Auld Acquaintances by Peggy Oldfield

To August 31, 2018

We have some delightful news to share in this new column.  Congratulations go out to Neil and Mary Trainer who became first-time grandparents on April 19th with the birth
of Woods Neil Thompson to their daughter Erin Trainer and son-in-law Erick Thompson.  Their new grandson weighed
in at 8 lbs.12 oz.  Neil and Mary are all smiles in saying, "Woods is a very welcome addition to our family".  Erick,
Erin and Woods live nearby so Neil and Mary are happily undertaking frequent babysitting privileges.


                                   Mary & Neil Trainer with 1-month old Woods 

  Happy wishes are also extended to Neil & Lynn Gillon on
  becoming grandparents for the second time on April 4th with
  the arrival of Dylan Ulysses John Kelleher – a little brother
  for 3-year-old Georgia.  Dylan was born about five weeks
  early but weighed a healthy 5+ pounds and proud grandad
  Neil noted he was tiny but a delight to hold.

  Dylan waving as if to say, "It is all good but please no more photos!"

Joyful wishes go out as well to Zafira Nanji who, after
a six-year process, welcomed her adoptive son Ijaz
on June 25th. Zafira and family are thrilled to welcome
him into their midst.


                                                                                                                        Ijaz celebrates his 2nd birthday with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 his new family

  Wedding congratulations go out to Bert Cervo
and his lovely bride Dawn Priestley who
  married on August 4th at Marsh Lake, Yukon.
  The ceremony and celebration took place at
  Bert's cousin's resort Inn on the Lake there.

  Belated birthday wishes on their milestone 80th
  go out to John Kennedy (November 25),
  Gordon Gillespie (June 25) and Ron Harries
 (June 25).  My apologies if I have missed any
  milestones out there!

                                Bert & Dawn on their wedding day, August 4

Happy 2nd retirement wishes to Marv Coulthard who stepped down from his position as Technical Director of ArtSpring Theatre on Saltspring Island on June 20th - a job he has held since 1999.  The theatre celebrated Marv with a Community Cabaret Tribute Concert that evening and on July 2nd Marv announced he had "a new job at self-employed".

Congratulations to Trina McQueen on being inducted into the CBC News Hall of Fame on June 15 at a ceremony held at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto hosted by The National's Adrienne Arsenault.  Speakers included CTV News President Wendy Freeman, CBC News Editor-in-Chief Jennifer McGuire and CBC Executive Vice-President of English Services Heather Conway.  Former CBC colleagues Tony Burman, Denise Donion, Peter Mansbridge and Lloyd Robertson were in the audience to applaud recognition of Trina's contributions to broadcasting in Canada. The CBC News Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honour individuals who have "demonstrated a lasting impact on the CBC and Canadian journalism" and "to inspire the new generation of journalists at CBC".  Induction to the CBC News Hall of Fame has been previously awarded to Knowlton Nash (2015), Joe Schlesinger (2016) and Barbara Frum (2017).

Best wishes for a full and "easy" (i.e., pain quickly diminishing) recovery go out to Hugh Poole who broke a bone in his foot while cutting the grass at his home in the Spring, to Gary Heald who says he has joined "the zipper brigade" having undergone open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve, and to Sharon Spruston who is on the mend from two cracked ribs which resulted from a fall.

A note of thanks goes to John Dixon in Ontario for relaying the news that Vic Sarin, formerly a Film Cameraman and Director with CBC Toronto now a filmmaker residing in B.C., has written a book about his days as a Canadian Cinematographer.   Vic's book entitled "EYEPIECE – Adventures in Canadian Film and Television" is available through Amazon and at Chapters.

Thanks goes again to John Dixon and to Jill Burns in Ontario for supplying the news that former documentary TV Producer Robin Benger has published a book entitled "A Canadian in God's Country – Rambling, Umpiring and Golfing in North Yorkshire".  They note that Robin Benger is the fourth former Journal alumnus to write a book.

