIM AT THE
YMCA.
HERE'S A PICTURE AND I SAID OH,
GEE, THAT'S RIGHT.
I SAID COME TO OUR HOUSE AT
CHRISTMASTIME.
WE SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND I
TELL THE CHRISTMAS TREE STORY
NOW FOR THE EIGHTEENTH TIME MUCH TO
MY WIFE'S CHAGRIN I MIGHT ADD
SO I TOLD THE STORY AND THIS
YOUNG FELLOW GOT UP AND SAID
THERE'S ANOTHER PART TO THE
STORY.
AND I SAID WELL, WHAT WAS THAT?
HE SAID WELL, TWO OF US WERE
HELPING SELL THE TREES ACTUALLY
THREW 20 OF THE TREES OVER THE
BACK FENCE, WHEN DOWN ON THE
CORNER AND WE SOLD THEM
OURSELVES AND MADE 200 DOLLARS
OURSELVES.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."
[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues WAS THE
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.
AND THEN ABOUT UH, TWO YEARS
AGO THERE WAS A FELLOW, STUART
MACLEAN WHO MANY OF YOU... HAS
A SHOW CALLED "THE VINYL CAFE."
AND HE SAID IT'S THE 40th
ANNIVERSARY OF CUSO AND WE
HEARD ABOUT THIS CHRISTMAS TREE
STUFF, IS THAT TRUE?
AND I SAID YES AND HE SAID
COULD I PUT IT ON THE RADIO?
AND I SAID FINE SO HE DID AND
THEN I GOT A CALL THAT NIGHT
FROM SOMEBODY IN B.C. WHO SAID
IS THAT A TRUE STORY ABOUT
THOSE CHRISTMAS TREES?
AND I SAID YES.
AND HE SAID WELL, UHM, I'M A
MOVIE PRODUCER AND I SAID OH,
YES?
I DID "THE BEACHCOMBERS" AND
THIS AND THAT AND HE SAID DID
YOU EVER SEE THE MOVIE "COOL
RUNNINGS" WITH JOHN CANDY ABOUT
THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM.
I SAID YES, THAT WAS VERY
FUNNY.
HE SAID THIS IS THE SAME MOVIE
IN REVERSE.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues SO I WAS
FIGURING OUT WHO'D BE THE STAR
TOM CRUISE OR SOMETHING VERY
EXCITING LIKE THAT.
MY WIFE SAID TO ME WHO'S VERY
SMART.
SHE SAID YOU BUILT YOUR WHOLE
LIFE ON ONE STORY, THE MOVIE
WILL NEVER GET OFF THE GROUND
AND IT HASN'T BUT IF IT DOES I
WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT IT ALL.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues NOW YOU MAY
WONDER WHY I TOOK SO LONG ON
THIS STORY.
THERE ARE TWO OR THREE REASONS.
ONE, WE NEED TO HAVE FUN.
WE NEED TO HAVE FUN.
MENTAL ILLNESS IS OFTEN NOT A
LOT OF FUN.
WE ALL KNOW THAT.
THERE IS PAIN IN MENTAL
ILLNESS.
THERE IS DISCONNECT.
THERE IS OFTEN ANGER.
WE NEED TO GET TO JOY AND WE
CAN FIND JOY IN QUITE WONDERFUL
WAYS.
PART OF JOY IS FINDING THE
THINGS THAT WORK.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT JIM DOES
THAT UPSETS ME IS THAT HE CAN
STILL BEAT ME ON THE GOLF
COURSE.
WE GO OUT AND WE PLAY GOLF.
HE HAS THIS VERY ELEGANT SWING.
WE GET SOME JOY THERE.
WE GET JOY ON THE PING PONG
TABLE.
JIM I WOULD THINK WOULD SAY HE
GOT GREAT JOY READING TO MY
BOYS WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG.
THEY CALL HIM UNCLE JIM.
NOW WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
I THINK 'CAUSE MY BOYS TREATED
UNCLE JIM AS THEIR UNCLE.
HE'S UNCLE JIM.
