Auld Acquaintances by Peggy Oldfield

August to October, 2017

Here are on the West Coast, we are edging slowly from Summer to Fall with continuing mild temperatures and a glorious display of Autumn colours on the trees.  The changing seasons means it is time to bring you another column which I hope will have you smiling as it brings back memories of those you remember in person or by name from your days with CBC.

Good wishes go out to Grace Sigmund who is recovering from a fractured pelvis and fractured hip; to John Henderson, on the mend from knee replacement surgery; and to Brian Keating who is recovering from a bout with Shingles.  Congratulations go out to Marguerite Callegari who became a great-grandmother for the third time on October 10 with the birth of Angelo Callegari. Marguerite's grandson Chris and wife Maria live in Montreal so she's not yet had the opportunity to meet the newest member of the family. A year and a half separates Angelo from his older brother Louis and his cousin Jaden (granddaughter Erin's son) is six years old now and just starting school in Brockville, Ontario.  Belated special birthday wishes to Ray Waines who celebrated his 80th on August 2nd.

The CBC 20 Year Association has had a busy Summer, offering opportunities for members and other former CBC alumni to gather together.  Bowling has continued monthly and is always fun for those who participate.  On August 2, that included Serafine Crawley, Lynn & Neil Gillon, Diane & Ron Mahy, Michael Taylor-Noonan and Peggy Oldfield. September 6, the teams comprised Elizabeth Bishop, Lynn & Neil Gillon, Diane & Ron Mahy, Michael Taylor-Noonan and Peggy Oldfield and on October 4 – Elizabeth Bishop, Neil & Lynn Gillon, Ron & Diane Mahy, Anne Mathisen, Michael Taylor-Noonan and Peggy Oldfield.  On each occasion, some or all of the bowlers have continued on to lunch at St. Augustine's Pub just a block away from the bowling alley and on October 4th, the group was joined by Joe Holman.

The annual picnic at Burnaby Central Railway, organized by CBC 20 Year Association President Joe Holman who is also a volunteer and engineer with the Railway, was held on August 16th and proved as popular as ever with both adults and children.  The potluck table shared by all in attendance plus the railway volunteers, fairly groaned with assorted goodies from appetizers and salads to fresh fruit and desserts.  One of the dishes garnering rave reviews was the Clam Chowder made by Eric & Louise Anderson.  Others – many bringing along family and friends -  enjoying the perfect Summer day, riding the miniature trains and making use of the gigantic barbecue included Elizabeth Bishop, Bob Black, Garry Campbell, Serafine Crawley, Jacky Wilkinson (Henderson), John Henderson, Gary Johnson, Anne Mathisen, Ken Mitchell, Paddy Moore, Bill Murray, Michael Taylor-Noonan, Ron Petrescue, Peter Schell and Ron Taylor.  Train volunteers in addition to Joe Holman included CBC'ers Bruce Johnston and Tom Pruden.

Something new joined the roster of planned events this year, thanks to the initiative of the Association's Vice President, Ron Petrescue.  On September 24th, three teams (Ron Petrescue, Maurice Moses, Marc Benoit, Valerie Lambert / Paul Grant, Nick Grant, Barbara Coates, Kathleen Carswell / Neil Simpson, Tom Bryden, Brian Jalmarson, Rhonda Burnside) gathered at Mylora Golf Course in Richmond for 18 holes of golf and afterwards were joined in the Clubhouse Restaurant for lunch by Elizabeth Bishop, Ron & Diane Mahy, Joe Holman, Beth McArthur, Mike & Peggy Oldfield, Rae Petrescue and Alan Waterman.  The day was pronounced a resounding success and future games will definitely be in the calendar in 2018.

Left:  Marc Benoit, Valerie Lambert, Ron Petrescue and Maurice Moses.

At Right:  Nick Grant, Barbara Coates, Kathleen Carswell and Paul Grant.

Left:  Tom Bryden, Neil Simpson, Rhonda Burnside and Brian Jalmarson.

At Right :  Mike Varga, Brian Keating, Joe Holman, Christian Massey

The annual Fall Luncheon at Beefeaters' Seaside Bar & Grill near the Nanaimo ferry terminal on Vancouver Island took place on October 11th.  Attendees from the Island included Joan Athey, Will Carrilho, Jeff Davies, Ken Golemba, Gordon Kent, Bill Harrington & Patricia Lockie, Ivan LeMesurier, John Mang, Peter Puttonen, Mary Rickard and Kate Wells, and from the Mainland, Garry Campbell,  Neil Gillon, Joe Holman, Brian Keating, John Kennedy, Christian Massey and Michael Varga.  A collection of wonderful CBC memorabilia including a fantastic display of CBC pins was brought along by Will Carrilho for everyone to enjoy and reminisce over.

Plans are of course always underway and notices will be out in the coming weeks for bowling, a pub lunch, a walk at the Reifel Refuge to see the migrating Snow Geese and the annual Christmas Party at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

Judi & Sandy Grindlay have just returned from their Canada 150 tour which encompassed 4,006 km by train from Vancouver to Toronto (with a three-day stopover in Winnipeg) and 9,100 km by car from Toronto to Newfoundland.  They say it was a phenomenal trip of meeting fabulous people in all provinces, enjoying spectacular scenery and soaking up Canada's history.

           Patricia Lockie & husband Bill Harrington on the left;
              Will Carrilho and wife Isavelle Poirier on the right.

Ramona Mar, Cindy Leaney, Rhonda Burnside and Lindsay Forsberg of the "Blue Mooners" group (they meet once in a blue moon) met at Yaletown Brewery on August 19, and had a great afternoon catching up with other's lives.  Chris Paton and Peggy Oldfield were absent this time but are hoping the group will meet again before year's end.

