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Despite the wilderness respite, he knew there was much work to be done.
When we finished our walk, our talk, we went in different directions. And that is what life is about, doing good work in whatever direction one chooses. I beamed when I heard Tooker speak live on radio from the bosom of Ralph Klein’s vault.
I cannot accept that Tooker took his life. No. He shared his life for the betterment of all.

Kevin Hamilton


PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 3:40 pm Post subject: Tooker's inspiration will live on! Reply with quote

Tooker was everything any activist could ever hope to be. He stood up for what he believed in and was unwavering even in the face of police and possible detention or jail time. On so many occasions when most of us would leave an action in the face of authorities, Tooker would stand his ground and inspire almost everyone around him. His dedication, his immense love for this planet and everyones well being on it and his enormous presence will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him and by mother earth herself.
It is truly a sad day for the world and all its inhabitants and my deepest regards go out to everyone who mourns the lost of one of the most dedicated activists I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. His inspiration will live on through our stories of him and he will continue to inspire me to push on in the overwhelming face of the adversity that is life.
I think we should all try to plan some proactive and fun street theatre in the memory of Tooker! It would be fun to tape such actions and put together a short film about street theatre and dedicate it to Tooker!
In unison for the earth,

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:07 pm Post subject: To Tooker, To Twoker Reply with quote

I went to the memorial in Riverdale Hall this Monday.

It was so beautiful, so great, so simple, so powerful!

I'm still in awe at just how great a man Tooker was.
Hearing people tell their Tooker stories & memories was

like seeing the tip I knew grow into the immensity of

an iceberg lifting out of the sea.
I'm psyching myself up, and figuring out how to answer

the call to carry forth Tooker's spirit and creativity.

I've been emotionally disfunctional for quite a while,

so my responses and reactions are often off the mark,

but FWIW, maybe, especially to someone in similar shoes,

my current rationalization:

- Eternal hope and optimism without a healthy dose

of protective cynicism and anger is unsustainable.

- Tooker's had his share of mortal fun,

and done his share of mortal work.

He's earned a rest. (But I don't picture him

resting if there's ass to kick in the afterlife.)

- A seed must die to bring forth new life.

If Tooker's death spurs a bunch of us to

venture into action, inspired by his life,

then that is a good thing.

If even one (but I'm hoping for two) shining

star emerges, to be the next seed, then

that will be a very good thing.
- To Tooker, Thanks!

To Twoker, Be strong, take your time, but don't dawdle, eh!


Joined: 17 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 2:00 pm Post subject: inspired to act Reply with quote

In the fall of 2000 is when I met Tooker, when he was running for mayor of toronto and protesting the Adams Mine waste proposal. His energy was contagious and inspirational. i sat beside him in City hall holding up protest signs and handed out Gomberg for mayor flyers.

It was his energy that inspired me to run in the federal election that ran at the same time. He made an activist and politician out of me.
I moved to halifax in August to go to school and ran into Tooker downtown. He was on his bike at the corner of Blowers and Barrington. I saw him and said "Hey, are you Tooker Gomberg?" He smiled and responded yes. I said that I'm from Toronto and helped hand out flyers for him during the election. I think it was his 1st day in Halifax, cause he asked me where the Ecology Action Centre was, (where Angela works). I took him to the centre, enjoying our conversation on the way there. When we got there he suggested I come sit in on a meeting, and so I did.
I ran into him once again at the market in halifax and often saw he and Angela biking around, including many times on the MacDonald Bridge, which i pass everyday. It was unbeleivable to me when I heard of his death. His energy will continue across this country in the many people he has influenced.


Joined: 11 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:41 pm Post subject: Bicycle bell farewell for respected activist Reply with quote

Bicycle bell farewell for respected activist
Mike Sadava

The Edmonton Journal

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

photo captions & credits:

Tooker Gomberg

CREDIT: Larry Wong, The Journal
Angela Bischoff rings a bicycle bell at a memorial for her husband Tooker Gomberg who went missing last week in Halifax. The bell is from their wedding.