Joan Athey travelled to Japan late last year to launch an exhibit of the late photographer Gerry Dieter's 1969 images
of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono bed-in for peace during eight days at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. The exhibit entitled Give Peace a Chance, was displayed from December 8 to January 8 in the Space Hachikai gallery area at Tower Records near the busy Shibuya Station in Tokyo. The photos were originally taken by Gerry Dieter on assignment to Life Magazine but the feature was bumped
for coverage of the escalating Vietnam War.  Mr. Dieter retained the negatives but it wasn't until 2004 when he met                     Joan Athey and Give Peace a Chance Exhibit  
Joan Athey that, with her assistance, an exhibition was mounted
that year.  The photographer died in Victoria on December 9, 2005, one day after taking part in a spirited tribute to John Lennon on the 35th anniversary of his death, at the Royal B.C. Museum.  Joan Athey purchased the collection following Gerry Dieter's death and the exhibition of his photos in Japan was Joan's way of honouring his long-time wish.

Former CBC Vancouver staffer Marilyn Brown has called Ottawa home for many many years, but she made a return visit to the West Coast in February, splitting her time between Victoria and Vancouver.  As always holiday time passed far too quickly but Marilyn enjoyed the milder coast weather and catching up with long-time friends Marguerite Callegari, Serafine Crawley, Anne Ikeda, Anne Mathisen, Peggy Oldfield and Danny Tanaka.

Travel has been on the calendar for many of our colleagues and to summarize very briefly – Anne Denholm travelled last year from her home in England to Uzbekistan where she went to Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and even had a night in a yurt in the desert.  Anne said, "The historical sites and other sights were amazing, the countryside beautiful for the most part and their culture and crafts very interesting. A most memorable holiday."  She also managed a couple of short trips – one to Jersey in the Channel Islands and another to France.  Jeff Groberman took part in a safari in Africa (Jeff hilariously tells the tale complete with photos on his blog www.grobetrotting.comLori Konorti says she travelled back and forth to San Diego, California four or five times last year and returned again for a week in April  – the very special reason being to spend time with daughter Jodi, son-in-law Andy and granddaughter Ayla (born November 15, 2016). The trip in April included an extra excursion to Palm Desert where Lori spent time with a North Vancouver High School friend and her husband.  Ramona Mar and husband Mark Sachs moved from Singapore to London, England and with their family, celebrated their first Christmas in London in their flat which is an easy commute to the City and its 240 theatres which makes Ramona very happy indeed!  Ramona was in Vancouver this summer and the Blue Mooners – Ramona, Rhonda Burnside, Lindsay Forsberg, Cindy Leaney, Chris Paton and Peggy Oldfield spent a fabulous afternoon enjoying lunch at the Sylvia Hotel with an incredible view of English Bay.  Eli Gorn, Paddy Moore, Brian Schecter and Mike Varga took a bit of a winter break in late January to go skiing at Sun Peaks, north of Kamloops, B.C.  In March of this year, Ralph Motohashi was in Mumbai, India which he notes is a very dirty city but that is more than compensated by the beautiful colonial buildings everywhere, big tree lined boulevards, good and reasonably priced food and friendly people.

                                                                 Mumbai, India montage from Ralph Motohashi

Updates from former colleagues reveal that Henry Irizawa is now enjoying life in Comox on Vancouver Island.  He is still directing hockey for Sportsnet and curling in Korea for CBC/OBS and reports that it's still fun doing it!  David Barker returned to England many years ago and now resides near Hastings on the south coast.  David says he "officially" retired in 2011 but has continued working on a freelance basis and is often busy with stage managing local theatre productions.  John Sparks is a resident of Saltspring Island and would welcome hearing from any former colleagues visiting over there.  Contact this writer for John's e-mail and/or phone number!

