CBC News was born on January 1, 1941. The scary thing is that I've been part of it for more than half of its existence.
When I started CBC News was on radio for a few minutes at the top of every hour. And it was on television twice a day, at the supper hour and late at night. Now it's got a television network all to itself, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And it reaches you on newer "platforms" that only science fiction writers dreamed about when I was a boy. That's when the cartoon detective Dick Tracy wore a wristwatch that kept him in voice contact with police headquarters. What a thought!
I do most of my work on television. That's been around since 1952. The program I anchor, The National, has been around in one form or another from the beginning. In all that time it's had just eight permanent anchors. As evidence of what CBC News means to Canadians, my bet is that anyone who's lived in this country for those years, can name every one of us. (I'll name them a little later, just in case.)
CBC News was put on planet Earth for one purpose; to keep Canadians informed of what is happening at home and around the world. That's a big job. We obviously can't tell you everything that's happening. We try to concentrate on what's important, what you need to know. In an age where news and entertainment are too often bedfellows, that's a challenge.
But Canadians expect us, rely on us, to meet it.
Every day, from sea to sea to sea in this country, and in our bureaus around the world, the women and men of CBC News dedicate themselves to your service.
And here are the names of the seven journalists who anchored the National before I did: Larry Henderson, Earl Cameron, Stanley Burke, Warren Davis, Lloyd Robertson, Peter Kent and Knowlton Nash.
It's an honour to be in their company.