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Sunday, January 25, 2009
Ottawa, January 2009

(Photo: Blair Cummock)Way back in 1992, when the IC Forum was preparing its first International conference in France at the resort town of Le Touquet, a tall, ambling, broad-shouldered man found his way to the Conference Centre in the Palais de l’Europe. He turned out to be Canadian journalist, Henry Heald, for many years a reporter on Ottawa’s principal daily, and, more recently, a highly appreciated agricultural writer with a world-wide brief. He responded immediately to the objectives of the Forum and, on return to Canada, wrote:

 “In less than two years the ICF has become a world-class think-tank on the media. Those who have taken part in the forums are still far from becoming a critical mass, but that goal is not unachievable. One can’t predict how many forums will be necessary before the communications industry takes the lead in setting the moral tone for society. Indeed, it would be counter-productive for the Forum to become a vigilante group riding herd on the members of the media who promote hate and immorality. It will always be a ginger group, leading the way, setting standards through personal conviction and commitment, and supported by the friendships made at sessions of the Forum around the world.”

Henry has put his deeds where his pen is and within a short time inspired a Canadian Media Conference and set up visits for Bill Porter to meet his colleagues across the continent. He was also at the heart of Bill’s recent visit to Ottawa and Toronto, invited by national influential Muslim institutions - consult his article on the ICF website. We recall his background in order to congratulate Henry on his 80th birthday, the 25th January. 2009. Henry, a colleague who has never faltered, who has written his articles to build a just society, who has tried to express his Christian faith in seeking unity between all faiths, who is a noble citizen of the great nation of Canada, we salute you and we thank you for the courage you inspire in us through your example. We hope that his loyal wife, Pat, is baking him a birthday cake and congratulate her for keeping Henry in such good shape for the day.