This summer's forest fires were devastating for so many people in B.C. and evacuations caused major upheavals for many more.  Sharie Stear was among those who had to leave their homes in early July when the evacuation order was called for 100 Mile House and environs.  Luckily Sharie was able to stay with a friend in a safer area for the next two weeks until the order was lifted.  Thankfully she returned to an intact home but the danger remained throughout the rest of the summer and her suitcase stayed packed and by the door for a quick departure if necessary.

Ian & Jean Duthie (nee Rankin) moved back to the U.K. earlier this year and have taken time to look at different areas before deciding where they wish to settle.  That decision has been made and they are now settling into their new home in the County of South Ayrshire, Scotland.  Hopefully holidays will bring them back to the West Coast of Canada on occasion!

The Seymour Golf and Country Club was the site of the wedding of Bill Murray's daughter Heather to Nathan Landry on September 23. Bill had undergone surgery for a herniated disc three days earlier and he was determined that he was going to walk Heather down the aisle. As you can see from the photographs he was able to do that and participate in the traditional father/daughter dance. He also MC'd the evening. The event was attended by 80 family members and friends of the bride and groom who honeymooned in Palm Desert. It was a real family affair as Bill's sister Sally provided all the flower arrangements corsages and bouquets, his brother Gary provided the music, and his nephew, Scott Brammer, a professional photographer (, ensured every bit of the event was preserved in beautiful pictures. The Beautiful bride Heather Murray and proud father Bill Murray


Bill walks his daughter down the aisle          ..........         and dances with the new bride at the reception.

Mar Sulaika Ochs (The Story Goddess/The Goddess of English Dexterity) has launched two new websites and is happy to announce her availability as an Instructor in both writing and speaking English using her training in I.E.L.T.S (International English Language Testing System) and Voice I.P.A. (International Phonetic Alphabet / American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  Contact information for Mar Sulaika is provided on each of the websites (links below) or:


Phone: 604 974 0282

If anyone from CBC remembers 'The Leopardo' cartoons by Mar – notably the Pentagon Generals, aka The Fifth Estate, Journal and The National Network shows in Vancouver from 1981 to 1988 – Mar will be launching a series on YouTube sometime in the new year. In her words, "...finding a collaborator named Brian Whiteford was the inspirational boost I needed. His astute observations and sharp wit add a keen edge to Leopardo's colourful and sassy repartee. We wanted to address men, women, sex and the crazy animals we are...."

Working title: Opposing Sexes @ 60.

Danielle Marcotte, via the CBC Pensioners' National Association website, reported earlier this year, "I am a Quebec-born writer and a Radio-Canada Vancouver retiree that has lived in BC for more than forty years. I would like to inform you that my fourth children's book came out this spring in two versions, one in English, one in French, both written by me and illustrated in brilliant colours by Francesca Da Sacco.  My latest story takes place in the Yukon where my son resides. My publisher, Les Éditions des Plaines, being from Manitoba, says this makes Noah & Great Bear An Adventure in the Yukon a truly western Canadian endeavour!  The story is a homage to my son who had his first solo flight at sixteen, before he could drive a car. It is also hopefully a tool for parents and teachers alike to have children between six and eight years of age discover and love the Great Canadian North.  This 32-page storybook presents a tale of community service and friendship between a pilot and his plane. Our heroes do deliveries on a summer day in the Territory when a First Nation grandmother asks for their help in getting a homemade balm to her granddaughter for her injured dog deep in the bush. Do not fret! Despite many perils, the expedition is successful! The book can be ordered on line or at any bookstore across Canada. A French launch has taken place in March at the French Cultural Centre in Vancouver. An English one was held on May 10 at Black Bond Books in Ladner, BC.  The French version, Noé et Grand-Ours Une aventure au Yukon, has been picked up by the French services of the Yukon Department of Education to my great delight.  On my internet site, French teachers can download a free resource guide for all my books, including this one. My other three books also exist in the two official languages, but these stories are set in BC, one in Delta, one in Cariboo country and one on the Lower Fraser River.  Find out more at  ."

The following notice concerning The Joy Coghill Legacy Fund" is reprinted from the PAL Vancouver website.  Joy, who passed away on January 20, 2017, "dedicated the last fifteen years of her life to building PAL Vancouver's vibrant, creative, and supportive community. She believed that neighbours who shared a lifelong passion for the performing arts would be perfectly suited to support one another as they age. Her conviction has been affirmed since PAL's doors opened. Residents support one another at the most financially, physically, and emotionally vulnerable time of their lives.  With your important support, PAL Vancouver will sustain the good work started by Joy Coghill, our co-founder with Jane Heyman. Together, we will preserve our safe, affordable, and creative community for longstanding senior, low-income, and disabled Canadian professional performing artists.  Please make your kind donation payable to "PAL Vancouver" with "Joy's Legacy" noted in the memo section of your cheque. Contributions may be mailed to 300-581 Cardero Street or donate by telephone: 604 620 4315 (Karen Woodman, Donor Relations). For online donations ( please contribute in Joy's memory to receive your automatic charitable tax receipt. PAL must raise $300,000 every year to fund our integral rental assistance program, with no ongoing government support."  For additional reference:

Also from the PAL Vancouver website comes the following announcement:  "Watch our incredible new PAL music video starring 60 residents!  This Place directed and produced by Judy Ginn Walchuk stars the broad   array of artists who make their homes at PAL - our dancers, actors, musicians, visual creators, background performers, animators, hair dressers, make up artists - on television, film, and stage; in nightclubs; at the opera and more. We want to share it with the world and invite you to join in -   sharing it with your friends and family by email, on Facebook, or anywhere   else you would like - the YouTube link is here: .  Help us welcome friends, family, and strangers to PAL to let them know how funny, talented, loving and weird we are!  Highlights include residents gathering at Soup Social, PALS Chorus, our Pride Parade float, and shows like "Comfort Cottages" written by PAL residents Jane Clayton and Judy Ginn Walchuk and produced by Western Gold in the PAL Theatre. Our co-founders Joy Coghill C.M. and Jane Heyman make appearances, along with the crochet club, and the many visual arts exhibitions at PAL. Credits: This Place stars 60 PAL Residents and was directed/produced by Judy Ginn Walchuk; sound engineering and musical arrangement by Jim Walchuk; make-up by Doug Clempson; video filming by Marlee Walchuk; editing by Marlee Walchuk and Judy Ginn Walchuk; with music and lyrics by Judy Ginn Walchuk and Jim Walchuk."

