CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Stories from Harold Nelson
CBC is 75 years old
as at 2011.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of
this country's largest cultural institutions. Through the delivery
of a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and
satellite-based services, CBC-Radio/Canada is available how, where,
and when Canadians want it.
I thought I'd give you some information on the CBC but writing to
CBC didn't get me any information and so I thought I'd just write up
a variety of stories about the CBC.
My information comes from Harold Nelson who was for some 33 years
a news editor for them. Harold has now been retired for some 22 years from CBC so that must mean he started working for CBC in 1956.
Harold is sitting on the left front in
this picture showing a family gathering at Christmas 2009.
Politics and a family go together for Nola
Sam Crewe, no ordinary housewife and mother. Mrs. Crewe's the
Progressive Conservative candidate in Riverdale riding running against
long-time incumbent, the NDP's Jim Renwick. Her husband, Harold Nelson,
production editor for CBC-TV's national news is looking after children,
Derby, 13, Kate, 11, Martha, 9, Verity, 4, Tory, 2, while she campaigns.
A Love Letter from Harold to Nola
Here is a selection of stories he's told me and I must add here that
while the thrust of the stories is roughly accurate I didn't retain
all the names he mentioned. I'd be more than happy to correct any
information I provide here should someone have better information.
Guns in the Newsroom
The controller for BBC 2 in London came over for a visit and while
visiting the newsroom he asked the chief news editor whether they
were expecting trouble. "Trouble? What gives you that idea?" The
Controller then pointed out all the rifles that the news team were
handling. "Oh!" said the news editor... "guys what are all the
rifles about?" They replied that there was a very good deal on
rifles at an outlet in Toronto so many of them had taken advantage
of the offer and were thus comparing notes.
It was pointed out that in those days many of the journalists where
big time into hunting and shooting.
No Journalism school
Back in the early days there were no journalism schools and so
people were selected for their knowledge of writing. This meant that
many of the journalist in these days were often real characters and
would certainly not get a job with the CBC in today's television.
Some of these journalists would disappear on a project and then
no-one could find them. It was often Harold that was contacted when
someone needed to be found and he sure had a real knack of finding
Harold was once asked to give a talk to journalism students in the
USA which he did. In his talk he mentioned that you take a local
taxi to a dangerous area and when the taxi driver said time to go
you left. At the time this item did not make much impression. BUT
just a few weeks later a journalist was killed and it was later
found out the taxi driver said time to go but the journalist ignored
the advice and was killed as a result.
Likewise he mentioned that interviewers really needed to pay
attention to their guests. He sited one time that Thomson the media
mogul was being interviewed on a business program. When asked what
his favourite reading was he replied "Financial Statements". The
interviewer laughed and moved on. Harold notes that instead of
moving on he should have asked why and could well have received some
gems of advice from a very successful entrepreneur.
In the old days many journalists knew about affairs that Members of
Parliament were having but none of that was ever reported on the
news. A major departure from today when every bit of scandal is
A news item was released saying that one mining company had made a
huge discovery and this was reported on the Saturday news. Harold
wasn't convinced that this was an accurate story and as he knew the
CEO of the company he made a call to him on the Saturday evening to
clarify. It turned out that the story was not accurate so on the
Sunday Harold made sure there was a news item refuting the previous
item. The key to this is that if the story had not been corrected
then share prices in that company would have risen sharply and thus
insiders would make a killing. That also meant that the CBC would
have been investigated for wrong doing. And so by publishing a
rebuttal on the Sunday CBC avoided any action that would certainly
have been taken.
Was Harold a crook?
A new chief news editor was appointed but there was no furniture in
the office. So he asked to get some organised but was told that the
furniture store was locked and they couldn't find the key. Someone
mentioned this to Harold so he opened the door to let them in.
The chief editor wondered how Harold could get in whereas no-one
else could. He thus phoned security to report the issue. Security
tested this by asking for an item that was in the room and Harold
then opened the door so the item could be found.
Security tried all kinds of keys and other means of opening the door
but they simply could not get in and so came to the conclusion that
Harold must have a key and so they asked him if he had a key to the
store. He replied no he didn't. So in the end they just asked him
how he could get in when no-one else could. He then walked up to the
door and with the flat of his hand gave a sharp blow to the upper
edge of the door and it sprung open!
A RCMP plant at the CBC
There was a person that suspected that there were traitors in the
CBC and he sent lots of letters to all the members of the news staff
accusing them. After this had been going on for a while it was noted
that Harold was the only one in the building not to receive such
letters. The reason for this was that his father was an old RCMP
officer and he'd been invited to a special RCMP event. Harold was
asked if he could drive his father to the event which he happily
did. When they got to the RCMP car park he was saluted and guided to
a Superintendants car parking space where the car was parked and
then Harold took his father into the building.
Well it appears that this person was spying out the RCMP building at
the time and had noted Harold being saluted and guided to the
Superintendants spot. He thus concluded that Harold was actually an
RCMP plant at the CBC and thus one of the "good" guys.
Good relations with the RCMP
Back in the good old days news staff would party and so from time to
time they'd end up being picked up by the police for being drunk.
Harold would get phone calls and he'd go down to get them out. In
fact if he was going by the police station late on a Saturday night
he'd often just pop in and ask if any of his guys were there and if
they were he'd get them out.
He also had great relations with various other departments within
the RCMP. He tells a story of how they got a new bomb disposal
truck. They thought they'd take Harold for a ride in it so he could
experience it for himself. They then dropped him off at the CBC.
Within a very short space of time CBC security phoned him to see if
there was a "problem".
Also one time a special forces car was passing by when they noticed
Harold has been pulled over with several other cars in a police
check point. They screeched to a halt and got out and told Harold to
get out the car and they frisked him them shouted to the police that
he was clear and that he could go. The police accepted that and they
said to Harold they'd see him in the bar later. It appears they
thought he might be in trouble and so figured they'd help him out.
Harold's father was actually a sergeant in the North West Mounted
Police and then joined the RCMP after amalgamation.
Harold got in the story that the Prime Minister was being driven to
a cabinet meeting by a girl friend when she was pulled over for
speeding. She was quite indignant about it and said to the police
officer that she was driving the Prime Minister to a cabinet
meeting. The police officer then replied that she should take better
care of their Prime Minister and gave her a ticket. It was reported
that the Prime Minister was convulsed with laughter at the event.
