Tag Archives: Front Page Challenge

Front Page Challenge Presents…….

After scoring his 500th goal in 1957, Maurice Richard appeared on the long-running CBC show Front Page Challenge to answer the panels’ questions from behind their backs as they tried to guess who he was.

After the question and answer part, Rocket came out front and chatted for about ten minutes with the group who, on this night, included cranky old skinflint Gordon Sinclair, lovely Toby Robins, author and joint roller Pierre Berton, and guest Margaret Higgins.

I’ve no idea if Rocket fooled them or not.

Front Page Challenge ran from 1957 to 1995 and was as Canadian as you can get. Fred Davis was the slick moderator, and Gordon Sinclair and Pierre Berton were usually joined by Betty Kennedy, but on the night of the Rocket, Toby Robins was doing the duties instead of Betty. The show focused on world news headlines and the special secret guests all had some sort of connection to said events.

I thought it was a great show. A family show. One you would watch with ma and pa. Gordon Sinclair never failed to ask guests how much money they made (we’d laugh when he did and say, oh, there he goes again!), Berton was well-informed and talkative, and Betty Kennedy was smart and classy, and I thought she was quite hot actually.

Fred Davis was as smooth as smooth can be. He always said the right thing, was always incredibly polite with a smile on his face, he had that Mr. Nice guy aura about him, and kept the show moving in tasteful and professional manner. Surely he wasn’t that perfect at home. Or maybe he was!

When I looked up the dates and saw that it ran until 1995, I couldn’t believe it. Front Page Challenge was a long time ago.¬† But 1995? That was only, like, yesterday.

The picture you see at the top, with the Rocket, is from my old scrapbook.

Below – Pierre, Fred, Betty, and Gordon.

Eagleson On Front Page Challenge 1972

Midway throught the 1972 Summit Series, after Team Canada and the Soviets had completed their four games in Canada where Canada recorded one win, one tie, and two losses, organizer and hockey czar Alan Eagleson went on CBC’s Front Page Challenge to talk about the series.

Soon after, Eagleson would hop on a plane and join the Canadian contingent in Moscow, where we know what happened in the days to follow.

I’d never seen this before and just stumbled on it by accident as I was looking for the Front Page Challenge episode in which Bobby Orr was on, which I never found.

If you know the format of FPC, you’ll know that the first part involved the four panelists trying to guest the identity of the mystery guest. Here it jumps right to the part where the panelists talk to the guest. I’ve no idea if any of them guessed Eagleson’s identity or not.

Tower Power

I work with a lovely lady named Athena, who grew up in a lighthouse. Her grandfather was a lighthouse keeper, her father was a lighthouse keeper, and she and her husband were lighthouse keepers. This all took place on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino, and later on near Victoria. They lived in a cottage beside the tower, although granddad had lived in the actual lighthouse itself.

I find this really interesting. How often do you meet someone who grew up in a lighthouse? How often do you even see a lighthouse?

There’s work to be done at these places with the definitive ocean view. Along with the obvious beacon thing, the lawns on the property have to be cut and trimmed often because it’s government land and needs to taken care of in fine fashion. A lighthouse keeper also keeps in contact with the coast guard regarding the weather and sea conditions. Athena’s father and grandfather had to radio in the weather situation every two hours around the clock, so the nightly sleeps must have sucked.

She and her husband only had to do this every twelve hours, though, which to me is being spoiled beyond belief.

She told me her father also had to sometimes take pumps and fuel and come to the rescue of boats and people in peril out on the seas. I wouldn’t be good at this. I get nervous in the bathtub. And they only got one television channel – CBC – which meant they probably saw every episode of Front Page Challenge.

Wages nowadays are in the mid-thirty thousand range, with the cottage being rent-free, which I think is pretty good if you want this kind of lifestyle. How often would a lighthouse keeper shake, rattle, and roll when the weather report has to be radioed in every two hours?

Athena and her husband¬† live down by the ferry now, about 30 km. outside of Powell River, with only dial-up internet in their area, which drives them crazy. But I think they like the peace and quiet and the ocean nearby. There might be just as many bears and deer as there are people in her neighborhood. She’s also an excellent co-worker and shows much more enthusiasm than I do. I think her only complaint is the dial-up internet.

Maybe that’s what lighthouses do for you.

And this, regarding lighthouse keepers, from Blue Bayou –