Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Johnstone, Michael Roderick
- Johnstone, Mike
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
Michael Roderick Johnstone was born in Hamilton, Ontario at the Salvation Army Hospital. He graduated from McMaster University in 1969 where he served as the Student Cultural Affairs Commissioner and President of the McMaster Students Union. He was also involved with The Silhouette, McMaster University’s student-run newspaper as a writer from 1962 to 1963 and with the McMaster’s Film Board. Michael returned to school at Mohawk College for nursing in the 1980’s and worked at the Hamilton General Hospital as a registered nurse in the post-operative care unit for more than 25 years until his retirement.
Michael was involved in the founding of many gay and lesbian organizations in the Hamilton area. Prior to moving back to Hamilton in 1979, he was a member of Gays of Ottawa from 1976 to 1979. Michael also served as a secretary of the Coordinating Office of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition that dealt with specific issues of federal jurisdiction. At this time, the Hamilton-McMaster Gay Liberation Movement group had been established. To expand outside of McMaster University and into the broader Hamilton community, core members of the McMaster Homophile Association formed Hamilton United Gay Societies (HUGS) in 1980. Michael was one of the founding members of HUGS and served in different executive committee roles such as secretary, treasurer and president from 1980 to 1982 and again from 1988 to 1991 when HUGS changed its name to Hamilton Gay and Lesbian Alliance (HGALA). Michael was the self-appointed archivist of the Hamilton-Wentworth Gay Archives which was founded in 1982 and was also involved in the Gay Phoenix (then The Phoenix/Hamilton Phoenix) newsletter, Lesbian/Gayline and Speakers’ Bureau.
Since its founding in 1986, Michael was a member of the Hamilton AIDS Network for Dialogue and Support (HANDS) Board of Directors, was the president from 1991 to 1993, and a member of the Steering Committee. He was also involved in the AIDS Prevention Task Force Implementation Subcommittee of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, the AIDS Working Group on Anonymous HIV Testing, and Regional Palliative Care Program Hospice Services Group.
At the Hamilton GALA Honour Roll Dinner in 1991, Michael Johnstone and Anne Cassel were presented with the Honour Roll Award plaque to recognize their contributions to the LGBTQ+ community in Hamilton throughout the years.
In addition to Michael’s activist work, he was a part of the Social Justice and World Outreach committees of the Hamilton Presbytery of the United Church of Canada and was an active member of the Hamilton Group of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
Michael passed away from lung cancer on July 26, 2018 at the Good Shepherd’s Emmanuel House hospice in Hamilton which used to be a housing residence for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
Functions, occupations and activities
Founding Member of Hamilton United Gay Societies (HUGS), Secretary, Treasurer , President (1980-1982, 1988-1991)
Founding Member of Hamilton AIDS Network for Support and Dialogue (HANDS), Board of Directors Member, President (1991-1993)
Founding Member of Hamilton Gay and Lesbian Alliance (HGALA), Treasurer (1989-1991)
Coordinator/Self-appointed Archivist of the Hamilton-Wentworth Gay Archives (since 1982)