JACQUES - Roy Born in Banff, AB, March 13, 1916
and left there shortly after when his British Army Father was posted to Chitral, Vale of Kashmir, Pakistan. Roy was sent at 12 years of age to the U.K. where he took his schooling at Rugby School for Boys. He then turned to journalism as a Fleet Street journalist and one year later enlisted in his Father's British regiment, the King's Dragoon Guards and later transferred to the Canadian Army for the ill-fated expedition to Norway in 1940. On August 19, 1942, with the Royal Regiment of Canada, he was captured at the Dieppe raid, spending 3 years as a POW in Bavaria at Hohenfels, Belsen and Stargard. He was in direct custody of the Gestapo for 75 days. After the war, he arrived in Toronto and was a writer for Saturday Night magazine. He was also a writer for the Calgary Albertan from '48 to '50, and then in radio at CKMO, CKDA and CKWX. In 1960 he became News Director at the new CHAN TV (now BCTV Global). In 1962 he was back in radio at CFUN, CHQR Calgary, CJJC Langley and retired from CKWX in 1986, where he offered incisive and entertaining commentaries nightly. Roy also played the role of Judge in the TV series "Magistrates Court". Roy spent many summers in Qualicum with his family. His annual Hunting Trip to the Chilcotin area dominated his conversation mentioned in his recent Memoir "Mountains, Mozart, Manacles, Moose and Martinis". He will long be remembered by family, friends and colleagues for his love of good company and conversation. Roy is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lila, their children Daniel (Cinde O'Neil), Andrea and his daughters Mykie (Colin Brown), Nanette and their families. Those who desire may make a charitable donation in his memory to the Delta Hospital or Child Foundation in lieu of flowers. FIRST MEMORIAL - FRASER HEIGHTS 604-589-2559
Roy Jacques - Fleet Street reporter/Reuters news correspondent UK late 1930s; WWII POW captured at Dieppe; moved to Canada late 1940s; news/sports CKMO Vancouver 1952; News Director CKWX Vancouver mid and late 1950s; news/commentary CFUN/CKVN Vancouver 1960s; news CJJC Langley circa 1972-75; CHQR Calgary 1980-81; retired from radio; judge on CHAN-TV (BCTV) Magistrate's Court; commercial production and voice of Mciver's Appliance commercials current; author Mountains, Mozart, Manacles, Moose & Martinis 2005
*** March 13/87 - Vancouver Sun They came dressed as news hawks in gravy- and rum-splattered trenchcoats to pump the thick paw of a broadcaster from the dimly remembered days when news reporting was a virtue of radio, not a bland filler between muffler-shop commercials and Hit-Of-The-Minute records. They were friends of the man who signed himself Jax, close enough friends that one of them, John Iacobucci, felt free to count the 60 guests and say, "I gotta tell you, Roy, we invited 850." Roy Jacques, a good and honest journalist, is in thorough retirement now, as opposed to a series of graduating partial retirements he was eased into. I don't know why they are retiring him; he can't be 70 yet and God knows, there are few enough of his admirable ilk around. So we shan't be hearing that voice again, a purring, peevish voice that sounded like Pablo Casals's cello, playing Dvorak on a morning when Casals was in a rotten mood. No more will politicians flip on their radios to hear Jacques telling them, "With respect, sir, you don't know your fundamental orifice from an excavation. This is your 'umble servant, Jacques." Cabinet ministers Grace McCarthy and Rita Johnston asked for permission to leave the legislature early Wednesday, to attend the party. Johnston says Premier Bill Vander Zalm told them, "There is no better reason to celebrate than the retirement of Roy Jacques." I don't know where they get broadcasters these days. I suspect there's a huge vending machine marked Lite Guys. Pop in a quarter and out they pour, chatting up a howling word-storm. But I know where Roy Jacques came from. He was a Fleet Street print journalist, which might account for his starchy conservative-with-a-conscience attitudes that were at such odds with the honky-tonk music around him at CKWX. He landed at Dieppe and was captured, spending three reflective years as a prisoner-of-war. He has written for Saturday Night magazine. He has covered, gathered and commented on the news for half a dozen Canadian radio stations, including CFUN, CJJC and CKWX. Peter Kosick, the wunderkind of 40s and 50s radio (he discovered Pat Burns) believes Jacques was Vancouver's first open-line moderator. Even now, Kosick stares back in time and says, "If I could have had Burns and Jacques at the same time, I would have blown this town wide open." In 1960, when Tony Parsons might have been paying $10 tops for his best pair of trousers, Jacques set up the first newsroom operation at CHAN-TV, now more-or-less grown up to be BCTV. (I like to remind Jacques that, like the doctor who delivered Adolf Hitler, he blew the chance to kill