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Remembering a friend

Christmas tradition

(December 16, 1999, Gazette)

Dr. Ken Jacobsen reads before the rest of the English department.

Photo by Don Meiwald

Grenfell’s English faculty began this Christmas season as they have for the past 22 years – with the Annual Christmas Reading. But this year special memories were recalled as the reading was dedicated to David “Smokey” Elliott (1923-1999).

The reading was held in the Fine Arts Theatre, which was filled to capacity, and was taped by a local Cable Atlantic crew for public viewing over the Christmas season. Devised and directed by David Freeman, professor emeritus, the reading was its usual collection of the comic and serious, the sacred and secular. Poems, short stories and excerpts focused on the themes of Christmas and winter, everything from Orwell’s As I Please to Thomas Pestell’s Made of a Woman to Richmal Crompton’s A Busy Day, a comic tale of a boy’s mischief on Christmas morning.

Grenfell College remembered affectionately the poet and retired member of the English department for his participation in the annual event.

“I will long remember his recitations of pieces by Ted Russell, and they were recitations, for while Smokey had a text in front of him, he did not read; every word was in his memory,” said Grenfell’s Dr. Paul Wilson. “It is very fitting that we remember him with this reading.”