CREDIT: Shaughn Butts, The Journal

EDMONTON - Mourners said goodbye to Tooker Gomberg with four rings of a bicycle bell.
More than 500 of the former city councillor's friends, family members, neighbours, one-time council colleagues and fellow activists attended a memorial service Tuesday at City Hall.
Gomberg, 48, was suffering from depression and is presumed dead after his bicycle and helmet were found on a bridge in Halifax nearly two weeks ago.
His wife, Angela Bischoff, rang the same bell the couple rang when they got married in a Riverdale park nearly 10 years ago.
Gomberg and Bischoff cycled everywhere together, going as far as Vietnam, China and Cuba in their never-ending effort to make the world a greener and more peaceful place.
"What a ride we had together," said Bischoff, who travelled from Halifax for the service. "Year after year we described our relationship as one that just kept getting better and better."
Lt.-Gov. Lois Hole, who wasn't scheduled to speak but asked to say a few words, said it would be good if there were more politicians like Gomberg, who lived by his beliefs.
"His methods may have been unconventional, but his sincerity was beyond reproach," Hole said.
Patricia Hartnagel, a longtime leader of the peace movement in Edmonton, praised Gomberg for always being able to see the big picture, especially the connection between peace and the environment. Gomberg formed a peace camp in front of Canada Place to protest the first Gulf War in 1991.
"It's tough being an activist in this province," Hartnagel said. "He was right and we all knew it, but he's the one who had the courage to do it."
She said Gomberg brought together grey-haired activists and young people, with his "in-your-face style that could either turn you right off, make you shake your head, laugh out loud, or sometimes all three at once."
People who attended the service said they were influenced by Gomberg, whether they were fighting for water conservation or against the sale of Edmonton Telephones.
George Brohman, who had his own problems with depression years ago, said Gomberg was a friend who got him a work experience position with the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters.
Local activist Scott Harris, who worked with Gomberg on a number of projects, said it was amazing how many people across the country knew Gomberg.
"Everyone in the activist community in Canada was one degree of separation from Tooker," he said.
Avi Gomberg recalled how his older brother would talk to anyone he met in his travels, whether or not he knew the language.
"You led by example and you will continue to lead us and inspire us. Tu es parmi nous -- you are among us."
© The Edmonton Journal 2004

- please note these news stories are not permanent links

Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:55 am Post subject: IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT THIS FORUM - from the moderator Reply with quote


Hello all,
It seems a prankster has been amongst us. An anonymous person

with a very unusual sense of humour. Three postings have been

removed: "Micmac Curse", "Tookered" and "Self-Medicated". All

three were misleading or inappropriate to one extent or another.

From now on, there are two easy ways to post a message:
(1) REGISTER -- create yourself a free account on the forum.

To do so, just click "Register", at top right. If you come back

later to post again, click "Log in". To register, all you need is

an e-mail account. Privacy concerns: Your e-mail address will

not be visible to others (unless you manually type it into

your message or signature). You do not need to provide

any personal information, just leave it blank. You can even

use a pseudonym if you like. But if necessary, the moderator

might contact you by e-mail to verify your posting.
or (2) E-MAIL your message to

and I will post it on your behalf. Please put "Tooker Forum"

in the subject line, so I don't miss it. It might take me a day

or two before I get it onto the forum.

Viewing of messages will be the same as before.

You do not need to register or log in.

Thank you for all your wonderful postings so far. I look forward

to seeing more, as the conversation continues to evolve!

- Peter Blanchard
Tooker Gomberg Memorial Discussion Forum




Joined: 12 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:13 pm Post subject: A song for Angela and all who grieve for Tooker. Reply with quote


