Wednesday, 29 December 2010

30 - Eric Dowd

Updated 29/12/10 re John Downing link
Eric Dowd, who died from cancer on Christmas Day, was never a Toronto Sun Family member but he helped mentor many of us along the way.

The veteran Queen's Park reporter was 79 and, as Premier Dalton McGinty says in a CTV obit, was "a fixture" at the Ontario legislature for decades.

Eric, who died at St. Michael's Hospital, was one of those gentle people in print media who made novices feel at ease at first glance. Apparently, not so with his editors.

The CTV obit quotes numerous media people touched by Eric's presence along the way, from his years on staff at the Canadian Press, Globe and Mail and the defunct Toronto Telegram, and as a Queen's Park freelancer since the 1970s.

As competitive and professional as Eric was, he always had time to share his journalistic experiences with others who were keen on learning the ropes.

Ian Urquhart, editorial page editor of the Toronto Star, says in a Star obit Dowd mentored him as a cub reporter.

The CTV story says Wendy McCann, CP's Ontario, bureau chief, also remembers Dowd's willingness to help younger reporters.

"He really helped the next generation put politics into context, and without that context we wouldn't have been doing our jobs," said McCann.

In the early 1960s, Eric was one of many selfless Globe and Mail reporters and editors who made a difference in the lives of copy boys, including this blogger, who had an interest in becoming reporters by offering advice.

Eric's passion for the job never faded, covering the legislature from the 1960s to 2010, putting in long days even during his cancer treatments, says CTV. He was on the job two days before he died.

Former Toronto Sun editor John Downing has posted a tribute to Eric on his Downing's Views blog. His comments include regrets that the Sun never hired Eric after the Tely folded. 

Downing, one of Eric's former editors at the Tely, writes:

"Boy, he could bug you. And then charm with a gentle observation. Tough but fair. And with an inner strength that had him write about his adopted province right up to the final days of his battle with cancer that took him at 79 on Christmas Day."

Our condolences to his family.

A remembrance service will be held in the Trull North Toronto Funeral Home, 2704 Yonge St., Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m.

1 comment:

  1. I will miss Eric, a large part of my history
    that started 1963 at the Globe.We became good
    close friends.I was lucky to have known Eric.He
    was one of the good guys.
    Gil Hastings