The first week of June is always filled with lots of personal memories, especially about guys named Andrew. My wonderful Dad, the Boy from Balgonie, was born on the 5th of June in 1911, in Brandon. Andy Currie was known for football, and isn’t it interesting that the city of Winnipeg where he once played the game and later coached, has not brought home a Grey Cup since 1990, the year that Papa died.
The first of June marked my 47th anniversary as a working journalist. My first of three lives at CJOB in Winnipeg began on that day in 1970. My starting salary was $325 a month, and my first official task was to read the race results from Assiniboia Downs.
Over those 47 years I have had the privilege of meeting many of the people who have served as Canada’s Prime Minister. Among them was Lester Pearson who was my very first interview, two years after he had retired from politics.
In 1979, during my first life in Regina, I was live on the air for a full hour with Joe Clark, shortly before he began his brief time as The Right Honourable. Almost exactly 30 years later, I had the good fortune to be seated at a dinner beside a young man who may yet become Prime Minister of Canada.
Andrew Scheer was not yet 30, and we talked a lot about football as I recall. He was born and raised in southern Ontario, but his wife is Jill Ryan of Regina, and her brother Jon Ryan kicks footballs for the Seattle Seahawks. Andrew and I also talked politics that night, but I can’t say there was much that stands out in my memory from our conversation. He definitely did NOT say that he intended to be prime minister by the time he reached the age of 40. Hey, wasn’t that Joe Clark’s age when he got the job, by defeating a guy named Trudeau.
Like many of my fellow journalists have said, the view of the world is never dull from the ‘ringside seat’ that we are blessed to occupy.
I’m Roger Currie