It was an interesting time with the French stations that for some
reason they were reluctant to give any of the powerful positions to
French citizens and so a Greek was given overall top news position
and various other countries provided other key positions.
For some reason the French station decided not to take non French
newsfeeds. This gave the local journalists problems so Harold
started to feed them some of the other feeds outside normal channels.
This was very much appreciated by them and often resulted in Harold
getting favoured access to French stories for his local news.
How to get things done at the CBC
Harold made a point of getting copies of the local newspapers to
give to the engineers for free which was very much appreciated by
them. As a result Harold could get things done "outside" the usual
channels. Another example of good relations was that at Christmas he
arranged to get all the engineers and local news staff a full turkey
dinner delivered. Again this meant he got even more favoured
He quotes the many times when a director needed the media to go from
quarter inch tape to half inch tape or something like that. Often
this would means an extra weeks delay to reserve a slot when this
could be done. On the odd occasion this was time critical so they
would be directed to Harold where he could actually get around the
red tape to get things done in a timely manner.
There was one time when Thompson was selling one of the major
newspapers in the UK and the BBC needed to do a quick interview with
him. Problem was that all the studios were being used. So again
Harold was contacted to see what could be done. He arranged what he
called a "Broom Cupboard" to be used to get the interview done.
Thompson's wife asked Harold if they usually put important people
into broom cupboards and Harold replied that no-one would know he
was in a broom cupboard and it really was the only way the interview
could be done to catch that days news in the UK. Mind you he was a
friend of both of them so they did trust his judgment.
Another time one of the big American stations needed some news feeds
on a particular topic for background for a news story they were
running. They found out that only CBC had the footage they needed so
they contacted Harold. There was no formal channels he could use to
get them the feed they needed so he arranged to send the news
footage to one of their stations in BC and gave them the address of
the satellite feed so they could lift it as it was going out.
A month or so later the chief news editor got a feed from them of
the Shuttle launch and they were 3rd in the queue whereas normally
they'd have been 7th or greater in the queue. That meant they got
the feed in time to hit the major news that day instead of having to
report the next day. With the feed was a note "say thanks to
Harold". And of course they all wondered how they'd jumped the
normal queue and why Harold was being thanked.
You also had to know the mind set of the archivists. For example
news footage was needed on the IRA but all searches came up blank.
They knew there must be footage available so they contacted Harold.
He told them to search under "personalites" for Ira. And there it
was. Apparently the archivist at that time enjoyed a drink and
towards the end of the day wasn't too careful about how she
classified the various stories and hence the personalities and Ira.
These were of course early days of broadcasting so various formats
were used and various satellite feeds were used. There was time when
one format was preferred but cost over $1 million. Harold found that
for internal use a different format would make far more sense for
his department and that format would only cost some $40,000. And so
they got a demo model in to verify it would indeed do the job they
needed and it did. This meant they had the best part of a million
that they didn't actually need. One of the other departments at the
CBC was desperate for this more expensive format so due to Harold's
good work they were able to acquire that equipment from that pot of
As we all know various articles need to be of a certain length and
at the time you simply couldn't cut into a conversation. You could
edit out segments ok but not a conversation where there was no
break. Harold came up with a way to actually cut out words or
sentences from a conversation to make it fit the time slot.
As we all know Lloyd is a great broadcaster for CTV but he had his
start at CBC. As it happened he had to conduct an interview with a
leading figure in one of our industries. In those days the
broadcaster didn't actually do interviews so as it happened Nola,
Harold's wife, was one of the experts in Canada on this segment of
the industry. Harold arranged to have her on the headphones while
the interview was going on and so was able to prompt Lloyd to ask
the right questions. It was apparently such a great success that he
was offered the job at CTV and of course he went onto great things
There were many great characters in the old days of the CBC and many
great tales could be told about them. For example some of the news
folk were actually millionaires due to outside activity so in many
cases they didn't need the job but as they enjoyed it they continued
to work there. Many were from Eastern European backgrounds.
Apparently at that time the CBC restaurant served up some of the
best food in Toronto so often Harold would be seen taking a
Ballerina in there before going onto the ballet.
one of the staff there complained to the police about ladies sunbathing
almost in the nude on the building opposite (As Nola relates it... It
was the 21 McGill Club, a women's only place, and we did sunbathe on the
roof with little (if anything) on. However, there were no windows that
overlooked it that could see: except the chap from the Religion
Programming, who had to stand on his desk to see anything! :-)
Overseas with the CBC
Harold used to travel to do some assignments overseas. One time he
had to go to Russia so he borrowed a tape recorder from the BBC. He
did wonder if he'd have any problems in getting it into Russia but
he didn't have any problems. His only problem was when he got back
to the UK. The customs officer asked if he was with the BBC and when
he replied no the recorder was confiscated. He protested about that
and told them he was with the CBC and the BBC had loaned him the
unit but they were having nothing to do with it and still
One time Harold was working in London he was lent a flat in a road
with just three houses. He did have a bit of a problem with one
elderly lady saying he was too noisy in the flat. However one day
he'd been take to the Duchess of Kent's home for a lunch and when the
Duchess learnt that he was in a flat on his own she insisted he
take some flowers back to make it look a bit more homey. Well the
Assistant Police Commissioner ran him back and this elderly lady was
there when they arrived. Of course she was impressed by his official
car dropping Harold off and asked him about the flowers. The
Assistant Commissioner informed the lady that the Duchess had given
them to Harold. Her eyes went all round in amazement and Harold
offered to give her some of them which she gratefully accepted. And
you guessed it... no more complaints from the lady.
The CBC were looking for models to help host a fashion show. Harold
suggested that he could do five minute segments on the various
models so the CBC could pick the best ones for TV coverage.
Apparently Harold was extremely popular with all the top models in
Toronto at the time when they learned they could get TV footage of
themselves. However they were all very respectful of him as at the
time he was going out with the editor of the largest fashion
magazine in Canada and they sure didn't want to get on her wrong
Clubs and Pubs
In the old days most of the news reporters didn't have cars so
they'd take the bus, tram, tube or a taxi to get to assignments.
That meant that as they weren't driving they could go to the press
club or other clubs, pubs and restaurants. I'm told in these days it
was a very vibrant social scene. However as we can see since these
days many of the great clubs in Toronto have closed their doors.
A lot of news stories were found at these events as many of the
politicians were there also. While often they couldn't be quoted
they would be able to give valuable background information which
could then be developed into a story.
