Sunday, November 29, 2015

Peter Mansbridge

~ A Canadian of Interest ~
(written by Jill Buchner...published in Canadian Living magazine)

For CBC News Chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge,
some of the best lessons happen outside the classroom.

It's hard to picture Peter Mansbridge as a kid, dodging his homework and dressing in T-shirts instead of ties. But the CBC News Chief correspondent is first to admit he hasn't always been the model of intellectual enlightenment.

I was a very average student,” says Peter who attended high school in Ottawa. “ I spent more time looking outside the window than inside the classroom.” Without the marks for university, his education ended after grade 12. He went on to join the navy, but admits he didn't apply himself there. He withdrew from the 7-year program after only 2 years, choosing to leave with an honourary discharge.

I was sort of lost at sea,” he says. “I didn't want to come back home, because it was such an admission of failure, so I bounced around Western Canada for a while.” He landed a job with a small airline that took him to Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba...Prince Albert, Saskatchewan...and finally Churchill, Manitoba where he worked a variety of jobs, from gassing airplanes to collecting tickets. “I was 19 and carefree and enjoying the world.”

One day in 1968 while on cargo duty, he was asked to announce a flight over the PA system. “It was something like, Trans Air Flight106 for Thompson, Winnipeg now ready for boarding,” he recalls. As the passengers filed toward the door, one walked straight toward Peter. “You've got a really good voice. Have you ever thought of being in radio?” asked the man. “I thought he was joking,” says Peter. “I had never thought about broadcasting; it never even crossed my mind.”

That man, the manager of Churchill's CBC Northern Service station, wanted to hire Peter for a late-night radio show. He took the job. “Frankly, if I had said no, he would have offered it to the next person he heard. But, as it turned out, Peter was a perfect fit. “At that point in my life, I'd had all these opportunities that I had not handled well...whether it was school...the possibility of going to university...or the navy.”

It was Peter who took the initiative to start the station's first newscast shortly after he was hired. “I was fascinated by news and grew up in a family where we talked about current events all the time.” From that job in Churchill, he gradually moved up the ranks at CBC.

Today, Peter Mansbridge is the authority for keeping Canadians informed about international and national issues. We have come to trust that soothing, steadfastly serious baritone to deliver news on everything from politics to natural disasters. While it's hard to get over the irony that it was his voice, not his education or skill that landed him such an important job. Peter says he owes a lot to real-world learning...constant discussion...and curiosity. “That's what journalism is all about. You ask questions...challenge assumptions...tell people what you've learned,” he says.

Though he gets strange looks when he tells journalism students his unique story, he stands by the belief that formal education is only part of the equation. Education is extremely important! Life Experience is important as well. Some of Peter's early lessons came from moving around the world...thanks to having a military father, who also stressed that success in life depended upon finishing school.

As a journalist, Peter loves constantly learning about the world. While he's had the opportunity to interview major politicians and religious leaders, the most eye-opening lessons come from ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances! Peter has been sharing his stories with Canadians for the past 46 years. He knows one thing to be true:
We never know enough.
We're never familiar enough with our own institutions
and the challenges that face our country.
We never know enough about the world.”

Confessions from the Intellects
with gratitude to Dilu for the following:

Bill Gates: I didn't even complete my university education
Tom Cruize: I was a dyslexic kid.
Lionel Messi: I used to serve tea at a shop to support my football training.
Steve Jobs: I used to sleep on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food, money and getting weekly free meals at a local temple.

Tony Blair: My teachers used to call me a failure.
Nelson Mandela: I was in prison for 27 years.
Sharukh Khan (Bollywood Actor): I slept on benches and every day borrowed 20R's from friend to travel to film city.

Michell Jordan: During my secondary school, I was dropped from my school basketball team.
Amitabh Bacchan: I was rejected for the job in 'All India Radio' because of my heavy voice.
Dhirubhai Ambani (richest person in India): I used to work in petrol pump.
Rajnikant (Bollywood Actor): At the age of 30, I was a bus conductor.
Friends...there are many such people who struggled.
Life is not about what you couldn't do so's what you can still do.
Wait...and don't ever give up ~ Miracles happen every day.

Here is the News...with Peter Moosebridge
(Published by The Canadian Press...November 16, 2015)
CBC anchor 'leapt at the chance' to do Disney role.
Disney's animated feature “Zootopia” will feature a uniquely Canadian character ~ a news anchor moose-voiced by CBC's Peter Mansbridge. The character of Peter Moosebridge is a moose and co-anchor of the ZTV News, a trusted source of news for the inhabitants of “Zootopia”. Disney says the character was specifically written with Canada in mind and intended to be voiced by a Canadian. The studio reached out to Mansbridge, who said he immediately accepted the cameo.

The comedy-action adventure is about a city where animals from every environment live together. Zootopia opens in theatres March 4, 2016. Not surprisingly, Peter was a natural and we believe audiences will delight in seeing Canada represented in Peter Moosebridge.
Why did he want to do the role? Peter states, “Well, I didn't want to do it for me...
I wanted to do it really for my kids and grandkids”.

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 19, 2015


  1. Great written work on Peter Mansbridge... Who says bald headed men aren't sexy EH ? He is our favorite of all time. A delight in reading about his youth !
    Now he will be the Voice of a Disney character for his Children and Grandchildren.... How Cool ... He's The Man ! Now I really want Alan to take me to the new Disney Movie .

  2. Yes, Sherrie...he's a great newsman and made a major impact on viewers across Canada and USA. I was also thrilled to know about his 'voice' being used in the upcoming Disney movie in March!!!

  3. MEG RESPONDS: "This was a great blog! I just love listening to him talk I I did not know about his past, so this was even more interesting.
    Can't wait to hear him the upcoming Disney film...LOL"

  4. Dear Meg...LIke you, I was uninformed about his early it was for me also, a learning experience. In my series of Remarkable Canadian Men and Women who have lived/are living in our generation, he was the first person about whom I wrote. Thanks for your always responding interest.