I hung his picture on my bedroom door, and he tells me every day that I can change the world, and that I too can make a difference.
Ken Kirk, Edmonton
I can’t tell you how truly impressed I was with your husband. A religious Jew myself, he exemplifies for me the highest ideal in Judaism – Tikkun Olam – a striving to improve/perfect the world. His passion, his courage, and his idealism are a tremendous inspiration to me… I can’t escape a terrible sense of emptiness, knowing that we have lost a truly great soldier in the fight against apathy and careless destructiveness. He was a true hero, in a world where heroes are increasingly hard to find… Few people will ever achieve the stature or have the impact that your husband did. He made a real difference in the world. A great man. A great loss. He will be sorely missed.
Barbara Silbert, Halifax
The world was not quite ready
your vision shining through
for all to see
I for one was moved
by your courage and
committed to principle
One that spells: Earth first!
your unquenchable thirst
for green solutions
inspired many to revolution
You were – you are – a beacon of hope
your dream will not die
your nerve helps me to cope
against outrageous odds
my job is simple –
to follow in your footsteps
toward that temple
A sacred place
which honours the noblest
of our human race
I hope to meet you there
my friend and mentor
Nigel Wolf, Toronto
Tooker defined environmental activism in Canada! One of the things that I wish that I had more time for is getting to know people like Tooker. I never met him personally, but he contacted me by email during the 2000 municipal election. We were both candidates in our respective municipalities. In what I have since learned was his characteristic generosity, he wrote to me because he’d heard we had similar ideas and wanted to share his expertise. I had no idea then how heavy a toll he paid for that generosity! Tooker stood on deck and showed us his shiny, bright soul. The world is a dimmer place with his passing.
Suzanne Elston, Courtice, Ontario
What an exciting life and legacy he left.
Steve Grundy, Ottawa
I always felt a bit of hope knowing that he was out in the world, spreading the message and his enthusiasm.
Jay Walljasper, U.S.
I didn’t know Tooker but was impressed and inspired by his great contributions to make this world a healthier place.
Ava-Lee Kotler, Toronto
Tooker was an environmentalist’s environmentalist. He was a vegetarian long before it became fashionable, he did so much to make our city bike friendly and he brought us closer to universal composting and recycling! Some feel that working with the establishment gets the most results while others can’t wait that long. Tooker did both but never held back on telling authorities what they didn’t want to hear, if it affected Mother Earth. There are few who live their principles to the extent that Tooker did, and he will always remain a source of great inspiration, or perhaps it should be Greenspiration.
David Parker, Edmonton
And the soul knows its time, of coming into flesh
And its going.
We may know now, or perhaps later.
And it is glorious
The time of soul-in-flesh
And we celebrate its changes,
Seeking to know continuing soul.
Skye Faris, Killaloe, ON
I write with tears. Even though I only met you and Tooker once in Burlington Vermont, I’ve appreciated you from a distance.
Ron Manganiello, Burlington, Vermont
What a tragedy for all of us, what a warrior he was and what an inspiration.
Rosie Emery, Montreal
If friends are the sunshine of life
their death is a dark cloud
full of rain and tears
He left no empire
but his heart
and cycled hard
never taking time to coast
And he proved to premiers
ministers and mayors
the soft path is the hardest
for the gentle heart to follow
Rest well, road warrior
We will remember you.
Tooker Gomberg, an inspiration to us all for his dedication to saving the environment and for his love of all living creatures.
Janet Jackson, Edmonton
The example of persons like Tooker, to not accept the status quo and to engage in a meaningful struggle to change the world, continues to be an inspiration to many, and I hope, teaches all would-be activists to seek balance of what is best for them.
…but one of the positive memories was meeting this individual who had taken up bicycle activism and other green causes and made a big difference by representing the concerns of many people in Edmonton who had been effectively voiceless… an important message for all of us that individual people, especially when they gain the support of others of like mind, always make a difference.
Tom Perry, Vancouver
He was an inspiration!
Tooker was such an incredible inspiration to so many people… your work together and apart was a real source of strength and empowerment for those of us fighting the good fight.
Donna Roberts, Sanibel Island
Clearly the life of an activist revolutionary agitator extra-parliamentary politician is very stressful, and takes its psychological toll. So long good friend, many will remember you.
Other condolences have been received from:
* Carol Bell
* Dorothy Hodson, Toronto
* Leon and Marcia Friedman, Michigan
You two have brought together hundreds and thousands of people together around peace, ecology and social justice issues over the years. Really, you’ve changed the world. Not only in the sense of energizing others, but in many other ways, that I’m sure we don’t even know yet. Please always remember that.
Kelly Reinhardt, Toronto
Where will we find his like again?
Gary Atchison, Edmonton
I was fortunate to have met him and know of his good work for all.
April Severin, Hamilton, ON
He was definitely an amazing person and I hope we’re able to continue to share his work with others.
Tooker taught me about climate change, and demand-side management of residential water use, electricity and heating. He encouraged our family to become car-free and generally helped us reduce our environmental footprint. He was annoyingly purist in practicing what he preached and you couldn’t help but admire him for his tenacity in striving to make the world a better place. Tooker and Angela can be credited for my conversion and dedication to environmentalism! I will be forever grateful for the lessons learned from Tooker, and I believe the world is a lesser place without him.
Katheryn Molloy, Victoria
I am so grateful for Tooker’s passion and dedication.
Jennifer, Bill and Phyllis Bocock, St. Albert
I did see him juggle and I did hear him play the harmonica. I will always remember him that way and as the Robin Hood he was. The two of you were an inspiration to me.
Claude Theoret, France
Tooker’s legacy is a positive one for Edmonton. The organizations he helped to start have bigger memberships than ever, realizing more and more measurable benefits to the city. The hundreds, maybe thousands, of people he influenced are working hard on peace and environmental protection, clean energy, sustainable cities, independent media, aboriginal rights, an end to poverty in this world… Increasingly misrepresented and ridiculed by the commercial press, Tooker’s ability to pick himself up and storm right back into the public arena seemed indomitable. He (almost) always made me feel like I was on a winning team. Even losing an election was a victory because we had participated in democracy. We had gotten some press and asked the right questions.
Barb Allard, Edmonton
You have both given much of yourselves.
I honour Tooker Gomberg’s actions and memory in my mind and heart. His courage, actions and effectiveness are an inspiration! He worked within and outside the system, simultaneously. He never wavered from his beliefs and practiced them into his middle age.
Arlene Zimmerman, Montreal
I had the great honor of e-mailing back and forth one night with Tooker and it was wonderful. The two of you have been inspirational to us all.
In the mid 1970’s I remember sharing an un forgettable bike trip to Quebec city. Taking a break in a village along the old Chemin du Roy, we visited a small church and proceeded to sneak up to the off-limits balcony. We hid under the pews and played cat-and-mouse with an irascible caretaker who caught us out. Oh, what a mischievous, anti-authoritarian streak Tooker had. After arriving in Quebec City, we decided – just for the heck of it (you did a lot of wacky things ‘just for the heck of it’ with Tooker) – to try out a free introductory session at a Vic Tanney’s gym. Took loved the irony in our being instructed by the trainer to mount stationary exercise bikes, after all the open-road pedaling we had just completed. He had a pitch-perfect sense of the absurd! I recall, too, hitchhiking down to Hampshire College with Mark to spend a few days with Took and discovering his talents as a photographer, budding organizer and energy-conservation authority.
Bert Marotte, Montreal
It is often said: “The best ones go first”. Tooker was one of them. He worked for all of us.
Regina and Fred Elbl, Hudson, Quebec
I can’t put into words how I feel about Tooker… I was there at Edmonton City Hall (memorial ceremony) when you spoke your moving words, and he was there, all around. Gave me the strength to carry on… and then I was there to see your videos and learned so much I had never known about you both. And I was there on Earth Day to hear Peter Jansen announce that Tooker’s name will forever be celebrated across the land through the Earth Day Award, and Sally Issenman remembered his laughter… But most moved I was by Tooker’s Letter to an Activist! Thank you for sharing that. I am passing it around and am taking it to heart. One has to find the balance in life! I never forgot how he offered to help me fight the road here in St. Albert and how xxx was outraged that an Edmonton council member “would meddle in our affairs”. She did not get the point: this is everybody’s affair. Nothing to do with municipal politics.
Elke Blodgett, St. Albert, AB
I didn’t know Tooker, but his writing connects with me deeply.
Brent Kopperson, ON
We thank you sincerely for all the contributions you and Tooker have made.
Merv and Jean Rogers, Edmonton
Dear Tooker made a difference in many people’s lives. He was a tireless worker, [with] cheerful, bountiful energy.
Mary Polivnikoff, Edmonton
I remember Tooker’s energy and focussed dedication to his beliefs.
Penny Coates, Edmonton
I want you to know that Tooker is a great inspiration to many of us, and will always be remembered fondly, now as one of the patron saints of our movement.
Mark and Susie Counselman, Baltimore
Thanks for the energy.
Tooker was a good person…
Jim Darwish, Edmonton
The earth has just lost one of her great souls much too early, even though in his brief passage on this planet, Tooker touched and inspired very many others. I have rarely felt as inspired and hopeful as in the presence of Tooker. Knowing he was out there made me feel more confident about the world. I will miss him.
Christian Huot, Montreal
We thank you sincerely for all the contributions you and Tooker have made.
Merv and Jean Rogers, Edmonton
There are so few Tooker Gombergs in the world and in my busy work/family life I need a Tooker (and an Ange) to ground me in what matters! I presumed Tooker, the EcoCity guy, would just go on forever, working so tirelessly to ensure there would be a world for us, for our kids and grandkids. The void that he has left is startling. The responsibilities now passed to all of us to fight our battles without him quite daunting. Sadly I was in Alberta at the time of Tooker’s memorial in Toronto but a few days later I saw a cyclist carrying a “Gomberg for Mayor” bike flag. He was a dear old friend of Tooker’s from Montreal. I stopped him and we talked for ages on that street corner in Toronto, my kids hanging around to hear the stories. I hugged him when we said good-bye feeling like I knew him well through our link to you and Tooker. As I continued home, I thought how many conversations and hugs were happening amongst strangers all over the world. Chance encounters like ours, linked only by knowing the man who was Tooker Gomberg… His death was tragic but his life was anything but. The world is a better place for knowing him and his spirit lives on in all its living creatures.
Sue Edwards, Toronto
Other condolences have been received from:
* Jan Slakov, Salt Spring Island, BC
* Sonja Mihelcic, Edmonton
I remember his smile was so beautiful. It was almost infectious, because whenever I saw his smile I began to smile as well… Tooker Gomberg was not only my uncle, but also my friend. And a friend who will not only stay alive in my soul and heart but also in my actions which will always be acted upon by my wonderful uncle Tooker’s teachings.
Alexandra Rose Bischoff, 12 years old, Edmonton
Thanks Tooker for pushing my boundaries.
Stephen Cashion, Edmonton
My first memory of Tooker was in 1986 at Sundance Coop… I was so glad, at that moment, to be part of this community, a community that had someone like Tooker in it.
Yvonne Luski, Edmonton
How privileged I am to have known you. Words like caring, creative, evocative, intelligent and humorous only begin to describe the incredible depth and diversity of your persona. You touched so many people in a positive way in your lifetime. I am so profoundly saddened by your passing, comforted somewhat knowing you left the world a better place and also because the memories of you will inspire so many in the future.
James Kosowan, Edmonton
He was a wonderful and irreplaceable man.