So these are just a few of the stories
I got from Harold. Hopefully the CBC or some of their
employees might contribute some more for us to enjoy.
Harold passed away
Sad to say that Harold passed away on
Friday 3rd February 2012. He had an astonishing knowledge of Toronto
and Canada and you could listen to his stories all day long.
You couldn't drive with him through Toronto without him telling you
who used to inhabit various buildings. He had been a writer
for the Globe and Mail and also did radio plays. He also worked as a
buyer for Sears for some 5 years which also involved travelling
around Europe on buying projects.
He once told the story of getting a
great deal on bicycles and as a result he sent a container load to
BC. The store complained that they couldn't sell that many so
Sears sent Harold out to BC to sell them. He arranged to have
the container put out into the parking lot outside the Sears store
and advertised them at a great price. Within a day he'd sold
them all. The follow up was that other stores in the area took
Sears to court for selling these bicycles as a loss leader. A
famous sports personality who worked for Sears as a lawyer used
Harold's phrase... "We're just bringing the prices in the East of
Canada to the people of Western Canada" and that brought them superb
publicity with newspaper headlines. In actual fact Harold had
purchased the bicycles from Europe direct from the manufacturer
whereas the others had bought them through a number of agents in
Europe and North America so with all the markups taken by the
different agents they ended up paying way more for them.
Harold was also a great dog lover and
it was also well known in the family that if you wanted him to
display a picture of the children and grand children then there had
to be a dog in the picture. When talking with someone you could see
him reaching for his wallet and of course everyone thought he was
going to show a picture of his family but he was reaching for the
picture of his dogs! <grin>
Here is Harold in his home office. He
always kept up with the news from all over the world through the web
And Nola and Harold at a Baby shower
given for one of their grandchildren
Harold at the Scottish First Ministers event
in Toronto in 2005
And here are Harold's last two dogs, Pisca
and Innis. He liked the beer Innis and Gunn as Innis was his bulldogs
name and he was connected to the Gunn Clan. He was able to trace his
roots back to Ayrshire in Scotland through the Scotch American Land
And still looking very much the news
It's related that when he met Nola
they had an argument and as a result Nola poured her drink over him.
The manager raced up to throw Nola out when Harold is reported to
have said. Please get Miss Crewe another drink.
Harold was also a "Veteran".
Apparently when he was 16 he worked on a fishing vessel on the Great
Lakes during WWII and when he went back to school after the holidays he was told
that he'd been rated as a Veteran. That also meant he was exempted
from attending one of the school courses.
I will say that Harold was most
generous with his time. When I first stayed with them on coming to
Canada to settle here Harold would run me to the various offices to
get my health card, social security card, driving licence, etc.
He took me around the place and told many stories about Canada and
Canadians which all made me feel quite at home. Although he wasn't
in the best of health in these last years he still managed to get
around quite well. I think all the family and his many friends
wished he'd write a book of his experiences but that wasn't to be
and so hopefully this wee page will tell something of his story.
And so with Harold's passing Canada
has lost a great character that did much for Canada and
Canadians and he'll be greatly missed by his many family and
is the funeral notice...
Harold James NELSON, KCTJ
5 July 1929 – 3
Husband of Nola Crewe,
and the great joy of his life -- being father of Derbyshire (Vitorhya
Shields); Kate - who predeceased him (Robin Young); Morgana (Michael
Kozurok); Verity (Alex Austriaco) and Victoria (Craig Moore) and
delighted Papa to nine grandchildren, Grant & Devon; Savannah & Dylan;
Isabella, Olivia & Ava; Graeme & Onora.
Harold lived his life
with gusto enjoying sailing, telling tales, shooting, telling tales,
news, telling tales, travelling, telling tales, eating, telling tales,
drinking, telling tales and offering up social commentary on everything
else . . . He was the recipient of the UofT Gold Key in his graduating
year. [Where it was said of him that "He was an astute observer of
the University way of life".] Two organizations were the bookends of his life: a King’s Scout in
his youth and a Knight Commandeur of the Knight Templar, Priory of St
James in the years of gold.
He worked as the
Sporting Goods Manger for Sears as it started up in Canada, was a
partner in The Small-But-Honest Advertising Agency and for over 30
years was with CBC-TV’s News Department.
Harold will be at home
to family and friends on Sunday from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. and on Monday
from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 74 Riverdale Avenue. The Church service will
take place at St Paul’s Anglican Church, 227 Bloor Street West on
Tuesday, 7 February 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
Templars are requested
to be mantled and wear their decorations.
For those who wish to
contribute to a cause close to his heart, “St Monica’s Anglican Church &
Food Bank”, (1324 Gerrard Street East, Toronto M4L 1X1) or the Templars
in their support of Arab Christian Churches in the Holy Lands “The
Knights Templar” (74 Riverdale Avenue, Toronto M4K 1C3).
Here is a small video of Harold reporting
at Toronto University in his younger days...
Here is a letter that
came into Nola after the funeral from Bob Taylor...
29 February 12
I was one lucky immigrant lad who got off the boat from
England in 1954. Within weeks, I had been befriended by Harold and his
family. No newcomer could have had better guides to Canada.
I was musing about this yet again at Harold's funeral,
which incidentally I felt he would have loved, it being so apt in every
detail, from a reading in French to bagpipes.
I'm sending you a few pages of a memoir I wrote at the
reguest - insistence - of nieces in England, who complained they knew
little about me. I thought the pages in which Harold appears might
interest you, as perhaps giving you another insight into this wonderful,
lovable, complex man.
Chapters 15 and 16 are not about Harold, but they involve
people he knew and perhaps told you about.
At St. Paul's, I let my thoughts drift back five decades
and reflected again how blessed I was to have had such a friend to boast
There were three of us in our cubbyhole in the
advertising department at Simpson-Sears. As ad rep, Harold Nelson was
the boss. I did the writing, he fixed it. The secretary, Barbara Lewis,
typed his letters and did her nails. Except on deadline, we enjoyed an
I was Barbara's first Englishman and I was so guaint she
couldn't get over me. Her husband was a steady sort of chap in the
insurance game, and she kept him amused at the dinner table with
accounts of how I blew smoke rings and how I'd presented her with three
shiny chestnuts I'd found and how I'd called pancakes flapjacks. She was
blond, cute and loved gossip, especially the stuff Harold and I made up
about one of the buyers being a bigamist. We were sorry when she left to
have the first of six kids, all girls.