  In other news, retired CBC Vancouver Graphic Artist Drew
has continued his painting career and has, at their
  invitation, become a member of the West Fine Art Show
  Society.  Drew exhibited a number of his paintings at The
  West Fine Art Show at the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair
  from May 18 through 21 and was on hand for the full
  duration of the art show.  If you didn't get a chance to say
  hello and see Drew's art there, be sure to visit his website, .  In June, Maurice Moses was
  honoured to be asked to sing at an annual Negev dinner in
                         Maurice at the microphone                             celebration of Israel's 70th anniversary and a couple who
                                                                                  have done a lot of good.  Over 400 local and federal 
                                                                                 dignitaries attended the event at the Four Season's Hotel in

Laura Anderson's "Memory Lane" column in The North Shore News on February 7th was a wonderful article about John Kennedy.  You can still read it and see the accompanying photo
– the link will bring you to the cover page of The North Shore News; turn to
pages 24 and 25 for the piece about John.  Other exciting news about John Kennedy is that he was the recipient of the Don Waterston Exceptional Service Award at the British Columbia and Yukon Region CBC Pensioners' Association AGM in June, 2018, held at the Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver.  Congratulations, John!

John Kennedy holding Guardian of the Salmon presented as part of the Don Waterston Exceptional Service Award

Tim & Lorraine Jordan whom so many of us know from Jordan's Catering and the days when they provided the annual barbecue buffet for the CBC 20 Year Association Garden Party, have announced their retirement effective June 30th, 2018.  Tim and Lorraine are planning to move to Vancouver Island in the near future.  

With grateful appreciation to Jim MacVicar and Joanne Skidmore for their permission, I am pleased to share excerpts from The Transmitter, newsletter of the CBC PNA – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories Region, issued in March.

Costa the Communicator
Costa Maragos, CBC PNA, Regina, SK

The greatest joy of retiring, following an exciting and fulfilling career at CBC, was the amazing array of life choices that were before me. What to do? Travel? Take up new hobbies? Work? Sand the deck?

I loved my job at CBC Regina and loved it to the very last second when I uttered "good night" for the last time as host of the 6 o'clock supper hour television news (March 28, 2013). My first post-CBC life choice was an easy one - to enjoy a glass of fine scotch mere minutes after removing my microphone.

  For a few months after my goodbye (and that fine scotch), I
  missed the daily newsroom buzz and the dark humour that
  went with it. I learned the hard way that the humour that
  passes for belly-splitting funny in the newsroom is generally
  greeted with groans by people in the 'real' world.

  As time went on, I eased up on the crass jokes as well as
  the tweets and the Facebook posting. After a very short
  period I stopped watching the supper hour news because I
  concluded it was time for a long break from that routine. Like
  many retired CBC folk, I slowly and nicely transitioned into a
  life of leisure.

                   Photo courtesy Costa Maragos, CBC PNA, Regina, SK
Costa Maragos  on his final day hosting the 6 o'clock television news for
                                  CBC Saskatchewan, March 28, 2013.

I was fine with that for a while. I travelled. I spent quality time with my family. I loved the mid-morning coffees at Starbucks and looked forward to my daily mid-afternoon wine sipping routine while preparing supper.

However after about 18 months of this I concluded that I was bored. I really needed some stimulus - something to get the brain going. So when I saw the job of Spokesperson and Community Affairs Advisor open at the University of Regina I jumped at the opportunity. It seemed like just the right fit.

The University is a hub of activity. There's almost always something happening on campus and as a former CBC journalist, there is no problem finding and telling those stories.

I tell the story about the U of R through its amazing
research; student success; the positive impact the
University has on the community; the endless supply
of alumni success stories and the fascinating events
that take place on campus including visiting lecturers on a variety of topics. Just like working in a newsroom, I learn something new each day. And I get to do it in a workplace that truly values a proper work/life balance.

                                                                                                              Photo courtesy Costa Maragos, CBC PNA, Regina SK   
                                                                                                                                                       Costa Maragos, Spokesperson and Community Affairs Advisor,University of Regina

I've transitioned from one of the best broadcasting jobs in Saskatchewan to the best communications job. There appears to be a high demand in the mainstream media for U of R stories which keeps me in touch with local newsrooms.       