John Wedderburn, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
Tooker, you and Ang brought me into the environmental community in particular and into activism in general. I thank you for enriching my life and that of so many others through your efforts. You planted many seeds that you may never have realized the fruits of, but they are there… You did a great job providing colour commentary for the World Petroleum Congress protest sports match between Planet Earth and the Petroleum Industry. You rightly pointed out when the corporate team cheated!
Brian Welling, Edmonton
We love you Tooker.
Tooker Gomberg will always be a deep inspiration to me. I am eternally grateful for his passionate actions and words in the name of peace and mother earth. I have met some great friends and community due to my involvement in EcoCity. Tooker’s life will motivate me towards greater growth in the avenues of activism, community and cycling for peace and environmental preservation always. Thank you Tooker for being you.
I’m going to go and change the world for the better, and I’m going to do it in memory of Tooker.
Zoe Luski, 14 years old, Edmonton
I will always have fond memories of Tooker. My memories usually always come back to food or drink as many of them involve cooking or making beer to support many of the different activities Tooker had going on. I won’t let grief overcome me with the loss of this wonderful man. I will remember happy times in hopes that my happy thoughts will find their way to him wherever he may be.
James Routledge, Edmonton
I miss Tooker.
Anna, 6 years old, Edmonton
Chuck loved volunteering at Tooker’s office, and working with him on so many campaigns. Chuck often told the story of the ties that people sent Tooker and some went into the worm composter. One day Tooker was receiving some honour and needed a tie, so he rooted around in the worms, but even the synthetic ties had been shredded. Everyone laughed. We loved him and were inspired by him.
Linnie and Chuck Chamberlain
I’m honored to have known such a person.
I will never forget your brilliance, your generosity, your commitment and the deep respect you held for all of life, earth and humanity. You live on in our hearts and our memories, and you are a shining star that will continue to inspire and to illuminate the way. Your courage and your consistency, your honesty and integrity and sense of humour, those will always be with us. I’ll always remember the sparkle in your eyes and the passion in your voice when you talked about the dragonflies on Nichol’s Hill, and the importance of having natural places preserved within urban areas – places where we can walk through wild grasses and wild flowers and buzzing, shimmering insects, and be at one with nature. And you made me think of the river in a new way, as a place where we could actually swim one day, if we really wanted to work to clean it up. IMAGINE! Thank you Tooker.
Lynn Gannett, Edmonton
Integrity of course
Strength of will
Like a horse!
Faith and care
And love to spare
Betty and Jerry Paschen, Edmonton
Tooker was immense, despite his small size. I haven’t any idea of when I first was aware of him, almost as if he had always been there… I realized when thinking about him this month that I have memories that just incidentally bring Tooker to mind. That is influence.
Michael Black, Montreal
Although we did not meet often we felt part of his life.
Jennny Bocock, St. Albert, AB
This is truly a giant loss to us, and to the community. Tooker is a beautiful person who inspired both of us immensely, before and after you both entered out lives.
You and Tooker have touched my life in such a positive way.
Tooker was a good man who I looked up to and looked forward to working with on new media projects we both had an interest in.
Rob, New York City
You and Tooker have always held a special warm place in my heart. I have always been pleased to get your emails and hear how (and what) you’ve been doing.
Christine and Ted Watts, Edmonton
Last month when I was asked to speak at St. Mary’s Highschool in Kitchener on Social Justice, I took the time to tell them about Tooker and that we should be honouring our heros and certainly be aware of who they are and remembering them. Many more than you will likely ever realize will miss him.
Judy Greenwood-Speer, Kitchener-Waterloo
I met you both on the ferry from Hong Kong Island to Lamma Island where I was living in 1997/8. I was greatly inspired and awed by both of you and loved running into you from time to time on Lamma and chatting with you or sitting down for a bite to eat with you. You seemed quite surreal to me at the time… I think of you both often, but perhaps because I am not much of a story-teller, nor much of a talker when it comes to my experiences, I have never been able to fully explain your vitality to anyone. So it is my own memory now. And I treasure it. Getting your newsletters were also, I felt, a way for me to keep grounded, to remind me that there are people out there who see things in a similar way to me and who are really working at making changes. I always saved them and felt a warm strength and some kind of rekindled faith when I read them, or even saw who it was from.
Robyn Baxter, Canada
He inspired several actions (parking meter parties) in Hamilton around taking back the streets for people and introducing the concept of “de-paving”.
Murray Lumley, Hamilton, ON
Other condolences have been received from:
* Dorothy Candib, Pennsylvania
* Tracey Brown, Edmonton
* Ma Fletcher, Edmonton
Tooker, we love you.
Mom and Dad
Gob blessed us and our earth with , who understood the sacredness of our earth, wild spaces and wildlife, sacredness of people and life, and sacredness of marriage and relationships.
Lynda Rubizna, Edmonton
Tooker was truly a remarkable activist, full of warmth enthusiasm and passion for the issues we care so deeply about… It was always wonderful to hear of his accomplishments in Montreal and then out west when he was greening the city council …and when they came to Toronto, they brought that burst of energy which was so reflective of their spirit and commitment. We and the world have lost an exceptional friend and peace and environmental activist whom we’ll miss terribly.
Dorothy Goldin-Rosenberg, Toronto
He was really an inspiration for us all… His legacy will of course live on in all of our hearts and I for one will continue to draw inspiration from Tooker’s limitless strength and conviction.
Adam Perry, Halifax
We are so very thankful of the hard work you and Tooker put into Edmonton during his time on Council. Incredible contribution…
Ramona and Amahl
I knew of you only from a short distance yet it was in part your passion and leadership that turned the cogs on my own journey… May I at least have half of the courage and tenacity you had, so that I may continue to follow your beautiful spirit.
Andrea Jones, Edmonton
We very much appreciate what a blessing it was to have you (two) in our life last summer.
Christina Anderman, Morning Glory Farm, Ontario
I voted for him. I enjoyed him. He was inevitably positive and supportive. He bolstered my courage to speak out at meetings when I needed to say something I thought would not be well received. His very presence said GO FOR IT… Our crossing paths has had an amazingly positive impact on my life… Indirectly, Tooker has brought me to people and groups with whom I can share my expertise and enthusiasm to some good end.
Tracey Thomas, Toronto
I’m still looking for a voice, but I’m afraid that now I have one less voice to speak and onen less pen to write vicariously for me.
Stephen Talman, Edmonton
He was such an inspiration in his activism for social change. It is important for us to remember that Tooker’s love lives on.
David Walsh, Toronto
Tooker was an amazing person.
Sandra Niessen, Holland
I have been reading about all the activities of Tooker and Angela for several years. Their words and their actions and perennial dedication and diligence have continually been a challenge, motivation, inspiration and education for me. Their lives have called me to be conscientious about my lifestyle like no one else has. Tooker and Angela have continually reminded me that the world can be a different place. There is real hope if we dare to dream, believe our dreams and act according to our dreams. May God richly bless them both.
Dennis Metzler, Portland, Oregon
I’ve always appreciated what I’ve known, heard, read, seen about him, but I’m in awe at just how amazing and great and well loved he is.
Tooker, you were always at the very front of the struggle. It was hard, we could see it, but I guess we couldn’t help enough. The spaces you created are good spaces… Thank you.
Donna Koziak, Edmonton
Tooker, I shall carry your activisit seed in my heart to carry on the work.
Gray Jones, Edmonton
Tooker, I’ll forever remember you for your courage, strength and sense of humor. I will draw from that in future years.
John Regan, Edmonton
I remember you Tooker rolling up on your bicycle to the peace camp (1990) and keeping us all going. Thanks.
Dennis Merkosky, Edmonton
A released human being, in this life and beyond. Thank you Tooker.
Gord Oaks, Edmonton
Tooker has had a positive effect on most parts of my life. He has inspirid me to be committed, to remain strong and steadfast, but also to celebrate life, its adventures, its challenges and its incredible spirit. He is in me now – touched on my spirit. Tooker will continue to live on in all of us. We shall continue the cause, on bicycle with bared emotions.
Helen Tremethik, Prince George, BC
How he was able to handle setbacks, come back fighting, strong and enthusiastic, is a great example to follow.
Pedal and power and glory to the air
The people hear him coming, But wait there is a pair
Two bobbing dashing helmets, two saddles on each side
Four ever pumping pistons, and two smiling faced by pride
Onward in the clearing and scrubbing of the breeze
Ticketing the nations bringing pollution to its knees
Wheeling out the message with a gasmask in the ink
Composting for the planet making every child think
Now we all can take a lesson from the motion of the pair
Tookers tieless statement and Angela of the Air
Two caught up in the motion of the living life it seems
Two passing out the beauty of the vision of their dreams
So now that one of them has cycled beyond the borderline
into crystal and to timelessness and recycling of divine
we will recall the echoed bells and the laughter of his charm
and the feeling of his love as it lifted up your arm
The feeling of his energy so concentrated pure
enough to last three lifetimes and the knowledge to endure
We all may follow pathways traveled by this powerhouse of try
Or we can sit by and do nothing till the day that we pass by.
We can complain and we can grovel over milk that long been spilled
Or we can continue on past holes and further nurture will
Like the man of motion greened and the partner at his pace
will be an eternal flame in history to help to win the race.
That all of us are running and need to see the lead
as it is them who set the pace and set the fertile seed
So remember bells and wheels and the ever smiling face
and the passion for the masses that helped him keep the pace
Yes duplicate the effort and and triplicate the love
that was put out by this man who instilled the will to shove
To push a little harder than the others in his class
To end the day with more of effort so to pass
So we end this day with memories and keep them evermore
As we say Goodbye to Tooker but never close the door
Yes we can remember Ecocity and the tie that’s never worn
And the rolling of his wheels the bell that was a horn
The handcuffs and the Greenpeace and the circus when in town
were all a part of Tooker as his wheels were spinning round
Yes they were all a part of Tooker the ups along with downs
yes we will never lose the passion as we pass the memories round
Robin Belanger, Alberta
Other condolences have been received from:
* Stephen Kriedemann, Toronto
* Richard Solly, England
* Michel, Linda, Benoit and Edith
* Walter Flueck, Edmonton
* Lisa Hopkinson, Hong Kong
Tooker was always an inspiration for me.
David Starr, New York City
Tooker was a very brave and courageous soul, as well as super kind, intelligent, and funny!
David Barbarash, Sunshine Coast, BC
You helped us imagine and believe it is possible to create a green and sustainable world!
Don Johnston, Toronto
We loved Tooker, and all his fine work and commitment to community.
Fay Ash and Jack Locke, Calgary
Both you and Tooker inspired me with your creativity, closeness, courage and sense of hope.
Camille Dumond, Halifax
Tooker was an amazing person who accomplished a great deal. I am very proud to have known him… I hope and believe that the energy and strength of his spirit will ride with us as we continue the velorution.
Gavin Davidson, Vancouver
The fact that I remember him vividly is a testament to the vigor, determination, creativity, and inspiration that was Tooker.
Tooker and you have been such sources of inspiration for me. I met very few people with such boundless creativity, energy and passion for the world.
Christian Huot, Montreal
It is enjoyable and pleasant to read his writings, which at the same time really unleash his sheer and unwavering commitment towards changes.
Pipob Udomittipong, Thailand
He always made the Earth a better place, and taught others to do the same. He was a true revolutionary, and will be sorely missed.
Amanda Dainow, Halifax and Toronto
He truly was a decent person.
Naseer Ahmad, Toronto
His spirit will live in activist hearts forever.
