MAGAZINE May/June 2021

MAY / JUNE 2021
Compiled by Ken Gibson for May 1st
  with technical assistance from Bill Morris.

ITEMS IN THIS EDITION:  click on title required ...

MEMORIES AND MENAGERIES by Andy Snider (March 2001)
A NAUTICAL RECKONING as related by John Seale  (Oct-Dec 2001)
FLASHBACK TO 1971 TELEVISION from Vancouver Sun's Eileen Johnson.
AULD ACQUAINTANCES (excerpts) by Peggy Oldfield (April-June 2000)

              "MEMORIES AND MENAGERIES" by Andy Snider. (from March 2001)

In June 1954, Dorothy Davies, the future Mrs. Snider, and I were finishing the following stage production at the Avon Theatre. The show was 'Time of the Cuckoo' starring Miriam Hopkins and Sam Payne.  Dorothy was director for the company, I was stage manager and built sets for the productions.  Victor Miles and David Jones designed many of the sets and Gerry O'Connor did lighting.  One day, Dorothy got a call from Cliff Robinson, the Design Director of the new CBC TV station that was about to begin broadcasting their first live programs. Cliff wanted to know if she could recommend anyone with stage experience who would be interested in working in TV. She told him of the crew she had been working with. I went to see what it was all about. I remember the day  I walked into the building at 1200 West Georgia to talk with Cliff. Jim Ellis was Lighting Director and was busy with his crew, among them was Gerry O'Connor. They were setting up lighting equipment. Lloyd Harrop was TP and was busy with his crew testing the technical equipment. Roy Luckow and Dag Overgaard were two of the cameramen. The producers were Daryl Duke, Peter Elkington, Frank Goodship and Mario Prizek. John Thorne joined soon after.

I got the job as Property Master. Pretty fancy title! I was introduced to the two carpenters Ron Whitcomb and Bill Kuchin, and a stagehand, Blake Martin. David Jones became a stagehand and later a designer. Victor Miles joined soon after as a designer. I was the only person doing the job of procuring everything : furniture, set decorations and creating special effects: fog, smoke puffs to make actors disappear in an instant – all sorts of tricks and that took days to prepare, but now are done with the flick of a switch.

That first year, a musical series, ‘Bamboola’ with Eleanor Collins, was set in the Caribbean. We built a set which included palm trees and thatched huts.  To enhance the realism, Mario wanted live pigs and chickens, I got a dozen chickens and a pair of pigs from the children’s zoo in Stanley Park. I asked the zoo people not to feed the animals on the day of the show so I could feed them on set and control them to some extent. All went well except on one occasion a dancer slipped in some chicken poop. The shows were live and there was nothing I could do if a chicken decided to do some clucking and could be heard on mike. Also I didn’t dare pick up a piglet to prevent it from wandering on the set during a production number. The high pitch squeal could knock the station off the air!

Another animal adventure I had was for a Daryl Duke musical. The show was set in Arabia, or some such place, complete with exotic dancers and singers. Daryl thought it would be nice to have a goat herd wander through a scene herding some live goats. I was to be costumed and made-up to play the goat-herd. I got the goats, four, from a farmer in Langley who claimed the animals were ‘quiet and friendly,’ especially Nanny. The route I was to take through the set was carefully laid-out, but I couldn’t escape from the studio after the walk-through. I would have to huddle in the corner behind the scenes with the goats while the show went on. The rehearsal went well. I galumphed through the scene on cue. The goats followed me obediently one behind the other ‘quiet and friendly’ as advertised, though I noticed they were a bit spooked by the orchestra. There was a break before the show. The script assistant checked over the cameraman’s shot list, the props people saw to the set, Phyllis Newman fussed with my beard to make sure it stayed put, the producer gave some last minute instructions to the cast, the cameras took their positions, the studio director called for silence in the studio, then signalled the five second countdown and then signalled the orchestra.  The orchestra crashed out the opening number. The goats panicked and got tangled up in their leashes. I managed to untangle three but was having difficulty getting the lead goat’s hind leg free and my cue was coming up. I had visions of parading through the scene with the goat hobbling like a kangaroo.  Just in time I got her free and trudged through the scene, the goats following obediently but with a difference. Nanny, she who had been doing the ‘quiet and friendly’ bit throughout the rehearsal, began to bleat. That’s a nice touch I thought, makes it more realistic. However she went on bleating, anxious, loud and shrill, when we got to our hidey place, promising to ruin the exotic dancers and songs that followed.  So I had to spend the remainder of the show crouched beside her, clamping my fist round her ‘muzzle’ every time she looked like giving voice. Fortunately, no bleat escaped.  When I mentioned the Nanny episode to her owner, he said “Oh, she’s usually very quiet, but she gave birth three days ago and I guess she began to miss her kid. If I’d only thought I could have given you Button over there, instead. She would have been real quiet and friendly.”

