Jill Prendergast’s Celebration of Life

I’m sad to be missing the event in Calgary. (I’ll be getting released from hospital. Hernia surgery.)

Jill was one of my favourite people. Jill was one of everyone’s favourite people.

My Mom, a close friend, was unable to travel to Calgary for it. But I helped her put together a remembrance letter.

remembering Jill Prendergast


Jill Prendergast obituary

In Loving Memory :

Margaret Monica Jill Prendergast  

 April 18th, 1937 – May 7th, 2018

             … Vibrant to the end !

       A Crescent Heights Gymnast & Miss Calgary runner-up, Jill Verdi married a Calgary Stampeder football player, raised 3 children with un-conditional love ( and many a puppy too ). Jill dedicated herself, not only to Her children, but to all Her family.

       She debuted the Calgary Drift Races, instructed Aerobics Fitness classes (even before before Jane Fonda). Jill was the Head Judge for Canadian Women’s Gymnastics for a period, and dedicated Her career to the Alberta Gymnastics Federation. Among Her activities : Jill skied, snow-shoed and walked the paths of Calgary City and Provincial Parks. She was a keen adept, right to the end, of yoga, line-dancing, and skating ( Jill skated at Optimist Arena with her oxygen tank at 80 ). She loved Her garden and bird feeders. Up ’till recently, She volunteered as a Bluebird Nesting watcher along the Millarville roads.

       A society lady without pretensions, Jill could always recognize anyone with qualities of heart. Her many friendships spanned the social kaleidoscope and often endured for a lifetime. Unbending in honesty, fidelity & integrity, She shared, helped and gave to others. She grieved the loss of a daughter. Family and Friends feel nothing but gratitude and privilege to have been graced by Her presence in our lives. 

                              For a True Lady … We All Cry!

Published in The Calgary Herald on May 23, 2018

farewell St George’s, Bermuda

For the past 7 weeks I’ve been resident in the first European town in the new world. It was settled in 1612.

I’ve been coaching and consulting for Bermuda Gymnastics. Interim Men’s Head Coach.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

After a couple of weeks I felt far more resident than tourist. Those cruise ship folks are embarrassing. 😎

cup of tea in the graveyard

I’m coaching and consulting in Bermuda for about 7 weeks.

Most nights when I get home from the Gym I fix myself a cup of Earl Grey … and walk across the street to the graveyard to enjoy the dying of the light.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

That video was taken on my iPhone X smoothed out by my Osmo Mobile 2 gimble.

That auto edit took just seconds on the DJI GO app.

your black friend is embarrassed for you

I grew up in a city with very few African Canadians.

I recall the first black kid I met. He became a school hero after a math teacher we disliked was fired for some racist comment.

Later my black friend Dave Green became assistant coach at Altadore. He was mostly embarrassed for me. Dave was cool. I was not. 😀

disclaimer – that’s NOT Dave Green. But he is embarrassed.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – 7 things black people want their well-meaning white friends to know.

why I don’t like Chile

I originally wrote a post on this topic 2 years ago.

why I don’t like Chile

This is an update after my 2018 trip.

Chile is a lousy travel destination, in general. It’s expensive yet quality is comparatively poor for what tourists get. Low value. ☹️

To expand, I’m disappointed in Chile, Argentina and many other nations for their national priorities.

I can’t recommend any destination that has not figured out trash collection.

Ancud, Chile

I can’t recommend any nation that in 2018 still tolerates feral dogs. Why aren’t they spayed or neutered? Why hasn’t the SPCA come to Chile?

I can’t recommend any destination that doesn’t provide enough public toilets.

Every time you turn around in Chile something is broken or closed. Not much money is spent on maintenance. ☹️

closed overhead walkway in Valparaiso

Most buildings are made of wood. They have a lot of fires, needless to say, due to crappy fire prevention.

Street art is great. But there are far too many vandals and taggers in Chile. Nobody seems to do anything about them.

BEST empanadas in Valpo

New Zealand or Australia are far better tourist travel destinations than Chile, by comparison.

Cairo Teahouse

Egyptian Gymnastics Federation President ‘Bebo’ took some of the foreigners out to Khan el-Khalili (Arabicخان الخليلي‎),  a major souk in the Islamic district of Cairo.

We sipped mint tea and bubbled shisha  at the same table where Putin and Saddam Hussein once sat.

Before I traveled to Egypt in 1994 all I knew about the nation was Naguib Mahfouz‘s novel Midaq Alley (1947) set in an alley in Khan el-Khalili.


Dinner was exactly my style. A tiny side street local joint with paper table cloths and feral cats waiting for leftovers.

First course was rice stuffed pigeon!