Janine Bandcroft, Edmonton
He was a visionary during a time when those of us profoundly interested in the environment need a visionary and a vocal representative. What he wrote and believed was moving, even for people like me who only simply knew him through reading his articles on the computer.
Our son, Jan, now age 18 and a student at UVic, attributes his activism to the inspiration he drew from Tooker in his formative years in Edmonton. As you know now better than you may have known before, the two of you have produced an exponential effect through your dedicated and sometimes lonely efforts and we are a better country for that.
Tom Grauman and Wendy Neander, Edmonton
Tooker leaves a tremendous void, but what you two did together won’t be forgotten, and will continue to inspire. We’ll make sure of it.
Lucy Segatti, Toronto
He was a good man with a lovely heart.
Tom Yohemas, Edmonton
I have been receiving your e-mails and feel that I have been accompanying the two of you on your many travels and adventures! I am sorry that I never responded to your mailings to let you know how much I admired the work the two of you did together, and how much I appreciated Tooker’s writing, especially the pieces that revealed his wacky sense of humour. I will miss his drive, his commitment, his inspired campaigning, the shrewdness of his analysis and the imagination that he lent to his activism.
Margaret van Nootenm, Montreal
Among the hands that touched his, and faces that saw his smile
is a reverberation of remembrance and awe that stands in memory
of a committed life of enthusiasm and overly consistent effort
that is a truly a difficult challenge for anyone to match.
Minister Edward-Jay-Robin, Belanger, BC
He will be remembered by me and others who knew him for the warmth and love he had for so many with so many obstacles that face us all.
Graham Olds, Vancouver
His creative spirit and innovative approach to the problems facing our planet will be missed!
Kimball Cariou and Jane Bouey, Vancouver
I miss Tooker. We all do. May his memory be a blessing.
Henry Lowi, Toronto
Knowing you both and working with you in Edmonton was one of the best times of my life. I will give blessings for you every time I ride.
Dawn McArthur, Vancouver
On many occasions I have thought back to the time of the Gulf War protests in front of the recruiting office in Edmonton and how Tooker was a driving force and a major inspiration to all. No doubt many would have given up if he wasn’t there motivating us to continue. I have always admired him for his strength, conviction and integrity and wished I could be more like him.
Shari Prowse, Toronto
I am thankful for what they (Tooker and Angela) did for the movement and for myself – my most wonderful supporters and landlords. I had some of the best dances of my life at Eco City. I remember that great big pole they had in the middle of the dance floor that kids would use as the center to their moshpit. I remember going over to their place in that gardening zone and seeing all the books. I remember the spring rally of 1993 out in front of AlPac on 109st and Jasper avenue, Tooker in his snowpants, banging away on a pan with a wooden spoon. Thanks to Tooker and Ang, that first year of crazy protesting in the streets for the big trees and the little tree happened in a magical way. Can’t forget the hemp tie thing, either.
Let us all… remember how important it is to continue to work towards sustainability and justice and all the things Tooker stood for while we are still alive. To make your life meaningful is the key to making the horror worthwhile – and Tooker had a meaningful life! We need a thousand young Tookers to take his place. He might have pulled a “Ben Kanobi” without even knowing it.
I admired Tooker’s creative tenacity to introduce and advance the green agenda engaging people, always with humour, and clever prompting.
David van Vliet, Winnepeg
Other condolences have been received from:
* Fran Sendbuehler, Montreal
* Norman Allarie and family, Edmonton
* Dawn Noyes, Edmonton
* Jeanette and Doug Gallant
* Linda Lunde, Sherwood Park
* Mindy Claire, Montreal
* Tracy Glynn, Halifax
* Nick Lenskyj, Toronto
* Joe and Anne Walsh, Sherwood Park
* Vi Rebinovitz, Edmonton
* Suzanne Mur, Montreal
* Graham Read, Halifax
* Kerry Thaler, BC
* Paulette Lachance, Montreal
You are not with us in the material form, but you will live in spirit, love and the wonderful will-power and hope for a better place to live. You have accomplished so much and be sure that we’ll accomplish much much more with the beautiful legacy you left us.
Jaime Rosenbluth, Montreal
Your inspiration brought myself and a group of my friends to a lifetime of green activism – thank you for your continual optimism.
Shuley Akida, Halifax
Tooker, you inspired many people and changed our world for the better. You are gone but not forgotten.
Your smile, courage and spirit will be missed.
Penny Doherty, Halifax
Tooker’s spirit lives on.
Shelly Lipsey, Toronto
In the winter of 2000, you and Tooker Gomberg came to the University of Waterloo where I was just finishing a degree in Environment and Resource Studies, and feeling quite like I hadn’t done anything yet to “save the world”. As the Environmentalists in Residence, you and Tooker shared your Greenspiration stories and challenged us to make a difference no matter how small, and to create good news stories ourselves. You encouraged us to challenge social assumptions like the land use priority given to cars, and the opportunities for creating meaningful work outside traditional career paths. More than anyone else, Tooker impressed on me the importance of celebrating small victories, like drawing attention to important issues, even if you don’t win the election… Tooker Gomberg was an inspiration to all who met him, to live what they believe and most of all, to have fun doing it. Some candles burn long and then quietly fade away, unnoticed. Others burn with the light of a thousand, sadly too short, but having touched many. Tooker was undoubtedly one of these. Thank you both for your energy, imagination, and inspiration.
Jennifer Niece, Ottawa
Tooker made me, an average person, feel like I could change the world.
I’ve always had huge respect for you (Tooker) and your work. Your commitment to co-operation, activism, peace and the earth is an inspiration to many, many of us. Also the love you showed.
You have shown us how to love the planet with courage, inspiration, creativity and laughter, to take on all corners and keep on fighting. We will take your example as a warrior of right and a champion of justice. Your love stays with us.
Miriam Hawkins, Toronto
I used to see him and Angela biking all the time on the street and it is an image that will last in my mind. Forever-a beautiful image that touched me then and will continue to touch me.
Rosemary Hanson, Halifax
For me Tooker is a beacon of light that illuminates the folly of conformity and consumerism. He must have received a bit of love and support to flourish and grow into such a wonderful and enlightened human being. I walk away from this evening more committed to continuing to struggle for the same ideals.
Anet Henukho, Montreal
Tooker always offered so much generosity to both Simon and I during our time in Halifax. He had such kind eyes…
Mel Jellett, Halifax
Tooker, I miss you. I was one of your enthusiastic recyclers in Outremont. I admired your wonderful NDP campaign in the same place. I loved the greenspiration letters and videosand you will always be an inspiration to us. We won’t give up.
Dorothy Henaut, Montreal
Such an inspiration.
Bill Matheson, Jane Matheson, Halifax
As Tooker said, when a bird flies forward, it needs both its left wing, and its right wing. Tooker was serving also as its heart and brain and eyes. Without Tooker, the move forward will be harder.
Tom Salsburg, Toronto
Tooker – the great cycler and recycler. Keep on inspiring others as you have in every aspect of your life.
Philip Van Leeuwen, Montreal
Chutzpah. Tooker sure had it.
Tooker, I voted for you for mayor and sent money to your campaign. Although I did not get to know you, my philosophy of life is like yours – I do not drive a car, I recycled when there were no blue boxes in Toronto and you would be happy to know, that in my house the toilet gets flushed with shower or bath or wash water. People think I am crazy… your work will go on…
Julia Harney, Toronto
We’ll remember energy.
Christine Bart, Montreal
I am honoured that I was able to meet you and work with you and Angela.
Daun Lynch, Halifax
Were it not for pioneering people like Gomberg, the pace of environmental degradation would only accelerate manifold.
Manish Patwari, Montreal
The days when I saw Tooker Gomberg every day were during the early nineties at EcoCity in Edmonton. EcoCity occupied a fascinating, well-used space called the Multipurpose Rumpusroom. It had ample office space, rooms for people to live in, and a big open concept area with a stage. EcoCity was always about its business of researching, protesting, promoting composting, cycling, offering bottles of Wapiti water – which was nicely labeled juice bottles with awful sludgy water from the northern Alberta river where Proctor and Gamble like to dump their waste. There were also a lot of public meetings, gigs featuring every conceivable kind of music, and a lot of parties. There was a dedicated and colourful group of individuals who made up the EcoCity team, and then there were a whole extended group of friends, family and various teenagers and twenty-somethings looking for something to do… Within seconds of Tooker being in the room, he wanted to organize everybody – we should rearrange these couches, we should make some posters – really, somebody help me with the silk-screening machine, etc. He never stopped… And now I am so, so, sad that he did stop. And I do dearly hope that somebody, or several people, can fill his shoes… Well, you were right all along Tooker, and now it’s up to a whole lot of people to do all of the hard, heart-breaking work that you made look so easy.
Stephen Humphrey, Toronto and Edmonton
Thank you for your thoughts and kindness and conviction.
Tooker was also a lover of harmony and peace and helped us in our family to get along with one another.
Bette Day, Montreal
Cynicism and apathy have become all too common reactions to the important issues of our day. Tooker Gomberg always stood as an exception to this and as an example to others. To stand up for one’s convictions in the face of ignorance or even ridicule takes a strength of character and unwavering faith that seems far too rare in our public figures. As with many who have fought for their beliefs and dared to tell truths no one wanted to hear, Tooker Gomberg was usually proven right in the end. In Edmonton, Montreal and of course, here in Toronto, many of the policies and programs Tooker advocated, when few others gave them a passing thought, have become an essential part of our public policy. Tooker Gomberg understood that by actually doing something about the environment in our cities, our neighbourhoods or our own backyards, we do something for everyone on our planet. The greatest tribute we can pay in Tooker Gomberg’s name is to remain ever vigilant in the struggle for social and environmental justice. If we dedicate a tiny portion of the energy dedicated to this cause that Tooker Gomberg did, we will truly make the world a better place, and we will have people like Tooker Gomberg to thank.
Mayor David Miller, Toronto
Tooker, you were not only a great activist, but a wonderful story teller!
Ray Tomalty, Montreal
He is an inspiration to us all… Let’s all continue the good fight!
Canada has lost one of its greatest activists. Tooker was powerful and sincere to all life – animal, human, earth. Our world will be missing a sacred soul. Thank you Tooker.
Suzanne Lahaie, Toronto
You both inspired hope in me, hope for a positive future, a greener future, a better world… Tooker dared to dream, he dreamed big, beautiful dreams and he gave me hope that these dreams can sustain us, and that they are more than just imagination. Tooker made us believe our dreams would come true… I’m going to keep dreaming… and believing.
Alize Zortuluna, Halifax
It is so amazing to feel the love and respect felt for Tooker – I hope his family find comfort in knowing how deeply he is missed by so many.
Cousin Merle, Montreal
In ran into Tooker and friend Brubaker at Keele Valley Landfill site on Dec. 31/02, New Year’s Eve, at its closure. Tooker was reluctant to leave, got Brubaker to video him speaking on the issue of waste management. We walked down to City Hall and Tooker insisted on going into one of the buildings to check the garbage. He found a bag with paper in it – Ah Ah, they weren’t recycling! What a story!
Ronny Yaron, Toronto
Thanks, big family of Tooker for having me.
Use that laugh wherever you are.
Tom Holzinger, Montreal
Other condolences have been received from:
* Badru and Mari Mukhida, Halifax
* John Davis, Halifax
* Cynthia Davis, Montreal
* Scott Macphee, Halifax
* Janet Barlow, Halifax
* Brooke Miller, Halifax
* Gregor MacAskill, Halifax
I will be forever inspired by Tooker’s mirth, dedication and legacy.
