Tuesday 1 November 2011

45 and up

A salute to The 62, or so

Well, here we are on the 40th anniversary of the Toronto Sun and we're still working on the Day Oners list.

In no particular order:

Don Hunt: Of the three wise men who co-founded the Toronto Sun, Don worked mostly behind the scenes. His brother, Jim Hunt, a legendary sports writer, was far more high profile at the Tely and Sun. Don, a former public relations worker, also dabbled in sports at the Tely and was the Tely's syndicate manager when the paper folded in October 1971. Don left the Sun in 1988, moved to the U.S. to work on papers there, including the Houston Post, Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. He is now retired. 

Doug Fisher: Doug, a Canadian parliamentary news institution, worked for the Toronto Sun for 35 years writing op-ed columns, beginning with a Day One column about Robert Stanfield. He  became a household name long before the Sun as an MP and, beginning in 1963, as a  syndicated Toronto Telegram columnist. Two sons of his five sons followed in his media footsteps, including Matthew, a former Toronto Sun columnist. Doug retired at 86 and was a day shy of his 90th birthday when he died on Sept. 18, 2009. 

Kaye Corbett, a sports writer who rode tall in the saddle at the Sun from Day One to 1994, almost made a detour to a job in Montreal after the Tely's closing was announced in 1971. But an offer from George GrossJerusalem Sun. But a few years ago, he did submit his memories of being on the job on Nov. 1, 1971.  He vividly remembered the giddiness of that Halloween packaging of the Sun's first 48-page paper, with 13 pages of sports. Read Kaye's Day One memories here. pulled him back into the fold in time to join the relatively small but eager five-man sports desk on Day One. These days, he is a difficult man to reach, so we are not sure if he is still manning the typewriter at the online.

Wasyl Kowalishen, darkroom technician: The darkroom facilities in the Eclipse Building on Day One were flimsy compared to the Tely's darkroom, but Wasyl and the three photogs made do. Wasyl, quite the conversationalist, was proud of the achievements of the Sun pioneers. He was in a tux getting ready a private 30th anniversary Sun dinner for Day Oners when he suffered a stroke in his home on Oct. 31, 1991. He died Nov. 8, 1991. He was 63. John Downing, then editor and also a Day Oner, said: "Wasyl was as much a part of the start-up of the Sun as Doug Creighton. Papers need people like Wasyl."

Kathy Brooks was an unsung heroine in the entertainment department from Day One through to her retirement in 2006. On Day One, she shared entertainment with George Anthony,  had five pages As entertainment editor, she received only praise from the writers and columnists contributing to her department. She cultivated a small but productive collection of Showcase (now ENT) writers to be envied. People who worked for and with Kathy have only praise for her journalistic and management skills and when you are dealing with the entertainment crowd, that is no easy feat. 

Bill Hay, copy editor: A Tely/Sun character, no doubt. This chain-smoking, near-sighted copy editor's legacy includes numerous hilarious newsroom tales, including the day in 1971 when all of the day's wire photos on his desk went up in smoke.

Ken Adachi: Ken, a Vancouver-born former Japanese interment camp resident during WW2, worked briefly for the Telegram before joining the Sun's Day Oners in 1971. In 1972, he moved on to the Toronto Star's sports department, where he became the editor of the book pages in 1976, the same year The Enemy That Never Was, his acclaimed book on Japanese Canadians, was published. Ken was the Star's literary columnist when the first of two plagiarism accusations were raised. He committed suicide on Feb. 9, 1989. He was 60.

Eaton Howitt: This Guelph-born Day Oner, the wearer of many hats during his 41-year career, worked in newsrooms across Canada, capping his journalism days with 13 years at the Canadian Press. Known as one of the last top drawer drinkers, but always the pro, Eaton was said to have a sports who's who contact book to die for. When he died of cancer on April 14, 1987, at 61, Harold Ballard and Jake Gaudaur where among the sports elite to praise Eaton as a reporter and a man. "He just had a way with people," said Gaudaur, the former CFL commissioner who died last December. 

Glen Woodcock: Glen Woodcock: This former Sunday Sun editor left the Sun as associate editor a couple of years ago, but he continues to contribute as an automotive writer, which suits his love of cars, new and old, to a T. His wife, Connie Woodcock (nee Nicholson) is a former reporter and currently a freelance op-ed columnist. Glen's other love is jazz. He has hosted the Saturday night Big Band Show on 91.1 FM since 1975.

Frank Eames, library (deceased)

Jeff Crawford: The second Day One art department staffer retired from the Sun years ago and is living in Bramalea. 

Art Holland: Office manager, furniture mover, pencil counter, Art did it all to help launch the Sun and remained a key player in keeping the Sun viable. Fellow Day Oners say Art was instrumental in moving anything that wasn't tied down at the defunct Telegram to the Eclipse Building at King and John Streets in the two days after the Tely folded. Peter Worthington called it a "hitherto undetected streak of larceny." Said Peter: "While others got accolades at the Sun, it was Art Holland who kept the internal workings of the paper harmonious."

Bill Nicholson, library: Deceased. 

Bruce Rae, business office (deceased)

Where now?

Newsroom: Ray Biggart; Bob McMillan; David Farrer; John Jursa; Helen Bourke; Jim Cowan Grant Maxwell; Olive Collins;

Business office: Jim Brown; Howard Hayes; Mary Zelezinksy

To one and all, a final salute for making it all possible for the hundreds who followed. 

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