HE HELPED TEACH THEM HOW TO
READ.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO
UNDERSTAND IS EVERYBODY CAN
HELP SOMEBODY.
JIM HELPS AT THE STROKE CLUB.
HE HELPS AT THE STROKE CLUB.
THERE WAS THIS WONDERFUL STORY
OF SONJA WHO WAS 12 WHO WAS
BLIND AND SHE WAS BORN BLIND
AND WHEN SHE FIVE SHE WENT OFF
TO THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND.
WHEN SHE WAS 11 SHE WENT TO HER
MOM AND DAD AND SAID I WANNA GO
TO A ORDINARY SCHOOL AND HER
MOM AND DAD SAID BUT THE SCHOOL
FOR THE BLIND IS GOOD FOR YOU
BECAUSE THEY HAVE EVERYTHING.
SHE SAID I WANNA BE WITH
ORDINARY KIDS.
SHE WAS A SPUNKY LITTLE KID AND
HER MOM AND DAD WENT TO THE
SCHOOL BOARD AND THEY DECIDED
TO HAVE AN EXPERIMENT, A PILOT
PROJECT.
THEY'D TAKE 10 KIDS WHO WERE
BLIND AND THEY'D PUT THEM IN A
REGULAR SCHOOL AND SEE HOW IT
WOULD WORK OUT.
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?
EVERY TIME YOU TAKE A RISK
SOMETHING SPECTACULAR CAN
HAPPEN AND IN THIS LITTLE
SCHOOL BESIDE THE SCHOOL THERE
WAS A DAYCARE CENTRE AND
EVERYDAY THE DAYCARE TEACHER
USED TO READ TO THE KIDS FOR
NAPTIME AND YOU KNOW WHAT THE
DAYCARE TEACHER FOUND WITH THE
LIGHTS ON AND THE SUN COMING
THROUGH THE WINDOW THE KIDS
DIDN'T TAKE THEIR NAP AND SHE
COULDN'T READ THAT WAY SO SHE
TURNED THE LIGHTS OUT AND SHE
CLOSED THE BLINDS DOWN AND THEN
SHE FOUND SHE COULDN'T READ
BECAUSE IT WAS TOO DARK.
SO SHE USED A FLASHLIGHT AND
THE KIDS WERE DISTRACTED.
SONJA HEARD ABOUT THE PROBLEM
AND SHE CAME IN AND SHE SAID
I'D LIKE TO READ TO THE KIDS IN
THE DARK.
I'D LIKE TO READ TO THE KIDS IN
THE DARK AND OF COURSE SHE DID
BY BRAILLE WITH HER HANDS WHICH
WAS THE ONLY WAY SHE KNEW HOW
TO READ.
TO THE LITTLE KIDS IT WAS A BIT
LIKE MAGIC.
HERE WAS SOMEONE READING WITH
THEIR HANDS BUT THEY TOOK THEIR
NAP.
NOW WHAT WILL THOSE TWO AND
THREE YEAR OLDS THINK WHEN THEY
GROW UP ABOUT BLIND PEOPLE?
WELL, I THINK THEY'LL VIEW
BLIND PEOPLE AS NOT PEOPLE WITH
A WHITE CANE TO HELP ACROSS THE
STREET BUT RATHER PEOPLE WHO
ARE WORTHY OF BEING FRIENDS
WITH AS EQUALS.
WE KNOW THAT SONJA FELT GOOD.
SHE WAS DOING SOMETHING THAT NO
ONE ELSE COULD DO.
NOW IN A NUMBER OF DAYCARE
CENTRES BLIND KIDS WHO READ TO
THE PEOPLE FOR NAPTIME.
MY FIRST FULLTIME JOB AFTER I
HAD A DEGREE IN SOCIAL WORK WAS
RUNNING A GROUP HOME FOR KIDS
IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW.
THEY'D BE BETWEEN THE AGES OF
15 AND 17.
NOW I'D LEARNED A LOT ABOUT
GROUP HOMES.
PEOPLE LIKE THEM.
