Tribute to Dave ‘Ruby’ Rubenstein

Dave ‘Ruby’ Rubenstein


By Matti Antilla
PSR Contributor


July 6th, 2015

David (Ruby) Rubenstein

Dave Rubenstein, Broadcaster, passed away two weeks ago after a short bout with cancer.

I met Dave when he was Sports Director at CKDA in Victoria and I was a lowly newsguy in 1974. He was fresh off a stint as Sports Director at CHEK TV Victoria.

We and two other roustabouts decided to try to unionize CKDA, something that had never been done before at a private radio station in Canada. Richard Hughes was our CUPE contact and troublemaker

We went down in flames, garnering 6 votes for, Dave, myself, the others (Jim Paymar and Roger Fossey) and two others who probably felt sorry for us.
Dave got fired. I took him to the Bengal Lounge at the Empress Hotel and we got royally soused. I resigned before they could fire me and exiled myself to Canada’s Siberia, Toktoyaktuk on the Northern Coast working for Northern Transportation.

Dave, ostracized from working in radio now, bounced back and found employment at CKRD in Red Deer, Alberta. There, he reinvented himself as a salesman, though never losing his passion for sports.

We crossed paths once again at CKAY Duncan in the late 70s, early 80s. He kept his sales role and also broadcast the morning sports weekdays during my morning show.

Later, he moved to the Citizen newspaper where he spent 29 years starring in his sales role. All this time, he continued his devotion to sport, his passion for all teams in Boston. He also had passion for horse racing, being a partner in a harness horse, which did clock in one win.

In recent years, he transformed himself once again, spending a number of summers covering the womens’ tennis at Eastbourne in the UK. He never tired of showing me his work, both the photography and the interviews.

Possibly his greatest passion, though was for his beloved Pompeii, the Portsmouth Football Club, which he supported by buying shares.

I like to think he is now directing that club to its eventual promotion to the next division.
Dave succumbed to cancer recently. He inspired me to do all that I do with passion, to give it all my heart, to smile and have a firm handshake and to have fun doing it all.

David ‘Ruby’ Rubinstein
Born: January 2nd, 1948
City: London, England
Died: June 22nd, 2015
City: Duncan, British Columbia


About Matti Antilla

Radio career in the 70s and 80s…Duncan CKAY, Victoria CKDA, Calgary CJAY and back to CKAY.


  1. Well written Matti, and it was a pleasure to meet you at the service yesterday. I would like to add that he also owned a horse of his own, and was fortunate enough to clock a few wins with that one. I remember seeing his horses race many times, but never clicked a win when I was there, I think I was bad luck.

  2. Dave started his media career at CFBV/CFLD, Smithers and Burns Lake in June 1969. He’d taken radio and tv training in San Franciso. Not realizing Canadians could not work in the United States because we’re exempt from taking the FCC test, it took Dave six months after graduation to get his very first job, as Traffic Manager at CFBV.

    He ran a Sunday night disc jockey shift, then started doing sports announcing and eventually his first ‘play by play’ hockey games featuring the Smithers Totems in a Senior Mens league, which included Kitimat, Terrace and Houston. He recalls there were some very wild games between those rivals.

    One of the games was by the boards in Kitimat, with no press box. Thinking everything was okay, with the broadcast as he was into the 2nd period when one of the attendants asked him , “Are you the guy broadcasting the game back to Smithers?” responding in the affirmative, the attendent then said, “you haven’t been on the air for over an hour!” Shame, thought Dave, because it was a darn good period, and half of the broadcast!

    From Smithers to Powell River, he met news director, Al Pervin. Al’s dad trained a Canadian middleweight by the name of Donato Paduano. Al’s dad knew Angelo Dundee the manager of Muhammed Ali and through that link, Dave interviewed Ali by phone in 1972 when he fought Canadian champ George Chuvalo in Vancouver. Ali was staying at the Georgia Hotel. The interview ran on CHQB Radio at 8.10am and was rebroadcast that evening. That was certainly, one of the biggest moments of Dave’s career.

    Dave had broadcast two NHL Vancouver Canucks exhibition games out of the Cowichan Arena, when the Canucks trained in Duncan in the early 1980’s. Color man was the funny Neil McRae. Dave says McRae was fantastic to work with. Those two games were against the Winnipeg Jets and the LA Kings.

    Over the years, Dave has covered over 500 junior hockey broadcasts through until the early part of this decade. However, his main job for many years has been as an account executive for both radio and newspaper, primarily at the Citizen Newspaper in Duncan where he’s worked for over 27 years. He was editor of the paper in it’s second year 1986.

  3. Having a hard time believing this has happened. We just spoke not so long ago and Dave said he would fight like a Brit and beat this thing back. He said he felt fine at the time but obviously this took him so fast. He will be missed immensely. We go back 40 years. We sat in the basement of the Hotel Douglas in Victoria, Dave doing an impeccable job on the sports and me cutting my teeth on the news end of things. We were a great team of broadcasters back then and dedicated to our craft. Hard to believe I will not hear that distinct speaking voice and feel his gentle manner again. RIP Dave.

  4. I too had the good fortune of working with Ruby during his time at CHQB in Powell River. Dave was doing the morning sports/sales gig there as well, while Al Pervin did the news. I recall how serious Dave took the sports job, and didn’t have time for idle chat. However, when a certain tune came on the monitors, he’d turn the volume up, and turn the news room into a dance floor. Once the tune (Namely the Hollies “Long Cool Woman”) was over, he’d quickly jump into his seat and we wouldn’t hear from him again until his call to read the sports. Dave was a fun friend, coming over to our place many nights to play me our regular backgammon games, with a couple of cold beers to go along. When he came into the room he would often announce his presence in a strong voice. “Here I am!!… Super Jew”!.. very proudly. I am saddened by his passing, as anyone who worked with him is, and we will all mis him. Rest in peace Dave.

  5. I remember Dave well and am sorry to hear of his passing. Othes have commented on his commitment to sports and media so I will just add how fortunate I was as a young guy from Montreal to be welcomed so warmly by an instant friend on the west coast. Dave was a genuine human being who cared for others. Gone too soon.


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