An illustrious journalistic career

I broke all the ties, I said the goodbyes and, more with a whimper than a bang, an illustrious journalistic career came to an end.

Mine, with the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph.

It all began when my first article was submitted, in the days B.C. (before computers). Once that article was published, the floodgates opened and, if I may say so, stayed that way for some years . . .

The September following my retirement from the provincial civil service in 1991 found me installed in the QCT office where I worked alongside Editor Karen Macdonald, Copy Editor Vilia Cox, and Mary Cannon. I created "Memorials and Things of Fame" (and it's fun to see the title preserved). My own things of fame (if you like) were items on Mount Hermon Cemetery, the Plains of Abraham (where I teamed up with François Vézina for some "then and now" stuff), and let's not forget my weekly submissions.

After a year or so I left the paper, intending to set myself up doing free-lance translation but this never got off the ground. I may have had a bit of a name in the public sector, but to the private I was strictly persona incognita.

So I found myself phoning Karen. Could I come back, please? "Sure!" When? "Yesterday!"

By this time, the QCT's office had been set up in the basement of Karen's home in Sainte-Foy, and there was a whole new staff to get to know. I was appointed Copy Editor; in that capacity I worked closely with Assistant Editor Michèle Thibeau, and I like to think we did some good things.

The years passed. Karen sold her house; the paper's office was moved to 1040 Belvédère, and the following December I bowed out for the last time.
But before I go, a little story . . .

Canon Graham Jackson and I both attended boarding schools in our youth and, for some reason in later years, whenever we met, we would bash each other's places of learning.

In the year of which I write, Graham had earned himself an invitation to the Chronicle Christmas party, chez Karen, on the strength of having submitted an article or two during the year.

As he opened the office door, I greeted Graham with an anti-Ashbury College parry; he responded with an anti-Trinity College School thrust. And so on, at irregular intervals.

A few weeks later, Karen received a thank-you letter from someone who'd been at the party. The evening had been splendid, that person wrote; the food and drink were all that anyone could want, the fellowship was excellent, but the undisputed highlight was the two guys knocking each other's boarding schools!