Monday, 31 March 2008

PKP & George

Was Pierre Karl Peladeau in awe of the outpouring of love and affection for George Gross after the Toronto Sun sports legend died of a heart attack on Good Friday?

What was the Quebecor chief thinking as he sat in Humber Valley United Church in Etobicoke surrounded by former and current Sun employees who have felt the wrath of his cutbacks?

Was he comfortable at George's funeral service and feeling a part of the Toronto Sun Family, or did he feel like an intruder?

Was it a lesson in humility for him?

All of the above questions came to mind while looking at a Sun photo of Peladeau sitting beside veteran Sun writers Michele Mandel and Steve Simmons.

Mandel, Simmons and many others at the funeral were witness to nine years of Quebecor cutbacks, from 1999 when it bought Sun Media to the first half of 2007. Many good people and most of the morale vanished along the way.

While the tide has turned with Michael Sifton as chief of Sun Media, Quebecor had taken the Suns to the brink. TSF couldn't post dozens of e-mails and comments from employees and former employees angered by Peladeau and his cutbacks to the point of obscenities.

But there he was at the funeral and we can only hope he was absorbing the benefits of what money can't buy - love and respect. The kind George earned from decades of being a professional journalist, a good listener, community motivated and always extending a hand instead of a fist.

That was George, who, like most Toronto Sun Family members, was cut from a different cloth than Peladeau.

When Peter Worthington, a Sun co-founder, eulogized his good friend at the funeral, the words came from the heart, not a prepared script, so we don't have a replay.

Said Simmons in a column "If I die, I want Peter Worthington doing the eulogy. No one has ever been eulogized with more dignity, humour and accuracy than our friend George Gross was on Thursday afternoon."

An old saying is you don't measure the wealth of a man by his bank balance, but by the number of his friends.

George was one wealthy guy.

No comments:

Post a comment