Watching the Canada 150 celebrations this past weekend was a treat not just for the party, but because it was also the end of an era. Peter Mansbridge* retired from the anchor and chief correspondent position of the National at the CBC after nearly 30 years at its helm. It was an emotional event for Peter, certainly, but I’d wager for many of us on the other side of the screen as well.
30 years. While Knowlton Nash may have formed my vision of what a news anchor ought to be, Peter was the chief correspondent for most of my viewing history of the National And Peter cemented that first vision expertly. He brought humility, humanity, understanding, and expertise to his newscast every night, pushing himself and others in the team to understand as broadly as they could the events they covered. He brought himself to his newscasts and assignments without making it about himself. And he brought humanity, seeking contact with people and engaging with their stories. Never detached, he always personable while also being on point.
The CBC crafted a wonderful tribute:
… and renamed their entrance lobby Mansbridge Hall. His farewell speech is wonderful:
As he finished his broadcast on our nation’s birthday, he said “I’m not a fan of long goodbyes, so this won’t be one. I am a fan, however, of long thank yous.”
Thank you Peter. Thank you for being our anchor all these years. Not just the anchorperson of a news organization… our anchor. Our grounding. Our link to hold on to and to right ourselves amongst the events of the day, months, years. The voice to guide us towards context and understanding, to a place at the centre from which we could survey the waters and choose our bearings. Thank you for your generosity, your intention, your care, your commitment, and your time.
All the best in your next adventures.
* AKA Peter Moosebridge, and I assure you I was/am jumpingly excited that they chose him to be the voice of one of the newscasters in such an incredible movie.