From 1956 when Andy Snider first took on the responsibilities of TV Producer until his departure in 1985, he brought programs of nearly every description to the air. His extensive list of credits included “Country Calendar,” “Gone Fishing,” “B.C. Round Table” (current affairs), “Game Country” with Paul St. Pierre (26 weeks produced in 1959), “Pleasure Boating” with Bob Fortune, “That Young Child” (a Christmas Special written by Benjamin Britten), “Pat and Ernie – Anything Goes” (a musical series with Pat Trudell and Ernie Prentice), “The 7 O’Clock Show” (News and Current Affairs), Sports productions with Ted Reynolds, Track Meets, a Golf Tournament, an afternoon series titled “Be Our Guest” with Ross and Hilda Mortimer which ran for several years, “B.C. Gardener” with David Tarrant (the first gardening show from the outdoor terrace of the new building at 700 Hamilton Street), and 13 years of the very popular “Klahanie” with Bob Fortune from 1965 to 1978.

as related by JOHN SEALE.

In November 2000, John Seale chanced upon an article which made him sit bolt upright; it was about an incident in World War II that he had witnessed first hand. It was also an incident that has plagued his memory throughout the succeeding years.

At the time, John was the senior signalman on H.M.C.S. Dunver and, on this occasion, the ship was part of a convoy heading from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to Canada.  Signals began arriving from the Admiralty on a daily basis concerning the route of a Free French submarine, La Perle, which had been ordered to travel on the surface. The daily signals included information on where she was, what speed and direction she was travelling, and identified a “limited bombing area” around the sub. It was John’s duty to provide these signals in book form to the senior officer on the convoy, and following his confirmation of reading them by signature, to convey the book to the Captain and to the First Lieutenant, each of whom were also to sign the book after sending the information.  Only in this case, day after day, the Commander refused to sign the book – a fact duly reported to and acknowledged by the other two officers. John watched the progress of La Perle and since H.M.C.S. Dunver was on a collision course with her, remarked to the Commander on a couple of occasions that they might see her. Then on a fine day with little sea roughness, John again mentioned that they might see the sub. Eventually, two Swordfish aircraft from the attending ships were deployed on a search. Within fifteen minutes, one of the aircraft reported, “Have spotted a submarine. What shall I do?”  As the Commander raced across the bridge, John shouted to him, “Sir, that may be the French submarine.” John’s words were ignored and the Commander gave the order to sink the sub. John was then ordered to send a signal to one of their escorts to pick up survivors.  There was only one. Sixty lives were lost.

About a week after the sinking, which had completely devastated John, he suffered an attack of appendicitis. His Captain received permission to leave the convoy and proceed to Halifax where John could be taken care of. While in hospital there, he was visited several times by the First Lieutenant of H.M.C.S. Dunver, questioning his memory of events, but John was not called to testify at the enquiry in progress at that time.

From that time until last Winter, John has been troubled by his knowledge of the event and the seeming lack of factual information in the historical record. A history of H.M.C.S. Dunver, which John recently accessed, makes no mention of the La Perle incident. Also, John had heard that the Commander was decorated for his services in the largest convoy in the War, which had been his next assignment. The article which appeared in the military magazine Starshell in November, 2000, brought the wartime memory to the forefront of his mind again, and John immediately wrote to the author telling him that he (John) was the signalman directly involved. From there, letters crisscrossed the country, culminating in a meeting of the two men in Toronto. They consulted a military historian and, as a result of that mutual corroboration of details of the La Perle incident, Starshell will feature the full story in its September, 2001 issue and the truth will finally be told after some sixty years of silence.

John Seale joined CBC as a Director of Photography. During his long CBC career, he worked on many award-winning documentary films and was himself the recipient of many awards for his outstanding cinematography. Since retirement, John ran his own film and video production till 1995 when he finally retired.

FLASHBACK TO 1971 TELEVISION from Vancouver Sun's Eileen Johnson.

"If Television is heading in any discernible direction this year, that direction is home. In Canada, CBC policy leans toward more regional productions, less "Toronto-is-the-centre-of-the-world syndrome. At CBC Vancouver, they are busier than ever before.

