Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bill and June

Canadian journalism lost another great icon yesterday.

Trent Frayne, known as Bill, died peacefully after a long and rich life.

Bill will be joining his wife, June Callwood, if one believes in that sort of thing. Together, they were a unique and odd team over 60 years of marriage.

Bill was the quiet, competent, inspiration behind a woman of a thousand faces and causes. Don't get me wrong; he was no slouch. It was just that June was such a big personality, a writer, a broadcaster, a social activist. Whereever there was a person in need, June was there, loudly and proudly.

Meanwhile, Bill went about pursuing his great and many interests, as one does when one is married to a powerhouse, which included writing 12 books, mentoring countless young journalists and picking up a National Newspaper Award.

It is a miracle that Bill and June endured. Their family backstory was ripe with tragic tales of great losses. They say that there is nothing worse that losing a child and the Fraynes lost their son, Casey, horrifically when he was killed by a drunk driver in 1982, an incident which seemed to spur on June's activism. She even named her AIDS Hospice after her son.

I only knew Trent Frayne through what June's eyes and words.

I wish I had had the privilege of knowing him.

For now, I can only admire him from afar.

And hope there is an afterlife for their enduring love.

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