I can't remember when or where I met Tooker Gomberg. I think it was in the late eighties at a time when I was working on my university degree and involved in things like the Women's Centre on campus and the Global Visions Film Festival. Or perhaps it was about the time Jessica Schoenberg and I were doing benefit performances for the Edmonton Sexual Assault Centre and the Bissel Centre. Certainly, it was at a time when I believed in fighting for the causes of my choice, and when I hoped that the world at large cared. It was at a time when grassroots activism and folk music in Edmonton seemed very much impassioned and alive, when song gatherings with the likes of Jennifer Gibson and Maria Dunn took place at the Golden Lentil, one of the houses belonging to the Assiniboia Co-op.
Fifteen years later, I find myself living in Saudi Arabia, at a distance from the city of my birth and from my homeland. However, if anything, it is this distance which has made me more patriotic in a sense, despite my being more of a citizen of the world, more global and informed in my outlook. I feel more aware of just what we enjoy in Canada and of what we take for granted without knowing it,
I remember Tooker and Angela's (or was it just Tooker's?) cycling trip through Cuba. I remember also feeling a tad bit cynical about some of the "reports" that came to one of the local arts publications. I'd been to Cuba. I'd seen the poverty. For some reason, it felt a little idealistic to portray that country in such a positive light, insofar as transportation was concerned. For I was deeply troubled by the fact that doctors there made the equivalent of $15 a month, while a security guard I met made $8 American a month. Never mind. I think the truth is I was jealous that here was a man (Tooker) living out his dream and doing so in such creative ways.
Life takes us down paths we least expect sometimes. You never know where you're going to end up. And to that end, I believe it is good to live from your heart and to live with conviction and to seek compassion in relationships with self, others, and the environment. On some level, Tooker is a person who instilled in me a desire and dream to see the world. I'm doing that and hope in some way I've deepened my commitment also to make a difference in the lives of some who are, on some level, oppressed. My best friend is a Saudi woman, and through her eyes and my experiences after having been here almost eight years, I've come to know Saudi/Arab culture well. This is at a time when the world seems almost to have gone mad -- 9/11 and Iraq War, not to mention Spain's recent train bombings. When the time is right, I will speak about my learnings. For now, it is Tooker's death that gives me pause to think about whether or not I am as focused as I should be in my efforts. I think not and resolve to do better.
So, I cried today when I checked online and read that Tooker had taken his own life. What an irony. What a loss for us all. I am reminded of something a German friend who is married to a Palestinian man here said to me once: It would be a terrible thing if we were all the same. It would be a terrible thing if the world was perfect. There would be nothing to strive for. It would be boring. I haven't the eloquence of my friend, but what comes to mind is my gratitude to Tooker for his willingness to put himself out there in his very individual way. Some were entertained. Some were annoyed. But no doubt -- all paid attention to his social action theatre and his other methods for affecting change. And he did make a difference. He gave hope to those who sided with his ideals. He gave pause to those who thought they could marginalize people or our environment. A quick scan of several websites shows me that he and Angela and their friends and colleagues accomplished a great deal. It is fitting to feel the loss, then, and to pause on what there is to learn from this.
Suicide is a tragic thing. I've been there. I've relied on support from friends and from strangers on distress lines more often that I can count. I've written a song about it, because after coming to this country where there is no support, where I had to learn other ways of coping with my depression, I finally made some sort of peace with myself and my strengths and my frailties. I can relate to the heart and mind of a person who is suicidal, and this would be the first time I've publicly said this. For some time, I've wanted to reach out and say: you don't have to be alone. Reach for someone, anyone. And for the rest of us, in our busy, busy lives -- and forgive me for making this assumption -- in the West -- in cultures where community is something we have to work at, because "family" isn't always there and present and defined, whatever it is -- may we all learn to give more and to see better, to give unconditionally, and to insist that even when we are at odds with one another, we are never not united. My Saudi friend once said to me, "Take 'space' and you create space in the heart." Let us be closer to our loved ones even when we or they are troubled.
And so, let me offer up the story of a song I wrote that would be relevant to share under the circumstances. Last year, when a former student wrote to tell me her mother had died of cancer, and Leila (in her early twenties) would have to learn to knit a sweater, not just mittens or a scarf, because this grief, this loss was too big, something opened up in me. At the same time, Elizabeth Smart had been found alive in Utah, nine months after her abduction from her own bed. 9/11 and the loss of so many people including policemen and firemen had long been playing on my mind. A song came about this inevitable truth--that we're all going to die someday. Death is an unsettling fact of life to most of us. At a time when Tooker's loved ones must miss him terribly, I hope these words offer some comfort.
SOME OF US © 2003, Lorelei L o v e r i d g e, SOCAN
Some of us leave too soon

Leave behind the sun and the moon

Some of us fly when we're ready

Strong to the end, steady

Some of us cry 'til we're blind

Lost and alone, left behind

Some of us pray to God and say

"How could you take them away?"





Some of us die heroes

Some--nobody knows

Some of us go holding the hands

Of a loved one who understands

Some of us are taken in the night

Unwilling, we put up a fight

Some of us crash our cars and burn

Some of us pray for our turn





Just reach for me and I'll reach for you

Think of me and I'll think of you

Laugh with me and I'll laugh with you

Be with me. . .