THE FURTHER THEY ARE LOCATED
FROM WHERE THEY LIVE, THE MORE
THEY LIKE THEM.
WE HAD A NICE GROUP HOME.
WE CUT OUR GRASS, OUR PLANTS
WERE NICE.
OUR NEIGHBOURS DIDN'T LIKE US.
OUR NEIGHBOURS DIDN'T LIKE US.
SO I HAD AN OPEN HOUSE TO
INVITE OUR NEIGHBOURS.
OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR HAD AN
OPEN HOUSE TO SEE WHO WAS
COMING TO OUR OPEN HOUSE.
WE COULD NOT CONVINCE THEM
TALKING BUT IN NOVEMBER THERE
WAS A MAJOR SNOWSTORM AND I GOT
OUR BOYS UP EARLY AND WE
SHOVELLED EVERYBODY'S WALK AND
THEN WE STOOD ON OUR PORCH AS
OUR NEIGHBOURS CAME OUT.
THEY DIDN'T LIKE US BUT THEY
SAW THAT THEIR WALK WAS
SHOVELLED.
NOW THEY COULD'VE TAKEN THE
SNOW OFF THE LAWN, PUT IT BACK
ON THE WALK AND SHOVELLED IT
AGAIN BUT THEY SAID THANK YOU.
IN THE SPRING THERE WAS A
GARBAGE STRIKE.
ONE THING YOU HAVE TO
UNDERSTAND ABOUT GARBAGE
STRIKES THEY NEVER IN THE
HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAVE
OCCURRED IN THE WINTER.
THEY ALWAYS OCCUR IN THE SPRING
OR THE SUMMER WHEN GARBAGE
SMELLS.
WE HAD A VAN.
WE PICKED UP EVERYBODY'S
GARBAGE.
WE TOOK IT TO THE DUMP.
WE TOOK IT TO THE DUMP.
WE PUT ONE OF THE PEOPLE ON THE
STREET ON OUR BOARD AND THEN
WHEN A WINDOW BROKE AND A
WINDOW DID BREAK OUR NEIGHBOURS
HAD BECOME OUR FRIENDS.
ONE OF OUR KIDS WAS VERY GOOD
AT STEALING TELEVISION SETS.
HE KNEW THE SIZE OF EVERY TV
WITHIN A FIVE BLOCK RADIUS.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED ON
OUR STREET OWNED A TELEVISION
STORE.
HE HIRED HIM PART-TIME.
THAT KID TODAY OWNS SEVEN
TELEVISION STORES.
WE TOOK THE SKILL AND WE PUT IT
IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
WE NEED TO FIND WHAT THOSE
CONNECTIONS ARE.
WHEN I USED TO CHAIR THE BOARD
OF THE TORONTO BOARD OF
EDUCATION I TALKED TO OUR
PRINCIPALS AND I SAID GET
INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY.
I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS
TALKING ABOUT BACK THEN BUT
SOMEBODY GOT IT.
ONE OF THEM DECIDED HE WOULD GO
AROUND THE CORNER TO THE SENIOR
CITIZENS HOME AND HE WENT THERE
AND HE SAID WHAT DO YOU THINK
OF US?
WE'RE YOUR NEIGHBOUR.
AND THE HEAD OF THE SENIOR
CITIZENS HOME SAID WE DON'T
LIKE YOU.
WHY?
WELL, YOUR KIDS STOMP ON THE
GRASS.
THEY'RE LANGUAGE IS BAD AND
THEN HE SAID THE MAGIC WORDS.
AND THESE ARE THE MAGIC WORDS.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
THEY'RE AMAZED IF YOU USE THAT
LINE.
SOMEONE'S REALLY ANGRY AT YOU,
STOP, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND
SAY WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
NEXT, RIGHT?
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
WELL, ALL OF A SUDDEN THIS
ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS SENIOR
CITIZENS HOME THOUGHT ABOUT IT
AND HE SAID WELL, 80 PERCENT OF THE
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIS
SENIOR'S HOME ARE WOMEN.
THEY'RE ON A FIXED INCOME.
