Broadcaster Arnie Patterson dies at 83
Tributes are pouring in for broadcaster, businessman and political operative Arnie Patterson, who died Tuesday following a long battle with cancer.
Patterson grew up in Dartmouth and later served as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's press secretary.
He also founded the radio stations CFDR and Q104. At one point, Patterson was general manager of Moosehead Breweries in Dartmouth.
He was media manager for Dominion Steel and Coal during the Springhill coal mine disaster which claimed 76 lives—one of Nova Scotia's darkest hours.
Patterson had to speak on behalf of the mine owners.
Radio personality Frank Cameron was a young broadcaster at the time, and that was his first encounter with Patterson.
Years later, the pair reminisced.
"I talked to him about it one time and he said 'it wasn't a lot of fun, Frank. But the adrenaline, the pumping adrenaline … I was awake for a week'," remembered Cameron.
But that isn't how most people will remember Patterson.
He was noted for his sense of fun.
John Young is a lawyer and former head of the provincial Liberal party.
Young got his first job from Patterson at CFDR. The two worked behind the scenes for the Liberal party.
Young remembers Patterson's unique way with a Prime Minister who was known to be prickly.
Patterson had arranged a press conference at Vancouver Airport.
"The Prime Minister was tired after a long day and didn't really want to do it. And to get him to do it. Arnie said 'Well, if you don't want to do the press conference, it'll only take five minutes when we get off the plane, what we'll do, I have to give them something, I'll just run up and give you a great big kiss.' And the prime minister, knowing Arnie, said, 'No, you're not going to do that.' And he said 'Well, I'll practice,' and he gave him a kiss on the plane. The Prime Minister said, 'OK, we'll do the press conference'," said Young.
On Wednesday, Premier Darrell Dexter, who also worked with Patterson at CFDR, called Patterson a hard worker, a visionary and a proud Nova Scotian.
Patterson was 83.