Friday, 15 November 2013

On the Passing of a BC Legend

At one time I was one of those reporters in small-town BC who was privileged enough to interview the former legendary labour leader Jack Munro. I worked in resource towns - where the pull of the I.W.A. was felt deeply - where the influence of the giant man with the booming voice carried a lot of weight - in Trail, Prince George, and the Okanagan. We couldn't tear ourselves away. Learning of his passing today made me wistful - wistful for the day when I called myself a reporter - when I had the great honour of talking to people whom I admired. He was so physically imposing that for a short person like myself - the prospect of asking him any question was intimidating, even frightening. But you felt the warmth immediately - felt him leaning into his answers with a patience that belied the gruff exterior. I was a nobody...not a name that was recognizable - and yet he offered me the consideration of any reporter who was lucky enough to cross his path. People say he was "one in a million" - that "they don't build them like that anymore"...and that is undoubtedly true...they aren't that brave - not willing to free themselves from ideology and get to the heart of the matter. They may speak up - but they won't go as far as he was willing to go - to be as deliberately contrary to his own kind and mean it...to speak and consistently earn at least the grudging respect of his critics. May you rest in peace and may just an ounce of your fire reignite what is lacking in this political landscape.

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