Harold and I came fully alive at 5 o'clock and on
weekends when he became my Fodor to the city.
"Let's go and see Morley," he said one evening. Morley
Callaghan looked amused when we dropped in unannounced - Harold's
visits, I was to learn, were always unannounced and sat smoking his pipe
and telling us how his new novel was going. Mrs. Callaghan poured coffee
and pressed us to try her scones. I was embarrassed afterwards to learn
that the Callaghans weren't really friends of Harold's, "just someone I
thought you might like to meet."
"They work in here," he said at another time. "They" were
two eminent sculptors, Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, and "here" was
a rundown chapel, its stained glass still intact, which they had
converted into a studio.
"How's tricks?" asked Harold, giving two frozen-faced
women his usual greeting. "This is Bob, a guy I work with." He looked
around. "So what are you working on?"
Harold was six-foot-one and, unlike his father, solidly
built. He had a boyish grin, as if he found life a delightful joke. When
he was being serious, like when we disagreed over how best to promote
the Syl Apps brand of skates, he testily swept his hair off his brow. He
could be outrageous, but disarmingly so, like a puppy caught chewing a
Ray, too, was a good shot, but he admitted it was a fluke
when he picked off a pigeon in mid-air. He was fed up with pigeons
fouling his backyard. So, one sunny afternoon, when those pesky pigeons
were wheeling overhead, he loaded a .22, aimed at a particular bird and,
in defiance of the bylaws, fired and actually hit it. Minutes later, the
doorbell chimed and in trooped guests for dinner, all excited. They'd
been looking up at the sky and saying what a lovely day it was when a
pigeon must have had a heart attack or a stroke or something, because it
suddenly stopped flying and fell to the ground. It was simply
unbelievable. Ray had to agree.
After a career as a Mountie, Ray had tales of all kinds
to tell, some round a campfire, others in the kitchen while Mrs. Nelson
heated another can of Campbell's chicken soup. In retirement, he ran a
small agency that investigated suspicious insurance claims, for a
restaurant fire, for instance. After an on-the-spot check, he might come
home with a smoke-damaged box of canned goods he had bought cheap. The
Nelsons ate a lot of soup.
But it was while we were trekking through a wilderness of
birches and boulders on the way to his cabin that Ray told the story of
the stranger. It was dusk and he was driving down a lonely road in
British Columbia when he saw a man ambling along ahead of him and
decided to give him a lift. He stopped, opened the door, the man got in
and sat saying not a word, not even when Ray asked him a question. To
break the silence, Ray switched on the radio in time to hear a newscast
warning that a patient had escaped from the local mental hospital and
that he was dangerous. The stranger sitting a couple of feet away
appeared not to have heard. But to be safe, Ray thought he'd better put
the man out of action. He stepped on the gas, slammed on the brakes and
the stranger was flung against the dashboard. Whereupon he opened the
door, got out and resumed his evening outing.
Ray loved animals, but not mice after he stayed one night
at a Hudson's Bay post, also in B.C. At bedtime when he pulled back the
blankets, he found the mattress covered with mice. "They're only field
mice," said his host. "They're clean." Ray bedded down on the sofa. But
when he turned down the lamp, mice poked their heads out of floor. With
a frying pan from the kitchen, he hit out whenever a head popped up. He
woke up in the morning stretched full-length on the floor, still
clasping the frying pan.
One person we dropped in on from time to time was Hugh
Hood, who taught at the University of Toronto and was making a name as a
short story writer. He rented a house on the edge of the campus with
half a dozen undergrads. One of these was Harold's friend Dave Quantz,
whom I was to work with in the same newsroom. Dave was alone in the
house having a bath when the phone beside the window rang. Before
answering it, he wrapped himself modestly in one of the full-length
drapes. As he talked, he twisted and twirled, unaware he was committing
a series of wardrobe malfunctions. He was dressed and opening the front
door when a policeman arrived wanting to know who was in the house. No
one, said Dave. Why? Some old dame across the street had complained that
a man in this house kept exposing himself to her. Man to man, the cop
made a slighting comment about goofy old dames and drove off.
In the sailing season, we crewed a 42-foot Baltic
cruiser, the Aguila, owned by Bill Moran, a middle-aged wool broker. It
was only when we were becalmed on foggy Lake Ontario that I realized how
small and fragile she was. That was when a lake freighter, its fog horn
moaning and a lookout staring, rushed past, leaving us bucketing in a
wake that took all of Bill's skill to deal with.
It was an eccentricity of Bill's that when he was
dropping Harold and me off after an outing that he never drove his car
at over 25 miles an hour, not when we were with him, anyway, to the
displeasure of other drivers. The Aguila didn't share her skipper's
regard for a slow, steady speed. In rough weather, she didn't ride
gracefully over the waves but charged through them. In a race held in a
thunderstorm, we cut so many minutes off the record that the judges
wouldn't believe we hadn't cheated.
If Harold was my guide to the city, his father, Ray
Nelson, was my guide to the great outdoors. He was a slender six-footer
with strong Indian features: skin stretched tight over high cheekbones
and an acguiline nose. He had been a Mountie and knew Canada intimately.
Mrs. Nelson, an American, made up with sparkle, charm and
good humour what she lacked in looks. She adored her husband and their
only child, Harold. A woman of many talents, she was egually adept at
paddling a canoe in the wilderness as she was at wielding a skillet in
the kitchen. She was also head of the university women's shooting team.
I was clearing out some old papers when I came across a
note from my favourite managing editor, Charlie Edwards. He was a
delightful man despite his maudlin tendency to warble hymns after his
fourth shot of rotgut. He it was who gave me a job as an editor-writer,
albeit reluctantly and with deep misgivings, for he suffered from
Charlie Edwards had a bass voice He used to moan, not
He was suspicious of love,
Feared Father above And thought things could hardly be
I met Charlie when I dropped in at Broadcast News at the
suggestion of Harold Nelson to ask for a job. Charlie, who looked like
the twin brother of Colonel Sanders but without the goatee, finished
typing a sentence, put a hand to his ear and said, "What's that funny
accent I hear?"
"Broken English," I said. "I was born in England but
spent my first years speaking Australian."
"English, eh? Then I can't hire you, my lad."
"Because Englishmen never work out."
"Is that so? And what'syourbackground?"