Jean Blais Mathieu, Vancouver
I honour your life, your presence, your inspiration, your memory. Thank you. It was a real honour to have shared a fleeting moment of life together.
Susanna Cheng, Halifax
Do you work on bike racks for angels?
Thank you so much for years of inspiration and for teaching about the possibility of really impacting this world to make it a better place. You will remain one of the very few people I admire most.
Rene Coignaud, Montreal
I only had the pleasure of meeting you on two occasions. On both of these you were a canon of knowledge and wisdom: every moment of knowing you could be counted a blessing.
He fought for what we believed in and I had great respect and admiration for him.
Somal Sookraj, Toronto
Tooker, I didn’t know you well but one of my favourite memories of all time was with you. Do you remember? We played volleyball with a blow up earth at the Toronto airport and the security had to ask us to stop. Your warm, sacred energy calmed me down before my flight. I love you
The world is less interesting with you gone.
Doug Imrie, Montreal
I first met Tooker when he was running for Mayor. He had wondrous imagination, passion and care for our environment and the future of our city, our province, our country and our world! Before the war in Iraq he had built a 24 hour peace vigil. I am very proud to have worked on his campaign.
Sainte Catherine Street in Montreal is a long stretch of shoppers’ paradise. Not the kind of place where alternative, non-consumer environmental activists would want to be caught on a busy Saturday afternoon, unless, of course, we were doing some political street theatre. This street then transformed itself into a magnificent stage for transmitting our message of peace, thirty-four years after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima! Tooker was dressed in a bright blue military officer’s uniform with badges on his chest and an officer’s hat. The only identifying traits were his bushy hair bulging out from under his hat, and a pair of beat-up running shoes instead of shiny black shoes. Tooker was standing behind a shopping cart and we couldn’t believe what we saw inside the cart–the shell of a real bomb that measured about three feet long. God knows where he found these props! His co-pilot, Franny, was by his side with yellow flyers under her arm. Elizabeth and I couldn’t stop laughing! For the next couple of hours, we marched down St. Catherine St., pushing the shopping cart and yelling “Bombs for sale” and handing out flyers about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to everyone who passed by. I do remember going from feeling nervous and self-conscious with our outrageous garb, to feeling exhilarated and empowered at the end of the day! Thank you Tooker for initiating us into political street theatre and for having the courage to publicly speak out and act out for issues–the world certainly needs more people to mobilize to make this planet a more just and healthy place to live.
Marion Lokhorst, Ray Tomalty, Elizabeth Harper, Montreal
Tooker, thanks for all your dedication. Others thought, some talked, you did – and for that we’ll have a better world.
Steph Bellerb and Andreas Pohl, Toronto
A wonderful example you have set for all of us. I will try my best to follow just a bit of it.
We will and I will always remember you and your commitment to the planet and all good things.
Bicycle Bob Silverman, Montreal
You fought so hard for peace, for social and environmental justice! Don’t worry, we will carry on, your spirit will be with us, inspiring change, reminding us to be silly, and to take care of each other.
Susanna Fuller, Halifax
I was challenged to become challenging, motivated to become a self motivated motivator. I was reconciled with the fact that all levels of activism are good and necessary when conducted with peace and heart, and reminded that we are all responsible for the world of which we are part–reminded that I am also surrounded by others who love this beautiful world we live in… Thank you Tooker for your everlasting contributions.
You gave sunshine to so many gloomy lives.
Chris Hore, Toronto
Tooker’s work has inspired me to do more work to push myself further. He was a great, funny, and inspiring man.
Thanks for all that you have done, and for all that you will continue to do through your legacy.
For the nights in Allen Gardens and everything else, you will be missed but not forgotten.
Joe Healy, Toronto
Tooker was immense, despite his small size. I haven’t an idea of when I was first aware of him; it’s almost as if he had always been there. I know the first time I spoke to him was on Boxing Day in 1979, in Sam the Record Man (they’re gone too). But I already knew him in some way even if he didn’t know me, so it wasn’t so strange. I realized when thinking about him this month that I have memories that just incidentally bring Tooker to mind. That’s influence.
Michael Black, Montreal
You made our world a better place. You will never be replaced in our hearts and thought.
Gretchen Fitzgerald, Halifax
A humming bird caught in a greenhouse
Brought you to me
The little bird was scared
We were only trying to help
Every opening was just a little
Too high or low
How the bird was released
We never found out
Just like you Tooker
Free by your own devices
And into the
Blair, Morning Glory Farm, Ontario
…inspiration to all cyclists, you will be missed
When I think of who stands out in all the beautiful change-makers in this world, you are definitely at the top – your passion, integrity, and determination has inspired me.
Robynn Moody, Halifax
Ride on! Tooker.
(Picture of Tooker on a bike).
Michael Shapcott, Toronto
Tooker meant a lot to me.
Christine Lewis, Montreal
In the dark days of the Adams Mine struggle we felt very alone. We were ridiculed and ignored. Our knowledge and love for the land and waters we cherish was treated with contempt! That is when the voices of Tooker and his colleagues, voices which echoed our cries for justice and fairness, gave us heart. Knowing that there was someone who recognized in us the same struggle to save, protect and restore our world gave us courage. Tooker’s support enabled us to dare, to confront, to sacrifice.
It is hard to let a Warrior for justice leave the struggle. Tooker earned the right to let go: to let the fight nobly fought be enough.
Thank you Tooker for your example. We who still have the energy will not give up the fight. We feel your strength by our side as we work to reclaim the earth.
Brenda Gold for The People of Temiskaming, Anti Adams Mine Coalition
Other condolences have been received from:
* Andrew Baranofski, Toronto
* Paul Shreenan, Halifax
* Sara Coumantarakis, Edmonton
* Todd, Halifax
* Louise Brownrigg, Montreal
* Stuart Neatby, Halifax
* Sheila Cole, Halifax
It struck me this week how Christ-like Tooker was. He was humble, kind, and generous to those who “everyday folk” would shun or be afraid of (i.e. the homeless). He spoke to them, mingled among them, and treated them with the love and respect they deserve, just as Christ did to the downtrodden of His time. Tooker didn’t judge them, when so many other people did/do. He was a remarkable man…
Laura Pearce, Toronto
Tooker was obviously incredibly committed to making the world a better place. He put his body and his freedom on the line many times when many others, including myself, only talk about such things. He should be remembered as a person whose passion and commitment inspired people across the country.
Tooker revived my fighting spirit when everyone else had given up on me! He will always be my Hero, and his spirit will always be alive in our hearts.
Ken Kirk, Edmonton
Working with you two for a very short summer was one of those life-altering experiences. You were both very inspirational. The world is so much less colourful and purposeful now.
Gabino Travassos, Edmonton
In his all-too-brief 48 years, Tooker Gomberg made an indelible mark on Canadian activism. He served as a Councillor in the City of Edmonton, raising issues of climate and social justice at every turn. Moving to Toronto, he made a high profile bid to inject democracy into Mel Lastman’s last race for mayor, running a spirited campaign for the truth. He championed issues from bicycle transport, peace activism, media criticism, and civil disobedience. He burned his Canadian passport in Germany in protest over Canada’s regressive positions in climate negotiations, he was hauled out of the Royal York Hotel and the Empire Club last year for challenging Premier Ralph Klein, and in one timeless act of creative protest, set up his living room couch in a parking space in Montreal, attracting passer-bys and prompting a spontaneous discussion of the conflict between cars and life.
Elizabeth May, Ottawa
His energy and commitment will be missed by all of us.
Maureen Hawkins, Lethbridge
You don’t know me but I feel I have known both Tooker and yourself through working with EcoCity. Both of you had already left for Toronto when I started volunteering with this wonderful organization founded by the both of you. You both have inspired many of us, including me, to organize creative actions and stand up ‘to the man’! He has touched the lives of so many people through inspiration and creativity. He may have left us but his inspiration hasn’t!
Sophie Ares Pilon, Nelson BC
I have always admired the love that you and Tooker shared. It was never easy for me to embrace a similar relationship in my life. I didn’t think it was possible… certain people have showed me that it is possible and you two have always been a model (albeit from afar)… You two have been a great inspiration to me. I mean that wholeheartedly. I want to thank you, Angela, and Tooker too, for all the love and wisdom you have given to the world.
Carl Kurz, Boston
I am a first-year university student in environmental studies. Tooker inspired me to live my life differently and see the world in a different light. This whole year I have had a picture of him up in my room that I took in Peterborough when we went for breakfast early one morning. I have always looked up to him and admired his passion and fight for change. He will be dearly missed.
Rebecca Love, Peterborough ON
He was a good-hearted man who meant well for the world. He had a great sense of humour.
Alli Hajaig, Lethbridge
People who didn’t even know him personally have told me how much they admired his bravery and dedication.
Geoffrey Haynes, Edmonton
He was and will remain an inspiration to everyone who cares about the earth and who are seeking a better way for humankind. His is a great soul, and his contributions to the struggle will be remembered.
His intense passion for the environment has inspired many.
Liz Reynolds, Toronto
He was tireless, inventive, and inspiring.
Chris Bradshaw, Ottawa
What a tremendous loss.
Tooker Gomberg is a rare kind of person in political action. He never would compromise any of his beliefs for the sake of expediency. It is people like him who make our world a better place for everyone now and in the future.
We will carry on the fight and not let his memory down.
Debby Gregorash, Coaldale, AB
He will be missed by many more than Angela or his close friends will ever know. There are thousands out here who appreciated his work. I knew him when he wrote articles for the weekly entertainment papers in Edmonton, and have been impressed by his dedication and hard work ever since.
Stew Slater, Edmonton
Tooker was an inspiration, always encouraging others in their endeavors, and undertaking his organizing work in a spirit of respect and openness. Perhaps the best way to remember Tooker is for all of us to continue to build a caring movement for social and environmental justice, and to dedicate our energy to the issues and campaigns that Tooker believed in and fought for with such dedication.
Jaggi Singh, Montreal
Tooker was an amazing individual, a brilliant mind, and committed spirit.
Christine Iamonaco-Dagg, Toronto
You both did so much wonderful work for all of the planet! Tooker was certainly right on the button about the bicycle culture and everything around that! I personally believe in reincarnation, so I’m looking for many Tookers everywhere.
I have always seen him as a mentor who inspired creativity and environmental responsibility. The two of you have guided many minds and souls along the path of greenspiration! When people ask me how I ended up in renewable energy and why I’m so passionate about it, I can tie my initial awakening and understanding period to you, EcoCity Society, and working in Tooker’s office! I am saddened for the Canadian eco-movement (and globally), for all the eyes that Tooker opened. How he changed life one conversation at a time! Please know that his creativity and impact is felt to the far reaches of Victoria, BC.
TJ Schur, Victoria BC
He’s been an inspiration to many people over the years. I’ve enjoyed following his and your writing and work.
Michael Replogle, Washington DC
I am so sad, but more inspired than ever by Tooker’s work.
John Wellner, Toronto
I am among the legions of comrades that have followed the adventures of you and Tooker around the world, and who were inspired by your commitment to the cause in life…
Walter Chi-Yan Tom, Toronto
I having been avoiding the grieving process through work and it is healing to see the words of heart and support.
Peter Benner, Morning Glory Farm, ON
If friends are the sunshine of life, their death is a dark cloud full of rain and tears.
He left no empire but his heart pounded well and cycled hard
never taking time to coast.
And he proved to premiers, ministers and mayors
the soft path is the hardest for the gentle heart to follow.
Rest well, road warrior. We will remember you.
