Listeners Remember Lamont Tilden
Siobhan McMenemy of Toronto was first to respond.
Dear Mr. MacInnes-Rae,
Thank you for your lovely remembrance of my grandfather, Lamont Tilden, on today's 'Dispatches.' My grandfather was ever the educator, teaching his children and grandchildren about the world around us with the same commitment and care he used to teach his craft to young broadcasters and to deliver the news of the day to CBC listeners and viewers. I'm awfully proud of my grandfather and am delighted to know that he lives on in the journalistic world, as you suggest, among those who took to heart the lessons and example he imparted to you.
Cynthia McMenemy Waterloo, ON:
Hello. Thank you, Mr. MacInnes-Rae, for the tribute to my father, Lamont Tilden.
My family have been puzzled at the lack of response on the part of the CBC News to the passing of someone who worked for the corporation for more than half of the history they are celebrating this year. How quickly one's contributions in life can evaporate. Fortunately, there is much on the CBC's online archives.
He was a man of many talents but for me, his major contribution to broadcasting was his love of the English language. Pronunciation and correct grammar was always essential but using the right words to express yourself, was even more important to him.
I remember the regular Friday afternoon broadcasts in my classroom at school of educational material made for Canadian schools and his narrations of similar material made by the National Film Board.
His interest in folk singing lead to his long-time friendship with Edith Fowke and Clyde Gilmour which resulted in his program "Folks Sounds".
But his Royal Tour coverage and the Opening of Parliament broadcasts were the most exciting events. We looked forward to his home-coming to hear all the stories of personal encounters with famous people and exotic places.
Closer to home, so to speak, were his broadcasts of the opening season at the Stratford Festival. When he lived with my husband and me in Waterloo for a few recent years, we visited Stratford nearby and, when returning to Waterloo in the car, he reminisced about those broadcasts and the drive home afterwards to Toronto, perhaps along the same road. We enjoyed his presence for those few years next door to us. He still retained that recognizable voice and diction, though a bit weakened with age. Unstilled also was his ability to recall poetry, memorized so many years ago, and still spoken with the appropriate dramatic flair.
My siblings in Toronto, Wellington (NZ) and London (UK) heard your comments. I'm sure, like me, that they appreciated them very much.
Cynthia (Tilden) McMenemy
Deanna Lagroix of Oakville, ON writes:
How good of you to mention Lamont Tilden. I'm seventy-one now and his voice is one of the special memories I have of coming home from school in Montreal and Eastern Ontario in the late forties and early fifties to the sound of his voice on CBC Montreal. Did he do '"Encores from Montreal" or the news? I just know that his was that comfort voice that was always on after "the soaps" from 4pm on (I think).
I wrote to him once and got an answer to tell him just what I'm saying to you;of his influence and my introduction to our faithful CBC.
He must have been quite young at the business if he only died now at 98!!! What a good long life and he will be long remembered by me and others I'm sure. He was born the same year as my Mom who has gone on before him totheir deserved reward, I'm certain.
Please tell his family if you see them that he has been thought of and respected for all these years by me for sure!!
Barry Mercer of Sudbury writes:
Just heard you mention the passing of Lamont Tilden. I attended one of the first "small station" training courses CBC Radio offered. It would have been the late '70s I imagine. I recall I was flown from Happy Valley Labrador to Corner Brook - an adventure in itself, but to meet and perform for that man was an amazing experience. He WAS the CBC that generations of listeners knew.
What an amazing time he liven in and what stories he relayed to an eager radio audience!
I was glad to hear that he had a long life.
Thanks for the nod of the head to a man so many of us in CBC Radio owe a debt to.
Linda Tilden Dawkins now of Wellington, New Zealand adds:
Thank you for your noting of the death of Monty. I often read of Canadian news from my home in New Zealand on your web site. It was good to see him mentioned there for overseas Ex-Pat Canadians, and others who knew him, to learn of his death.
It is timely that you talk of Monty in this year of celebration of the CBC. To me he embodied many of the Goals and Aspirations of the Organisation. His beautiful voice and excellent English came into Canadian homes, first over Radio and then delivering the News on Television for many years. He was a part of many families. He was the one who delivered the news, whatever it may be, in a clear way. We could always count on it being accurate and unbiased. It was a pleasure too to listen to his beautiful choice of music in the programmes he produced and presented over the years. And he was there when the major events of our lives over 40years occurred -WW2, Royal Visits, The Death of Kennedy, and many,many others. Always, he was the voice of the CBC. We could count on it to be the best. Those are still the goals of the Organisation, I should imagine.
Linda Tilden Dawkins
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