"Welsh, eh? That's why you're so biased. You Welsh have
had a lot to put up with from the English, haven't you?"
He glowered, then shrugged. "Who sent you here, anyway?"
"Harold Nelson. He worked for you as a summer student."
"Good old Harold, eh? Well, if Harold says so, I'll take
you on. But it's a tough job and you'll soon find you're wasting your
time and quit."
Indeed the job was tough, writing hourly newscasts round
the clock for radio and TV stations. It wasn't made any easier by the
fact that my colleagues were a bunch of oddballs. But that's a story for
another day. I toiled and moiled and sweated blood until one day, seven
months later, Charlie, who was usually referred to by his initials,
C.B.E., sent for me.
"Congratulations!" he said, slapping me on my sweaty back
and pouring me about three fingers of something (see footnote) from a
bottle he kept in his desk. "Cheers." He took a slug and wiped his
mouth. "Yes, you've done well, young fella. So drink up." I drank and
gagged. He arched a bushy eyebrow. "Another?" I coughed, shook my head
and stumbled back to the newsroom and my typewriter.
And that's the story of how I broke into journalism. So a
belated hanks, C.B.E, wherever you are.
A Taffy exec, C.B.E.,
Was averse to hiring poor me.
Most English, he said,
Just made him see red.
"But not you," he said finally.
Footnote: As a warning for nondrinkers like me, the
bottle should have been marked POISON and labelled with a skull and
crossbones. The stuff tasted like rust solvent or something for removing
stubborn oil stains from overalls. Whatever it was, it had pickled
Charlie's vocal cords, giving his voice a mellow, smoky timbre when he
sang a tear-stained "Abide with me, fast falls the eventide," "Lead,
kindly Light! amid the encircling gloom" or some other hit from the
Rhondda Valley Top 10.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
With my new boss's prediction that I would mess up
ringinging in my ears, I opened the door to the newsroom and was hit
with a blast of noise.
Teleprinters clattered, bulletin bells clamoured,
cigar-chomping editors cursed, the switchboard girl shouted into her
mike. Blue smoke lay in layers on the hot, stagnant air. Here and there
on a battered desk stood a bottle for editors, writers and teletypists
in need of a jolt of rye or vodka.
This was the headquarters of The Canadian Press (CP), the
national news service owned by Canada's daily papers. The ruler of this
outpost of hell was Ab Fulford, a sallow, round-faced guy with a
harelip. He wore an old-fashioned green eyeshade and steel armbands to
hold his shirtsleeves just so. A row of White Owl stogies poked out of
his vest pocket. A garish tie was caught with a silver clip.
My entrance went unremarked except by Ab and an Airedale,
which flashed its fangs, barked once and resumed foraging in a
wastebasket for half-eaten hamburger buns.
I asked Ab, who had just set fire to a stogie with a
kitchen match, where Broadcast News (BN) was. This was the CP division
that relayed news to broadcasters and to which I had been assigned. Ab
shook out the match and pointed. "Over there. Tommy Kerr will put you
BN had no Airedale to announce my arrival, so I
introduced myself to Tommy, the main BN editor, who nodded, shouted,
"Hey, Peter, find this guy a typewriter," glanced at the clock, called
on the Saviour and resumed hammering out the next newscast on his
Peter was Peter Mellors, a looker with an Oxford accent.
I asked him why the boss, Charlie Edwards, had given him a job, seeing
that he obviously was, gasp, an Englishman. Apparently Charlie, when he
heard that Peter had worked for the BBC in London, snapped him up, an
act he was to regret whenever broadcasters complained that Peter's
summaries lacked enough Canadian news. Which proved that Englishmen
never worked out.
As the days and nights flitted by like a kitten chasing
its tail, I began to get the hang of the job and make friends with the
other men, as fine a collection of oddballs as never brightened the
pages of Psychology Today.
Tommy Kerr, the main editor, had a second income as a
house painter. In fine weather especially, he might or might not show up
at BN, except on Thursdays, when he invariably dropped by, often in
paint-streaked clothes, to pick up his pay cheque. Charlie Edwards would
nail Tommy and wring a hand-on-heart promise from him to mend his ways,
whereupon Tommy would hop into his van, zip back to the work site and
conscientiously finish painting the house by the deadline. In the
newsroom we coped as best we could.
Peter Mellors, who was as gay as a cruise ship dressed
overall, went on to become a professor in Lebanon.
Gavin "Colly" Collier, a Scotsman whose accent became
broader with time, was a drunkard who, when he was fu', insisted on
tipping bus drivers, slipping the tip into the fare box with a gracious
"Tha's for you, ma guid man."
Colly wore tailored suits and sportswear. As a result, he
was mired in debt. On the occasion when a collection agent caught him at
the office, Colly took him to a pub, drank him under the table and came
back with the agent's briefcase crammed with the files of delinquent
borrowers, which he dropped into a trash bin. Afterwards he wondered
wistfully if his beneficiaries, had they known the name of their Good
Samaritan, would remember him in their prayers.
wusky, young Colly
Would commit every kind of folly.
His wife he'd deprive her
To tip their bus driver,
Like a laird who'd gone off his trolley.
Jack Haney, another candidate for Alcoholics Anonymous,
was the father of two of the future creators of Trivial Pursuit.
Occasionally he would skip work, and the rest of us would cover for him.
But when he didn't show for a third day in a row, we asked the cops to
check his house. They reported back that the back door was open but
guarded by a famished German shepherd. With the help of a couple of
sandwiches, they got past the dog and into the kitchen, where they found
Jack lying three days dead.
Dieter Shaefer, an office boy with a knack for reeling
off one-liners he sold to comedians, announced one day that he was
leaving for Hollywood, where he had signed on with Jack Benny's team of
Dieter Shaefer thought up a joke
As easily as some roll a toke.
One buyer, Jack Benny,
Was one such of many.
"I am," Dieter laughed, "never broke."
Jim Horodinchuk, an incredibly fast and accurate
teletypist, was set up by a gang of crooked poker players, who filled
him with liquor, relieved him of his pay cheque, his car and finally his
bank balance. When Jim stumbled out into the night, he realized he had
been robbed. Passing a sporting goods store, he broke in to borrow a
shotgun. The cops flushed him out with tear gas. At his trial he was
advised by a neophyte lawyer to plead guilty and throw himself on the
mercy of the court. The judge, a second George Jeffreys, "the hanging
judge" (1645-1689) didn't hesitate. "Seven years. Next case."