Joyce Resin is pleased to announce that a new Seminar and Workshop taking place on Sunday morning, November 26, entitled Looking and Feeling Great Past 55! is now accepting registration for participation. This 55 & Up! Fall Forum will be held at the YWCA, 535 Hornby Street in Vancouver from 8:45 a.m. to Noon.  The press release details the event as follows:  "Looking and Feeling Great Past 55!  What hairdos suit you best?  What necklines flatter your face shape?  What fashions fit your body type, as well as your lifestyle and pocket book?  What makeup flatters your colouring and style?  Join us on November 26 for the 55 & Up! Fall Forum with Television Image Consultant & Stylist, Tracy Richardson.  Image and self-esteem can take a beating past 55, but colour, hairstyle, make-up and a timeless and flattering wardrobe, coupled with a healthy attitude and lifestyle, can make you look and feel as beautiful as you are.  Tracy has worked with television networks across the country and at present is working with CTV in updating their on-air image.  She will demonstrate colour draping, how to apply make-up to suit your features and personality, assess your face shape, do a makeover and answer all your questions about fashion do's and don'ts past 55.  Numbers are limited...register now at ."

A belated welcome to B.C. to Steve Wadhams who relocated from Toronto to Victoria in May, 2016 when he retired from CBC "after making radio for 45 years (the first few at the BBC in London). Steve says he is now pursuing his other life passion and is a voice student at the Conservatory of Music in Victoria and having a ball with his lessons. He has also become a member of the Pacific Opera chorus and made his operatic 'debut' last year "at the ripe old age of 71, the oldest chorus member by a country mile".

When not studying and singing, Steve has been writing and the result is his book The Orwell Tapes. Steve recalls that, "The first use of the tapes which I recorded in 1983 (about 50 hours of recordings) was a five hour special called George Orwell a Radio Biography which aired across the CBC and American public radio on January 1st, 1984. It was narrated by Orwell's friend, George Woodcock. Readings from Orwell's books and essays were by Barry Morse and there was an original music soundtrack by John Mills-Cockell. Because of copyright restrictions it wasn't really feasible for CBC to keep this documentary 'alive' and it's languished in the archives ever since. I wanted to bring these recordings to a new generation of listeners and I decided that my last big project before I retired in 2016 should be to go back into the unedited tapes and make a new three hour series for Ideas called The Orwell Tapes. It's on the Ideas site if anyone wants to listen. Vancouver based publisher Scott Steedman heard this broadcast and got in touch with me asking if the recordings - only a fraction of which could get into the new
Ideas documentary - would make a book. I told him it already had - published by Penguin in 1984 and titled Remembering Orwell. But like the original documentary this too had passed out of sight, and had been out of print for over 30 years and hard to find anywhere. So I was delighted when Scott decided that the first project for his new publishing company (Locarno Press) would be to put out a new, revised and updated edition, which we decided to call The Orwell Tapes. The book is available in hard or soft cover through Chapters (currently via on-line purchase but soon in the stores as well) and via The book synopsis states: "The author of Animal Farm and 1984 was a brilliant, eccentric, complicated man. Born into a comfortable English family and educated at Eton, he was, at various times, a policeman in Burma, a tramp, a dishwasher, a critic and journalist, a fighter in the Spanish Civil War, a teacher and a shopkeeper. The Orwell Tapes is based on an archive unique to CBC Radio - over 70 interviews I recorded in 1983 - in England, Scotland and Spain - when it was still possible to meet people who knew Orwell from his earliest days to his final hours. They are a remarkably mixed group; well known names like Stephen Spender, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Lord David Astor, but also unknown men and women who inspired much of Orwell's writing - family members, school classmates, childhood friends, girlfriends, men who fought alongside him in Spain, miners and industrial workers, colleagues at the BBC, even doctors and nurses who treated him for tuberculosis, the disease which killed him at the age of 46. Many admired Orwell but some, including perhaps surprisingly his first publisher, are sharply critical of him and his writing." Steve has also shared a "listical" he wrote to help publicize the book:


