Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Whatever happened to the 10th Great in Toronto?

Have you been wondering about what went wrong with the obit writers conference that was scheduled more than a year ago to be held in Toronto, Ontario? And what prompted the formation of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers?

Columnist Alex Beam seems to have the answers and shares them in Grave schism on the death beat, his June 3, 2008, column for the Boston Globe.

He starts the column: You know the inevitabilities of modern life: death, taxes, and rival organizations of newspaper obituarists.

Beam managed to get a history of what has come to be known as the "Toronto fiasco" from Carolyn Gilbert, the founder of the Great Obituary Writers Conferences and the International Association of Obituarists, and Colin Haskin, obits editor at the Globe and Mail who was to have been the local host of the 10th Great Obituary Writers Conference.

He really did his homework.

It's enlightening.

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