Phil Thompson, Nova Scotia
Other condolences have been received from:
* Karen Richardson, Bancroft ON
* Jim Robb, Toronto
* Catherine Toole, Edmonton
* Lori Barnes, Toronto
* Louise Ting, Toronto
* Steve Kisby, Toronto
* Charles-Antoine Rouyer, Toronto
Tooker is an incredibly special person who touched many of us and affected our lives deeply. Angela and Tooker were a hub for social justice causes wherever they went, and always left a trail of happiness, inspiration and hope behind them.
Dave Meslin, Toronto
Tooker was a very intense, caring, compassionate human being, a dedicated activist. I think his spirit infused many people, and action breeds reaction, so in that sense he will live on… Tooker struck me as having an incredible sense of urgency, of the vitality of the moment. He could be quite confrontational, in a verbal way, when he chose to – to establish a point of principle or to protest an injustice. And, at the same time, he was one of the most gentle spirits I’ve ever met… Chutzpah and kindness. I think this kind of combination is magic, especially in good, strong doses, and I wish more people had it.
Saul Chernos, Toronto
Tooker was a passionate voice for cyclists and for many environmental causes.
Nancy Smith Lea, Toronto
Tooker brought great energy to Critical Mass Rides. The last time I saw him… I asked him if he was staying out of trouble, he smiled, said “no, I am planning more”.
Darren Stehr, Toronto
Tooker touched my life as he touched many lives, and I’m unable to fully communicate my sadness at his passing. I learned some important things from him. The world is a little greener because of Tooker.
Jon Alexander, Toronto
You both were always such a great source or inspiration for me.
David Hermolin, Toronto
I have admired both of you for your stubborn idealism, passion, and hard work.
Tooker represents the type of leader a lot of people have been [seeking] for years. He’s just this lightning rod that has actually invested the energy and time and research and is willing to put himself on the line.
Amanda Vollmer, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal
Although, I had not seen him or you since his Kyoto campaign here in Dec 2002, your greenspiration kept us informed and inspired. His passing leaves a huge hole in the Earth’s future.
Harvey and Evelyn Scott, Athabasca, Alberta
Tooker does so much good, in his own unique way, and those of us who know him will remain forever touched by his life.
Deborah Sword, Calgary
Thank you for all you and Tooker have done to improve, inspire and educate the world.
Tooker Gomberg’s death is a huge loss. His inspirational drive, imagination, and natural leadership accomplished a great deal for environmental activism and social justice.
Sally McKay, Toronto
I want you to know how much we loved him and how much we will miss him and the compassion and inspiration he brought to all of us here in Lethbridge. I have so many memories of him that I will always treasure.
Rena Woss, Lethbridge
What a loss it is to you, us and the whole world. Tooker was so progressive and ahead of his time. It is such a great loss.
Silvia Krogh, Edmonton
Tooker’s life and work touched countless people and his legacy will resonate for many, many, many generations to come.
Norman Allarie and family, Edmonton
Despite all our activism and work on behalf of others, we need to take care of our selves and each other. This is a terrible tragedy whose lesson is that we must practice real solidarity and friendship with each other despite our political differences… To quote Che: “all revolutionaries are guided by the spirit of love, love for the people and love for each other”. We sometimes miss this revolutionary love, the spirit of agape and solidarity, that is the core of our community and our struggle.
Eugene Plawiuk, Edmonton
His loss will be felt by many.
Grant Orchard, Toronto
He had a huge impact on people, and on how they see the world. It takes courage to speak the truth, and to be a voice for desperately needed change. In a society that does not want to know, the personal costs to those who do speak out can be great. I am so sorry for your loss – and for our’s (and our planet’s).
Debra Ransom, Lac La Biche, AB
We didn’t know each other very well, but I did have the opportunity to work on some actions and projects with him, and I had an amazing amount of respect for him.
Scott Harris, Edmonton
A terrible feeling of loss has fallen across the environmental, activist and progressive communities throughout Alberta. Tooker was a pro-active visionary, an example of ‘living your ideals’, who touched many of us across Edmonton, Alberta and the country. His loss is deeply felt.
Ricardo Acuna, Edmonton
There is recognition that he accomplished much… We can celebrate his life and his accomplishments.
Nancy Hannemann, Edmonton
He made major contributions to our energy committee in a few short months and touched me deeply with his courage, passion, willingness to listen to others, and deep conviction.
I did, and will continue to, look up to him.
Phil Thompson, Nova Scotia
Tooker was an inspiration to many more than either of you could have ever known.
Michael Cooke, Salt Spring Island, BC
Tooker was such a positive force in my life, he kept me informed about so many of the important actions in Toronto.
Bruce Hanson, Toronto
You have many, many friends who admired the courage you both showed in fighting for a better world, and the number of people and policies you influenced – not many can say as much.
Betty Mardiros, Edmonton
I have thought many times that, with a thousand Tookers, Canada would really be on its way to solving the world’s problems.
John Liss, Toronto
So missing his presence in the world.
Tony Hall, Lethbridge
I did not know Tooker very well but knew of his work, and spirit and I know he will be remembered for years to come here in Edmonton and elsewhere.
Fiona Cavanagh, Edmonton
Tooker and I did a lot of pranks together in our young teens. We were both anti-authoritarian, and both Marxists, by which I mean, deeply influenced by the Marx brothers (to a lesser extent Karl). In fact, we both played Marx brothers in a play put on by our socialist Zionist youth group, he Groucho, I Chico. We got into trouble together, at school and with the law. Someone once said that if he and I were put in a room together, he would destroy the room and I would destroy the building. But others answered, correctly, that whereas I might well destroy the building, Tooker wouldn’t have destroyed anything, but probably would have decorated the whole place with flowers, Andy Warhol posters, and so on. It is true… Tooker was always creative, positive, and amusing often even to the authorities despite themselves.
Daniel Kofman, England
Other condolences have been received from:
* Judy Huntley, Edmonton
* Julia Menard, Vancouver Island
* Leslie Myers and Frank Rackow, Montreal
* Craig Barnes, Toronto
* Eva-Maria Moog, Edmonton
* Mike Nickerson, Lanark, ON
* Neil Crawford, Toronto
* Jodine Chase, Toronto
* Noah Lander, Toronto
* Mark S. Rudolph, Toronto
* Fereshteh Hashemi, Toronto
* Kyle Loranger, Edmonton
* Jessica Runge, Toronto
Tooker was an amazing person, a one of a kind person. This world could use many more like him to inspire, provoke, enlighten, and share a good laugh with.
Judith Basisty, Edmonton
I know that you and many others will continue to fight for all the things that Tooker stood for and that his life will continue to be an inspiration to others for a very long time.
People like Tooker and you are heroes of my generations for having laid the initially heavy lifting that has stirred people’s consciousness to a point where my generation might have a shot at waking it up.
Toby Heaps, Editor, Corporate Knights magazine
May his pain not be in vain.
John Robbins, California
You two have made a big difference in my life.
Dylan Penner, Editor, The Activist
He was such a spark of energy and colour in the environmental movement. We often took great delight in his humourous approach to activism and getting a meaningful message across.
I am an activist in Alberta and someone who you and Tooker have touched very deeply. Recently I have written a book, it’s basically a collection of various actions that have been done in Edmonton over the years. I am dedicating the book to Tooker as he and you really encouraged me to start on my own journey of activism.
Mike Hudema, Edmonton
You know that you both have been such an inspiration to me. If not for you, if not for Tooker, “Divorce Your Car!” would never have been written. You both inspired me to try car-free living in the first place, and out of that, the book grew. Not only your inspiration but also your support has been invaluable to me.
Katie Alvord, author, Michigan
Tooker and Angela were always such an inspiration… I relished so much of the zany-like-a-fox stuff that they did together. There was a sense of solidarity that emanated from their actions and rippled right across “the movement”.
Tooker was one of the first people to make that “post-modern” transition into becoming an electronic icon. I mean, this is a guy I never met yet I followed his political campaigns, media events, civil disobedience actions, foreign travels and spiritual odyssey as if he were a close personal friend. In fact, such was his propensity for correspondence that I probably know more about his life than about the lives of many people I grew up with.
Tooker was a media personality and an alarmingly able activist, but I shall remember and appreciate him principally as a writer. He was a really good writer with plenty of interesting stories to tell and some of the most memorable are noodling around in my head as I write this…there was that account of the woodpecker, for instance.
Being a subscriber to Tooker’s list was like being a guest in the charming and cosy home of purposeful and passionate people. There was always something nifty going on and lots to discuss and debate, and there was also lots of love and humanity. I already miss him, simply because the accounts of his passing have just not had the panache that his own accounts of his living had. Death can come to any of us at any time. What a shame it found Tooker before he had time to write his own obituary…it would have been a “doozy”.
Lobie, Charlottetown PEI
It’s amazing that he accomplished so many positive things in his life.
Andy Singer, St. Paul, Minnesota
It is enjoyable and pleasant to read their writings, which at the same time really unleash their sheer and unwavering commitment towards changes.
Pipob Udomittipong, Thailand
When I heard about Tooker, I had to go for a long walk in the snow and sunshine and just think about him and all the amazing things he has done. I didn’t know him very well myself, but I think of him often, because I’m always meeting the marvellous people who knew him, and hearing about his inspiring work.
Wayne Michael Groszko, New Brunswick
I just can’t believe he’s gone… it’s a loss for all of us.
Keith Wiley, Edmonton
In only the few times that we met, it was clear that his character, wit and charisma were positively exceptional. I hope we can all find Tooker’s courage and dedication in following the things that are most important to us, and to the world.
Jaspal Marwah, Halifax
Tooker helped keep Canada honest.
Charles Mandel, Edmonton
Other condolences have been received from:
* Councillor Sheila Fougere, Halifax
* Maria Cain, Halifax
* Angela Griffiths, Halifax
* Priscilla Cranley, Toronto
Tooker set a high bar for the rest of us. He really put it on the line while most of us just talk about it. He is my eco-hero and, I feel, a casualty of the atrocities we are inflicting on Mother Earth. I am ever grateful to you for what you both have done.
David Suzuki, Vancouver
He was a dedicated environmentalist, and cared deeply for our Mother the Earth. I enjoyed working with him, at potlucks, protests, sit-ins, and blockades. Angela, you and Tooker, were always very strong. I enjoyed being in your company. You both played a part in getting me to start cycling. The benefits are real, and I’m a healthier person for it. Both of you lived the life you advocated, and that’s the best way to encourage change. I’m blessed to have known such a dedicated Earth Warrior! Tooker’s message will not be forgotten. I’ll always remember what he did for us. I hope those serious about healthy community will continue to work, and play in that direction. May peace walk beside Tooker forever.
Darrell Wharton, Alberta
I didn’t know you or Tooker well, but I liked what I saw. You’re both in my thoughts more than you may know.
Larry Phillips, Halifax
Tooker was truly a man who ‘walked the talk’. His devoted love for the Earth and his tremendous contribution in making the world a better place, lives on in the hearts of those so very privileged to know him.
Roger and Valerie Dalmer, Sharon and Brian Riddel, Edmonton
We will carry on his ideals.
I will miss seeing the world through Tooker’s blue eyes. He saw so vividly, the world for what it is, and he felt so deeply, for us, for you… He was a beautiful man, and if I gained anything from him, it is the knowledge that one person can make a difference.
Howlan Mullally, Halifax
I’ve always admired his courage and ability to speak out about his concerns.
Satya Ramen, Toronto
Tooker touched many lives and helped make this world a better place.
