Larry Thomas




Larry graduated from Kitsilano High School in 1949. He completed the Sprott-Shaw Radio Writing and Engineering course in 1951, then served in the Canadian Military as a Lance Corporal in the 8th Army Provost Reserve. After a brief stint at CKMO radio in Vancouver, Larry came to Nanaimo in 1951, where he began his broadcasting career as a staff announcer/sports director at CHUB,  a 1,000-watt community radio station at the Malaspina Hotel.


He spent a year as a news and sports announcer at CJVI in Victoria, returning to Nanaimo as CHUB assistant news director until 1964, when he became staff news reporter and photographer for the Vancouver Sun's Nanaimo bureau. In 1966 he returned to CHUB as news director and remained so until 1980, when he took a 2-year break from radio to work in the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment Communications Section.

In 1982 he returned to CHUB again as assistant news director and returned to the RCMP telecom office from 1986-1988. He served again as open-line host at CHUB, then as a court reporter working out of the newsroom after the CHUB/CKEG merger in the 1990's. In 1989, on the occasion of CHUB's 40th anniversary, Larry was presented with a gold record award commemorating his achievements in bringing the best in community radio to the citizens of Nanaimo.


Larry's journalistic talents were not limited to the broadcast media. He contributed news stories and wrote columns for the Nanaimo Times, the Nanaimo Daily Free Press, the Vancouver Province, the Victoria Times-Colonist and the Nanaimo Bulletin, on TV, he hosted the Nanaimo Business Show.


For many years he hosted CHUB's "Open Mike" radio show, and was an interviewer of authors, movie stars, famous musicians, prime ministers and politicians. He covered many royal visits, coordinated election coverage, and did remotes of fires and disasters, as well as countless interviews on scores of topics of local interest. His coverage of the Lantzville bus crash garnered him the BC News Directors Award in 1978. He was the voice of the Nanaimo World Championship Bathtub Race from its inception in 1967. His voice could be heard each weekend as he plied local waters to bring boaters CHUB Marine Patrol fishing and weather reports.

An expert in the area of vintage radio shows and the music of the jazz and swing eras, Larry assembled a vast collection of the best of old time music and radio, which he shared with his listeners every Sunday when he hosted Canada’s second-longest running radio show, "A Peek at the Past."

As a
Nanaimo City Councillor from 1993 to 1996, Larry was instrumental in the construction of both the Port Theatre and Nanaimo's new library. In 1996, the Vancouver Island Regional Library presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation for Dedicated Service as a member of the library board. He was awarded one of Nanaimo’s 125th Birthday Certificates for his continued volunteer efforts over the years.

Larry will be remembered for his infectious laugh, his boundless energy and enthusiasm, and his extraordinary devotion to his family, his work and his community.  Lawrence William Thomas passed away on September 4th, 2005.





BC Radio History