The Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer looks back with Joseph Planta, at the life and career of Bruce Hutchison (1901-1992), the award-winning Canadian author and journalist who was a formative and beloved figure in 20th Century Canadian journalism and politics.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.
Some weeks ago, Shelley Fralic from the Vancouver Sun was in to talk about the book she edited commemorating the Sun’s 100th anniversary. A name that comes up in that book a lot is Bruce Hutchison. He was editor of the Sun beginning in 1963, and was associated with the paper until his death 20 years ago in 1992 at the age of 91. I had the idea after my chat with Shelley to do a show on Hutchison and who he was. In the world of politics and journalism it’s easy to forget formative and important figures; new generations might not know who some of the greats were. So when you have a forum like this, you can take the time to look back. And there’s no one better to look back with now, than Vaughn Palmer. In fact, it’s Vaughn’s occasional programs on Shaw, the retrospectives he does on Voice of BC, like the one recently with Ted Hughes, that I particularly enjoy. In 1973, nearly forty years ago now, Vaughn Palmer began his career at the Vancouver Sun. He was the paper’s rock critic, and then a decade or so later moved on to Victoria where he succeeded another legend, Marjorie Nichols as a columnist covering the Legislature. Vaughn and Hutchison became good friends. I’ll ask Mr. Palmer now, what it was like knowing Hutchison, and what his impact was on the country, as well as himself. Other than being the Sun’s editor in all those years, Bruce Hutchison, was an author writing some of the landmark books in Canadian non-fiction: The Unknown Country, The Fraser, and The Incredible Canadian. These three are seminal works, and in their time were big bestsellers. The highest award that can be given to a journalist in British Columbia, the lifetime achievement award given by the Jack Webster Foundation is named after him. And incidentally, Vaughn Palmer received it in 2006. Hutchison was once described as ‘the conscience of the nation.’ His impact on Canadian political affairs will be something we’ll discuss in the next few minutes we have with the Vancouver Sun’s Vaughn Palmer. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program in Victoria, Vaughn Palmer; Mr. Palmer, good morning.