Saturday, October 2, 2010

 

NOTES FROM AWAY

Lest regulars despair; some brief notes from "a way" as they say here in Canada's Atlantic coast provinces of those born here who've subsequently left for other parts of the world...

THE GREAT ROADS: Into my 7th decade after being born in New Brunswick I marvel at the state of the provincial highway system. A northwest-to-southeast crossing of the province which took frequently more than one day in the 1960's is now done in about 5 hours, on modern high-speed autoroutes. Locals have dubbed it the "drive-through province" as hardly anyone stops anymore to take-in the majestic St. John River Valley and the forests green beyond what the eye can completely take in.

CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP: The President of my Alma mater, St. Thomas University's Dr. Dennis Cochrane, has been seconded to the "transition team" forming the Progressive-Conservative government of Premier David Alward which was elected on Monday. In an earlier post this summer I wrote about Dr. Cochrane after being introduced to him at a social function. A life long Progressive-Conservative, he was the party's leader in New Brunswick in the tumultuous period which followed the departure of the iconic Richard Hatfield. Of Dr. Cochrane at the time it was said - He was just "too nice" to ever be elected Premier. He wasn't. Though I am absolutely sure he'll make a terrific transition chief for New Brunwick's newest Premier.

THE FUN IN FLYING: Once upon a time in the "Golden Age" of aviation, one flew to and from New Brunswick on the country's sole flagship carrier: Trans-Canada Airlines (now Air Canada). I remember flying in and out of Fredericton on Vickers 'Viscount" and "Vanguard" aircraft, the latest innovation in turbo-prop aviation. On thing that has occurred in the ensuing half-century (or more) is that competition grew...flying got worse. Though it flies only to Moncton; this time I chose Canada's upstart short-haul carrier "Porter Airlines" - Dubbed "Flying refined". Somehow, so far, they've managed to recapture some of those earlier expectations and pleasures, including in-terminal passenger lounges, modern aircraft, and smiling on-board personnel. I wish them well as the older carriers deal with the new "little guy" in the sky.

I AM HERE: You may be tempted to ask: You are there, because? Oh aw right! One of my life's single most defining experiences was walking into the studios of Radio UNB, the Fredericton campus radio station as a St. Thomas freshman in September of 1965. Just barely four years old, the very small radio station (the studio was a converted broom closet) was a buzzing enthusiastic entertainment centre as the music of The Beatles, Motown and others erupted on the world's stage in a city that then had just one private radio station, CFNB. It had dominated the "airwaves" since signing-on in 1922. CFNB is gone - But Radio UNB (now CHSR-FM) lives on. This weekend, we mark it's 50th birthday...I just had to be here!

Native Maritimers who are now "from away", never really leave. We just borrow time elsewhere for a while. Canada's east coast is just that way. Amen!

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Comments:
Hi Bill, the same applies to me re: defining moment. I joined CKCU at Carleton in 1980 and stayed a long time. Their 35th anniversary will be next month. Best wishes.
Terry M.
 
Terry, Thanks for your thoughts. Friendships made in the family like setting of a campus radio station are enduring and everlasting. When the opportunity comes, I know you'll convey the good wishes of my Radio UNB / CHSR-FM colleagues to your colleagues at CKCU-FM.
 

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