However, it was important to ask myself – why move to the 'dark side' – from journalism to communications?  It can be a difficult adjustment for journalists who have a tendency to proudly see the world through critical eyes.  That's okay. We need strong journalism in our communities.

I was careful where I wanted to move to next in my career. I feel very comfortable representing the University of Regina because it's a place of higher learning that positively contributes to the community.
In making the transition, I always remind myself that I am now representing the University. That affects the approach one takes to storytelling.

I would encourage journalist retirees to take the plunge into the communications world. The critical analysis that comes with news reporting is hardly a priority when writing on behalf of an organization but your storytelling skills will be valued.

Be aware that the skills required to calmly work under tight deadlines should not be underestimated. Such skills appear to me to be in short supply on the communications side. Co-workers will marvel at your ability to work fast and at the same time produce quality. You'll meet new and interesting people and maintain some connection to the media. It also means the days of hard news reporting will be behind you but then isn't that the point of retiring?

Oh, as for those macabre jokes that got you laughs during your halcyon days in the newsroom? There's still a place for that humour, best saved over a beer or two at newsroom reunions.

Cheryl's Canine Companions – Therapeutic Canine Love
Cheryl Herperger, CBC PNA, Calgary, AB

Photo: Courtesy Cheryl Herperger, CBC PNA, Calgary, AB

Herperger and her pet therapy dog, Charlie, visited the Rockyview Hospital with the PALS team in June 2017.
They visited patients in 4 wards every Tuesday during that time.

When worlds collide it can be a very good thing. My incredible love of dogs and passion for people connected a few years ago and a rich chapter in my life was created.

  Dog people talk about their heart dog - the special dog that
  fills your heart with incredible love and much joy. My Golden
  Retriever Charlie was that dog for me. I just knew I had to
  share him with people he could help, people in need. He
  had this extraordinary way of making a difference. For many
  years, Charlie volunteered at my job at Animal & Bylaw
  Services for the City of Calgary (life after 25 years at CBC).
  He worked at community and educational events for seniors,
  youth, children and families. People commented about
  Charlie's loving nature and huge heart. Then I heard about
  the PALS (Pet Access League Society) program in Calgary.
  Charlie and I applied to be a certified volunteer pet therapy  
            Photo courtesy Cheryl Herperger, CBC PNA, Calgary, AB.                                           
team. I wasn't worried about Charlie passing the tests but
Charlie volunteered at many City of Calgary events with his pack leader,     was a little doubtful about me getting through the interview!
 Cheryl Herperger.  Charlie and Bylaw Officer Dan were demonstrating
where a lost dog goes in the animal services truck after the dog is pickled up

Charlie and I visited sick patients in hospitals, seniors in nursing homes and passengers at the airport who had a fear of flying or were frustrated with a delayed flight, and students at university who were stressed with final exams. We also met children at schools, patients in addiction centres and went to my most favourite place to visit, the public library. Children needing help with their reading skills chose a book to read to Charlie. He would put a paw on the page to say "good job". It was an incredible privilege to witness these moments.

My heart bursts with pride and love to have been a partner in PALS with such an amazing dog. Charlie lost his battle with cancer this past summer. I not only lost my heart dog but a community of volunteers and most importantly, all the people in need of a visit and a smile.

Soon after, though, I realized I believed so strongly in the program that my two other Golden Retrievers, Rusty and Bella, are now PALS pet therapy dogs. I'm grateful we're part of a 400 member team who brings tremendous joy and compassion to Calgarians. The smiles we bring and receive when we walk into a facility (they anxiously wait for us!) has indeed brought such richness and love into my life. If I could only find a way to make a living and do this work full time...a lottery win perhaps?!?!

Cancer Survivor and Activist
Anne Chase, CBC PNA, Regina, SK

  Anne Chase is a member of the CBC PNA in Regina, SK Her late
  husband, Doug Chase (d. 2004), worked for CBC for more than 30
  years, beginning in Toronto and ending his career in Community/Public
  Relations in Regina.

  Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I didn't know
  how poor the odds of survival were, which was probably a blessing. I
  was one of the lucky ones. I had surgery to remove the cancer and
  didn't need any follow-up treatment.

  Ovarian cancer is the most lethal cancer affecting Canadian women.
  Fifty-six per cent of women diagnosed do not survive for five years. It's
  estimated nearly 3000 Canadian women will be diagnosed this year.
  The symptoms either do not show up until the cancer is too far gone, or
  they mimic what many women experience day-to-day and therefore are
                        Anne Chase, Cancer Survivor                          easily dismissed. There is no reliable screening test. Ovarian cancer is
                                                                a silent killer and we advise women to "listen to the whispers."

The more I learned about ovarian cancer, the more I knew I had to get involved. I started a group for survivors and their families called Saskatchewan Ovarian Cancer Survivors or SOCS. We have grown to travelling the province raising awareness of this disease, and organizing major fundraisers such as an annual Walk of Hope each September in Regina and Saskatoon. My heart breaks each time we lose one of our ladies.  Thankfully, new treatments are on the horizon as well as genetic testing and very promising research.

Over the years, I have presented to medical professionals, at churches and in workplaces, and for countless women's groups.  We survivors have gained influence and made positive changes through working with government and other organizations on a Patient Advisory Council. One of our significant achievements was bringing a gyne-oncologist to work in Regina.

I was also the first representative of Saskatchewan on the Ovarian Cancer Canada Board of Directors and served three terms. Our Board endorsed a groundbreaking, award winning ad campaign called LadyBalls that got Canadians talking about ovarian cancer. My peers nominated me for a Regina YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2015 in the Wellness, Recreation and Healthy Living category, as well as for the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism Volunteer Award for Advocacy in 2016. I was fortunate to win both.

                                                                                                    Photo courtesy Anne Chase, CBC PNA, Regina, SK.
                                                                                                                                           Survivors of ovarian cancer, Walk of Hope, September 2014, Regina, SK.

I count myself blessed to be a survivor. In 2016 I was diagnosed with new cancers - lung and thyroid. Two surgeries and eight chemo treatments later, my resolve to fight cancer has been strengthened. I have developed lifelong friendships, including with surviving friends and families. Those personal connections are what I treasure the most.

Had you asked me years ago if I would have ended up in my 70s travelling to places like Atlanta, the UK and Australia for international research conferences, I never would have believed you. It has been quite a journey for this Saskatchewan-transplanted girl from rural Ontario.

Chapters Roundup

Photo: Courtesy Hartland Jessome, CBC PNA, Regina SK

These are the past and present CBC employees (front to back, left to right) present for the photograph at the December 16, 2017 Christmas Party of the CBC 20 Year Association and CBC PNA in Regina, SK.

Front row seated: Daryl Metz, Jean Freeman, Lyn Goldman, Carol Gay Bell, Charlie Goldie,
Bonnie Donison, Claire Lafayette

Second row: Susan Graham, Maureen Ferraro, Mona Maisonneuve, Debbie Breeze, Corinne Pauliuk, Richard Slowski, Joanne Skidmore, Rod Wood, Monique Nenson, Donna Pasiechnik, Dean Gutheil

Third row: Mireille Beaupré-Walsh, Sharon Gerein, Chris Niemczyk, Sheila Coles White, Art Martin,
Mim Martin, Dave Wagg, Gerry Jones, Laurie Ulmer, Glen Lemchuk, Hartland Jessome, Neil Cochrane,
Michel Allard

Fourth row: Norm Sawchyn, Aldo Columpsi, Dave Furman, John Menzies, Henry Sobchyshyn,
Claire Belanger-Parker, Jan Carter, Bill Hudema, Dale Johnson, Lutz Walsh, Terry White, Sean Angley,
Jeff Nenson, Ed Seneshen, John Petrescue