Sherri Rendek, Oakville, ON
I’ll be missing the presence of Tooker every day. Many times in the future, when key environmental issues arise and the people win a victory for our Earth Mother and all her relations, I’ll know that Tooker’s spirit still prevails.
Forty-eight years of age. Yes, that was too young for him to leave us. But I reflect on it this way. In his short lifetime, Tooker did more for all of us than most others who live to be in the seventies and eighties.
Thanks, Tooker. You were a good leader. You knew what the real Earth problems were, so we followed you.
Sincerely, Roy L Piepenburg, Edmonton
I first became aware of Tooker’s passion for the environment through community opposition to the Adams Mine Landfill issue. This was followed by my participation in his campaign for Mayor of Toronto in the 2000 election campaign.
To honour his work, I have enclosed a cheque for $25 made payable to the above noted fund and it is just one way of saying “Thanks Tooker for caring.”
Myles Trbovich, Toronto
May his memory be a blessing.
Maria and Mike Katz, Joseph and Eva Douek, Montreal
Thanks to those who continue Tooker’s work. He, as you, remain inspirations.
Phil Dunsky, Montreal
Ride on, Tooker, ride on!
Peter Wintonick, Christine Burt, Mira Burt-Wintonick, Montreal
We remember and celebrate his passion, commitment, and hard work. We remember how the two of you worked together, sometimes with broad smiles, sometimes with fierce intensity. We remember the examples you set for all of us, and we thank you.
Kate Quinn and John Kolkman, Edmonton
Canada has lost a valiant crusader for justice with great compassion and keen wit. I will fondly remember Tooker in digital, hard copy, and real-life formats. A smile comes to my face thinking about engaging in street theatre to a crowd of chuckling suits at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary, going for a spin in downtown Toronto, or hearing his voice from a safe in Ralph Klein’s office. It also brings a tear to my eye. He made people laugh, he made people angry, he made people think. He helped people change. His passing makes me cry. The movement will miss Tooker.
Alex Boston, Vancouver
Tooker will always be remembered by me as a great colleague that inspired and encouraged us to push the envelope. Your loss is Canada’s loss, he will be missed and celebrated.
Jose Etcheverry, Vancouver
Tooker was one of the few shooting stars that came through my life. He could see what others couldn’t or wouldn’t. He cared deeply for people, for community and for life itself. Tooker alerted us that we must reach further and speak the truth. We will miss his rare and vital energy.
Jim Fulton, Vancouver
We have all lost a wonderful advocate; a great spirit; one of the most creative climate campaigners and a great thinker – we’ll miss his humour and the constant challenges he laid out for us.
Morag Simpson, Vancouver
Thank you all for helping to bring a principled and caring man of deeds to share himself with so many living things.
Hamish Wilson, Toronto
Magical streetcar rides… I’ll remember you, Tooker, every time I ride the streetcar.
They were so silly not to let you wave that earth flag at city hall. Will miss you, but see you on the other side.
Saul Chernos, Toronto
I feel a little lost – Tooker was present, everywhere. I remember Tooker at the Pope Squat. When a few young ones were getting all riled up with the angry man next door, Tooker listened very supportively to the pacifist argument, and talked down the cops. He was an inspiration, the light, and fun. I wish our movement could have supported depression and sadness with the same vigour and verve.
When my days are done, here’s hoping we meet again.
Well done good and faithful servant. You were a voice for those who could and would not be heard.
You were one of a kind beloved cousin, Tooker, and I’ll never forget you.
Leila, New York City
Not being one tenth as original or originating as you, I can only say: you had my vote and you always will.
Joanna Rainbow and Donald, Toronto
In my heart forever, in my passion, my inspiration. You are missed, you are loved.
Every time we see a green bin, or touch compost, or see worms working away, we remember you Tooker.
Councillor Olivia Chow and NDP Leader Jack Layton, Toronto
You will be remembered for a long time. Your compassion, honesty and integrity are rare in these times.
Helen and Bill Pilicoski, Toronto
You were and remain an inspiration, a green inspiration.
Chris Winter, Toronto
The only problem is that we have a world made up of too few Tookers – too few who are willing to act for change to create a greener world – to create a safer more just world. Tooker, it is this we will promise to change!
Joan Doiron, Toronto
I remember hearing about you first as Edmonton City Councillor “the guy who didn’t wear a tie and many time, to make his point, in the road would lie”, becoming friends in Toronto. Your endless ideas – the way you would always lend a listening ear. Organizing in Ottawa for your Greenspiration tour… your words, your images, will live in our minds and hearts forever more. Your race for mayor… the fact that you actually became a major player! Your ability to always arouse and inspire. You made people around you always reach higher. Critical mass rides were built ever larger. The cars on the road had to stop for a lager… You were politician, activist and friend. Many a person’s spirit you did mend. You gave the powers that be something with which to contend… Tooker, my love and my sorrow, to you wherever you are – I do send. Tooker, you will be missed.
Annahid Dashtgard, Toronto
Thanks for making a difference in all our lives.
Alana Boltwood, Toronto
Thanks Tooker for helping support the ideas that dreams are made of.
Voices rise up for a spirit ascends, guide the whisps of confused molecules that once were Tooker into a cloud mass to join the relentless chaos of the heavens and rain down wisdom to the hopefuls below that they may be threads for us to sow a peaceful existence until we meet again. Thanks for the smiles and craziness!
Chris Davenport, Toronto
Tooker was and is one of the greatest human beings because he loved life to the fullest.
Sandra Smith, Toronto
Peter Skira, Toronto
You will always be remembered.
I’m here because I voted for him.
You were sent here to give hope and inspiration to many people. Even if you have left us, your example of courage and compassion for the earth and living things will live on. You were indeed a blessing, a pleasure to know.
Ron and Mary Hedges, Toronto
I’m glad we met.
Kerre Briggs, Toronto
No goodbyes dear Tooker, only smiling with joy at each new form in the cosmos that you take. Form is emptiness. Full of love. You’re everywhere – you always were!
Karen Harrison, Toronto
Other condolences have been received from:
* Yvonne Adair, Pigeon Lake, Alberta
* Elena Bischoff, Calgary
* Jason Bischoff, Edmonton
* Leslie and Shawn, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Kevin Clarke, Toronto
* Sue, Shane, Prais, and Trina, Rural Alberta
* Uncle Jim, Aunt Jan, Emily, Alissa and Julie, Brooks, Alberta
* Aunty Marian and Uncle Ian Hindmarsh, Calgary, Alberta
* Lorette and Romeo Martin, Denver, USA
* Bill and Freda McGill, Edmonton
* Marg Roberts, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* John and Margie Braumberger, Medicine Hat, Alberta
* Barb and Pat Owens, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Dawn-Marie Pearson, Edmonton
* Linda and Quinn Aris, Edmonton
* Jan Sakowicz, Edmonton
* Joanne Wong and Family, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Tillie Zubot, Edmonton
C’est tellement triste de mettre fin à une vie sie riche d’engagement et d’imaginaire. Il nous a laissé une heritage digne de notre admiration et de notre respect.
Denise Babin, Quebec
He touched the lives of so many people and will be sorely missed.
Bud and Eira Spaner, Edmonton
He was truly a compassionate and passionate man. I share his vision of a healthy planet.
Lisa Gregoire, Edmonton
Our city’s handling of garbage and recycling is just one example of what Tooker accomplished in the short time he lived in Edmonton. The younger people he influenced while he lived here is another result of his inspiration.
Margaret Shupe, Edmonton
In gratefulness of his lasting influence…
Greetings: I did not know Tooker personally but he will always be a greenspiration to me. I have put a small photo of him on my desktop. Yes, truly an inspiration, day by day… Thank you for furthering his wonderful legacy.
He was our Councillor in Edmonton and was a creative and inspiring human being. There aren’t many like him.
Stephen Heathy and James Irvine
I appreciated Tooker’s efforts to keep environmental issues before City Council and all of us in Edmonton. We all need people like him who have the courage to act on their convictions.
Jennie Frost, Edmonton
A man to be proud of.
In memory of Tooker whom I never met, but he was my kind of guy.
Thanks for your tireless work on behalf of all of us.
Tooker took “the love of the planet” to a level which many of us admired but could only hope to aspire to.
John L Pressly, Edmonton
[Drawing of a bike with a ringing bell under a tree and sunshine, in a field]
There is no doubt in my mind that Tooker has made this world a better place and I am honoured to have worked with him on some of these many projects. It’s impossible to properly sum up all that he’s done.
I firmly believe the best way we can pay respect to Tooker’s achievements is by continuing to build on his many successes.
Jack Layton, NDP Leader, Toronto/Ottawa
We will miss your energy and passion, but you will not be forgotten.
Nancy Palardy and Aran Winter
Tooker’s bicycle was a love-mobile for our planet.
Barry Lipton, Toronto Island
May everyone be stirred with the energy, creativity and lust for a better world that you were. Thank you.
I remember seeing you get up with the Dope Poet’s Society to sing “Down with Mike Harris” outside the Tory convention a few years ago. You were then, and will always be, a tall spirit. An inspiration. May your light shine in every action we take to make a better world.
You are an absolute inspiration. In solidarity and with energy.
Your advocacy for cycling, transit and the environment will be missed.
Some of us have a theory. It is that whenever an action is carried out for the good of the public realm, whether it shocks, disturbs, moves, and effects change… somewhere, somehow, there will be a “Tooker sighting.” Kind of like the way people are always spotting Elvis at 7-11 or the Laundromat, folks will start seeing you at bicycle advocacy meetings, composting workshops, wind power… in short, the everyday “everywhere” everyone advocating and working for a better world.
Love manifest. Thank you for all that you’ve given. You are missed in body but your creations continue to inspire the hearts of all you touched.
We will be planting gardens everywhere this year.
Marion and Jim, Toronto
My son voted for the first time in the Toronto election when Tooker ran for mayor. He decided it was worth it to vote, because he could vote for Tooker Gomberg.
Abbie Baker, Toronto
Tho’ no words would bring back Tooker…
In the deepest part of our heart,
Where we find meaning,
And there is no death,
Tooker never left.
Another of his accomplishments of the impossible.
Tom Smarda, Toronto
You made a difference in this crazy world and all your efforts were not in vain. You were a HERO that inspired many people to take action.
“Jazzz maniac”, Toronto
Dr. Moses Gomberg discovered the principle that perfectly describes Tooker – the principle of the Free Radical.
You both made a huge impact on my life. I think of you two often.
Jeff Edmonds, Toronto
Greenspiration shaped my first years as an activist. Thank you Tooker and Angela, for showing me how to be a resourceful one.
Josie Chan, Toronto
Tooker took away boundaries of nations, fear, hesitation, doubt.
To act when other dared not to.
Chai Kalevar, Toronto
Tooker’s imagination, creativity, and great heart won us and made a big difference to Toronto.
Phyllis Creighton, Raging Granny, Toronto
Thank you for all those things you did for the environment, for justice and peace, and for humanity.
Marilyn Churley, MPP, Toronto
Other condolences have been received from:
* Ellen, Toronto
* Christopher Gustafson, Toronto
* Ann Olson, Toronto
* Carly Stasko, Toronto
Tooker will be missed.
I can’t tell you how much he made me laugh… He made me feel like I could say anything and I didn’t feel like I was ever being judged. What a beautiful person. I loved him from the first time I met him. He touched such a spot in my heart… I thought Tooker was beautiful. He cared about people… Every time I phoned Tooker he always returned my call. I found him to be so genuine. I tip my hat to him, an honest and honourable man.
