I was absolutely delighted to learn that legendary broadcaster Dick Irvin has been named a Member of the Order of Canada.
More than a year ago I got a call from Don McGowan, for years the ever so entertaining weather forecaster on the old Pulse News and the host of a variety of local TV shows. Don asked if I would contribute a letter as part of his push to have Dick named to the Order. I happily complied, indicating to Don (now a resident of Brockville, Ontario) that there could not be a better choice.
Dick, now 81, remains a resident of West Island Pointe Claire. He can still be seen at many community events, often sharing his golden voice and encyclopedic knowledge of professional sports with adoring audiences. For decades Dick was the sports director for CFCF Radio and TV. He handled play-by-play duties for Canadiens hockey games on radio and worked as well on Hockey Night in Canada. In 1988 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His late father, Dick Irvin Sr., was a legendary coach for the Canadiens.
I will forever be appreciative of Dick for how he treated me as a young teenager in the very intimidating Canadiens press box. I started off there working for the old Sunday Express and not all of the veteran media there welcomed me warmly. But not Dick. He would take a seat with me in the press room, treating me like one of the boys and always had time to share his thoughts.
Dick was also the author of several books and for many years managed the very successful Sports Celebrity Dinner, benefitting the two local children's hospitals.
Way to go Dick!