OTTAWA — Richard Avery, a broadcast reporter, editor and “commanding” presence at former Canadian Press subsidiary Broadcast News Ltd. for nearly four decades, has died.
He was 76.
Avery died on Sunday after a brief illness in Oshawa, Ont., according to his family.
As a broadcaster, Avery was the whole package. He had a booming voice, the confidence to back it up, and a big heart, said family members and former colleagues.
Those same qualities helped Avery belt out gospel hymns with his wife, Lorraine, to whom he was married just shy of 50 years. The two sang for years as part of the choir at the Blythwood Road Baptist Church, and later the Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, in Toronto.
Avery was a mentor to many young journalists, even if he sometimes didn’t realize it.
Fresh out of broadcast journalism school in 1976, fellow journalist John McKay described how he was awestruck the first time he met Avery.
“An imposing figure with that booming voice, he burst into the newsroom and plunked his audio equipment on the desk,” McKay recalled.
“Wow, I thought, that’s what I want to do. Be a parliamentary correspondent wielding those portable tape recorders and microphones.”
McKay would go on replace Avery in Ottawa, “even without a commanding voice and that Avery sense of confidence and authority,” he said.
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