Lorraine Walker, Toronto
I wish I had known you better
I wish everyone could have known you
It was an honour and inspiration to know you
You were the spark
That lit the way to a brighter world
You set the fires of our hearts ablaze
And generated the heat of debate
A glowing soul, a catalyst for change
A spokesperson for the Earth
And guide to the future
Your word and deed live on
The chain reaction you began continues
Energy isn’t entirely lost it just changes shape
We will carry the torch you held so high and burned so bright
Your memory shining on to a brighter world
We miss you.
Amanda Dainow, Halifax
With deepest sympathy and fond remembrance.
From all your friends at Alternatives and Environment Resource Studies in Waterloo
Tooker was, and will remain, an enormous source of inspiration. His passion, integrity, and unique activism style have deeply impacted many people.
Sierra Youth Coalition
The inspiration within greenspiration that you’ve both lived has compelled me to see again.
Katherine Morgan, Halifax
Our warm thoughts and good energy are being sent out in yours and Tooker’s path.
Simon and Mel, Halifax
There is no doubt in my mind that Tooker has made the world a better place. It’s impossible to properly sum up all that he’s done. And the best way we can pay respect to Tooker’s achievements is to continue building on his successes.
Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP, Ottawa
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
Tooker dances still!
Jennifer Morrow, Bear River ON
May you find peace in all the special memories you have of him.
George and Diane Hoffart, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Death, like birth, opens one to a vast community of people who have shared something of that experience, and who have been honoured to hold the gifts of that experience.
Kim Thompson and Caigeann, Ship Harbour, NS
Though I didn’t know him very well or long, he left an impression. I will certainly miss seeing him around the office, and his filming away at demonstrations. I also particularly remember his art in the bike art show – that was so lovely, a great idea.
Emma Boardman, Halifax
When I biked past the Toronto wind turbine on Wednesday afternoon I was sending you some hugs in Montreal. It’s funny – there was a wind but the turbine blades weren’t twirling. I like to think our friend the turbine was on a hunger strike, or flying at half-mast, protesting Tooker’s leave-taking.
Ann T. Nuke
You and Tooker were a great inspiration back in Edmonton. It was an honour and pleasure to work with both of you.
Tim Breitkrutz, Toronto
I only met Tooker a couple of times, but followed his work. It’s a great loss to so many different communities.
Please know that our thoughts are with you. We will always remember not just the wonderful days of activism, but also the quiet moments (like the day Tooker calmed our screaming baby on the front steps). He truly had a special touch and shall be greatly missed.
Nancy and Chris, Toronto
Tooker understood the climate crisis too well and the pain of awareness can be overwhelming in the face of such vast inertia as the Torontic has towards these atmospheric icebergs.
Hamish Wilson, Toronto
His energy, intelligence and sense of humour will be missed. The world would be a much better place if there were more ‘grown-ups’ like him (and you) asking questions instead of following blindly.
The loss of Tooker is a loss for all of us.
The staff at Greenpeace, Toronto
Such a tragedy to lose someone so loving and dedicated to making our world a better place. We feel such a loss.
Lethbridge Network for Peace
He was an inspiration to us all.
Jack Gibbons, Toronto
Although we had very limited personal contact, I was most proud to be related.
I wanted you to know what an influence he was for me. He was one of the most interesting people I have known. I think it’s up to all of us to carry on his work now – not an easy task, for sure.
Geoff Haynes, Edmonton
The shock of Tooker’s death has hit a lot of people very hard… You should remember though that Tooker was respected and loved by a lot of people. Small and not so small gatherings are taking place around Toronto and I’m sure in other places as well… I will talk about the growing number of people that lead lives aimed toward a better tomorrow. I will talk about Tooker as one who did this with dedication and humour.
Dan McDermott, Sierra Club, Toronto
When I saw the news about Tooker on the internet, I wanted to believe that it was a stunt. I never thought that Tooker could run out of hope and energy. I can’t imagine what a loss this is for you, but I do know what a loss this is for all of us, and the planet. Even though I was not heavily involved, I always looked forward to receiving the messages sent to your mailing list… The last time I saw Tooker was when he organized the Richard Register’s visit to Toronto, as well as the Peace Camp at City Hall. He was doing more than can be expected from a single human being.
For what it’s worth, I’ve always admired and felt humbled by the work that both you and Tooker did.
Lucy Segatti, Toronto
I need for you to know how enormous a role you played in the formation of my passion for sustainability, back when I was 15 or 16. You and Tooker, and the community at EcoCity were a group I could relate to, learn with, and enjoy as friends linked through a love for life. I was blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful people. I miss that community.
Andrea Jones, Edmonton.
I am sorry for your loss and the loss of all of us who valued Tooker from afar.
Mendelson Joe, ON
He will live on not only in our hearts but in our actions… Every time I hear a bicycle bell I will think of Tooker. I hope your grief will be at least a little bit offset by knowing that people across the country are thinking of you and remembering all the good work that you and Tooker have done.
Kim Sanderson, Edmonton
You and Tooker were great inspirations to us.
Jerry and Leida Englar, Toronto
A sad time because we’ve lost a friend… an engaging citizen, and a great ambassador for Canada. We called him Tooker. Weren’t we lucky to have had him for a while, says his brother Avi, for a few 48 years. If I could be there in Toronto for the memorial, we could join arms and maybe circle City Hall (where our friend could and should have worked…) We could sing something sweet, maybe “Tis a gift to be simple…” Maybe Toronto’s beloved Jane Jacobs would join us. I’d take the podium and thank her (dear favorite-author-of-mine) for supporting Tooker as a mayoral candidate. I’m told he got a decent 8%. Not bad for an “anarchist”. With Tooker, we at least had “the best of all possible worlds”. But then, if he could hear this, he’d remind us otherwise. Even with Tooker, we’re not quite there yet…That’s what made Tooker Tooker. High standards, maybe too high.
Tooker and I and Montreal’s “Bicycle Bob” Silverman had biked together ten years ago on a wonderful tour in Cuba (a trip Tooker documented on his video-cam). We’d “campaigned” together in D.C. and Philly on global warming and related issues… I think Anne Hansen is right when she points our that Tooker didn’t seem to have those other things – like birding, watercolours, tennis, music… He just wanted to get elected and change the world. That’s all… I never knew the depressed Tooker, the bright spark gone dark… But I can recall his drive and priorities: “We should be in his office right now,” Tooker said to me in Cuba. “We should be interviewing Fidel!”
John Dowlin, Philadelphia
There he stands, On top of the world. There he was, For the Earth to see
It was quite a site, To see him there, As perfect as could be.
The sun shining on his face, Which gleamed with dirt and sweat.
The smiling face of triumph, On a man with no regrets.
My lungs are filled with mountain air, I take another look.
The scene below is more beautiful, Than a storybook.
Mountains stretch the horizon, And elk can now be seen,
Drinking from the cool water, Of a mountain stream.
A poem dedicated to Tooker, written by niece Ali Bischoff, 10 years old, after the Edmonton memorial service
Picture of girl, butterfly, tree, bird, grass, clouds, sun shining
by Cheyenne Gamblin, age 6, Lac La Biche, Alberta
Tooker made an invaluable contribution to all our lives.
Maureen Frons, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Not a bus has ever passed me with a bike rack on the front and I do not think of Tooker. He spoke for many of us. Our world will be a sadder and less protected place.
Denise Olinyk, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Tooker was 50 years ahead of his time. I liked him a lot.
Dr. Adams, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Other condolences have been received from:
* Staff at Greenpeace, Vancouver
* Corrine and Ted, Vancouver
* Rose Bergeron, Toronto
* Grandma Kuhn, Medicine Hat, Alberta
* Helen Hansen and Robert Hansen, Toronto
* Bob Davis
* June Benjamin and family, Edmonton
* Mike and Talna Myhod, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Our Lady of Perpetual Help, CWL Council, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* The Nathanails and the Labbes, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Shea and Sheila Zubot
* Irene McAuley, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Paskavich Family, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Winnie King and family, Edmonton
* Uncle Bernie and Trish, Oyen, Alberta
* John and Pauline Volk, Oyen, Alberta
* Mary and Bill Burdett, Vancouver
* Marg and Don Hall, Beaumont, Texas
* Ann Mardian, Medicine Hat, Alberta
* Father Wilf, Boisvert family, Walsh family, and Leona Curle, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Aunt Bernadette, Medicine Hat, Alberta
I have always, and will always, admire and revere Tooker.
Lorie Coutour, Edmonton
I will remember Tooker for being articulate, intelligent and dedicated to a vision of the world being more harmonious, and I remember that his campaign literature always had a good sense of humour.
Adrienne, Thurston, Edmonton
I shall remember his words and the way he spoke from the heart. I’ve followed both of your work over the years, and enjoyed hearing about your travels and what you learned about sources of energy and healthier technologies for harnessing them in different parts of the world… You have been leading the way to help us protect and improve our planet.
Srutika Garfinkle, Edmonton
Tooker was a great man in many ways, but his willingness to place himself in front of the machine helped me specifically. I was crushed by the rear wheels of a transport vehicle, and when Tooker heard, he made sure that I knew that I was supported by many here in the Toronto bike community. He will inspire many of us to be like him.
Ron Freeman, Toronto
His vision was inspiring and sense of fun infectious… The commitment the two of you shared to build a better, stronger, kinder and sustainable society will stay with all of us.
Judy MacDonald, Toronto
With love and tears.
Stephen Salaff, Toronto
I didn’t know you or Tooker well, but I liked what I saw. You’re both in my thoughts more than you know.
Larry Phillips, Halifax
What a terrible loss for our community.
Simon Renouf, Edmonton
Tooker made his strong and memorable statements to everyone everywhere and will be remembered for many years to come.
June Benjamin and Family
He put his heart and soul into making this world a better place for others.
I went down by the beautiful ocean today to say a little prayer for Tooker and for you. I thought a lot about how much change you both made and how even the ocean which seems so interminably big and unchangeable will be altered by things like climate change… But the energy of Tooker’s life has made a difference in helping to stop the damage.
Gretchan Fitzgerald, Halifax
I am angry – angry at this place for taking him, angry at the bridge, angry that we live in a society where someone so gifted, so inspiring and courageous can sink to such depths. Tooker’s spirit will live in and through his death – he has touched so many more. My promise to Tooker and you is to work harder to change things, to build community and to love. You both have brought bright lights to this city, and I am honoured that you are here.
Susanne Fuller, Halifax
The night you and Tooker stayed with us lives on in the delight of fellowship in a common cause. The fun and laughter were a joy. We carry on with Tooker’s help from above.
Phyllis and Bill, John and Jenny, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
He seemed to casually be endowed with characteristics (courage, articulation, instant wit…) that I struggle to achieve a tiny particle of.
Rebecca O’Brien, Halifax
Tooker, I care but I don’t know how to connect, other than through the earth I guess – and now – the sky, the clouds the glittering waters of the harbour, every moment.
Susanna Cheng, Halifax
I have been so touched by yours and Tooker’s life, and love, compassion and commitment to transform this world into a better place.
Anna Hunter, Halifax
I only really knew him as the environmental ‘legend’ that he was. But I gathered from what I’d seen him do, and from what I’d read, that he was a man of incredible creativity and brilliance. Also a man who felt and believed things deeply.
Hillary Lindsay, Halifax
As a City Councillor, Tooker made many contributions to our community. His passion for environmental issues, and his commitment to keeping these issues in the spotlight, helped to build our reputation as a forward-thinking and dynamic community. The City continues to reap the quality-of-life and financial benefits from his work and leadership, and we are grateful.
