May 19, 2024
We will all be much less with him gone; I will be much less, personally. It was a great honour to be someone he called a friend. I am very sad indeed that he has shuffled off this mortal coil.

Without Rex Murphy’s scrutiny, our politics will become even more barren

Canada will be much less with him gone, as I will be much less personally without him

I first met Robert Rex Rafael Murphy (b. 1947) almost five years ago, when he interviewed me for REXTV, his podcast. This was at a time when no mainstream journalists — although Rex was hardly mainstream — would do so, given my essentially reprehensible nature and proclivity to actually say what almost everyone with any sense knew to be true. He was extremely fair and even-handed in his questions, just as you would hope a true seeker after what was genuine and real to be — but he was also far more than that. Rex Murphy was a man whose integrity and commitment to the uphill path was evident in every glance and utterance. He had the sharp visage and the gimlet eye of a bird of prey, although he was also kind and compassionate in exactly the manner that characterizes those who are truly good. Like other good people, in consequence, he saved his proclivity to extend a hand of care to the people who actually needed it, instead of waving his good-thinking proudly in the air like a banner of publicly-declared virtue.
The time surrounding our first meeting is a bit blurred in my memory, as I was very ill when the interview occurred, and I do not remember what Rex and I did next to continue our relationship. I think maybe he came for dinner with my wife Tammy and son and daughter-in-law Julian and Jill and their little kids, as he did a number of times. In any case, however, we began to see more of each other, socially, and at public events and conferences. We shared a small-town rural origin, a history of intellectual endeavour on the literary side, and the sharp sense of satirical humor that characterizes both Newfoundland and Alberta. This enabled us to embark on what developed into a true friendship.
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