He couldn’t read or write throughout most of his life, and now Jacques Demers, ex-coach of the Habs, the one who led the team to a Stanley Cup in 1993, is about to be appointed to the Senate in Ottawa. Is that an inspiring story or what?
Demers isn’t the first ex-Hab to become a senator. Frank Mahovlich was appointed in 1998. I suppose when the country needs classy, smart individuals for the Senate, the first place you look is old Habs people. Except somehow I feel Guy Lafleur will never be appointed. Just a gut feeling though.
From the CBC:
Former NHL coach Jacques Demers, who in 2005 revealed he had hidden his struggle with illiteracy, will be among Senate appointees announced Thursday.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will name up to nine new members to the upper chamber, Many are expected to be loyal and long-serving Conservative advisers.
Demers, who led the Montreal Canadiens to a Stanley Cup in 1993, has been working as an analyst for the sports network RDS, which announced Demers’s Senate appointment on its website.
“I was contacted for the first time July 13 by someone in the prime minister’s entourage,” Demers is quoted as saying on the website.
“This person told me I was one of Mr. Harper’s choices and he wanted to know if I was interested.
“I answered that I would be very honoured to be a senator. Mr. Harper contacted me a few days later.”
In 2005, Demers released his biography, admitting he had spent 15 years in the NHL as a head coach and general manager, and never knew how to read or write.
He said his illiteracy is due to his impoverished childhood, during which his father beat and psychologically abused him and his mother.
Demers described how he finessed his way through most of his dealings by getting secretaries and media relations people to pen his correspondence for him.
Since his admission, Demers has learned to read and can easily go through hockey stories in newspapers, for instance, The Canadian Press reported.