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Tuesday October 17, 2017

Michael Hugh Michie 1944 - 2017

Historian and long time supporter of university adult education at York University, Michael Michie, died on October 14, at age 72, in Toronto after a brief illness. Beloved husband, father and grandfather, Michael was born in Wellington New Zealand and emigrated to Canada in 1972. Michael received a B.A. in History and English in 1968 and M.A. in History 1970 from the University of Auckland. In Canada he received an M.Ed in Adult Education and Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought from York University in 1992. Michael was a long standing member of the York University community, where he started teaching in 1975 in several departments, but especially at Atkinson College at York University which was devoted to adult university learners. At that time he was also very active in the formation of the teaching union which became CUPE 3903 and of which he was the second president. In 1991 He became Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Atkinson College and later Associate Professor in the School of Social Science. He was Associate Dean, Atkinson College from 2002- 2007 and became Associate Professor of History at York in 2009. Although Michael taught in and wrote on 19th and 20th century British history, he was particularly interested in colonialism and Scottish emigration to New Zealand and the Pacific. He also taught extensively in the Writing Program at Atkinson. Michael was known for his kindness, thoughtfulness and efforts on behalf of others. He combined critical thinking, charm and dry wit in equal measure. He had a life long passion for jazz, soccer, food and wine and there was not a trip that did not include local fish markets. He was curious about the world, loved to dance and later in life took up drawing and painting. He is survived by his wife of 35 years Olga Cechmistro, daughter Ariana; former spouse Robyn Irwin (Bruce) and her extended family, son Brendan (Kim De Simone) grandchildren Genevieve and Emmond; as well as family in Montreal mother-in-law Nadia Verty Cechmistro, sister and brother-in-law Helene Cechmistro and Leonid Cechmistro; and family in New Zealand, Jeannine Lamb (Graeham) and Ashley Kate. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Michael to Parkinson Canada either at or by mail to Parkinson Canada 4211 Yonge St., Suite 316, Toronto, ON M2P 2A9. Following a private funeral a Celebration of Life will take place on Friday, October 20th 6 -9 p.m. in Toronto. For information please contact

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