GEORGE ORWELL WAS NOT HIS REAL NAME. Legally he lived and died under his real name, Eric Blair. 'George Orwell' came into being as he searched for a pseudonym for his first book Down and out in Paris and London, afraid his account of roughing it with the 'lowest of the low' would embarrass his prim and proper parents. Also if the book failed, he could start again with a different name. The new name caused confusion as family and old friends called him Eric and everyone else called him George. Maybe he confused himself too. As a BBC producer in the 1940's he often put his initials 'E.B' at the top of a letter and signed it 'George Orwell' at the bottom. Imagine if any of the other names he pitched to his publisher had been picked: Animal Farm and 1984 would be by P.S. Burton, or Kenneth Miles or (gasp!) H. Lewis Allways. And where would we be without the word 'Orwellian'?
THERE IS NO KNOWN RECORDING OF ORWELL'S VOICE. None of his wartime broadcasts to India has been preserved nor any interview with him. So what did Orwell sound like? 'He talked in a gritty rambling way, in a monotonous kind of growl', is how poet Sir Stephen Spender described it to me, 'I used to think it was like going through a London fog, having a conversation with George Orwell.' It's possible his vocal cords were damaged when he was shot in the neck by a sniper's bullet in the Spanish Civil war and lost his voice completely. 'Gradually it came back to be almost normal' recalled the man who was standing next to him at the time, 'but I don't think he ever fully recovered from that.'
GEORGE ORWELL HAD A DOG CALLED 'MARX', a French poodle. 'He was a countryman at heart' said his friends, and back from Spain, writing Homage to Catalonia and running a small village store, Orwell would invite visitors to join him and Marx for long walks across the fields. You could learn a lot about them he said, because when they were told what the dog was called some thought it was named after Karl Marx, others Groucho Marx, and some asked if it was because of the supermarket chain Marks and Spencer. Orwell also kept chickens and had a goat called Muriel which he grazed on the village green.
GEORGE ORWELL BELIEVED HE WAS STERILE. 'We discussed children once or twice', said one of the young women he dated. 'I said did he want any and he said he didn't think he could have any.' Orwell married his next girlfriend, Oxford grad Eileen O'Shaughnessy. He desperately wanted a child but the years went by and finally he persuaded Eileen to adopt a baby boy. They called him Richard after Orwell's father. Less than a year later Eileen died under surgery for a routine operation. Orwell was out of the country at the time and he told a friend the last time he saw Eileen 'he wanted to tell her he loved her much more since they'd had Richard, and he didn't tell her and he regretted it immensely.'
GEORGE ORWELL HAD A DEATHBED SECOND MARRIAGE. 'George sacrificed himself for the message of 1984' said a friend appalled at the toll writing, rewriting and typing the final clean draft had taken on his health. In September 1949 with tuberculosis reducing his body to a skeleton, Orwell moved into a small private room in a London hospital where he shocked everyone by announcing he was planning to marry again. A month later, wearing a purple smoking jacket over his hospital pyjamas, Orwell married the young and beautiful Sonia Brownell. 'In 1984 there's a girl called Julia who seems too good to be true', said David Astor, 'I think he saw Sonia that way, the idealized female he dreamed of.' And Sonia? 'Sonia always wanted a genius in her life' said Stephen Spender, 'a genius she could defend against the rest of the world.' Orwell's health improved briefly after the wedding but his illness was unstoppable. On the night of January 21st, 1950 he died of a massive hemorrhage of the lung, alone, in his hospital room. Sonia, already under suspicion of marrying him for his money, wept copiously."

A retrospective of Steve Wadham's career was documented by freelance producer Veronica Simmonds who says she was "tasked with the job of telling this storyteller's story". Her documentary is called, The Idea of Wadhams and can be viewed at

Ron Freeman reports in the Toronto CBC 20 Year Association newsletter Whatcha Missed, that the guest speaker for their monthly luncheon on October 2nd was Louise LeBlanc from the Better Health & Living Organization - a non-profit group that provides support to individuals mostly in the Don Mills catchment area of Metro Toronto. Ron advised that, "Since1976 this group has been delivering services and programs helping adults and seniors, at all stages, experience a better quality of life. They run an Adult Day Program for individuals managing the cognitive challenges of Alzheimer's, Parkinsons who are frail and isolated. Bereavement, Caregiver and grief support are available. They provide Hospice Services, meal and grocery delivery and Home Maintenance, in the specified area. There is a BetterLiving help desk at (416) 447-7244 ext.541 -- 1 Overland Drive Toronto M3C 2C3, or .  Their mission is to support individuals in the community in maintaining their independence, enhance their social well-being and optimize their overall health and wellness through provision of a whole range of community support services and leisure opportunities."

The following articles and photos are reprinted from the November 1, 2017 issue of The Transmitter, newsletter for the CBC Pensioners' National Association – Ab, SK and NWT Region, prepared by Joanne Skidmore and Monique Nenson.  Sincere appreciation goes to them as well as to Jim MacVicar (Regional President) and all those who have contributed the material.

Photo: Courtesy Hartland Jessome, CBC PNA, Regina, SK

Back Row (Left to Right)  - Cécile Magnan (Edmonton), Treasurer, Joanne Skidmore (Regina), Secretary.
Front Row (Left to Right) - Bob Forrow (Edmonton), Vice-President, Jim MacVicar (Devon), President,
Royle Harris (Edmonton), Metro Edmonton Entertainment Director.

A Yellowknifer Making a Difference
Dave Kellett, CBC PNA, Yellowknife, NWT

In September, 2017 Dave Kellett, a CBC PNA member in Yellowknife, received a Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers from Governor General David Johnston. Dave was honoured for being an active leader of various organizations and major events in Yellowknife including the Old Town Ramble and Ride Festival.

                                        Photo: Dave Kellett

Gov. Gen. David Johnston (third from right) poses with Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck (third
from left) and the volunteers who were presented with medals: David Kellett (far left),
Janet Diveky (in red), Sheena Tremblay (in green) and Mickey Brown (far right).                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

Photo:Courtesy Dave Kellett, CBC PNA Yellowknife NWT

Underwater Joys
Cathy Little, CBC PNA, Calgary, AB

Photo: Courtesy Cathy Little, CBC PNA, Calgary, AB

Seahorses are quite shy creatures. This is only the second we've seen in decades of diving. We saw the seahorse while diving in Roatan, Honduras. The amazing thing was he looked black to the naked eye underwater. We only realized his true colour when we saw the photo!

I can still remember the thrill of my first glimpse of life under the ocean waves. It was a few decades ago, on a seakayaking trip on the BC coast. I was sitting in my wetsuit on a rocky shore looking out across the ocean. The view was beautiful. But I was truly astounded when I put on a mask and snorkel and stuck my face in the water. There, just centimeters below the surface, was a fully-grown garden of swaying kelp, pretty anemones, fish finning by. I'd never seen this world before. Yet I was sitting right there, looking over it and overlooking it!