Producer Philip Keatley will begin shooting a new drama series September 16 at Gibsons. The show titled "The Beachcombers" stars Bruno Gerussi and is based on a West Coast logging operation. It won't be on air till the Fall of 1972.

Another drama series made here will run this season. It's called "The Overlanders," is set in the 1800s and Don Eccleston is working on it now. It is a historical drama based on the treks through Alberta, the Rockies and into the Cariboo.

A locally-made special for Tuesday Night is based on the Cariboo too. Neil Sutherland is doing the Gold Rush program, using Barkerville as a setting, and flashbacks to show the history of the area. Sutherland is doing two other specials, one called "Journey to New Orleans" with Lance Harrison visiting New Orleans, and the other will show the CBC Chamber Orchestra touring northern and interior B.C this summer.
Dick Bocking will do two Tuesday Night specials from here, one on energy and one on Science with David Suzuki.
Dr. Suzuki's current series will continue into the new season and producer Keith Christie is making a pilot with Suzuki as host for a late-night science talk show.

The Irish Rovers are off to Ireland with producer Ken Gibson to make a variety special for broadcast next St. Patrick's Day. The Rovers, who debuted their series on April 5th, will carry on this fall doing 16 shows themselves and 10 Music Hall type shows with Irish performer/host Jimmy Kennedy and guests like Stanley Holloway and Tessie O'Shea.
Juliette has done a pilot for a new series, a variety show with Juliette as host. Guest is ventriloquist Shari Lewis.

Mike Poole and Mike Halloran are working on an hour long special on the Fraser River for Tuesday Night.
Bob Switzer will be back on the air August 21 each weekday at noon,"Hourglass" is back, "Sports Scene" is back, as are "Klahanie" and "Reach for the Top."  



The long awaited moment of on-the-spot telecasting by CBUT two weeks ago proved beyond a doubt that such productions are at the heart of TV programming – that the greatest thrill for viewers and staffers is to see an event that is actually happening. Air Force Day, Saturday June 12th 1954 marked the inaugural performance of the CBC’s mobile television unit in Vancouver. The response from the general public was gratifying. The effect on staff members who participated in the event was varied. Peter Elkington, at the end of a grueling two hours of consistent pressure, stepped back from the truck tense, wound up like a spring; the cameraman Dagg Overgaard and Ken Bray, physically exhausted, repacked their equipment, and gently massaged smarting eyes. The rainy weather resulted in the air show being cancelled. This was supposed to have been a practice period for CBC camera crews – 15 minutes rehearsal prior to the actual air show and telecast was all that the weather permitted. As it was, the afternoon show went on unrehearsed. Connection with the CBUT transmitter was not finalized until minutes before the on-the-air deadline, including the eleven members of the mobile team, at least 25 men and women staffers were needed for the Sea Island production. Apart from the producer and two cameramen, the mobile team included CBC news staff and news staff film photographer Bob Reid, technical producer John Christensen, studio director John Thorne, script assistant Marion Searle, technicians Bill Skelcher and Dave Sharp, audio Kevin Cleary and CBC announcer Ray Mackness.


                                               MOVIE QUOTES TRIVIA  (1997)

Most of us know that "Shaken, not stirred" is quoted in several James Bond Movies, "May the Force be with you" is from the Star Wars trilogy, and Cuba Gooding jr said "Show me the money" to Tom Cruise in "Jerry McGuire."  Well, perhaps not MOST of us. Whether you are a movie buff or not, see if you remember the movie and/or the person identified with these memorable lines.

1.  "I'll be back!"
2.  "They're baaack!"
3.   "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up"  and
      "I AM big, it's just the pictures that are getting smaller!"
4.   "If you build it, he will come."
5.   "Life is like a box of chocolates"
6.   "You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in France? A Royale with Cheese."
7.   "Love means never having to say you're sorry."
8.   "Frankly. my dear, I don't give a damn."
9.   "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
10. "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner." and
      "I ate his liver with some flave beans and a nice chianti."
11.  "Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?"
12.  "Here's looking at you, kid."
13.  "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
14.  "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me."
15.  "Go ahead. Make my day."
16.  "I'll have what she's having."
17.  "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
18.  "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."
19.  "And stop calling me surely."
20.  "I want to be alone."

Answers may be found at the end of this edition.


Man:  “Haven’t I seen you someplace before?”
Woman: “Yeah. That’s why I don’t go there anymore.”

Man: “Is this seat empty?”
Woman: “Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down.”

