About Us

In Memoriam

The Ones Who Inspired Us: Remembering Our Storytelling Elders


A frequently told anecdote is attributed, among others, to the philosopher, William James. Here it is as recorded by Jane Yolen in her introduction to Favorite Folktales from around the World:

The ancient beldame came to the front of the hall, after the lecture, leaning on her mahogany walking stick.
"You are wrong, Mr. James," she said as she drew near. "The Earth does not revolve around the sun."
"Then, Madame," asked James politely, "what is your theory?"
"Our world is balanced on the back of a giant turtle," she argued.
"And what," asked James politely, "does that turtle stand upon?"
"Why he stands upon the back of second, larger turtle," the old woman replied.
"And," James continued relentlessly, "on what does that turtle stand?"
The old woman drew herself up and stared James in the eye.
"It’s no good, Mr. James," she said ringingly. "It’s turtles all the way down!"

This truth has been acknowledged by storytellers since first we became human. We stand on the backs of all the storytellers who came before us. Here are some of the storytellers who have influenced members of Storytellers of Canada:


Jan Andrews - d. September 2, 2017

Phyllis Walker - d. May 30, 2017

Kate Stevens - d. 2016

Robert Frappier - d. December 2015

Max Tell - d. December 13, 2015

Peg Hasted - June 5, 1961 - October 17, 2015

Judith Benninger - d. 2015

Helen Lavender -  1934 - 2015

Jack Nissenson - 1933 - June 2015

Susan Getchell - 1949 - 2014

Orunamamu, Mary Hays - 1921 - 2014

Joan Bodger - 1923-2002
Jean Burgess - d. 2005
Richard Dyer Bennett 1913-1991
Jeanne Doucet Currie - Sep 24, 1948 - Jun 20, 2010
Henry "Jock" Farquharson - 1915-1996
Edith Fowke - 1913 - 1996
Floating Eagle Feather- d 1996
Murray Garrett
Margaret Hitchens - 1932 - 2012
Robert Homme, The Friendly Giant, 1919-2000
Carol Howe - 1940 - 1995
Joe Neil MacNeil - 1908-1996
David Parry - 1942 - 1995
Camille Perron - 1929 - 1995
Helen Carmichael Porter - 1946 - 2007
Angela Sidney - 1902 - 1991
Anne Smythe - 1951- 1998
Vince Stogan, Sr - April 19, 1918 - June 28, 2000

To learn more about these tellers, visit the In Memoriam section in the members pages.

Back to list

Forgot password?