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Inspired by the CFPU by Josha Sietsma

in Books/History/Stills Photographers by

I was asked to write how Holland’s first baseball scorebook happened to have a cover-illustration inspired by Charles H. Richer (CFPU). In the summer of 2015, before becoming a teacher fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), I hosted a screening on the work and life of Annemie Wolff. She and her husband were photographers during the WWII and moved to Amsterdam prior to its commence. The amazing stills by this couple and my summer at the USHMM inspired my thoughts on photographers in wartime. Being raised in Hamilton (ON), a fervent Canadian Historical review reader and with love for baseball I started searching the archives for the…

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Michael D. Spencer – November 9, 1919 – April 20, 2016

in Bios/History/Production Staff by
  • Spencer001.jpg
    Michael Spencer holding a Bell & Howell Eyemo cine camera. Credit: The Way We Were by Ken Bell - © University of Toronto Press 1988.
  • Spencer002.jpg
    Group photo Canadian Army Film Unit. Left to right: (back row) Michael Spencer, Gordon Sparling, Nadine Manning, Mrs. Moffit, Marjorie Cox, Gordon McClain (front row) Unid, Lew Weekes, Ken Ewart.
  • Spencer003.jpg
    Four Old Sweats - Clockwise from top left; Michael Spencer, Alan Grayston, Nadine Manning, Gordon Sparling.
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    Army News interview on the occasion of the dedication of the new Editing Suite honouring the Veterans of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, Tuesday November 10th, 2009, National Printing Bureau, 45 Sacre-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.
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    Army News interview: Michael Spencer and Chuck Ross. Tuesday November 10th, 2009.
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    Canadian Forces poster presentation to Michael Spencer. Tuesday November 10th, 2009.
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    Group interview with Don Newman Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, Lobby National Printing Bureau, 45 Sacre-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.
  • Spencer009.jpg
    Dedication of the new Editing Suite honouring the Veterans of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, Tuesday November 10th, 2009.
  • Spencer010.jpg
    Presentation to Michael Spencer of Canadian Army Newsreel t-shirt during interview at his home, Oct. 25, 2007.
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    "Capt. Mike Spencer snapped by yours truly (Gordon Sparling) as he gazed from Hitler’s office in the Chancellery. July 1945." Photo by Gordon Sparling - courtesy, Brock Silversides, Director, University of Toronto Media Commons.

It is with great sadness that I create this post in memory of Michael Desbois Spencer, former member of the Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit. Michael was one of the four original members that formed the Unit in the fall of 1941. I was privileged to have met both Michael and his wife Maqbool on several occasions, the first being an interview I was granted to perform at their home on October 25, 2007. He will be greatly missed. ABOUT MICHAEL: Michael was born In England, and was on holiday in British Columbia when war broke out in 1939. Without a way to get back home, Michael decided to travel…

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