Man: “Your place or mine?”
Woman: “Both. You’ll go to your place and I’ll go to mine.”

Man: “So, you wanna go back to my place?”
Woman: "Well I don’t know. Will two people fit under a rock?”

Man: “I know how to please a woman.”
Woman: “ Good. Then please leave me alone.”

Man: “May I see you pretty soon?”
Woman: “Why? Don’t you think I’m pretty now?”

Man:  “I’d go through anything for you.”
Woman: “Alright. Let’s start with your bank account.”

Man: “I would go to the end of the world for you.”
Woman: “But would you stay there?”

Man:  “I’d like to call you. What's your number?"
Woman: “It’s in the phone book.”
Man: “But I don’t know your name.”
Woman: “That’s in the phone book too.”:

Man: “What sign were you born under?”
Woman: “No parking.”


                     AULD ACQUAINTANCES by PEGGY OLDFIELD  April-June 2000

A good many people have been on the move one way or another  - home, work and vacation travel - recently.  Elizabeth Dichmont has pulled up stakes from Nelson and is contentedly settling down in Victoria. Vancouver Island has also attracted Derek & Sally Gardner who have chosen Royston near Comox for their little haven. Gordon and Kathy Gillespie are partial to BC’s interior and have just relocated to Kelowna. Gordon Craig and Jim Thompson both retired from Netstar on April 28th. Gordon & Diane spent a good part of the winter in Florida and enjoyed the novelty of leisure so much they are toying with the idea of becoming snowbirds now that Gordon is retired. We've yet to hear if Jimmy’s plans are for retirement or a new venture. John & Penny Kennedy enjoyed a relaxing week in Florida. Dan MacAfee’s trip to Hawaii was not quite what he had planned where tropical scenery was replaced bya  hospital room after his appendix burst. Janet Westheusser, who lives in Toronto these days, returned to Ladysmith for her dad’s 80th birthday celebration and managed to squeeze in a visit with Don Waterston on the Island. Larry & Nan Watson are boating enthusiasts and enjoyed touring the Gulf Islands for a month in ’98 and Desolation Sound for three weeks in ’99. Jake & Beryl Wiebe have become veteran travellers since Jake’s retirement with trips to China, Hong Kong, Alaska, and the Cabot Trail in the Maritimes as well as an annual VISIT to Palm Springs. Ted Reynolds was the birthday boy at a gala party to celebrate his 75th, organized by Don Brown and Garth Fowlie. Ted was regaled with stories from the past by Bill Dobson, Terry Dolan, Bob Gillingham, Eros Pasutti, Bob Switzer, Anne Guimaraens, Patsy MacDonald & Gordon Gill. Congratulations to Rob Chesterman who was a winner at this year’s New York Film & TV Festival in the category of Arts Performance with the submission of his program on the music of Gustav Mahler performed by the McGill Symphony Orchestra. Deidre Roberts has had the first showing of her water colours and by the end of the ten-day showing, more than half of her artwork had been sold. Bill Reiter danced and sang his heart out as Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at the Massey Theatre in April. His wife Ebba was involved in the costume design. Our best wishes go out to Janet Pollock who is recovering from pacemaker implant surgery and a cracked vertebrae. Speedy recovery to John Kirkup who was in St Paul’s with an ulcer.  Paddy McGurin, an accomplished horsewoman, has added to her animal kingdom two horses.     My thanks to everyone who passed on or shared information with me. TTFN.


Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself.

How much sin can I get away with and still go to heaven?

Power means not having to respond.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.

I'd like to help out. Which way did you come in?

I'm the person your mother warned you about.

1.  Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator."
2.  Heather O'Rourke in "Poltergeist 11."
3.  Both from Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard."
4.  A voice to Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams."
5.  Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump."
6.  John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction."
7.  Ali McGraw in "Love Story."
8.  Clark Gable to Vivian Leigh in "Gone With the Wind."
9.  Robert Duvall in "Apocalypse Now."
10. Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs."
11. Dustin Hoffman to Anne Bancroft in "The Graduate."
12. Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca."
13. Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz."
14. Mae West in "She Done Him Wrong."
15. Clint Eastwood in "Dirty Harry: Sudden Impact."
16. Woman in restaurant after Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in "When Harry Met Sally."
17. Peter Finch in "Network."
18. Marlon Brando in "The Godfather."
19. Leslie Nielsen in "Airplane!"
20. Greta Garbo in "Grand Hotel."

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
You want to smile but you have to sigh,
When cure is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t quit. 
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the cloud of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.