Tributes pour in for Margaret Philp

Beautiful tributes have been pouring in for Margaret Philp, a Globe and Mail reporter for more than 20 years who died last week at 43. Her family has planned a memorial service for Sunday Sept 27 at 1 pm at the Ward’s Island Club House in Toronto.

Dan Westell, who worked at the Globe from 1979 to 1995, recalled the award-winning reporter, when she first began her career:

“When I met Margaret Philp in 1988, she was a student reporter dropped into the middle of the best business newsroom in the country, the Globe‘s Report on Business. But Margaret quickly picked up the rhythm of the shop — a story or two a day, plus briefs and features — and was soon writing more than her share of the top stories.

“Youthful enthusiasm and ambition accounted for some of her early success, but the traits that would later win her awards were also visible, especially her passion and constant effort to become a better writer and reporter.

“Talent is a good start, but it takes hard work to be great. Margaret had talent, and then did the work to earn her reputation as a great journalist.

“After I left the Globe, I largely lost touch with Margaret. I last saw her at a party on Queen St. in Toronto several years ago, when her cancer was in remission. She was bright, optimistic and hopeful that she could continue to write about those we have pushed to the margins of our lives.

“Unfortunately, the cancer came back.

“When most of us die, it is a private affair, a loss to family and friends. But Margaret’s death has cast a wider shadow, removing an inspiration to those journalists who are driven to write about the shortcomings of society.”

The Globe‘s Lisa Priest wrote about Philp in a piece called “Journalist gave voice to those who had none.” Globe editor-in-chief John Stackhouse, who sat next to Philp for two years during his time as a reporter is quoted in the piece:

“We’ve lost one of the finest journalists of her generation – a passionate reporter, beautiful storyteller and an exceedingly generous colleague. We’ve also lost an exemplary human being.

“She was determined to cast light on those injustices, not as sterile scandals but as extraordinary human tales of wrong. She reported her stories with utmost precision, and then wrote them like a poet. She also was one of the only reporters to consistently hit deadline, because it meant she could catch the 6 p.m. ferry home to Toronto Island to be with her children, whom she loved beyond words.”

And the tributes and personal observations were all over the web as well. Here just a small sampling of the many posts to Twitter about Philp’s death:

@sarahpetrescu Beautiful tribute to Globe reporter Margaret Philp. Cancer took her much too soon…Wish her series was attached.
@ettagirl Margaret Philp, gifted journalist, young mom of 4, died yesterday after battling breast cancer for four years RIP
@oliviachow Margaret Philp, a passionate voice for early childhood learning and care will be terribly missed
@BillBell RT @SusanDelacourt … Deep condolences RT @globeandmail: Journalist gave voice to those w/ none: Margaret Philp, 43, http://bit.l/13MBNm