May 19, 2024
In her essence, Christie Blatchford embodied what's best of Canada
She came from a cold, rough mining town. There grew her appreciation for ordinary people, pleasure for uninhibited partying and joy in the virtues of hard work.
She came from a cold, rough mining town. There grew her appreciation for ordinary people, pleasure for uninhibited partying and joy in the virtues of hard work.

The occasion must not be lost to pay tribute to Christie Blatchford, though many have done so more promptly and eloquently than I will. She was magnificent: unshakeable integrity, generous-hearted, completely unpretentious, the perfect journalist. She distinguished reporting from comment, never over-wrote stories, always saw and highlighted both the humour and the sadness, and in all respects the drama, of every story. Never in my experience, as a reader, employer and subject of Christie, have I known a journalist so reliable in the standard of her work, uninterested in indulging in any kind of deception, or guile, or anyone more professional. She was entirely genuine and her criticism of others essentially consisted of the extent to which they were not genuine. She made no pretense to being especially learned, and as anyone who attended one of her famous parties would know, she had the most random collection of friends imaginable, united by their relations with Christie, to whom all of us were devoted, whatever we might think of each other in some cases.

What was most interesting about Christie Blatchford, I think, now that we can only think of her in the past, is that she was in some ways the essence of the best of Canada. She was from the rough and cold mining town of Rouyn-Noranda, in northern Quebec, where she first acquired her love of winter sports and her appreciation of ordinary, decent people, and of the pleasures of uninhibited partying and relaxed social life, as well as the virtues of hard work. I cannot at this late date claim to have known her particularly well, but well enough to know (as any regular reader would) that she was untainted by prudery or envy. She liked honesty, courage and a sense of humour, exemplified all three, and if someone was equipped with that, she wasn’t too concerned with the rest, particularly not with economic bracket or social echelon. She was an ardent patriot, not in the slightest a xenophobe or hostile to any other country, just a booster of Canada, especially the Canadian armed forces and Canadian international sports teams.

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