Photo: Dan Moynihan, CBC PNA, Regina SK

Front row seated: Tom Fink, Ernie Steinhubl, Charlie Schell, Richard Slowski

Second row: Neil Cochrane, Garry Seib, Hartland Jessome, Lisette Marchildon, Sandi Rhur, Bonnie Austring-Winter  

Third row: Marcel Bolen, Lutz Walsh, Lionel Bonneville, Ron Zegil, Guy Michaud, Aldo Columpsi

Going Home on Vacation
Gerry Jones, CBC PNA, Regina, SK

For my wife Barbara Byers and me you could say visiting Cuba is "a bit like going home on vacation." This past Christmas was our eighteenth visit to the beaches of Varadero. We took our first trip to Cuba for a week beach-respite from a bone-chilling prairie winter. We enjoyed it so much we kept going back, splitting time between Havana and Varadero, and touring the island.

When in Havana we stayed at the infamous Hotel Nacional de Cuba, a playground in the pre-Cuban revolution days for the rich, the famous and the American mafia crime bosses. The hotel grandeur faded after Fidel Castro closed its casino in 1960, almost two years after he won the revolution. The Nacional, a national monument, sits on a hill overlooking the harbour seawall and Old Havana and has recaptured its grandeur.

  The Barceló Solymar on the edge of Varadero has become
  our Cuban home-away-from home for the past sixteen
  years. We've become good friends with people who work
  there and they share their lives, their homes and their
  families with us during our visits. They've shared dinners
  and BBQs in their homes and back gardens with us. We
  drank mojitos and Cuban beer on the roof top deck at a
  friend's house. We've shared lobster dinners at
  restaurants in their communities. We've frolicked with
                      Photo courtesy Gerry Jones, CBC PNA, Regina SK.                 Cuban friends in the waves at a beach on a hot Cuban
Gerry Jones and Barb Byers enjoying a meal with friends in Varadero, Cuba  winter day.
                                                     December 2017.

Over the years we've witnessed how their lives have
changed since our first visit in 2001 when electric power outages were frequent and the norm, but are not anymore. With changes made by Raul Castro who took over as President from his older brother Fidel in 2008 ordinary Cubans were allowed to travel more and set up businesses like taxis, restaurants, hair salons and repair shops. They were allowed to check in at hotel resorts which had been reserved for tourists. We shared their excitement and concerns when United States President Barack Obama
and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a process
to normalize relations between Cuban and the United
States. And their disappointment when the process was
stalled by President Donald Trump. Many of our Cuban                  Photo courtesy Gerry Jones, CBC PNA, Regina, SK.
friends are eager for change that will help improve their lives,          Varadero, Cuba - Favourite beach of Gerry Jones and Barb Byers     like the end of the American embargo against Cuba. They want
to keep the good things that came with the revolution like health
care and education and they're open to embracing new ways of doing things when it works for them.

We hope to share many more New Year's toasts with our Cuban friends and many more hot sunny days frolicking in the blue waters off our favourite beach in Varadero.

Calgary: Farewell to Nearly Six Decades on Westmount Blvd.

Photo: Courtesy CBC Calgary

Current and former CBC Calgary and Radio-Canada employees gather out front of the Westmount Blvd location for a farewell photo on October 17, 2017. CBC moved four kilometres west to a new building at 1000 Veterans Place N.W.

Edmonton: Annual CBC Christmas Turkey Drive

  Members of the Edmonton chapter of the CBC PNA took
  part in CBC Edmonton's Turkey Drive to raise funds for the
  Edmonton Food Bank.

  From left to right:  Cécile Magnan  (CBC PNA, Edmonton, AB); Bob Forrow (CBC PNA,
   Edmonton, AB); Jim MacVicar (CBC PNA, Devon, AB); Lisette Vienne (Société Radio-
   Canada, Edmonton, AB)

That brings to a close this edition of Auld Acquaintances but with your help we'll have lots of news for the next one!  All the best, Peggy.