THEY DON'T GET TO SEE A KID,
MAYBE ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IF
THEY'RE LUCKY AND THEY CAN'T
AFFORD TO GET THEIR HAIR DONE,
CAN YOU HELP?
OH, LIGHT GOES ON FOR THE
PRINCIPAL.
THERE'S A HAIR DRESSING PROGRAM
AT THE SCHOOL.
HE GOES BACK TO THE SCHOOL, HE
TALKS TO THE HEAD OF
HAIRDRESSING, WHO GETS THEIR
HAIR DONE?
WELL, THE OTHER KIDS AND THE
RARE TEACHER THAT WILL RISK IT.
TWO WEEKS LATER THE SENIORS ARE
COMING ACROSS AND GETTING THEIR
HAIR DONE FREE OF CHARGE.
THEY'RE TALKING TO THE KIDS.
THE KIDS HAD ALREADY WRITTEN
OFF OLD PEOPLE AND ALL OF A
SUDDEN THE KIDS ARE COMING OUT
AND SAYING OOH, THAT WOMAN WAS
A NURSE IN CHINA WITH Dr.
NORMAN BETHUNE.
WE JUST STUDIED ABOUT THAT.
SOME OF THE KIDS STARTED TO
VISIT THE SENIORS.
THE SENIORS THEN FOUND THEY
COULD HAVE LUNCH IN THE SCHOOL
CAFETERIA FAR CHEAPER THAN
ANYWHERE ELSE.
THE NOISE LEVEL IN THE SCHOOL
WENT WAY DOWN.
WELL, THAT WOULD BE A NICE
STORY BUT IT'S NOT QUITE THE
END AND THE END WAS THIS.
THE BUDGET CUTS CAME.
THE SCHOOL BOARD, THE TEACHERS
FEDERATION CAME DOWN AND SAID
DON'T CUT THE BUDGET, IT WILL
HURT THE KIDS.
THE TRUSTEES LISTENED AND THEY
REALIZED THAT WAS A SELF-
INTEREST ARGUMENT.
YES, THE TEACHERS WERE
CONCERNED ABOUT THE KIDS BUT
THE TEACHERS DIDN'T LIVE IN
THEIR AREA AND THE TEACHERS
WERE ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR
JOB.
WHEN THREE BUSLOADS OF SENIORS
FROM CHESTER VILLAGE CAME DOWN
TO THE BOARD AND SENIORS ALL
VOTE AND SAID DON'T CUT THE
BUDGET, IT'LL HURT THE KIDS.
THE SCHOOL BOARD LISTENED.
THEY DIDN'T CUT THE BUDGET.
WHAT HAD HAPPENED IN EACH OF
THOSE INSTANCES AT THE GROUP
HOME AND IN THE SCHOOL THE
PEOPLE HAD EARNED IT, THEY
EARNED IT.
ONE OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO DO
IN MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT GET UP
AND SHOUT BUT WE GOTTA EARN IT.
WE'VE GOT GOOD STORIES TO TELL.
WE GOT BREAKTHROUGHS TO TALK
ABOUT.
WE GOT STATISTICS, WE'VE GOT
INFORMATION AND WE NEED MORE
MONEY FOR RESEARCH AND WE KNOW
THAT CLEARLY.
WE NEED TO CONVINCE THOSE
PEOPLE IN POWER AND POLITICS
THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO
DO.
WE LISTEN TO TONY CLEMENT, HE
TALKS ABOUT SUPPORT FOR THIS.
WE DON'T KNOW HE'LL BE HERE IN
A COUPLE OF WEEKS BUT HE MIGHT
BE AND IF HE IS WE WANT HIM AS
AN ADVOCATE.
AND IF NOT AND THE OPPOSITION
COME TO POWER, WE WANT THEM AS
ADVOCATES BUT AS IMPORTANT IT
SEEMS TO ME AS BREAKTHROUGHS IN
RESEARCH IS THE DIGNITY OF
EVERYBODY AS A HUMAN BEING.
IT'S ABOUT HOW WE TREAT EACH
OTHER.
THAT IS ABOUT TAKING TIME.
