By Greg Douglas, Special to the Vancouver Sun May 31
CBC reporter Belle Purri with Andre Boudrias, the former Vancouver Canucks player in the 1970s.
Photograph by: Handout , PNG
SCENE & HEARD: Belle Puri was a Grade 12 student at New Westminster Secondary when she decided she wanted to be a radio sportscaster.
“I was beyond crazy about hockey,” she says. “The first professional game I went to was the Canada/Russia Summit Series showdown in Vancouver in 1972. It was after that when I told my teachers that I wanted to explore sports broadcasting as a career, thinking it would never happen.”
Two years later as part of her internship, she was escorted by CKNW’s John McKeachie to a Canucks’ practice at the Pacific Coliseum. The first player she met was captain Andre Boudrias, the team’s popular ‘Super Pest’.
“It was the best day of my life,” Puri says.
But there were many to follow. She talked ‘NW news director Warren Barker into hiring her as a part-timer in the newsroom and eventually convinced sports director Al Davidson to let her do the nightly 10:55 sports read.
“Can you imagine … a GIRL doing sports?” she marvels today. “It didn’t last long. The male audience called saying they didn’t like hearing a woman doing a sportscast. I was the first, albeit not for long.”
Belle Puri became a multi award-winning business reporter on BCTV and CBC Television, where she remains today. In 2005, she was recognized with a Jack Webster Award for excellence in legal journalism.
Last week, as Chair of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, Puri was re-introduced to Boudrias at the Canucks Alumni charity golf tournament.
“Funny how everything in life ties together some where, some how and some time,” Puri says. “Meeting Mr. Boudrias after 40 years was a special moment.”
The words were spoken by a special person.