The voice is instantly
recognizable, even over the phone. Less recognizable
is the speed and enthusiasm with which he talks, not
the measured, sedate tones you hear during the CTV nightly news.
OLeary taught me English literature. I had him
at Stratford Collegiate and Vocational Institute in
the late 40s, early 50s. He was the most
inspirational teacher Ive had by far,"
says Lloyd Robertson. "He used to have us act
out the various parts of Shakespeare. He made
directed the school plays. The plays were
"frothy little things, easy to cast for high
school," Robertson reports, and he was in most
"I would be
remiss," Robertson hastens to add, "if I
didnt mention Edward Neigh, my history
teacher." Robertson cant stop there. He
adds "Maggie Baldwin, my French teacher."
Edward Neigh also
coached public speaking. "I was into it,"
says Robertson, who came in second in the
schools public speaking contest. "My
subject, of course, was politics ... international
politics and the rise of communism and the way the
world was changing.
thing about these teachers," explains Robertson,
"is they showed a great interest in you. They
werent just detached computers standing at the
front of the room. They were teachers who were
involved. They were concerned. They encouraged. I
think more than anything else thats what I
remember about them. It obviously takes more out of
them to be that way but the reward, from the
students perspective, is much greater."
Robertson was only 12
when he decided he wanted to be a broadcaster. He was
standing below the broadcast stand during a parade of
soldiers returning from World War II. "I
thought: this is exciting. This is what I want to do.
It struck me you were at the centre of things when
you were in broadcasting."
Robertson to try for that career. "Not all the
teachers were encouraging because private radio back
in those days paid no money, and in small towns the
average life span of an announcer was about a
year," says Robertson.
He had a job at the
local radio station in Grade 12. "Id been
hanging around for so long bugging them they decided
theyd better put me to work, so they gave me
this part-time job as an operator," he explains.
One day an announcer was
late, and Robertson ended up on air. By chance,
OLeary heard him. Robertson recalls, "He
said, You know with all the work weve
done together in the plays and your success in the
public speaking contests, I think you should continue
with that, because I think you may have something
Mike OLeary was
right. Lloyd Robertson, recipient of awards like most
trusted TV journalist and favourite TV anchor,
started his broadcast career with a year at the radio
station in Stratford, and then another year at the
station in Guelph before joining the CBC in Winnipeg.
He anchored CBCs The National for six years before joining CTV
in 1976. Hes been chief anchor and senior news
editor there since 1983.
Lloyd Robertson is
definitely "in the centre of things."