February 27th, 2015
The legendary reporter George Garrett, retired from CKNW since 1999, discusses his illustrious career in journalism, Alzheimer’s Disease advocacy, the state of the media today, and many of the memorable people that he’s called colleagues over the years, with Joseph Planta.
This remarkable interview by Joseph Planta on George Garrett should be required listening of all new broadcast journalism students who wish to enter the field.
I had the rare chance of meeting this legendary journalist , some 30 years ago, at John Daly’s BCIT Investigative reporting class. Well, what an honour and privilege to have met him !
John had always spoke highly of George during the classes and said he was mentored by him and Warren Barker as a cub reporter at CKNW.
Then, one day, George just showed up to Daly’s class, unannounced, and with little notice.
Apparently, John said he had tried to get George to appear, earlier in the term, but George was very busy and hard to schedule (for which he graciously apologized).
George eloquently spoke to all of us and gave us advice on a variety of topics, from how to develop contacts and sources to ethical issues and also, took our questions.
The first thing that you noticed about George Garrett is the humility and sense of humanity about him. He’s a slight, diminuitive man, but a big voice came out of him, a voice instantly recognizable if you had ever listened to a radio station in British Columbia from 1960’s to 1999.
George didn’t really seem to have the personality of a celebrity journalist, either, but perhaps that of a reverend or social worker !
That same year, we had all learned that his son, the former general manager at CFNL Fort Nelson, had died during a freak boating accident.
After the class was done, I went up to George and quietly asked him about his son’s death and how he was handling it ? He said that it was painful ordeal for him and his family to lose their son and he was naturally struggling with it.
I felt bad for George that, there he was, at the top of his career and a living legend, yet, he has lost a precious family member.
Anyhow, good to hear from you, again, George !
Curious to hear that you are still attending news stories and murder scenes ! LOL
George is at the top of the list of favorite “gentlemen in the corner office” worked with during my broadcast career. Smart, fair and empathetic ; the months working with him in Trail ended far too soon. The amazing job he did putting together a radiothon for Italian disaster relief in what seemed to be mere hours still echoes. Just so you know George, CJAT’s crew missed you, Joan and the kids greatly, and were overjoyed to hear you’d landed on your feet again in the lower mainland. Best wishes, Sir.