Don Connolly reflects on decades at CBC Radio building
CBC to broadcast from new home on Chebucto Road on Monday
I come to work in this lovely building every morning by driving from my home in central Halifax, down along Bell Road.
Just past the television building, there it is: that strangely modern-looking white cement building at the corner of Sackville and South Park streets. I can see lights on in Studio A.
For more than 37 years, this is where I have come to work.
In those prehistoric days when I first joined this place, three floors of the building were teeming with CBC employees. There were men and women from the pre-radio revolution era — generally dated at 1970 — remnants of the early years.
Studio A, in those days, was largely unchanged from the mid-40s when small orchestras could play in the studio. It was a space big enough for full dramas to be mounted — often live, since recording of such events was in a much more primitive state.
The exterior of the building has hardly changed.
Some of the interior remained as it was from the 30s: an elevator big enough to take cars from the alley on the east side of the building, because a car dealership parked its cars there back in the day.
Fred Manning's office on the second floor directly beneath the studio was eerily unchanged. It's a stunning three-room suite clad in teak veneer cut in dramatic art deco style, replete with a private shower and a hidden bar cut into the wall.
In the warren-like three storeys, there are rooms you might have only found if you stumbled upon them on your way to somewhere else.
Much has changed in the building since.
Studio A is now — and for one more day — the loveliest in the country, with a view into the centre of the city and into the history of the province.
In the early morning hour, a slight turn of the head and I see Citadel Hill. And just over there, dawn over the Public Gardens. We have been nestled in the very beating heart of Halifax.
There are fewer of us now, and we are pretty much packed to go.
We are excited to begin again on Chebucto Road, but sad to leave this lovely and much loved place. There have been shadows at my shoulder as I sorted through three and a half decades of flotsam and jetsam which have washed up in and around my workplace.
Shadows of hundreds and hundreds of men and women who turned a lovely old building into the place where we made radio in and for a province we love.
What are the odds I will leave here on Friday without crying?
A toast now to the radio building. Oh, if the walls could talk.
With much love, Don.