Friday, 8 July 2011

Re Factory 3

Received this e-mail from John Iaboni re the Factory 3 photo of the early 1970s Toronto Sun sports department: 

"I don't know who the Sun vet who contributed to this was, but he or she was accurate in some ways so I'll try to clarify the photo and a couple of other points. 

I believe the photo is a few years into the Sun and we were still in the original building on the second floor that was renovated after our initial days in the rundown fourth floor. 

I'd say this photo was circa 1973 or so because Rick Fraser joined us to be the beat writer for the WHA's Toros when the team left Ottawa (where they played for one season and were known as the Nationals) for Toronto in 1973 when Johnny F. Bassett bought the team from Doug Michel

With two pro hockey teams in town, I was to cover the Leafs and, in need of someone to cover the Toros, Rick came over from the Globe. He welcomed the chance to get a regular beat and I welcomed the chance to have him there so I could concentrate on the Leafs and not have to worry about both pro hockey teams. 

Really, we needed help and it was impossible for our initial staff to cover as much as we were without expanding our personnel. So my best guess is the photo shows: George Gross (shirt and tie), Kaye Corbett, seated, and me to the right at the top; Don Ramsay to the left and Rick Fraser to the right at the bottom. 

Ramsay was not part of our sports department; he was a copy boy who fancied himself as a wannabe sports writer at the time, a good friend of Rick's and, as such, hung around our department a lot, either dropping off copy from the telex machines or offering his thoughts and opinions on sports. 

Methinks he sat down in the open slot to fill the picture for whatever reason it was taken. During my time at The Sun he was never part of our sports department although he did work at The Sun as an investigative reporter for a time.

From this photo, if I'm correct on identity, George, Rick and Don are deceased. 

The reference that our department was strong from the start is correct although the initial vets were Ted Reeve, Jim Coleman (whose column was picked up from Southam News) and Bob Frewin (a freelancer and former Tely sports writer who wrote the Argos in those initial days while working for the government), 

The Original Five in the Sports Department were George Gross, Kaye Corbett, vet Eaton Howitt, Ken Adachi and young pup (at the age of 20) me. Unfortunately, Eaton and Ken are also deceased. 

Trent Frayne joined us in about 1974 and Jim Hunt (deceased) also came a few years in, providing a weekly column while he remained CKEY's sports director. 

Anyway, hopefully my memory hasn't completely failed me and this helps you out."

Thanks again for your input, John.

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