Thursday, 16 April 2009

30 - Wendy Darroch

Although never a Toronto Sun Family member, Wendy Darroch contributed to the start-up of the Toronto Sun's court bureau with guidance and a sense of humour.

Wendy, who died from cancer April 9 in Nanaimo, B.C., at 70, spent more than 20 years in the Toronto Star's court bureau. She was always professional, but never too busy for a joke and a smile.

Wendy and Gary Oakes were the Star's crack court bureau team when Sun city editor Les Pyette decided it was time the tabloid set up its own court bureau in the 1970s.

The Sun had a justice columnist, Alan Anderson, but relied on the wire services for major court stories coming out the numerous downtown Toronto courtrooms.

Fiercely competitive, Wendy and Gary surrendered no information that would jeopardize cases they would be covering, but both were generous in providing general information about contacts and the daily process.

Wendy and Gary, 67 and now retired, took a lot of pressure off the Sun's court bureau start-up process and it was much appreciated.

Once settled, the two-person Sun court bureau had to be on their toes daily to keep up with Wendy, Gary and the Globe and Mail's court reporter.

The competition was tough - and motivating. Sun readers were served well with daily court coverage that continues today with Sam Pazzano in charge.

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