Alex Trebek, left, and Howie Meeker. (File photos)

Alex Trebek, left, and Howie Meeker. (File photos)

OPINION: Meeker, Trebek were true Canadian icons

Pair of legends remembered fondly by many across the country

Canada lost a pair of legends this week, with the passing of Howie Meeker and Alex Trebek.

Meeker, 97, was a longtime Parksville Qualicum Beach resident, well-known and beloved by locals and other Canadians alike.

Trebek was the storied host of the TV game show ‘Jeopardy’. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.

Both were fixtures in Canadian living rooms for decades. Both were icons in their own unique way.

Meeker, a revelation as a brash, opinionated hockey analyst, who reminded us to ‘stop it right there’ as he shared his love of the game through our screens.

Trebek, the elegant host who made us so comfortable and delighted us with his knowledge and understated wit.

Both will be greatly missed.

For us here in PQB, Howie was a source of pride. Virtually everyone has a story about bumping into him on the boardwalk, attending his hockey school or just sharing a few words here and there. He loved people and they loved him.

READ MORE: Canadian hockey and broadcasting legend Howie Meeker dies at age 97

READ MORE: ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek dead at 80 after long battle with cancer

He was heavily involved in charitable activities and was a strong booster of environmental causes.

His story was amazing and unique. NHL player and coach. War veteran. An MP while he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. All before becoming one of the nation’s most beloved broadcasters and hockey instructors. A Hall of Famer and member of the Order of Canada. A life well-lived, to be sure.

The tributes, of course, rolled in after fellow local resident and broadcasting legend Bernie Pascall shared news of Meeker’s passing via social media. (Check later this week for a podcast as Pascall shares some of his treasured memories of his friend).

NHL players, heads of state… folks from all walks of life who grew up with Meeker as a big part of their lives shared their thoughts.

“Howie Meeker connected countless fans to hockey with his wisdom and infectious voice. The National Hockey League celebrates his life and mourns his passing,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, among the hundreds of messages.

The fact so many weighed in was a measure of Meeker’s impact, not just on the game of hockey, but the nation as a whole.

The outpouring of love and gratitude was similar for Trebek, who garnered most of his fame south of the border but never forgot his Canadian roots. He taped his last show just a week before his death. A legendary worker to the end.

Our sincere thanks to both Howie and Alex for the joy they brought to our lives, and our condolences to their families and all who loved them both.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

EditorialshockeyMovies and TV

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
Crime report: Trespassers seen skulking about properties in Parksville, Qualicum Beach

Oceanside RCMP receive 272 complaints the week of April 25 to May 1

Richard Alm next to two of his pieces for June’s exhibit ‘Spatialist Nouveau: the rise of structured canvas in the art world’ at the McMillan Arts Centre. (submitted photo)
Business founder Jeff Ross stands outside his shop Gold Silver Guy in Qualicum Beach on May 10, 2021. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Qualicum Beach store owner finds shop in shambles after early morning robbery

RCMP investigating after door smashed, showcases shattered and inventory stolen

Artist Sarah Boileau in her home studio on Monday, May 10, 2021. Boileau’s work will be on display at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville through May 30. (Submitted photo)
Tagen Marshall of Parksville is looking to raise funds for a new specialized van. (Submitted photo)
WOLF: Parksville’s Tagen Marshall inspires others, aims to invest in himself

COLUMN: VIU honour student with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy seeks help achieving big dreams

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Most Read