Wednesday, 2 November 2011

40 years, one word

Of all the words spoken at 40th anniversary parties last night, Hartley Steward summed up the feelings of most in saying the Toronto Sun years with Doug Creighton at the helm were "magical."

He spoke briefly during the reunion of former employees on the 38th floor of the Westin Harbour Castle Hilton, as did Andy Donato and John Downing, two Day Oners in the gathering of about 80.

MC Tom McMillan kept guest speakers to two minutes, but allowed Wayne Parrish extra time, Paul Godfrey, arriving late, also spoke, as did Trudy Eagan.

Doug, whose sons Scott and Bruce were at the party, was mentioned by every speaker and as parties go, it was Doug's cup of tea: pricey martinis and a grand view of Toronto that makes you forget the tab.

Gatherings of former Toronto Sun employees for parties and funerals have always impressed me for their true family spirit. Men and women who worked together for years, but dispatched to other jobs for various reasons, reuniting for heart-felt hugs, kisses and conversation.

The tab for the Westin party was $40, but I would have paid $40 just to mingle with Les Pyette, Andy Donato (he's current, but his wife is former), John Downing, Joe Duffy, Hugh Wesley, Sam Pazzano (his wife is a former, he is current), Pat Surphlis, Lou Clancy, Nancy Stewart, Linda Leatherdale, John Iaboni, Trudy Eagan, Hartley Steward et al. 

And, of course, the ever-delightful Roxann and those advertising people.

Kudos to Bev Bester for organizing the reunion and special guest receptionist Valerie Gibson for greeting everyone at the door with that sexy Gibson flare.

Next stop down memory lane, Tim Fryer and Woody McGee's popular 40th party at Betty's where the dress was casual and the Rim Pigs Ball chatter was electric. More faces from the Westin showed up, along with a few from the employee's party at Pier 4.

Most people agreed three parties was an abomination of the spirit of the Toronto Sun, denying everyone the opportunity to celebrate a milestone with the entire family.  

Betty's was packed and the first face I saw was Bob McConachie, my pool-playing buddy and former ace metro editor. Post-buyout life has been good to Bob. He has shaved 10 years since leaving the Sun and giving up the smokes.

Bill Brioux dropped by as did Jim Slotek, Bruce Kirkland, Rachael Sa, Linda Barnard (got my annual kiss from the now darling of the Star), Sandra Macklin (got my annual hug from the former ace news editor), Lew Fournier, Calvin Reynolds, Joe Warmington, Stan Behal, Michael Peake, David Henderson, Michael Burke-Gaffney, Peter Brewster, BJ Del Conte, Tim McKenna, Don Tsukada, John Schmied, Melisa Clarke and many others.

Not much news out of the Pier 4 party, which we didn't crash.

Doug's troops may be scattered, but they assemble for Sun events without hesitation.

A lot of the Sun troops will gather again this Friday, Nov. 5, at the Opera House for another fundraising Newzapaloooza media rock concert competition.

The lineup:

  • The Back Issues - Maclean's
  • The Deadlines - Toronto Star
  • The Everywhere - CityTV
  • Mental Circuit - Reuters
  • The Snipes - The Globe & Mail
  • The Screaming Headlines - Toronto Sun
  • Stimulus Package - The Canadian Press & The Globe & Mail

Proceeds to the The Children's Aid Foundation.

1 comment:

  1. I cherished seeing everyone last night and am glad to report that the Pier 4 party was also thoroughly enjoyable and it was nice to be welcomed back so warmly.

    Caught up with a lot of current Sun staffers on a night where Mike Strobel was outstanding as emcee. Saw Day Oners there such as Peter Worthington, Christina Blizzard, Jim Thomson, Cal Millar, Andy Donato, John Downing, Jac Holland, Bruce Borland.

    Marilyn Creighton was there, as was Elizabeth Gross. I'd heard Linda (Bone) Becker was there but left by the time I arrived.

    Anyway, it was great to see so many people on the night at both and feel badly I can't list all the names.

    I had a blast walking back to the parking lot with Andy Donato and Diane Jackson. Anyway, hard to believe 40 years flew by.

    John Iaboni