Years of snorkeling and scuba diving later, I'm still enthralled. I'm also a little pushy about urging others to put on a mask and snorkel and take a gander underwater for themselves. In the right spot, you barely have to get wet to get a good look!

Failing that, I have pictures - hundreds and hundreds of them. Nowadays, a snorkel or a dive doesn't feel complete unless I have my underwater camera with me. I get to study the fish more carefully when I take a picture - they tend to move around a lot in the ocean - and I get to delight people (bore them maybe?) with all things aquatic. (My poor Facebook friends!)

I am also elated when I grab a "first" of something - a graceful seahorse in Roatan (Honduras), an octopus at Ahihi Bay (Maui), or a turtle cleaning station (Maui). As well, I'm beginning to use the video function more and have seen some beautiful "dances" performed by two fish, a sort of swirling around each other in an upward and then downward spiral. So far, I've been too slow to catch this on video. But I will, I will. And when I do, you can bet I'll be sharing it. In the meantime, I urge you to put your face in the water, take a look for yourself and maybe even grab a pic or two.

(Cathy uses a Canon G-12 Digital camera. For underwater pictures, she bought a waterproof housing made specifically for the G-12. )
             Octopus, Ahihi Bay, Maui
Photo: Courtesy Cathy Little, CBC PNA, Calgary, Alta

Living the Retirement Dream
John Veale, CBC PNA, Mill Bay, BC

John Veale spent 35 years as program host and news announcer with CBC in the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan, with a couple of summer relief stints at CBX Edmonton. It was while in Yellowknife that his 'other' passion of flying began after his first solo flight on skis on Great Slave Lake.

The amazing journey into retirement began on a frosty April morning on the tarmac of Regina's airport where I kept our little sport aircraft, the Mustang ll. It was time to turn the page and begin another chapter of our lives and the Mustang ll was one of the tickets to this next adventure. Patricia wasn't retiring for

another two months so we put on brave faces, and with a hug on the tarmac, it was into the Mustang with a wave goodbye as I taxied to the run-up area prior to takeoff. After assuring all systems were go, I was cleared onto Regina's runway 31 and given clearance for departure.  The flight plan was activated and the wheels were off the ground at 0710.  Vancouver
Island, here I come!                                                                             Photo: Courtesy John Veale, CBC PNA, Mill Bay, BC

"John spends too much time daydreaming" or words to that effect made me nervous when delivering my grade seven school report card to my parents. Oops. I can't imagine life 'without' dreams though. Our children can't remember a time when 'Mom and Dad' weren't dreaming and talking about retirement. We always tried to have a life 'beyond' our jobs so that when the retirement years came along, we could look back with our kids and recall the many times we did 'stuff', the stuff of memories we still enjoy and laugh about. No, it wasn't all work, we enjoyed playing along the way.

My passion was flying, and it was no secret among friends, co-workers and indeed my listeners that I spent many years building an airplane. After 4000 hours of effort it was completed in the spring of 1981 and provided me with absolutely magical experiences for the following 34 years that I flew it. Happily, our two children moved to Mill Bay, BC too, so we've had the added pleasure of their company and being able to watch our two grandkids grow up. Suddenly, they are in their twenties and we wondered just how that happened.

I well remember grandson Drew's first ride in the Mustang when he was about seven years old. We were high over the Comox Glacier when from his 'booster' seat, I let him take the controls. I showed him how to turn the airplane into a roller coaster ride. You know, stick forward and back, forward and back and so on. His face and cheeks were pinched between the large headset and his smile was ear to ear in grin mode. Had I not eventually taken back the controls, we would have roller-coasted the remaining 30 minutes or so back home! I remember granddaughter Brianne's first flight, too. We had a top-down day with the MG so managed a good job of tangling her long blond hair into tight knots by the time we got to the airport, and then enjoyed a ride up to Mount Washington to have a bird's-eye view of her then favourite ski area. What more could a pilot ask for than experiences like that.

Of course, there were a host of memories created with the Mustang ll and my passengers - trips to the mainland and up over the snowfields of Mount Garibaldi, The Black Tusk, Whistler Village and the beautiful Pemberton Valley. There were flights into the Okanagan Valley looking over my birthplace, Salmon Arm. Most of my flying, though, took us over the incredible topographical regions of Vancouver Island where I became totally convinced that I was living in Paradise. Unquestionably, my favourite off-airport landings were on the long curved hard packed beach of Vargas Island, just off the west coast of Vancouver Island, a few minutes west of Tofino. Yes, adventures begin with dreams and what a lucky person I've been to have realized and been able to share so many of them.

Photo: Patricia & John Veale, Courtesy John Veale, CBC PNA, Mill Bay, BC

In my early years in radio when living in the Northwest Territories in the 60's, we realized another dream in buying a 1966 MGB Roadster sports car...a sensible -40 degree car, right? In our minds it was and so began our love affair with MGs that lasted for many years until the point where in 1998 we had to find our third one. We travelled extensively in our MG's even when the kids were young, raising the eyebrows of other motorists as they realized there were four of us

in that little sports car. Our kids have such great memories of those MG's so it has been fun to share the experience with our grandkids as well.

Being dyed in the wool MG buffs, it was an obvious choice to take the MG on an early fall road trip for our 50th wedding anniversary. Starting out in Whistler, where our kids joined us for a few days, we then left for the BC interior, travelling up through the Cariboo country and on to Hazelton, an old hometown of mine in my teen years. Then came Prince Rupert and eventually a beautiful trip down the inside passage on BC ferries on the MV Northern Adventure. It was a

marvelous celebration of Patricia's and my years together. We had a fair amount of rain on the trip but the MG's top stayed down just the same. The rain drifts over the windshield and you only get wet if you stop, so like life, you keep going through the storms that inevitably arrive.