Sam Solomon, my best friend, decided, without consulting
me, to sign me up for the local chapter of B'nai B'rith, the
organization that protects the rights of Jews. Asked at the next meeting
for the name of the friend he was nominating, Sam said, "Bob Taylor."
The chairman said,
"What kind of name is that?" "OK," said Sam, "he's a goy.
So what?" The idea of having a gentile member was tossed
around, and it was decided that though Bob Taylor was no doubt a
wonderful mensch, being a goy made him ineligible. "Discrimation!" said
Sam and complained to B'nai B'rith headquarters in New York, where it
was agreed that Bob Taylor would be eligible only if he converted to
Judaism. Sam replied, "I resign." Only then did he tell me about the
wonderful surprise he had planned for me. "Sam," I said, "you may be a
Solomon, but you're nuts."
To Sam it obviously was news B'nai B'rith is strictly for
He strove to the end To sign up his friend.
"You bigots," he cried, "j
These were some of my oddball colleagues. I'm saving the
biggest for next time.
Easily the oddest of my oddball colleagues was Milt
McPhail, who, when he wasn't in the newsroom, was at the track urging
longshot cripples home by word and gesture. Or else he was busy fighting
off yet another woman eager to reform him with her pure, disinterested
Milt made rather more than I did but, like the rest of
the crew, was usually broke or hard up. I started at $42 a week when - I
checked later - the average salaried worker in Toronto got $70. Milt
blew most of his $50 on horses that sat down at the start or developed
glanders at the turn.
On one occasion, a delegation of Milt, Tommy Kerr and
Gavin Collier pleaded with The Canadian Press's supremo, Gil Purcell,
for more money. Gil was sympathetic, explained that things were tight
right now, but that next year blah, blah, blah. When Gil, who had lost a
leg while a Second World War correspondent, limped to the parking lot at
5 o'clock, he passed the three suppliants, each clutching a fistful of
office pencils and begging passers-by, "Please buy a pencil and help the
On another occasion, the three of them went to Eaton's to
try out one of a new shipment of card tables. Tommy was dealing a hand
of seven-card stud when a floor walker came charging up shouting "Hey!"
Tommy stayed his hand and asked, "A fourth for bridge?"
When I was introduced to him, Milt was living in the
Canadian Press basement, which was conveniently equipped with a shower,
toilet and paper towels. He slept on the Ping-Pong table, lying on, and
wrapped in, the final editions of the Toronto Star and the Telegram.
Officially, the boss was unaware of Milt's domestic arrangements.
Canadians are a tolerant lot.
Milt seemed to live on air. Poor as I was, I would stand
him a fried egg or a toasted cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off,
for he had no teeth. He claimed he had owned false teeth once upon a
time, but had pawned them when the sure-things were pulling up lame,
suffering from the heaves or breaking the occasional cannon bone.
On pay day, a Salvation Army volunteer who patrolled the
bars would enter and make straight for Milt, ostensibly to ask for a
subscription ("Whatever you can afford, sir"), but in reality, I
suspect, ready to give a hand to this wretch. Milt, though an atheist,
admired the Sally Ann for its work among the needy and would fish a few
coins out of the pool of beer on the table and hand them over.
In appearance, Milt was thin and wiry, an advantage when
fleeing from creditors. He stood about five foot 10, topped with mousy
hair, slightly waved, which Tommy Kerr cut for him monthly between
writing news summaries. His eyes, his best feature, were green and
dreamy, as if admiring the sunset or the Rockies from far away. His
upper lip hung slightly over the lower one, so that he seemed to be
coping, just, with some sorrow. The lack of teeth gave him a
hollow-cheeked, ascetic look. He wore jeans year-round and in summer
went without socks. All in all, you would have said he was a nondescript
fellow, one you would pass unnoticed on the street. Yet he was like
catnip to some women.
I taxed him once about this appeal. "It's not as if you
have movie star looks or money. You're not a merry old soul or a
fascinating conversationalist. And you're certainly not my idea of a Don
Juan. But women are all over you."
he said. "But it's true I can go into a crowded room, glance around and
see a woman giving me the eye."
"But what's the explanation?"
Some time later, the newsroom was agog over the latest
McPhail woman trouble. Or rather,womentrouble,
for he had impregnated two girls, daughters of two prominent local
families, at about the same time.
What happened next was farcical.
Our office boy, who was new that day, looked up from
sharpening pencils to see a tall, white-mustachioed man standing over
him, dressed in tweeds and regimental tie and carrying a blackthorn
"Which one of them," asked the stranger, shooting his
shirt cuff and peering at a name scribbled there, "is Milt - or possibly
Milton - McPhail?"
"I don't know, sir," began the boy. "I just started - "
"Listen, young man, if you don't tell me . . ." He
brandished his stick.
"I'm not sure," quavered the boy, "but I think it may be
that one." He pointed to the inoffensive Dave Quantz. Dave, who was
sitting at his typewriter trying to think of a synonym, became aware of
someone looming over him, someone he had never seen before. "Can I help
"I'll be waiting outside for you at 5 o'clock," the
mystery man said, did a smart about-turn and marched out.
Dave paled. "Who wasthat?"
"That?" laughed Milt. "That was the father of one of my
girlfriends." And the story of the double pregnancy came pouring out.
No, Milt said, he wasn't going to get married. Neither girl wanted him
as a husband.
The shift ended and from the window the colonel could be
seen still doing sentry go on the sidewalk, his stick shouldered at the
Dave was anxious to get home, so Milt kindly phoned for a
taxi to pick up a fare at The Canadian Press. At the back door, please.
Yes, in the alleyway. That's right, among the bins. For the rest of the
week, this was the procedure for slipping Dave through the blockade,
until the colonel unaccountably gave up.
In the meantime, Milt would pass the time of day when
going in or out the front door. "Now that," the colonel no doubt
thought, "is a charming young man."
When Milt died at age 60, the Fort Erie track, where he
had spent many happy afternoons, named a race after him, the McPhail
Harold Nelson, long-time fixture
at CBC's The National, dies at 82
Harold Nelson, a behind-the scenes figure at The Natinal during the
1960s and 1970s, has died at age 82. Harold was known for his
encyclopedic memory of film footage and could retrieve needed shots from
archives in a hurry. It was an invaluable skill in the days before
computers. He retired from CBC several years ago.
