I admire and honour your commitment to social wisdom and your empathy for all. Your heart was the size of the Universe and your life was the Love in your heart. If good things can happen, then they will happen. You made a sacrifice to bring the Good in God. Rest in Peace dear friend Tooker Gomberg.
"Some parts of the past must be preserved, and some of the future prevented at all costs."
sasha. - the Pope Squatter
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:07 pm Post subject: Waterloo feels the loss Reply with quote
The following is a letter I wrote and sent out to help come to terms with the news. At least Tooker isn't in pain anymore.
March 9, 2004
Last Friday morning I received an email notifying me that Tooker Gomberg took his own life. For those of you who didn’t know him, Tooker was one of Canada’s top environmental activists. Several years ago the Wilfrid Laurier Univerity Environment Club brought him to Laurier to participate in a day of environmental activism. He participated in a parking space take-over, lectured to a politics class, spoke in the concourse and participated in a critical mass bike ride.
I think it is important for us to ask why and how such an involved and important member of our society could become so overwhelmed with grief and pain that he would take his own life? I read on the internet that “suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain”. When a person commits suicide their pain may end, but the pain experienced by those around them just begins.
Suicide is a very sensitive topic. But apparently it is a common phenomena. I’d encourage anyone who is depressed or feeling overwhelmed with pain to talk with someone and get help. Life is to precious not to.
My deepest condolences go out to everyone whose been affected by suicide.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:40 pm Post subject: Toronto memorial was theraputic Reply with quote
Yesterday I attended the wonderful memorial for Tooker. It was really positive and theraputic. Tooker's passing had a profound impact on so many of us. I really appreciated the comments dealing with depression.
The singers and speakers did a fantastic job as well.
World Peace in '04,
Joined: 19 Mar 2004
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 3:56 pm Post subject: Kevin Jardine: memories of Tooker in Edmonton, Toronto, Holl Reply with quote
[posted on behalf of Kevin Jardine - ed]
Memories of Tooker in Edmonton, Toronto, the Netherlands
I first met Tooker in 1992 when he was running for Edmonton City Council. As a Greenpeace climate campaigner, I was looking for campaign targets and discovered a proposal to build a coal-fired power station near Edmonton. I had meetings in Winnipeg and Sault Ste Marie to go to as well so I took a bus and stopped off along the way.
Working with the local Greenpeace canvass office, we set up a mock power plant complete with a conveyor belt and dry ice smoke outside a city council meeting. Tooker and the Eco City Society came out to support us. After the event ran on the radio and the 6 o'clock news, Tooker and I were celebrating at the Eco City office when he got an aggrieved phone call from the head of Edmonton Power. "How could you work with a Greenpeace person who just flew in from Toronto?", the power chief complained. "He didn't fly in", Tooker said - "He took the bus!".
There is no bus across the Atlantic and after careful thought I've decided not to burn the carbon and instead participate in a No War demonstration in Brussels this weekend. I think Tooker would approve.
Tooker won the election and soon set up an international network of advisers and idea generators. I was fortunate and honoured to be one of them and attended the occasional strategy meeting in Edmonton. Tooker soon found that a huge part of the job was plowing through the enormous documents generated by city officials. "They're trying to swamp us", he told me with a grin, "but I think we're staying above water".
Tooker was a real policy wonk and spent many hours with volunteers scanning telephone book size municipal reports, looking for water, waste and water projects that could be replaced with conservation or more sustainable alternatives. When he found one, he sent a call out to his advisor network asking for the best alternative examples from around the world. Then he charmed and argued with fellow councillors to make them happen.
Tooker got things done - an amazing number of things during his short term in office. When his term was over, not only was Edmonton a cleaner and healthier place, but he had blocked the construction of so many unsustainable and unnecessary water, waste and power projects that over the long term he saved the city millions of dollars.
I was lucky enough to convince Tooker and his partner Angela to move to Toronto in 1999 where Tooker took my position after I transferred to Amsterdam. Tooker used his time in Toronto as effectively as ever, both when working at Greenpeace and after, when he took on social justice and war issues as well as running for Mayor.
I last saw Tooker in Amsterdam at the end of 2000, after he had burned his passport at a climate conference in the Hague. Tooker watched politicians and their advisors replace environmental action with endless sterile debate and he was angry.
He could get very angry, especially at politicians. As a politician he had focused on action and he could not tolerate politicians who prefered to dither rather than solve important problems. I was shocked at how angry Tooker was when I saw him in Amsterdam. Then I realised that I had become comfortably numb about a world where politicians needed to be manipulated or forced into making a few right decisions.
Tooker refused to accept such a world and believed that politicians should be accountable to the people who voted for them and should work to make the world a better place. For a little while when I was with Tooker, I even thought that such a world might be possible.
Tooker's greatest skill was creating hope. He led the way in making alternatives possible and he challenged other leaders to do the same.
That's why his death is so shocking. But I don't think that his death cancels out at all what he was able to accomplish. Depression can infect anyone, even amazing, charismatic hope-bringers like Tooker. He accomplished much and inspired many thousands while he was here.
- Kevin Jardine
Joined: 20 Mar 2004
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 1:46 am Post subject: My Hero Reply with quote
For one of those people whose paths crossed briefly with Tooker and Angela a long time ago; I wish to step forward to honor them for their commitment to their brothers and sisters of this earth bound community.
Tooker served as a mirror to our souls. He reminded us that with every great undertaking we need to look at that which we create, and that which we destroy.
We can celebrate his life, though we may want to mourn our destiny. The bitter irony in Tooker's passing is that Tooker did what few people in our society are willing to do. He stood up for what matters. Call it brave... bold... valiant... to him perhaps this was the only way for him to live. For Tooker tried to give us a conscience. To help us view beyond ourselves, our greed and our arrogance... to envision that which was so clear to Tooker... a world community that cared for itself and lived as though life mattered.
Tooker was an underdog. In our world of "high" gloss and "smart" packaging, Tooker was a diamond in the rough. He was discounted by his attire... dismissed by his stature... yet he made up for it in "heart". He walked as a giant among those who honored his presence, his insight, and his word. Tooker... you have always been and will always be my hero.
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 5:38 pm Post subject: latest e-newsletter - memorial edition - please forward Reply with quote
...help spread the word...
Below is the latest edition of the People- & Planet-Friendly
e-mail newsletter, a special memorial edition. It just
went out this afternoon (Friday). Thanks to the Toronto