Author Archives: George Hancocks

About George Hancocks

Biography of George Hancocks George Hancocks is a writer and editor with a half-century of experience. He has worked as a newspaper and radio reporter and editor, a wire-service editor, script-writer, group publisher, and editor of more magazines than he cares to remember. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario in Honors Philosophy, he gained his first working experience with The Canadian Press as a wire editor in 1956. He is a former editor of Canadian Homes Magazine, at one time Canada’s largest home-building and renovation magazine, with more than 1.3 million readers, and is well known as an industrial journalist, having worked for CN, Maclean-Hunter, Southam, and Alcan. For the latter company he was editor for more than a decade of Alcan News, an industrial publication with a circulation of 40,000 in English and French. Mr. Hancocks remained a freelance writer and consultant throughout his working career, and his articles have been published in many trade publication in Canada, the United States, and overseas. Experienced in virtually any type of writing his clients require, Mr. Hancocks has worked for industry, government, and private associations. His assignments have included everything from letters, briefs, and professional resumes, to complete corporate advocacy and advertising campaigns, film and video scripts for a variety of clients, magazine and newsletter writing and editing, product brochures, annual reports, and books. Following his retirement, Mr. Hancocks collaborated with speaker Peter Urs Bender in editing Mr. Bender’s five internationally recognized business books, and co-authored with him in 2002 Gutfeeling, Instinct and Spirituality at Work. Recently he has collaborated with speaker and comedienne Catherine Lawrence in her forthcoming book Even the Winds Were Laughing. Mr. Hancocks has also been active as an historical editor and writer, and has edited and published books for more than 40 private clients, including Guide to the Archives of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario for the Anglican Church of Canada. In 1970 he founded, and edited until 1979, Canada’s only national family history periodical Canadian Genealogist. He also edited and published two major research aids for genealogists and family historians with his wife Elizabeth: County Marriage Registers of Ontario, 1858-1869 and Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, 1859-1900. Other publishing projects have included The Encyclopedia of Canadian Cuisine with the late Jehane Benoit, and Recipes for Life: low sodium, low sugar, low cholesterol, by Jean Lawton. Mr. Hancocks was an early member of the Ontario Genealogical Society, and watched it grow from a few hundred members in 1962, to an organization of more than 4,000 today. He named, and was editor of its journal Families for more than a decade. Mr. Hancocks is familiar with the transition of the written word from the imagination to the printed page from both sides of the desk: both as an editor who dealt with manuscripts on a daily basis, and as a writer who himself was required to create work for other editors. He has lectured widely on how to get material into print, and is has worked as a ghost writer for a variety of clients. Now retired, he enjoys reading and cooking,, and is currently working on a book of his own recipes, mainly for family use. His website at www.GeorgesPlace.ca Is his newest venture, partly biographical and partly active political commentary.

Friday the 13th

I didn’t know it would end like this, she said, and died.
The ring I gave her more that 60 years ago
clipped cruelly from her swollen hand.
Her body, from the bed, to the morgue, to the flame
to me, in a box heavy with grief.
I didn’t know it would end like this–
the love we shared, the lives we built . . .
in a box, to the grave, on the 24th
on a day we should have celebrated birth.
Hail and farewell, my love. I’ll see you when I sleep.

24 August 2015

On work I

There is a time when we may reach the understanding that no matter how menial, boring or trivial work seems, there is nothing better for most of us than to fill our lives with regulated activity. Only the living are allowed to work. The dead contribute nothing but the chemicals that make life possible–tending, always tending–never becoming, never being. Is work so bad when the alternative is nothing?

On work II

It is best if your work is that which enables you to truly realize yourself. Yet it is difficult to know which work can bring about this crystallization.

For years I believe the only work worth of the name was creative work of the artistic kind–work best suited for those of superior mind and sensitive understanding. How great my pride: how miniscule my knowledge!

Now I know the work that most expands my mind is simple, repetitive, and often boring. Typing lists of things; accounting for life’s unmemorable dross has become an ennobling activity.

I now appreciate, perhaps may some day truly understand, why the man who used to collect the shit from our backhouses once a week never felt humbled by this activity. He smiled and joked like any ordinary man, bore his load with patience, and never, so far as I knew, paid the slightest attention to the snickers behind his back. Never once did I hear him curse or complain. He was never slovenly, never dirty, never smelled. What he carried smelled, but he did not create that–we did. We used to call his truck the Honey Wagon Without him we would have sunk in our own mire; suffocated in the effluent we paid him to collect. The names of many who labored over me to “teach me something” I cannot remember: Mr. Klanka’s example remains with  me still. He was then, I have become, not ashamed of menial work . . .

On abdication

When the king departs he has only one last wish: that the kingdom should come to the hand of his well-loved son who will care for its wants as he has done, heal its wounds when it bleeds, and see to its continuation . . . But can the king voluntarily abdicate in the face of uncertainty?

If the answer is ‘yes’ it may mean the kingdom has such a son, or that the king, grown wise with years, knows that all life is uncertainty and only by trusting to the winds of change can destructive conflict be bypassed. Continue reading