Rick Eglinton

In Spring 1985, much of the world was re-assessing its values as the famine in Ethiopia worsened by the day. Photographer Rick Eglinton was on assignment for The Canadian Press to document the involvement of a Canadian medical relief team working in the heart of the drought-stricken land.
“At the time, my career had been thirteen years in the making, and I thought I was prepared for what
I would experience,” says Rick. “I was very wrong.”
The gaunt, hollow-eyed faces of children, with thin, bony bodies, were sometimes more than he could take. Some had leprosy, tetanus, cholera … every day the smell of death was in the camp and in the areas the team travelled to. Taking bodies to a remote burial ground was a regular occurrence.
A world so different from Rick’s, and yet … “I was in a refugee camp, standing in a sea of several
thousand black faces, completely surrounded by curious onlookers. Those closest to me began to smile and laugh as they touched my red, sunburned arms. Perhaps they had never seen anyone in that condition—or maybe they just needed to laugh. It made me realize that we really are all the same.”

Rick Eglinton is currently semi-retired after a forty year career as a photojournalist.
Rick began his career at his hometown newspaper, The Stratford Beacon Herald. He later worked at the London Free Press, the Calgary Herald and the United Press for a total of twelve years. Following that, Rick freelanced for two years and, during that time, covered the Pope’s visit to Newfoundland for the National Geographic Magazine and the 1985 famine in Ethiopia for The Canadian Press.
For the last twenty seven years, Rick worked for the Toronto Star where he was twice awarded a National Newspaper Award, which is considered to be the top honour in the industry. The first award was in 1988, for a photo of Bill Lishman (known as Father Goose) flying in an ultra-light aircraft with a flock of geese. The second award was in 1993 for a photo of Joe Carter leaping in the air upon winning the second World Series in a row.