Speaking of storms, in the late summer of 2002 I was the unhappy recipient of news that I had pancreatic cancer. Usually a death sentence, I was one of the very fortunate survivors of this dreadful disease. Because of surgery I became an automatic insulin dependent diabetic. Yes, life gives us challenges but this became my 'new normal' and happily, life has continued full of optimism and good times along with amazing support from Patricia. With my insulin under good

control I was allowed to fly again. This was good news indeed and my flying continued until the fall of 2016 when I had a phone call from a fellow looking to buy my Mustang ll. He'd heard rumors that I may sell in a year or two and he just HAD to have the airplane.

I let it go with mixed feelings, of course, but have not looked back. The new owner is absolutely thrilled to pieces and I'm thrilled that he loves the plane so much and is well qualified to take care of it.

Another page in the book is turned and there are other dreams to pursue. I still get to fly, though vicariously, through a good number of videos I recorded over the last few years of flying the Mustang.

A few years ago I had a reoccurrence of back problems, this time with some nerve damage to my right foot. That made long walks impossible and the solution was to take up cycling. That, too, has opened  up a host of great experiences. There are wonderful trails, including rail grade trails here on Vancouver Island and I am discovering many on the BC mainland, as well.  I typically ride 2000 to 3000 km a year now and love the challenge. Strangely, I've yet to figure out why there are so many hills that I've never noticed when driving.

Patricia and I had hoped that time would stand still when we retired. It has done the opposite and now goes by at the speed of light, making us wonder where the past 22 years have gone.  Retirement is a most wonderful time of life, though.  Dream big, embrace life and remember that changes do come but that everything has a positive side.  If you live that way, you can't go wrong.

Eclipse Excitement
Krysia Jarmicka, CBC PNA, Edmonton, AB

Driving to southern Idaho to see the total solar eclipse was an awesome adventure with two of my grandchildren: 12-year-old Casey and 8-year-old Nicolas. I picked up the brothers on Friday, August 18th, 2017 from the Mt. Robson area in north central British Columbia where they had been holidaying with their parents. Although our route took us along one of the world's most panoramic highways, the Icefield Parkway through the Rocky Mountains, we saw nothing because of the smoke from all the fires in BC.  It was an eerie feeling to drive in such low visibility for hours.
Photo: Courtesy Monique Nenson, CBC PNA, Regina, SK                      

Our two nights of camping on the way to Idaho had the boys working very enthusiastically to put up our tent.

Then came day three. We arrived in Idaho Falls just after noon on Sunday, August 20th, the day before the eclipse.  Months earlier I had tried to get a campsite or a hotel room online but everything was booked. I knew finding something with less than 24 hours until the eclipse was going to be a miracle and it happened. We ended up high in the hills above the neighbouring city of Pocatello, pitching our tent in the front garden of a wonderful woman's home. She opened her arms to me and the boys, as well as to a family of five adults with Argentinian roots, a young African-American couple from California, and, of course, her own extended family from various parts of the USA. She and her techno-savvy son were full of information on where to go for the best viewing: Brigham Young University in Rexburg, a little more than an hour away, north of Idaho Falls.

It was easy to get the boys up early on Monday morning because our host had a horse, a donkey, a goat and a barn full of chickens, bunnies and kittens, so Nick and Casey were more than eager to help feed them. Once the chores were done we headed out toward Rexburg and arrived in the university area around 9 a.m. As I drove toward the campus I noticed a couple of police cars turning people away. At that moment, the only way I could 'escape' was to drive along a street to my left. Then, something told me to go one block, turn right and park by the grass at the end, and there we were. Before us was a huge empty field sloping up to the university. Two feet ahead and to the right of the car were a couple of men in their 50's, sitting on the grass with special reflective equipment for eclipse gazing and a whole bunch of knowledge about the various aspects of the phenomena. These two men were passionate stargazers. They travel all over North America to see the various eclipses as well as other celestial events AND they love telling people about them.

We took out our lawn chairs, sat in front of our car and got settled in for the experience. We happened to be next to a McDonald's and were able to use the bathroom during the 3 to 4 hours we were there. But instead of buying their coffee, I got out the camp stove and my 9-cup Corning percolator and offered coffee to the people around us from Calgary, Phoenix, San Francisco, and each from a different ethnic and racial heritage! What a blessed time - not just because it was an awe inspiring celestial happening but because it was an ad hoc group of people, sitting around at an unstructured event, sharing information and enthusiasm in an easy going, friendly
     Photo: Courtesy Krysia Jarmicka, CBC PNA, Edmonton, AB          and open fashion. I am so grateful Nicolas and Casey were there to reinforce in me the way I love to live. They were talking to strangers and living life as it really is, wonderful, in the full sense of the word. Then the event that had brought us all together started to happen. The boys' dad, my son-in-law, had given us special welder quality glass to use for safe viewing. We each had our own 2" x 4" pane and the boys were conscientious about using theirs. The total solar eclipse affected all  of our senses. In the beginning, the eyes appeared to be the only sense at play but then as the totality approached and it started to get dark, the ears came in to the 'picture' because things quieted down as people stopped talking and started focusing on what was happening. Then our sense of touch was affected because it got decidedly colder. That changed the aromas around us so our senses of smell and taste were affected.  During the two minutes of totality, it was close to being completely dark and there was a sunset/sunrise effect around the entire 360 degrees of horizon. There was also a weird blue colour to what our eyes could pick up and it was almost like we were looking at waves of shadows. No wonder people in ancient times were frightened!