THAT IS ABOUT BEING A BIT
PATIENT.
THAT IS WHEN PEOPLE SHOUT AT US
WHO ARE ILL TAKING IT.
IT'S NOT EASY SOMETIMES.
WE KNOW THAT.
IT'S NOT EASY SOMETIMES.
GROUPS LIKE FAME MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.
THE WORK OF SCOTT SIMMON AND
JULIA MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
THE MICHAEL WILSON'S COMING OUT
AND SPEAKING IN PUBLIC MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.
WE IN THE END ARE ABOUT MAKING
A DIFFERENCE.
THE LAST TABOO WAS A GREAT
TITLE.
IF WE ARE LOOKING FOR THIS
DECADE THE BREAKTHROUGH AND
WE'VE SEEN BREAKTHROUGHS IN
HEALTH SINCE THE 1900's.
IT IS THE BREAKTHROUGH OF
MENTAL HEALTH.
IT IS GETTING IT ON THE FRONT
BURNER.
IT IS TALKING ABOUT IT AS
INDIVIDUALS AND AS FRIENDS AND
AS NEIGHBOURS.
IT IS ABOUT QUALITY OF LIFE AND
IT IS ABOUT GOING FOR JOY AND
IT IS FINDING THE STORIES THAT
CONNECT.
SOMETIMES IT'S POETRY.
SOMETIMES IT'S SONG.
SOMETIMES IT'S SKILL SET.
MY WIFE WORKS AT THE CENTRE FOR
ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH.
LAST YEAR THEY HAD THE EXHIBIT,
THE ART EXHIBIT OF PEOPLE FROM
AROUND NORTH AMERICA.
IT WAS EXTRAORDINARY.
EXTRAORDINARY.
THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT IN THE
PRESS.
NOT A LOT.
THERE WAS A LITTLE BIT.
SO AS WE LOOK TO ADVOCATES WE
SHOULD ALWAYS START WITH
OURSELVES.
WHAT CAN I DO?
AND I GUESS MY CHALLENGE IS WE
CAN ALL DO A LITTLE MORE.
WE CAN DO IT ON OUR STREET.
WE CAN DO IT WITH OUR SONS AND
OUR DAUGHTERS.
WE CAN DO IT WITH OUR MOMS AND
DADS AND FOR MY MOM AND DAD WHO
HAVE BOTH PASSED AWAY THEY SAID
IN THE END WE ARE OUR BROTHER'S
KEEPER.
WE CAN DO IT IN THE ADVANCING
DRUGS BUT IN THE END WE BUILD
COMMUNITY, WE BUILD COMMUNITY
BY UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING
EACH OTHER AND OUR DIFFERENCES.
ALL PEOPLE DREAM BUT NOT
EQUALLY.
THOSE WHO DREAM AT NIGHT IN THE
DUSTY RECESSES OF THEIR MIND
AWAIT TO FIND THAT IT WAS
VANITY BUT THE DREAMERS OF THE
DAY ARE DANGEROUS PEOPLE FOR
THEY MAY ACT THEIR DREAMS WITH
OPEN EYES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
WE MUST ALL HAVE GREAT DREAMS.
WE MUST NOT EVER GIVE UP.
TO MAKE A GREAT DREAM HAPPEN WE
MUST FIRST HAVE THAT GREAT
DREAM.
WE WANT THAT FOR OUR CHILDREN.
WE IT THAT FOR OUR BROTHERS AND
SISTERS.
WE WANT THAT IN TERMS OF DIGNITY
AND THEN WHEN GREAT
DREAMS START TO HAPPEN YOU
SEE THOSE BREAKTHROUGHS, LET US
CELEBRATE THEM.
LET US SHOUT IT TO THE RAFTERS
BECAUSE IT CREATES A MOTIVATION
AND INCENTIVE THAT WE CAN ALL
BREAKTHROUGH.
AND WE ARE THE BETTER FOR THAT.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
LAO TSU, THE CHINESE
PHILOSOPHER CENTURIES AGO SAID
THIS "GO TO THE PEOPLE.
