Day 9 - Probably the Worst Captioning Mistake the Toronto Star Made in the 1970's

Growing up in Toronto as Jews in the 1960s and 1970s was very different from today.

Back then, Toronto was a decidedly Christian city and all other religions knew to toe the line and not bring too much attention to themselves. No one talked about it – it was just something everyone knew and abided by.

When I was 8 years old (in 1972), my sister (who was 10), and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum during our Christmas vacation. While we were wandering around, a photographer from the Toronto Star approached us and asked if he could take a picture of us for a human interest piece on how children spent their vacation from school. Of course we agreed. He asked us to stand in a certain place and told us to look “serious and spiritual”. We tried our best and he took the picture. We didn’t give it another thought.

Now, imagine this… My mother opened the newspaper the next day and there, on a full page of the paper, was a picture of my sister and me in front of a GIANT Nativity scene!

The caption read something like, “Good Christian children reflect upon the miracle of Christ over the Christmas vacation.” [Are you starting to grasp the differences between then and now?] My mother nearly fainted!

My father’s family were deeply religious Jews. All of them were Holocaust survivors who felt that they had suffered greatly for their beliefs, and now – the first generation born following the Holocaust – were being featured as “Good Christian Children”!

It should also be noted that EVERYONE read the Star back then as there was no other published newspaper in the city!

To this day, I am thankful to those special relatives for not only laughing about it, but for cutting out the page and hanging it on their fridge, where the picture remained for years.

- Marilyn Sinclair, President / Founder of WordCheck Inc. and iContent

Precious memories are worth celebrating. Let us not forget those with Alzheimer's or other dementias who suffer from a loss of memory. For more information, visit the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

Do you have a funny Christmas memory? Let us know by commenting below!

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