DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

A Good Life, Well Written: William Stevenson

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Though saddened, we are celebrating the life of a formidable Champion Mentor, William H. Stevenson, British-born Canadian journalist and author. Stevenson passed away on November 26, 2013. He was 89.

Bill’s Stevenson’s books, notably “A Man Called Intrepid”, “Spymistress: The Life of Vera Atkins” and the account of his own life – “Past to Present: A Reporter’s Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics” became the inspiration for hundreds of DAREarts teens when he and his wife, Monika Jensen-Stevenson, conducted memoir writing workshops. They encouraged the teens to write about their own past, present and future.  Some of them, like 15 year old Liz, have tragically eventful lives that could leave them bitter or spur them on to be as intrepid as Bill.  Liz wrote, “DAREarts gave me another chance at life …”

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Bill started writing at age twelve, the same age as many of our young people.  A British naval pilot who served during the Second World War, Bill later became a foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the CBC. He went on to chronicle events grandly outlandish and witnessed at close range: conversations with Mao; the Dali Lama; Trotzky; manoeuvres in war planes; the assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai…  He inspired scores of kids to look at their own lives as adventures.

Bill is survived by Monika, their daughter Alexandra his daughters Jackie and Sally and his son Andrew. His son Kevin predeceased him. A funeral service will be held at two o’clock on Monday, December 2nd at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 227 Bloor St. East.

To honour Bill’s memory, the Stevenson family has requested that donations be made in support of DAREarts. Donations can be made by clicking below:

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“Having observed the incredible effect this organization has had on the children who are lucky enough be part of it, I cannot laud enough the value it gives to our society. DAREarts truly gives children who might not have an opportunity otherwise, to succeed in life.     Along with arts education and intimate contact with artists and arts institutions, DAREarts gives writing workshops.  I can tell you that the memoirs the kids produce are remarkable! ” –Bill Stevenson, 1924 – 2013

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Related Press:

Toronto Star

Boston Globe

New York Times


The Bulletin


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