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Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award

Patrick Nagle
2001 Recipient

Patrick NaglePatrick Nagle, a veteran newspaper reporter and columnist, is the winner of the 2001 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nagle's career spans six decades, from Underwood typewriters and hot lead type to a time when laptop computers are the tools to write, edit, and design a newspaper. Nagle's first job was with an always-on-deadline news agency in
Montreal - British United Press - in 1957. He moved on to the Montreal Gazette, and by the mid-'60s he was covering the Vietnam War for Weekend Magazine from his base in Vancouver.

He joined the Vancouver Sun as City Editor in 1969, and also served the paper until 1984 in Victoria, Ottawa and on foreign assignments. While he left the Vancouver Sun to roam the world as a Southam News correspondent in Africa, Eastern Europe and Western Canada, his reports and his inspiration for generations of reporters were still felt in the newsroom right through his retirement in 1995.

Retirement is hardly the word, however. He returned to the Vancouver Sun as a Victoria columnist from 1999 to 2001. A university dropout, he has taught journalism at Carleton University (CBC Radio's Rick Cluff was a student when Nagle took a year off from the Sun in 1975) and at the University of Regina, as well as giving seminars at UBC and Langara.

This summer, Nagle went to Phnom Penh as part of a Canadian NGO volunteer project to help established Cambodian journalists plan coverage of the country's first-ever rural elections in February 2002. "This is an attempt to bring the principles of democracy to the parts of the country where most of the people live," Nagle says, "and just to put this in perspective, there are parts of the countryside where the ballot boxes come in on the backs of elephants."

Nagle's reaction to winning the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award was to be "absolutely gob-smacked. Having worked with both Jack Webster and Bruce Hutchison, and knowing their greatness, this is breathtaking.

"Jack became a lifetime friend during my first tour of Vancouver with Weekend magazine in 1963. Bruce was a great supporter during my time as city editor at the Sun. When I became Ottawa bureau chief for the Sun, we developed a profound friendship. I have letters from him that I will always treasure."

"What you have to know about Patrick," says Jamie Lamb, a colleague from the Sun days, "is his absolute love of Canadian geography and local history."

When asked to account for the thread that binds a globetrotting career, Nagle says he's always been fascinated by the why of things. "Once I found my feet in journalism, I never wanted to do anything else."


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Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award