The Morley Bedford funeral home says
that the Church service will take place at St. Paul’s Anglican Church,
227 Bloor Street East on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 at 2:00 p.m. A private
interment will be held from Port Crewe late in the week.
St. James Priory newsletter got in
some contributions from Harold and here are a few of his contributions from 2010
Turkey & A Clash of Faiths
By Chev. Harold Nelson
With modern globe-trotting, many Christians now are
making a pilgrimage to Turkey and the province of Anatolia to the
numerous sites where Christianity’s roots were planted by St Paul. They
are travelling in the footsteps of Paul and pilgrims of many centuries.
The historic role reflected in the sites include
Tarsus where Saint Peter was born, Ephesus where the apostle John and
the Virgin Mary lived after Christ’s death and Antioch, where the first
Christian church was carved from a cave. Indeed, the first time the
followers of Jesus were called Christians was in Anatolia.
Times though are changing and events of the past
weeks reflect that. The recent murder of the Roman Catholic bishop of
Anatolia shocked most Turks and was quickly called the action of a mad
man with no political or religious ties. However, the victim, Bishop
Padovese had warned that the toleration of Christians was being weakened
because of antipathy among the general population over Turkey’s military
and commercial ties with Israel.
For ninety years Turkey has been a democratic,
secular, unitary and constitutional republic increasingly integrated
with the West. In recent years the secular government has been
challenged by the increasing strength of religious parties, Islam being
the faith of the vast majority of the population.. With Christians
making up a mere one percent of the population they have little
influence, being mainly bystanders to the passions of others.
Turkey's location at the crossroads of Europe and
Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance. The
politicians of Turkey have, of recent years, been orienting their
country toward Europe, rather than the middle East, as they seek to be
part of the European Economic Union and of NATO.
In the military realm, the United States has vital
bases in Turkey where supplies for Iraq and Afghanistan are
trans-shipped. Turkey has proven a valued ally of the West since the
start of the Cold War: a Muslim country that was friendly to Israel and
did not allow the training of terrorists within its borders.
However, the recent attempt by six Turkish ships to
break the embargo of Gaza poses a major problem for the Turkish
government, even though they had nothing to do with the flotilla. The
mobs in the street reflect a major change in Turkey. And politicians in
a democracy who ignore rioting people in their streets do not tend to be
long-serving. That this nation with a long history of tolerance and
inclusion of those of other faiths is now teetering on the edge of
political and religious intolerance is a frightening facet in the
ever-increasing tensions of the Middle East.
This is a picture of our Prior at the well in St Peter's Church in the
countryside of Anitoch, Turkey. This church/cave was built into the
rocky hillside no later than the 4th century (tile dating) but could
have been considerably earlier. St Peter was the first missionary in the
area. The walls of the church and the garden outside just reeked with
the prayers of the ages. It is a truly wondrous site to visit.
And he also sent in this one...
faithful . . . then and now
By Chev. Harold Nelson
The 191st Annual Toronto Orange Parade marched along downtown streets on
Saturday. (JENNY YUEN/Toronto Sun)
As they have done for decades, the Orange Lodge had their annual parade
in July with a small number of marchers compared to their hay-day fifty
years ago when they controlled City Hall and had their own newspaper:
When I was quite young, my Father introduced me to the one Roman
Catholic Officer on the Toronto Police Force. Another one of my Father’s
friends had read law in Scotland but couldn’t become an RCMP officer
because the French Canadians used up the Catholic quota. That was
Toronto in the 1960’s.
Nathan Philips was Toronto’s first Jewish mayor but even he had the
backing of the Orange Lodge. Fred Beavis was the first Roman Catholic
mayor, a member of the Knights Columbus and as an Alderman had
represented the same East End Ward as Tom Clifford, an Orangeman and
member of the United Church. This was the old Toronto where Fred and Tom
worked together and were supported by both religious groups In 1970, the
Orange Lodge sold its building on Queen street and lost the huge murals
that portrayed its history and beliefs. Those years represented the high
point of the troubles in Ireland and yet one of the Grand Masters in
Toronto said he understood the problem and didn’t blame the Roman
Catholics for wanting their share of the housing and jobs. And Mayor
Leslie Saunders, staunch Orangeman, explained the drop in numbers of
Lodge members on Television one evening. It was “ . . . a problem
affecting all of the service clubs”.
That and changes in the Liquor laws are what spelled the end for even
press clubs, the epitome of drink and debate. The clubs, once social
centres, faced changing times and to survive had to change. And just as
service clubs lost members to changing times so did churches and other
organizations dependant on volunteers as women joined the workforce and
television and computers came to dominate spare time: instead of
service, companionship, a bowling alley or a beer at the Legion.
Toronto is a different place. Jews, Anglicans, Muslims and Buddhists
share subway seats. Restaurants of every culture and ethnicity fill our
streets. Toronto is now the most multicultural city in the world. . .
and the divisions seen in the Orange and St Patrick’s Day parades are an
amusing relic of a day long past: but the tolerance each had for the
other, presaging Toronto to-day.
Christians under Threat
By Chev. Harold Nelson
[Editor's Note: Two articles from Harold in this
issue and they have to make us think about what we as Templar's might do
to help our Christian brothers and sisters. We have already seen a
previous article on the plight of Christians in Turkey and in fact there
was a BBC documentary about them. I would guess there is not too much we
as a Priory can do, although we should certainly consider what we might
do, but perhaps this might be a call to action to the Templars of the
world? Might this not be something we could raise at the United Nations?
The recent massacre of Christians in Baghdad is expected to result in
the exodus of even more Christians from an area which has some of the
oldest churches in the world. Our Lady of salvation, a Syrian Catholic
church, had been bombed before, yet on November 10th, 2010 a brave
congregation of over one hundred people were attending mass when the
terrorists struck. They held the congregation hostage for over four
hours. When the soldiers attacked some of the terrorists set off bombs
and sixty people including two priests died in this action.
Baghdad is a city of violence: just as many people were killed by other
bombs on the same day. What makes these attacks on Christians different
from other sectarian violence is that the Christians do not have a
militia, do not bomb their enemies and continue to try to live in peace
with all their neighbours.
The British carved Iraq out of the Ottoman Empire following World War I.
The land contained Christians, Kurds and several Islamic groups: none of
whom got along well at that time. Violence was avoided then, and after
Iraq got its independence, by strong rulers.
