ONE: Michael Schmidt’s raw milk countdown to a postponed verdict

Today was to have been the day on which Judge Tetley would pronounce his decision on the Province’s appeal of Michael Schmidt’s January 2010 acquittal on 19 raw milk charges. Instead we have news of posponement of that decision, which was made public yesterday. Still, the countdown has its own momentum, and today we bring you what was to have been the last installment of Michael Schmidt’s meditation on the diminishing numbers:

Farmer Michael Schmidt, in his other role, as orchestral conductor at Symphony in the Barn

Let me use this last essay to honor ONE person in this amazing journey.

This person has done more for the entire raw milk movement, food freedom movement than anybody else.

This required commitment, dedication, inner clarity and the willingness to break down boundaries and render artfully a decision.

I got to know this person. I did not fear that person either. I respected this person and studied his human side for nearly two years but only in the courtroom.

This was a breathtaking journey of discovery for me to understand the function and role of this person.

There is always the factor of intimidation when you enter a courtroom and there is sitting high up behind the bar a human being which appears to have the power to rule on significant issues before the court.

I never got the idea to do some research on this important person before me until everything was over.

Ontario Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky

In January 2010 the appointed Justice of the Peace Paul Kowarsky presented an artfully composed dissertation about law, about interpretation of the law, about case law and about credibility, honesty and integrity.

It was a stunning performance which prompted tears, clapping and cheers like in the concert hall but this time in a Newmarket courtroom.

Coming home I received a call from a friend telling me to “google” Paul  Kowarsky.

This is the result of my findings:


South African-born Paul Kowarsky has thrilled audiences in concerts and recitals across the world. His magnificent voice has earned him the reputation of being one of today’s finest spinto tenors. From 1980 through May, 2001, Paul Kowarsky served as Senior Cantor of the prestigious Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, the largest Conservative congregation in North America. As Cantor, the outstanding quality of his voice, coupled with his soul-stirring interpretation of traditional Cantorial liturgy, has brought him the highest acclaim of his peers. He is considered one of the foremost Cantors in the world today.

As Concert artist, Kowarsky attracts a capacity crowd. Notable appearances before distinguished audiences throughout the world have engendered enthusiastic praise for his professional artistry, charisma and showmanship. Amongst his credits are concert performances in Cleveland (“Great Cantors of the World in Concert”); the Jerusalem Theatre (International Convention of Cantors); Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto (nationally televised Multifaith programme); Los Angeles (“North America’s Greatest Cantors in Concert”); under the auspices of the American Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Arts, a concert tour of major cities in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Romania, including Leningrad, Minsk, Odessa, Moscow, Belgrade and Bucharest; Logan Hall, London, England, and most recently at the Coliseum of the CNE in Toronto in “The Night of a Lifetime.”

In addition to Cantorial, Chassidic, Israeli, and Yiddish music, Kowarsky’s extensive repertoire includes Grand Opera, popular English, Italian and Neapolitan songs, German lieder and Afrikaans operetta.

Paul Kowarsky has released CD’s and cassettes and he is also featured on a number of video recordings. He has composed numerous liturgical works, which are sung the world over. His books, “Synagogue Music for Cantor and Choir, Volumes I and II, were published by the Toronto Council of Hazzanim. Kowarsky has appeared on national radio and television, and may be heard on the “Voice of Israel” broadcast from Jerusalem.

Paul Kowarsky

During his recent Sabbatical World Tour in 1999/2000, Kowarsky appeared as guest Cantor in Stockholm, Prague, Vilnius(Vilna), Kaunus(Kovna), Geneva, Israel, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. He also performed with critical acclaim in Budapest, Vienna, Florence and Malta.

Paul Kowarsky holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of South Africa and practised as an attorney for a number of years.

In May, 2002, Paul Kowarsky was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the Government of Ontario. He now presides in the Ontario Court of Justice.

Please take the time and click on the following

I read with growing fascination the Biography of a person who send waves across North America as a judge. And I listened with shivers to the sound of this voice resounding in opera houses and synagoges across the world. Deeply moved I recalled what several people kept telling me prior to my trial: “If you Michael get a Jewish judge you will never win in court because you come from Germany”

Dear friends Kowarsky and I together broke down walls beyond any imagination. We both performed in the courtroom as artists, we both recognized that art is life and life is art. If anyone claims to have won this raw milk battle, I have to say it was my musical friend Kowarsky.

May I thank him for what he did.



Filed under News

7 responses to “ONE: Michael Schmidt’s raw milk countdown to a postponed verdict

  1. Beverley Viljakainen

    Words fail me. This is a truly beautiful tribute. As I asked myself who the person would be that you were about to pay tribute to, Paul Kowarsky was the one who came immediately to mind. Thank you for doing this, Michael, in the way you have and, on behalf of so many, may I so honour you as well.

  2. Paul Mollon

    Wonderful commentary Michael. Best Wishes…

  3. I also went home from the trial and Googled Paul Kowarsky. But at the reading of the verdict I noticed something; none of the people in this 2 hour session fell asleep – we were all washed clean by his wonderful articulation. I think people were not onlyawake because they were hoping for this or that outcome but – I think – because of his beautifully crafted melodious speech. I am a trained speech person myself and I savoured every syllable of his speech. Of course I was impressed by the sensibilty of his well crafted verdict and very glad of the outcome – so then – I was really not surprised when I found his biography on the internet. I listened to the samples of his music and understood where his common sense and humanity comes from. He has seen a lot in his life – especially overseas… I can only express my gratitude and keep vigilant that our rights as human beings are not eroded by the 1% of the 1%.

  4. Lisa Berger

    Not only am I genuinely moved by this article, but quite proud to have such a close connection to Mr. Schmidt and admire his commitment to sacrifice himself throughout this journey. His devotion and passion for justice to sanction our freedom will undoubtedly make history. Yet, more importantly, my family and many others are forever grateful for living healthier lives from drinking the famous golden milk. I cannot imagine being denied my right to choose. Therefore, I would like to applaud Michael, his wife, family and all of the people who work incredibly hard at the Glen-Colton Farm who provide for us. What a wonderful way to give recognition to Paul Kowarsky. Thank you for celebrating Mr. Kowarsky and sharing his story. However, today I would like to thank and celebrate you too Mr. Schmidt! 😉

  5. Gordon S Watson

    no co-incidence, that’s fer sure = an anti-christ sitting in the seat of Moses, declaiming what the law shall be in the Dominion of Canada… the government of which is entrained in the Coronation Oath of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in which she vowed to use the Bible as the Royal Law in all her Dominions
    wrong is put in place of right, and right is put in place of wrong, and the man who calls for Justice maketh himself a prey
    the joke is that the Powers-that-Be will have a very hard time gainsaying this decision from their lodge brother

    • bcfoodsecurity

      Dear Gordon:

      I guess your ideas are so ahead of its time that I DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY ?

      Is it only me ?

      More importantly how does what you are trying to say help the cause of “Real Milk ” ? How is what you are trying to say going to inspire the other 99% of ORDINARY Canadians who do not drink raw milk ?
      Is it your intention to win the “court of public opinion ” ? How is what you are trying to say going to achieve that ?
      Please enlighten us ?
      Is it only me who has this question ?
      Help !

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