Saturday, 6 October 2007

Peter W. & Lois

Did Toronto Sun editors spike a Peter Worthington tribute column for Lois Maxwell, a friend and former Sun colleague who wrote the popular Moneypenny column from 1979 to 1994?

In the days after the actress/columnist died in Perth, Australia, last weekend, we thought it odd the Sun didn't publish a personalized tribute for the former Sun columnist.

All that was published was a Canadian Press story on Monday. It included a brief mention of Lois being a former Sun columnist, but no quotes from Sun vets or friends in Toronto.

On Tuesday, Peter was quoted several times in a lengthy Globe and Mail Obituaries page obit written by Sandra Martin, but still not a word from Peter or others in the Sun.

It just didn't make sense that Lois, a Sun columnist for 15 years and known world-wide for her appearances as Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films, would not get a proper sendoff in the Sun.

And then this comment was left for a TSF posting we wrote Wednesday questioning the absence of a proper Sun tribute:

"Perhaps a reason why the Sun did not adequately mark the death of Moneypenny, who wrote a column for the Sun for 15 years, is because the Sun chose not to print Peter Worthington's tribute to this gallant lady."

The comment was signed "Peter."

Was a column written by Peter Worthington for Lois rejected by editors? If so, why?

Or is the above comment just a theory from a TSF reader coincidentally named Peter?

If the Sun did spike Peter's column, it would explain the absence of any heartfelt words for Lois.

Peter, if it was spiked and you still have the column, we would be delighted to post it here on the Toronto Sun Family blog for Lois' family, friends and former colleagues to read. You can e-mail it at your convenience.

Spiked column, or not, the Sun needs more heart when it comes to the passing of employees who contributed to the tabloid's success. Brushing off Lois' death with an impersonal CP story was shameful.

Meanwhile, people who befriended Lois after she moved to Perth in 2001 to live with her son, Christian, gave her an affectionate sendoff in the West Australian newspaper and online at thewest.com.au

Friends in Perth say Lois had been working on her autobiography for a few years, but it wasn't known if she had completed the book.

Here's hoping Lois, who was 80 when she died, completed the project.

We'd like to read more about Lois appearing on the cover of a "slightly risque" calender, pictured in a spa with a group of local ladies. The calendar raised about $10,000 for the Fremantle Hospital Medical Research Foundation.

Friends in Perth say Lois, an "absolutely lovely lady." devoted her final years to helping the foundation following a life-saving operation at Fremantle Hospital.

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