The song is available for free download on my website to all who would like to hear it. My deepest condolences to Angela and to family and friends who knew Tooker Gomberg intimately. I met the man once, I believe, and his life mattered to me.
L o r e l e i L o v e r i d g e

O r d e r l y B a z a a r R e c o r d s & P u b l i s h i n g

Last edited by Lorelei on Fri Mar 19, 2004 5:12 am; edited 3 times in total

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Location: Montreal, Qc.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:37 pm Post subject: Prose my friend Barnett wrote in ode to Tooker Reply with quote

this communication arose from a series of discussions i had with rusl

and jane(Pedal Revolutionary Radio Show***) last week.
i've taken the liberty of editing for redundancy and personal references.
i decided to"come out" in honor of a man that lived the spirit.
to tooker.
Barnett ( )


i am a peace soldier.
i've dedicated my life,my heart,and my honor to the

proposition that all humans are created equal.

indeed, all that lives.
our guiding principal is what would the heart do in any situation.our

harshest weapons are our minds,and in many cases a big mouth!the only lines of authority in the peace army are the lines of respect.any officers which exist in the p.a.[and there's debate over that point]are "appointed" by those who would be lead.

while itS neither necessary,nor according to

some even desirable to do so,some of us occasionally place ourselves at

personal risk while"on maneuvers".
our roles in the p.a. are self-chosen.

our missions are always and only voluntary.not to say that some might exert considerable moral pressure on another to gain consent for one thing or another.

we have our tantrums.

my chosen role is the lone crier,and i have chosen to

place myself at risk for situations i deem important.
*** Listen to Pedal Revolutionary Bike Radio! ***
Every other Thursday, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.,

on CiTR 101.9 FM(Vancouver)

News about bike civic politics, chopper bikes, legal issues, bike

maintenance, culture, fun and of course Critical Mass. Your Hosts: Chain

Breaker Jane, DJ Helmut Hair, and Riff Sailor.
For more information: spam---->@bikesexual..(nospamplease),

Listen live over the Internet:

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Kathy Hind


PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:56 am Post subject: thanks Lorelei Reply with quote

Reading your letter made me reflect about those times in Edmonton and the huge web of people who were connected through women's issues, peace stuff, arts and music and local environmental concerns. I knew Tooker from the early 80's. I have strong memories of participating in mass bike rides, wearing his tie-t-shirts as part of his campaign, meeting to discuss sewage sludge/compost alternatives....
I really appreciated your sharing of the song...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:13 pm Post subject: Thanks for sharing what has come up for you. Reply with quote

I appreciate that. In fact, I've never met you -- not that I am aware of. But how many times have I heard your name in conversations with friends, because of the work you did/do? Many. It's been an interesting week, reflecting on choices and how they can result in the taking for granted of certain things, the letting go of others, the valuing of still others.
Be well.



PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:33 pm Post subject: so long, tooker Reply with quote

This is Peter Benner from Morninglory Farm. I had the honour of living and working with Tooker here at Morninglory Farm in Killaloe last summer and fall. I believe they really benefited from being able to live fully off the grid and experience the lifestyle they had been teaching for so long!
He and Angela Bischoff were a joy and inspiration to our little community and it was lovely to see them experience the off-grid lifestyle they had been preaching about for so long.
Tooker was often irreverent and outrageous in his style, but it was a fun approach to activism that will always inspire and guide me in my drive towards sustainability and communicating that message to others.
I will continue to remember and be guided by Tooker and his irreverent, fun approach to sustainability. Cheers to you, Tooker!

Morninglory Farm


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Rick Reimer


PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:07 am Post subject: Tooker Gomberg Reply with quote

Rick Reimer writing from Killaloe Ontario.

I didn't know Tooker for long, but was impressed by his commitment and tenacity. At a social justice workshop last year at the Killaloe Fair, Tooker admonished that we all must be prepared to go to jail now and again (as Thoreau and Gomberg did) to stand up for our rights. Bless you, Tooker and bless you also, Angela.


Joined: 15 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:14 am Post subject: inspired by tooker in halifax Reply with quote

Tooker in Halifax
I remember learning that Tooker and Angela were moving to Halifax, and feeling such hope for what lay ahead. In the months that he was here, Tooker continued his activism, his brilliant way of challenging people and society into thinking and maybe, just maybe assuming some of the responsibility that he took on, to change the world. While it was clear that he was struggling with depression, he never ceased to be an inspiration or offer up new and creative ideas.
His death brings home, all too poignantly, the importance of support and reaching out - when we are all busy with protests, policy comments, public meetings, bike rides, letter writing, whatever vehicle each of us has chosen to effect social change.
I think that many of us in Halifax are still in shock. It is wonderful to read the tributes and thoughts from across the country and get to know more about Tookers past. It is hard to believe that he is gone. That I won't see him riding along with Angela, or run into him in the offices of the Ecology Action Centre. But his spirit lives on, and his commitment will not be forgotten.

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