When the sun suddenly started to be revealed again it was as though somebody put a spotlight on us, and we all applauded and danced.  The boys kept running around saying "this was soooo worth it!  This was soooo worth it!"  They weren't saying that as we headed back to our campsite in the hills because it took us almost seven hours to get there! One of the highways was virtually a parking lot for three of those hours.                                  

                                                                                                                                                     Photo: Courtesy Krysia Jarmicka, CBC PNA, Edmonton, AB

The next day, Tuesday, August 22nd, we left our campsite in the hills, slept that night in a Super-8 in the town of Conrad just south of the Canadian border and ended our great experience arriving home in Edmonton the next afternoon. We grandmas are so lucky to have access to the wonders of the present time through our grandkids!

Chapters Roundup

Calgary: We were back at the Kerby Centre in Calgary for lunch on Wednesday, October 4. There were 11 members at the lunch and the group decided that our Christmas gathering would be held on Wednesday, November 29 at the Kerby Centre for the 2nd Annual special turkey dinner. We're hoping for a great turnout. For more information about the SAC contact Ken McCreath at 403-949-2392 or .

Edmonton: PNA members in and around Edmonton are invited to the annual pre-Christmas lunch on Wednesday, December 13 at noon in the Saskatchewan Room of the University of Alberta Faculty Club. You'll receive more details closer to the lunch. As well, mark your calendar for the second Tuesday of each month for the breakfast gathering of members of the CBC PNA in Edmonton. The breakfasts are held at Rosie's Restaurant, 99th Street and Argyll, starting at 8:30 a.m. The upcoming breakfasts are on November 7, December12, January 9, February 6 and March14. For more information contact Jim MacVicar at 780-987-5933 or at .

Saskatoon: We have the date and now all we need is YOU. Members of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the CBC PNA in Saskatoon and area will be getting together for lunch on November 13 at Earls Kitchen + Bar in Saskatoon.  Saskatchewan Chapter Saskatoon Vice-President Ellen Armstrong would love to see a large group of colleagues so be sure to tell her you'll attend the gathering. For more information contact Ellen Armstrong at 306-880-4732 or at .

Regina: We're back at Theo Bill's Restaurant on the first Wednesday morning of each month and it's great to see more than a dozen members showing up.  As well, set aside Saturday, December 16 for the CBC 20 Year Association Christmas Dinner at the Royal Regina Golf Club. For more information on the Saskatchewan Chapter contact Hartland Jessome, President at 306-520-2859 or .

Friends on Facebook
Kathryn Atkinson, CBC PNA, Toronto, ON

Kathryn started working at CBC Television in 1971 as a summer student. In 1978 she became a regular contract employee at CBC Montreal, moved to CBC Toronto in 1984 and retired in 2013. Most of her assignments were big productions such as the 50th anniversary of CBC TV where she coordinated different shows related to the mini-series. Kathryn is the daughter of Gordon Atkinson who called the Team jumping event from the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968. Canada won gold and would not see another team jumping medal until winning the silver in Beijing in 2008. That year Kathryn was covering Equestrian and felt she and her Dad had come full circle.

A year ago, I started the Facebook page "CBC Radio-Canada Employees ONLY – Past and Present". I'd returned from Victoria, BC having visited my first network sports television producer and family friend Don E. Brown. The memories of the 70s and 80s flooded back to me. I was grief-stricken with nostalgia.

Having spent most of my career in the sports department, travelling the world, I knew my sports friends had many pictures, and I did not want those precious memories to go to waste, ending up in dusty old boxes, shoved in the corner of the basement, the significance lost on the younger generation and finally thrown out as Grandma's or Uncle's workfriends photos. When I created the page I added my 50 CBC FB friends and from there we've grown to 2888 members. It is wonderful looking at all the fantastic pictures, hearing the stories and reading the memories of the employees of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio Canada.

But I must admit, not all was rosy - as with our workplace, there was some nastiness that resulted in the creation of a code of conduct. The offensive people were removed. And I want to thank those who were so kind to me – who encouraged me to keep the page going, even though, at that difficult time, my heart wasn't in it.

Aren't we a fantastic group of people in a very creative world! I congratulate everyone who has taken the time to contribute and if you haven't done so yet, here's how to do it. You can get to the "CBC Radio-Canada Employees ONLY – Past and Present" page on Facebook by contacting me (Kathryn Atkinson) on Facebook. I will make you a Friend and get you over to the page. Looking forward to meeting you!

Sharing the Secrets of a Good Retirement
John Veale, CBC PNA, Mill Bay, BC

One of the most important aspects of our lives has been friends, and this has continued through our retirement years.  We've had many a visitor from the prairies and mainland BC, and I am positive they come mostly to enjoy Patricia's culinary skills. Long before we retired we created and nurtured friendships. They bring a huge diversity of thought, experience and love into our lives. We consider ourselves millionaires when it comes to our friends.

What else has contributed to having an enjoyable retirement? Here are our tips:

1. Plan for all aspects of retirement well in advance.
2. Create a solid marriage.
3. Establish interests and hobbies years in advance.
4. Be flexible and adapt to the changes that life brings.
5. Remember that life is a great adventure and you have to make it happen.

With a positive attitude and looking to the future, retirement can be great!

Photo: John & Patricia Veale, Courtesy John Veale, CBC PNA, Mill Bay, BC

What are your secrets to a good retirement? Share them with The Transmitter.  Send a short article (200 words) to  and a photo (preferably horizontal format and 200-300 dpi) to

Your Canada

In the August 2017 issue of The Transmitter, we invited you to send us photos of the places and events that represent Canada 150 to you. Many thanks for the photos!