a pestilence in infancy.) For three seasons, Jacques, his stern jaw and moon-crater dimple, played the honest judge in the television program Magistrate's Court. Bernie Smith, the former Chinatown street cop, recalls 1948, when he and partner Ian MacKay drove Jacques around in a squad car, interviewing traffic violators for a radio program called Why Do They Do It? They also stopped and interviewed the Safe Driver of the Week. One of those happened to be a careful driver from Quebec, which accounted for Jacques introducing him on radio as "A French safe driver." Dalt Elton, the former CKWX general manager, drove for two days from Palm Springs to be at the party and to say of Jacques, "In my 44 years in the business, I never knew a more talented and responsible broadcaster. Which gives you an idea of the no-talent slobs I had working for me for 44 years." Reporter Bob Porter was 21, green as mint and fresh out of journalism school when Jacques sent him out to a P & O liner to interview Britain's Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the Conservative secretary of state for foreign affairs. "I got this terrific interview about capital punishment," says Porter, "but because I had never met a knighted person before, I asked him 'And when were you sired, sir?' That's the only part that Jacques put on the air." Jacques, our 'umble servant, leaves now, having done good work. He has given governments, the CRTC, fools and phonies the shaking they deserved, but his friends think well of him. He leaves news broadcasting with a hole too deep to fill, a hole, blessedly, that Jacques never confused with an excavation.
*** Feb/2206 Surrey Now Most people will be familiar with the saying "May you live in interesting times," yet for Roy Jacques, it hasn't been a curse at all. In fact, Jax, as he was known to friends and listeners during his years as a local broadcaster, has had a front row seat to some defining moments of the 20th century. Thankfully, he has given us his memoirs in the form of Mountains, Mozart, Manacles, Moose & Martinis (Publish America, 180 pages, $23.50). Aside from audacious alliteration, the title sums up Jacques experiences: camping in the mountains of the Chilcotin area, drinking martinis after a good day's moose hunting, listening to Mozart and making sense of his experiences as a WWII prisoner of war (hence the manacles). The interesting and unusual began for Jacques right from the get- go. He writes he was fortunate to see the last days of the British Empire as his father was in the British Army and had posts in Asia, including Burma and India. All that was before a young Jacques was sent to England for school. He worked as a Fleet Street reporter prior to the war, which provided a forced hiatus from his journalism career. Afterward, he settled in Canada, picking up his craft again, and then later moving to radio and TV, even doing a stint as an actor. He played the judge on Magistrate's Court, for those who may recall him there rather than as "the voice of the news" in B.C. The book reads like a great storytelling session, beginning with the author on a hunting expedition to the Interior. As is typical of an oral storyteller's style, Jacques moves from one incident to another via association instead of relating his life in chronological order; one resting place is like another and serves as the segue way from say present-day hunting to being taken prisoner after the Canadians' disastrous landing at Dieppe. The narrative is essentially a series of memories recalled during the hunting trip of the first mention. Actually, sometimes the narrative makes loops within certain sentences, which I assume is partially due to Jacques' storytelling style, and partly due him compressing a remarkable life of knowledge and experience into so few pages. However, in spite of not having heard Jacques during his broadcast years, I found it best to read such passages aloud -- they make perfect sense to the ear where the eye becomes lost. Along the way Jacques shares sharp insights, opinions, and a number of favourite jokes too. He has some opinions that I must admit I will probably never agree with, such as the necessity of culling wolf populations and the virtues of clear cut forestry, but I cannot really make this a point of contention. I found this book to be very much like an afternoon spent with my grandfather, who would tell me stories of his days as a soldier in the Second World War, among other points of similarity to the book. And like my grandfather, who would have been close to Jacques in age now (ie, his 90s), I treasure the stories offered and his differing views of the world and politics that go hand in hand with those "I was there when" memories. Mountain, Mozart, Manacles, Moose & Martinis will be enjoyed by Jacques' past fans and history buffs. It should also be read by younger readers who are distanced from the events described because they still impact the world and global politics.