Bill Smith, Mayor, Edmonton
Other condolences have been received from:
* Harry and Marg, Alberta
* Anja and Jorge, Edmonton
* Howard Hampton, Ontario New Democrats
* Board and Staff of Ecology Action Centre, Halifax
* All of us at BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation), Vancouver
* Shana Salaff, Halifax
* Brian and Anita Volk, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Leslie Twombley and Janet Kozdrowski, Edmonton
* Rose and Frank Bischoff, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Cindy, Wendell, Everett, Craig and Marlaina Breckenudge, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Pat and Barb Owens, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Cris Evans, Minister of Children’s Services, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Mark Butler, Halifax
* Roy, Sharon, Aaron, Heather and Kathryn Dyck, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Merv & Jean Rogers, Edmonton
Inspired by the potential for change, and inspiring others to seek that change, Tooker has touched my life and will continue to move me deeply despite his physical absence. The world Tooker has left behind owes much of its love and beauty to his work, his dedication, his passion. His relentless pursuit of justice has touched countless people, countless souls, including my own.
Rob Maguire, Halifax
When I think back on Tooker’s political career now, I think probably what got other politicians uptight was basically that he showed that you could be a genuine politician and grassroots citizen activist at the same time. His dress, worms etc. were only symbolic of his inner truth which was and is a direct threat to all those who say you have to compromise, get behind the money, etc.. Hopefully, his example will be the model in the future, but so far I think he remains a pretty rare and visionary individual… Tooker towered above most politicians… he combined the roles of citizen activist and politician and the future will only prove how far ahead he was of his times in general!… They should set up a chair or scholarship or something in his honour. That would be something important, worthy of him. A chair in ‘Anti-Oil Sands Studies’ or something like that.
Randy Lawrence, Saskatoon
I am so glad you feel able to put energy into a Greenspiration fund. It would be wonderful if we could realize Tooker’s dreams of some transformation, using the energy and power of our memories to help us get there.
Lyn Adamson, Toronto
I didn’t know Tooker well, but what he, and you, stood for, and have stood up against, means an awful lot to me. The world has few people as brave, well-meaning, and talented as Tooker.
Tooker inspired so many people with so much hope and made us believe anything was possible. I thank him for that inspiration so deeply.
Alize Zorlutuna, Halifax
Tooker will be greatly missed.
The staff and Board of Sierra Legal Defense Fund
I didn’t really know Tooker but I respected his dream and beliefs. I respected him enough that I worked awhile on his campaign for City Counsellor (in my lifetime I have believed in one politician enough and I have worked for one – Tooker).
Irene Davidson, Edmonton
Tooker dug sincere and meaningful depth into
even the shallowest plains
He carved out actualizations
where poets and dreamers only drew out a cause.
He built a mountain of hope
for the rest of us to climb.
And at the peak, there he was –
reaching down to grab
Tooker never ceased to be a mentor, always affirming that we must reach for a better world.
Dave Ron, Halifax
It was an honour to get to know Tooker.
Hanita Koblents, Halifax
I am deeply saddened. I was following each of your actions and trying to hit reply once in a while to express the admiration I had for what you and him accomplished. Very few people inspired me as much. When I feel discouraged, I always think of all the amazing things Tooker and you have done. You heroes. It is an immense honour for me to have met you on a number of occasions. I spent quite a lot of time this week thinking of all the times I have been inspired by both of you. I also cried like I had not cried for a while.
I spent hours reading stuff people are saying about Tooker and learning more crazy things he did and reading again some of the articles that had inspired me most and crying because I am so sad that such a precious person has been suffering so much and that I will miss him… I join to this letter a card from the Sierra Youth coalition who wanted to offer their sympathies. They also posted a tribute on their website www.syc-cjs.org. I prepared an article for the French student newspaper of University of Ottawa to get people to learn about all what Tooker did for all of us.
Rene Coignaud, Youth climate change activist, Gatineau, QC
When I first met Tooker, it was at a fundraiser for OCAP. My first thought was “No way this old guy can beat me at pool”. Then my buddy Matteo told me who I was playing with and I said “oh hey man, I voted for you!” I felt like a tool for saying it because he must hear that all the time. But he was very warm and approachable and he totally kicked my butt at pool. I remember the last thing I thought shaking his hand goodbye that night was “I hope I’m that cool when my hair is grey”. He lived an amazing life and I would like to live as vibrantly and love as passionately as he did.
John Diamond, Halifax
He will always be an inspiration and all of his work on behalf of the earth will live on.
Emily and Tony, Halifax
picture of striped worms.
Erin, 4 years old, Toronto
I was honoured to be touched by his life: working on the 2000 Toronto mayoral campaign, burying the car, throwing Esso pennies, smog actions, critical mass, ecobuskers, and getting arrested together trying to stop the 407 highway. He did so many wonderful and creative things in his 48 years that, as I think about it all, I find myself crying and smiling at the same time. Crying because of the loss of a great life and the fact that there is still so much more that we must do without his vision and leadership. But I smile because he (with your incredible help and ideas) did so much for environmental, peace and social justice causes in a relatively short time. I am also somewhat uplifted because I know he is still right here beside us prodding us on. Much more than a memory, he is now the earth, air and water that we will continue to protect in our work and daily life.
Marty Collier and Mary, Toronto
Other condolences have been received from:
* Brian and Anita Volk, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Mrs. P. Hidson, Edmonton
* Phil and Shirley Hiebert, Alberta
* Sam and Brendan Bischoff, Peace River, Alberta
* Tammy Sullivan and Family, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Heather and Larry Decterow, Calgary
* Ken and Gale Tunnicliffe, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Shirley Adamson, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Ed and Anne Tumback, Leader, Saskatchewan
* Chris and Bill Litvinchuk, Sherwood Park, Alberta
* Auntie Joan, Uncle Alex and family, Calgary
* Barbara, Toronto
* Shawn, Halifax
Tooker, you were the best, an inspiration to us all. I wish that you, too, had found a way to deal with all that Knowledge you had, while keeping Sorrow from stealing your life.
Ben Gadd, naturalist and author, Jasper, AB
Tooker Gomberg was a very special person in the Edmonton community. His zeal and dedication to a better Earth will be grievously missed in a city that has become staid and unconcerned about the state of its world since his departure.
Gertrude Bloor McLaren, Edmonton
In the mystery of life, death is most mysterious. I feel that the best we can do is focus on this life and how we can benefit people and planet. Tooker was a great example of what we should do.
John McConnell, New York
The earth has lost a great leader.
Nancy Pearlman, Los Angeles
He was a romantic and contagiously inspiring person. In fact his story of the worm compost that ate his crazy ties was just one of his many tales, and they shall live on in his friends… A hug, a candle, and a clear memory I send to all of Tooker’s friends and loved ones.
Michael Sacco (a.k.a. Dr.Garbage, or Chivo Solar), Mexico
Like so many other Canadians and global citizens who had the pleasure of knowing Tooker, I was touched deeply by his passing. Over the last year, Tooker’s memory has given me great strength in opposing destructive residential developments on the Waterloo Moraine… I attended the memorial in Toronto last year. It was very touching and I took a lot of important information and direction away from it. I feel more at peace knowing that there are an ever-growing number of people rejecting war and beginning the long climb up struggle mountain.
David Wellhauser, Waterloo, ON
Trail Blazer to Burning Star
Tooker, all energy, full steam ahead, getting out
the lead, awake and running. Out and about, lighting
people up, engaged and loving it. So many
drawn in during those magnetic days. Never
knowing him any other way. Oh he was funny,
I mean a natural comic, laughter flowing, through
Tooker, open to imagination, get him brain-storming
and get ready to rally. A man with a mission,
broadening our minds, opening those
eyes, bringing the senses to realize. Confidently
pushing head first, he lead us into winds, into
political and social storms. Bring on action, bring on
dialog, bring on true change.
Tooker, resisting the mold, tailored suite,
corporate rule, that ruthless bottom line. Dangerous
foes, hunted and haunted, pounded
with cheep low blows. Establishments work to
tear down brave souls.
Imagine now, Tooker conscious in another space,
circling above as a beautiful bird, shitting on
shallow men’s heads, maybe not the most healing image.
Imagine instead, Tooker, cheering on smaller
champions, working with goddess and god to empower the
cause. Then resting his soul on some comfortable cloud
with other cloud-floating souls. Enjoying time,
laughing together laughing out loud. Smiles on each and every
Tooker, thanks for everything
All the wonderful ideas
All the leaving of lasting loving memories
All the empowerment to plow on
All the dreams
All the songs
Jerry Lynch, Halifax
The spirit of tooker is alive and everywhere among us!
Janine Bandcroft, Edmonton
The Tooker I knew was bright, feisty and a real fighter, and I shall remember him this way always. Our Mother Earth has certainly lost one of her favorite sons and best advocates.
We feel you Tooker,
You have not left our vibe,
12 months go by,
But you are still here at our sides,
Look how you motivate
This movement and dance,
We are full hearts of you
And continuing this romance.
When it is ALL done,
And we are at peace,
Let us all come together
Eye to eye and feast upon
Our glorious Oneness!
We’ll see you then!
Hush, hush, hush now…
Peace, peace, peace be here…
Amandha Vollmer, Toronto
It’s an interesting coincidence that I should loose my housing on the one year anniversary of Tooker Gomberg’s death (March 3, 2004). Tooker once took my roommate Lori and I into his home after we found ourselves homeless after an incident with a crooked landlord. He treated us as he would his family, and shared everything he had with us.
Tooker showed compassion with his friends who found themselves out in the cold, but also with the struggles of the Canada’s large homeless population. Tooker was always quick to show solidarity with the struggles of others – what could be called compassion-in-action.
One of his last great actions was the Toronto for Peace Campaign (in which he used his last dollars to print thousands of bumper stickers with the Toronto for Peace slogan and logo on them). Many of you remember the Peace Camp he erected at Toronto’s City Hall which began the day the first bombs dropped on Bhagdad in January 2003. Peace Camp was a 24 hour vigil against the war. Peace Camp was an expression of solidarity with civilians in Iraq whose lives were being torn apart by war, and was also an expression of solidarity with Toronto’s homeless population – many of whom sleep outside on the concrete Nathan Philips Square.
Peace Camp was an enormous success and survived for months despite the winter cold, and despite the abuse its vigil-keepers had to endure. Many were assaulted by City Hall security officials wishing to intimidate us into dismantling the camp. Peace Camp distributed bumper stickers to passersby, information about other anti-war events, and as well, provided food to the committed vigil keepers.
I remember walking through a freezing and abandoned Nathan Philips Square early one morning after (I thought) Peace Camp had been dismantled. I was shocked to see a homeless man, wrapped in the Earth flag, standing over an air vent keeping vigil all by himself! It was a sight that gave me shivers…
I walked to the City Hall Cafe to buy him a coffee and when I approached him I asked “Do you know Tooker?”
The man’s face lit up and he nodded his head in recognition, “Tooker Gomberg!”
Tooker touched so many of us, and brought us hope and courage even in the world’s darkest hours.
He gave his last dollars to the struggle for justice – he lived and breathed his ideals, never compromising, never backing down. He was persistent!
Tooker taught me that the only thing we can be sure of is ourselves. Money can disappear, our homes can disappear, society around us can shift and change and is out of our control. Home is who you are, not where you are. Home is something you build in your heart. Home is your integrity.
That being said, homes are also a physical necessity (and human right), and I gotta go apartment hunting… wish me luck.
Lindsay Tabbah, Cairo, Egypt