LIVE WITH THEM AND LOVE THEM.
START WITH WHAT THEY KNOW AND
BUILD ON WHAT THEY HAVE BUT OF
OUR BEST LEADERS WHEN THEIR JOB
IS DONE THE TASK ACCOMPLISHED,
THE PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY WE DID
OURSELVES.
WE DID IT OURSELVES."
THE STRENGTH IN THE END IS
HOLDING HANDS AND THEN BEING
ABLE TO LET GO OF IT.
SO PEOPLE MOVE ON.
MY FATHER WAS A BANKER ALL HIS
LIFE.
AND WHEN HE RETIRED HE GAVE ME
A POEM AND I'D LIKE TO SHARE IT
WITH YOU AND IT'S CALLED
"AROUND THE CORNER."
AND IT GOES LIKE THIS: "AROUND
THE CORNER I HAVE A FRIEND IN
THIS GREAT CITY THAT KNOWS NO
END YET DAYS GO BY AND WEEKS
RUSH ON AND BEFORE I KNOW IT A
YEAR IS GONE AND I NEVER SEE MY
DEAR FRIEND'S FACE FOR LIFE IS
A SWIFT AND FATEFUL RACE.
OH, HE KNOWS I LIKE HIM JUST AS
WELL AS IN THE DAYS WHEN I RANG
HIS BELL AND HE RANG MINE.
WE WERE YOUNGER THEN BUT NOW
WE'RE BUSY, TIRED MEN, TIRED OF
PLAYING A FOOLISH GAME.
TIRED WITH TRYING TO MAKE A
NAME.
TOMORROW I SAY I'LL CALL ON
JIM, JUST TO SHOW HIM I'M
THINKING OF HIM BUT TOMORROW
COMES AND TOMORROW GOES AND THE
SPACE GROWS AND GROWS.
AROUND THE CORNER YET MILES
AWAY, HERE'S A TELEGRAM, SIR,
JIM DIED TODAY.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE GET WE
DESERVE IN THE END AROUND THE
CORNER FORGOTTEN FRIEND."
MY FATHER'S MESSAGE WAS ABOUT
KEEPING IN TOUCH.
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH FAMILY,
WITH FRIENDS, WITH PEOPLE WHO
STRUGGLE.
SO MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS
SIMPLY THIS.
WHEN YOU GO HOME TONIGHT, CALL
SOMEBODY YOU'VE BEEN THINKING
ABOUT CALLING.
YOU WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER FOR
IT AND SO WILL THEY AS A MATTER
OF FACT, I'M VERY TIRED AND I'M
NEVER AGAIN GOING TO SEND A
CHRISTMAS CARD THAT SAYS MUST
GET TOGETHER FOR LUNCH THIS
YEAR.

[Audience laughter]

Gordon Cressy continues WE'VE ALL HAD
THEM AND YOU KNOW WHAT IT
MEANS?
YOU'LL GET ANOTHER CHRISTMAS
CARD WITH THE SAME MESSAGE.
FORGET THE CARD, PHONE THE
PERSON UP, TALK WITH THEM.
WE ARE BETTER FOR CONNECTING.
MENTAL ILLNESS IS ABOUT
CONNECTING.
IT IS ABOUT GOING DEEP INSIDE
OURSELVES TO HOLD ON WHEN WE
NEED TO, HUG WHEN WE NEED TO,
AND BE THERE.
AND BE THERE.
AND UNDERSTAND THAT EACH OF US
HAS A RESPONSIBILITY AND THAT
RESPONSIBILITY IS NOT TO WALK
AWAY.
NOT TO BE A SPECTATOR.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO BE A
PARTICIPANT.
FRANKLY WE'RE TALKING HERE
ABOUT THE FIELD OF ACTION.
EACH OF US NEEDS TO GET TO
ANOTHER, TO GET INVOLVED.
AND THAT'S HOW THAT FLAME GROWS
BECAUSE WE REACH OUT TO ONE
ANOTHER.
