Stephen Douglas Owen - September 8, 1948 – June 29, 2023
When Nixon declared he was not a crook we Argentines laughed. For us and in many other countries of Latin America, dishonesty is one of the requirements to become a politician.
Throughout my years as a newspaper and magazine photographer I photographed many Canadian politicians, federal and provincial.
Because I have a subscription to the fading Vancouver Sun,
this morning I found out in a rare obituary that Stephen Owen had died. I
photographed him for the August 1991 Georgia Straight. We had a long chat, I
remember iit was about politicians in Latin America. I was charmed and particularly affected
by his easy going, but obvious intelligence. At the time he was the Ombudsman.
In my memory of other Vancouver politicians that impressed me with their candid behaviour, Art Kube (the man who cried) was one of them.
I recall going to a neighbourhood meeting presided by John
Turner and I could not believe that there were no guards at the door with
assault rifles which would have been the case in Argentina.
Another politician who impressed me by his no nonsense demeanour was Jack Munro.
Stephen Owen's cousin Philip Owen, was another politician (Vancouver Mayor) who I instantly liked when he pulled out his scissors.
Today being the day before Canada Day we should all reflect how lucky we are to live in this fine country where politicians cry.
Finally I would like to point out that the lighting on Mr. Owen is called Rembrandt lighting. One side of the face is darker than the other. Rembrandt and many other painters posed their subjects close to windows. Now with the advent of cellular phone cameras the concept of this lighting is all but forgotten and now faces are equally lit on both sides and the effect , in my opinion “falls flat on the face.”