From the newsletter of the Southwestern Ontario Chapter of the CBC Pensioners' National Association and with appreciation to Gino Piazza, their President, for permission to copy the material, comes the following report on their summer activities:

BBQ - Two thumbs up — for this year's CBC pensioners' BBQ - held once again at "Domaine Menard" in Lakeshore. The forecast was uncertain, but it turned out to be what we all needed: no rain, hot but not too hot, with a gentle breeze blowing off the lake. And great company! Of course, June 17th was                     Jackie and husband Jim                      during "Father's Day" weekend this year, many members had family obligations. But many were able to spare 3 or 4 hours to make the trek to the lake. They were rewarded with an afternoon of gentle and warm fellowship - of sharing memories - of catching up on the accomplishments and challenges of the people they spent so much time with back then - making marvellous TV and Radio together every day. Making miracles and magic.
           Pat and Gabe at the BBQ

This is an elite group. We are veterans and survivors of years of constant change. Our work was often excruciatingly difficult. Things didn't always turn out. But it was meaningful work. And we were lucky to have it - and the company. We're still lucky, those of us who remain, to be able to gather a couple of times a year - and remember together. If you weren't there - we missed you. And we hope to see you next time!

                   Until then, Cheers, Tom Aubin

                               Sandy and Joanne

Wine Tour

Another successful Wine Tour for CBC Southwestern Ontario Retirees. We were introduced to Alessandro our Caboto Wine Guide who also provided us with snacks and cold water for the ride to the Wineries and we were on our way. Wheels, Weather and Wine were the words of the day. Wheels-a large brightly coloured bus with individual air conditioning controls (you controlled the air flow, as long as it was moving by pushing two black tabs) was used to the surprise to everyone's surprise. Weather-a great day, cloudy with a bit of sun which kept the heat down and it didn't rain until we had completed our last Vinery and were heading back to Windsor. Wine-first stop was Aleksander Estate Winery is a small family (Mom, Dad and Son) run Winery. Genny our host let us sample a couple of white wines and a couple of reds and if you wanted to try something else they were more than happy to let you taste. My favorite Winery of the day. An hour flew by, purchases in hand and we were loaded onto our luxury liner and off to Oxley Estate Winery for lunch and more wine. A short ride and we were on the shore of Lake Erie. With a breeze coming off Lake Erie and under the shade of the canopies our host Vanessa, served up a couple of white wines and then some reds, while we waited for our lunch to be served. A perch sandwich with fries (a burger for the non fish lover) with more wine and we were quite content. The perfect location for lunch and are group picture (see below). Back on the bus and off to Muscedere Winery, just south of Harrow. A family farm, Muscedere, located on 163 acres with vineyards and bush, run by brothers Fabio and Rob, their wives and their Mom and Dad. Rob was our host and he took us out to the vineyard to sample their wine. A white, a rose and a couple of reds and the group were ready to buy. The smell from the outdoor pizza oven was driving us crazy, a few minutes in the shade of the overhead sunroom and we were off to our last stop, Paglione Estate Winery. Located on County Road #50, just east of Oxley we were greeted by the owner Nancy, who gave us the history of the vineyard and on with the sampling of the wine. The group was getting restless so we headed outdoors where the Gelato Shack which served about eight different flavours was quite popular, to the point we had to wait for some guy (Gino) to get his ice-cream so we could head for home. We headed back to the Caboto Club in our luxury liner, air conditioning had just been adjusted when we ran into a downpour, a quick adjustment of the windows and we were water tight and on our way. The rain only lasted a couple of minutes, the sun came out, the windows opened and we were heading north to our cars. Our tour guide, Alessandro and Gino then pulled names for door prizes, which included wines from our tour, pizza certificates and lunch coupons from the Caboto Club. A great day touring the county.

See you at next year's Wine Tour, Pat Ryan.


And, last but not least, an October report from the Newfoundland & Labrador Region, CBC Pensioners' National Association:

Hi Folks,

Another glorious day in St. John's greeted the CBC Pensioners Association Walking Club this morning. The gang even completed extra laps around Mundy Pond to enjoy the sunshine before most then made their way along Ropewalk Lane to a different, lunchtime event. The walkers joined a large and lively crowd of CBC PNA members, family and friends assembled for an ... interesting ... few frames of bowling. All together our Association crowd filled five lanes at Plaza Bowl and a good time was had by all!

Skill levels – and hence scores – ran the gamut (and the gutters) from the sublime to the ridiculous with my team apparently slip-sliding down into the latter category. A glance around the alleys showed some impressive scores venturing into triple digits but sadly none in our lane were able to achieve that lofty goal. It should however be noted that, had there been report cards for our team, Max Dean and Keith Young might have aspired to a grade of "showing some improvement with much patient practice" whereas the most generous assessment one would make of the achievements of yours truly and teammate Gerry Horwood could only be "sometimes plays well with others". At one point, Association President Bill Maher wandered from his pro lane to check-out scores of other teams, inquiring if there were any candidates for a "booby prize". Not much was uttered aloud but let's just say that all eyes in the alleys on either side turned to a certain boisterous, gutter-burning group in the middle lane ...

Immediately following the bowling bonanza, members and guests retired to a private room where the Pensioners Association treated everyone to pizza and pop. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and to recognize a few we hadn't seen in a while. Very fun day for everyone involved before we all headed back outside into the warm afternoon air! Teammate Keith Young managed to stay out of the gutter long enough to snap a few photos at the bowling alley and kindly forwarded them along to us. Pix are attached to this email. Mercifully none include any "telling tales out of school" like ceiling scoreboards, particularly the one in the middle lane. Thank you, Keith!  


Talk soon,

Glen Neary, Secretary,
CBC Pensioners National Association
Newfoundland & Labrador Region.

That concludes this issue of Auld Acquaintances and as we draw close to year-end, I would like to thank all of you for making this column possible by sharing your news throughout the year.  Please keep those stories and photos coming; they make my "job" easy to do!  From our house to yours, Mike joins me in wishing you a very happy holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

All the very best,