Following the most recent incident, a Christian woman pointed out that
they were safer under Saddam Hussein, with a Christian Deputy Prime
Minister and the Baath socialist party than they have been ever since.
When the allies invaded Iraq they disbanded the army and outlawed the
Baath party: thereby removing the two groups that could control the
country and prevent sectarian fighting and the slaughter of those weak
in numbers and peaceful in their adherence to their faith.
Twenty years ago there were strong Christian communities in the Mideast,
with roughly 800,000 in Iraq alone. The numbers today show only a shadow
of the past populations and the only country to show an increase in the
Christian population is Israel: largely because of Russian immigrants.
Although the Iraqi government has condemned the violence, the exodus of
Christians fleeing and seeking safety in exile from the lands they have
occupied for two millennia will continue. Given the events of 10
November, more Christians in Iraq will see the only way to provide
safety for their families and themselves will be as refugees on distant
Templars are called upon to defend the rights of all faiths to
peacefully follow the traditions of their faiths, live in harmony with
those of other beliefs and to be free to live and worship in the Holy
Land. How we are to do this presents a challenge we should all be
prepared to explore.
[And it's not only in the Holy Land that Christians are under threat as
Harold brings us this next article]
Christians in North Korea
Most sources agree that North Korea has the largest number of persecuted
Christians but Christians are only 3 – 10% of those being persecuted:
where the numbers could exceed 100,000. President George W. Bush claimed
that the prison camps are the size of cities.
Religious groups are able to exist only if they
practice juche, the cult of the country’s leaders which places them
above Christ. This is similar to Nazi Germany in the 1930’s where
Lutheran ministers were sent to concentration camps for opposing the
Nazi’s control of the churches.
Before the Second World War, Christians made up a sixth of the
population of Pyongyang, after 160 years of missions. There were several
hundred churches at that time, now there are four: two Protestant, one
priestless Roman Catholic and a new Orthodox center of worship.
The pastor of a protestant church in Pyongyang says there are now 10,000
Protestants and 1,000 Roman Catholics in North Korea. However, in being
able to speak publicly would suggest that he has submitted to the juche
expectations. This would be in line with the government’s desire to give
an illusion of religious freedom for foreign consumption: rather than
disclosing the reality of the faithful of North Korea.
The indigenous native Shamanists and Buddhists are subject to the same
discrimination and persecution as the Christians in a country where all
religions are suspect of disloyalty to the Supreme Ruler, Kim Jung-Il.
Christians = Egypt
By Chev. Harold Nelson
The media has been dominated by Egyptian news recently as President
Mubarak is challenged. But we have heard or seen virtually nothing about
the Christians in Egypt since the brief flurry of news when one of the
bombing of Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day 2011, killing
30 persons and wounding 80.
Christianity was brought to Egypt by Saint Mark and Alexandria became
one of the four main centers for Christianity. By the third century, a
majority of Egyptians were Christian but after the spread of Islam they
became a minority, now making up about 10 per cent of the 80 million
population or approximately 8 million.
The Copts consider themselves to be the original Egyptians. It was not
until the last century that other Egyptians began calling themselves
Arab. Modern Egypt has had a secular government largely run by the army
(the eighth largest in the world). However the Muslim Brotherhood, which
until now has been kept officially out of politics (since religiously
identified groups could not register as parties), could become that
largest party because of its grass root programs. It has a solid
reputation because of its schools and medical centers in rural areas
ignored by the government. And in the last election a large number of
its supporters were elected as independents.
Many of the Coptic churches are in bad condition lacking the money for
new roofs and other repairs. But the Copts are experts at surviving and
continue to have a moral voice that cannot be silenced and deserve the
sympathy and support of their fellow Christians.
Perhaps the St James Priory could consider the plight
of the Coptic Churches when decisions are made as to where to direct our
Churches of the Holy Lands charitable monies this year.
Christians at Risk
Chev. Harold Nelson, KTJ
It would be lovely to have a Newsletter in which there were no
atrocities to report. This month isn’t going to be one of them. On March
20th in Jos, Nigeria, a bomb exploded prematurely, killing three men who
were carrying it toward two churches: the intended targets were
worshippers at the Evangelical Church Winning All (EDWA) and the nearby
Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN). The same day, a bomb planted at the
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in the same city failed to
In neighbouring Bauchi state, more than 4,000 people were displaced in a
series of night attacks by Muslim Fulani tribesmen. 463 homes, 11 shops
and 13 churches were burned.
Anti-Christian violence has increased in northern
Nigeria since January of this year, when 200 armed Fulani youths
attacked churches and Christian homes. Sectarian violence between
Churches and Muslims in Nigeria began in 2001 with a large-scale riot in
the city of Kaduna.
This was the St James Newsletter that announced Harold's death...
On February 3rd, my husband, Chev Harold Nelson KCTJ died and we are
dedicating this issue to him and to his most cherished cause: the
persecuted Christians on whom he wrote in every newsletter. But it is
also about the work of our priory in supporting the Arab Christians in
the Holy Land: one of the most persecuted groups of Christians.
Chev Nick Migliore, as Dinner Chair, has just seen successfully
concluded the first fund raising Benevolent Ball of our Priory. A grand
night that brought in over $10,000 for the cause! It was an incredibly
proud night for the Priory and the team that made it all happen.
There is also a number of other items that I hope you will enjoy and
there is a list of upcoming UN Events and Templar Events in other
jurisdictions that I hope you will consider adding to your schedule. If
you have a talent to offer to the UN Events, please get in touch with
I extend my personal thanks to all the members who turned out in their
mantles as Honourary Pall Bearers at Chev Harold’s funeral and all those
who have in so many ways offered encouragement and support. May God
bless you all.
Husband of The Reverend Dame Nola Crewe, and the
great joy of his life -- being father of Derbyshire, Kate, Morgana,
Verity and Victoria and grandfather of Savannah, Dylan, Grant,
Devonshire, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Graeme and Onora. Harold lived
his life with gusto, enjoying sailing, telling tales, shooting,
news, travelling, eating, drinking and offering up social commentary
on everything else. He was the recipient of the UofT Gold Key in his
graduating year. Two organizations were the bookends of his life: a
King's Scout in his youth and as a Knight Commandeur of the Knights
Templar, Priory of St James in the years of gold. He worked as the
Sporting Goods Manager for Sears as it started up in Canada, was a
partner in The Small-But-Honest Advertising Agency and for over 30
years was with CBC-TV's News Department.
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