WELL, THE STATISTICS ARE IN, WE
READ ABOUT THEM LAST WEEK IN
THE PAPER.
THE NUMBERS OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO
ARE DEPRESSED IS EXTRAORDINARY.
THE CONNECTION SOMETIMES WITH
EVEN THEIR OWN FAMILY IS NOT AS
HIGH AS IT SHOULD BE.
WHEN WE SEE THIS SIGNAL AND WE
NOW KNOW HOW TO DETECT THE
SIGNALS IS GET THERE.
THE WORK FOR CENTRE OF
ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH
AROUND FIRST EPISODES IS
TERRIFIC TODAY.
IT IS BREAKTHROUGH STUFF.
WE GET PEOPLE AT THE START.
AND ONCE WE DO THAT THEN WE,
EACH OF US HAVE AN OBLIGATION
THAT'S WHAT ALUMNI IS ALL
ABOUT.
WELL, LET ME BRING THIS TO A
CLOSE.
FAME HAS A KEY ROLE.
THAT ROLE IS ABOUT TELLING THE
STORIES.
THERE ARE LOTS OF STORIES OUT
THERE.
THE STORY OF MY BROTHER BILL
AND JIM IS NO DIFFERENT THAN
HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF THEM
BUT ONCE WE GET THAT STORY OUT
TO OTHERS THEN ANOTHER STORY
POPS UP AND ANOTHER ONE.
WE WILL BREAK THROUGH BECAUSE
WE ARE TENACIOUS.
WE WILL PRESERVE AND IF WE'VE
LEARNED ANYTHING FROM MICHAEL
AND AL BURNEY IS YOU STAY THE
COURSE, DRIVE ALONG THAT BLOOR
VIADUCT TODAY.
IT ACTUALLY LOOKS GORGEOUS.
THEY STAYED THE COURSE.
THEY MADE SOME FRIENDS.
THEY DID WHAT I CALL NUDGE,
NURTURE, NUDGE, NURTURE AND
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE THEY HAD
TO HIT SOMEBODY EN ROUTE AND
THEN MADE SOME NEW FRIENDS,
MADE SOME NEW FRIENDS.
MY MOTHER USED TO PUT IT THAT
SONG WHEN WE WERE YOUNG MAKE
NEW FRIENDS AND KEEP THE OLD.
ONE IS SILVER AND THE OTHER IS
GOLD.

A green caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Gordon Cressy. Canadian Tire Foundation for Families."

He continues
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.
WE ARE MAKING NEW FRIENDS
THROUGH THIS CAUSE.
BUT DON'T FORGET OUR OLD
FRIENDS AND EVERY TIME WE GET
SOMEBODY ON SIDE HUG THEM AND
LET THEM GO.
HUG THEM... AND START WITH OUR
FAMILY AND WE REACH OUT.
SO IN ASKING ME HERE TONIGHT
MAYBE WHAT YOU'VE ASKED ME TO
DO IS SHARE.
SHARING IS HOW WE MAKE A
DIFFERENCE.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IS ABOUT
PARTICIPATION AND IT'S ABOUT
ACTION.
IT IS NOT GOING SILENT.
THE SILENCE IS NOW OVER.
NEVER AGAIN LET US BE SILENT.
LET US STAND UP WITH CONFIDENCE
AND SAY THAT MENTAL HEALTH IS
ON THE FRONT OF THE AGENDA.
LET US HELP THOSE WHO ARE
MENTALLY ILL BE OUR
SPOKESPEOPLE BECAUSE THEIR
STORIES ARE REAL AND WHEN WE
HAVE THOSE BREAKTHROUGHS
CHAMPION.
GRAND DREAMS.
JOY AND HUMOUR FOR WHAT WILL
SUSTAIN US WHEN THE TOUGH TIMES
COME AND THEY DO COME BUT IT IS
KEEPING ON THE POSITIVE SIDE IS
HOW WE BREAK THROUGH.
I THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME,
THANKS VERY MUCH.

[Audience applause]

THANKS VERY MUCH.

[Audience applause]

Watch: Gordon Cressy on kindness and mental health