The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph remembers R. Clive Meredith (1932-2019)

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Photo: Michaël X. Déry

All of us at the QCT were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Clive Meredith on March 8. We reached out to present and former QCT journalists and publishers for their reaction to this news. We extend our sincere condolences to the Meredith family. At press time, funeral plans had not been announced.

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I choose my words carefully writing this brief reminiscence of our dear friend Clive, for he was a man who cherished the written word and was meticulous and uncompromising in his role as a volunteer proofreader for the QCT.

He was no slouch as a writer himself. Shortly after our family’s arrival in Quebec City, Clive presented me with a copy of in all weathers, in all seasons. – I regret never asking him why, being such a picky editor, he didn’t use capitals in the title. The book was a collection of his columns and articles for the QCT, in which he reflected on his background, his family and the city he cherished with an almost frightening passion.

His dedication said: “A matter of broadening your education.” And the book did, and he did. A small vignette of proof: A fine, fine summer’s Saturday morning, along comes Clive on his bicycle tooling down Lilac Lane, as he informed us the alley next to our house was called back when it was part of his boyhood neighbourhood.

Over the years, we became friends of Clive and Diana, and their exceptionally dutiful daughter Helen. They invited us into their home, their special circle of friends, at home in Quebec City, and at their cottage in St. Patrick [Saint-Patrice near Rivière-du-Loup]. What a memorable day it was celebrating Clive’s 80th with strawberries and cream in Sir John A.’s summer home, just down the road. We have so many fond memories of this gentle yet rascally man.

I will quote from his book: “I try to live by these lines: Scorn we the selfish aim or choice/and love’s highest precept keep: Rejoice with those that do rejoice and weep with those that weep. Count us among the weepers, though we rejoice at a life well lived.

- Peter Black

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Clive Meredith and I shared many great times and many deadlines during his time as copy editor and contributor at the QCT.

There were the existential discussions on semi-colons, Tuesday Skor bars, walks to the corner store, lunch down the road and bus rides, along with deep discussions about so many things, including poetry and translation.

In between reviewing articles and writing his own commentary, Clive was a constant source of history and context for Quebec City's active English-speaking community, providing first-hand information about many an event or milestone.

Clive taught me about curiosity, commitment, determination and friendship. He inspired me to learn more about the history of my chosen city. He opened his heart and his home.

He was passionate about his home province, Quebec City, his community and Lochiel Cottage in St. Patrick. That passion shone through when he spoke of his family, Diana and his children, his career at the National Assembly and translating the Quebec Civil Code. Clive was rather humble about his other translations, which included works on his beloved Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the St. Lawrence River.

I cherish his books, especially in all weathers in all seasons, which is an exquisite collection of observations and occasions from different corners of the province.

It was truly a pleasure to have the opportunity to work alongside such a professional. He never ceased to surprise and impress us with his dedication, eagle eye for detail, and sense of humour.

Until we meet again, Clive!

- Michèle Thibeau

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Our family will miss Clive Meredith terribly. We have so many shared memories with him ... Easter brunches, overnight visits at his beloved St. Patrick near Rivière-du-Loup, telling stories at a QCT staff party, hearing him come downstairs to help with the newspaper when it was in our basement in Sainte-Foy – the list goes on and on! But I am forever grateful to Clive for donating a whole year of his life to the Chronicle-Telegraph. With his help, we created several new features in the paper, enhanced the quality of our copy editing, and he helped François and me give the paper new energy just as we were debating whether or not to take it over from David Cannon. Imagine, volunteering a year of your life with no salary, to a small community newspaper. Clive truly loved the paper. That’s when we launched “Memorials and Things of Fame” (his title by the way); we also featured a photo series called “Quebec Then and Now,” and published his weekly musings about life in Quebec City. As a professional translator, Clive was also an impeccable copy editor, so complaint calls about mistakes in the paper greatly diminished under his watchful eye. His columns published under the title in all weathers, in all seasons introduced me to a Quebec City I would never have known otherwise. I will be re-reading it this week in his memory. Thanks for everything, Clive.

- Karen Macdonald and
François Vézina

What beautiful testimony given to an exceptional man. Clive's love of theatre became known to me when we met as members of the University Women's Drama Club - late seventies. His mellifluous voice was always a delight to my ears.

Your testimonies were dignified as was the man,

Thank you,