Graeme Decarie keeps busy researching and writing his daily blog posts

Graeme Decarie. Source: MCHS 1962-63 yearbook

I had the good fortune, early in August 2016, to meet for coffee with a teacher from Malcolm Campbell High School that I had not seen for 53 years.

I had last seen Graeme Decarie in June 1963, the year that I graduated from Grade 11.

That was just prior to September 1963, when Graeme resigned from his career as a high school teacher in order to pursue graduate studies – culminating in a PhD from Queen’s University in Kingston – in History.

The photos on this page are from a meeting at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Moncton, New Brunswick in early August 2016.

Graeme Decarie likes to keep busy by researching and writing a daily blog post with a focus on what local newspapers are reporting from one day to the next.

Graeme Decarie, Aug. 6, 2016, Moncton, NB.

Graeme Decarie, Aug. 6, 2016, Moncton, NB. Of the photos taken of him in August 2016, Graeme comments: “What a beautiful man!”

Graeme taught history at Malcolm Campbell High School in Montreal in the early 1960s. In the years that followed he became a highly regarded History professor at Concordia University, as well as a CBC Radio and CJAD Radio broadcaster. I feel most fortunate that I got to know Graeme at MCHS. He was not my History teacher. In the class I was in, Mr. Hanna was the History teacher.

I got to know Dr. Decarie in another way, during the 1962-63 school year. During that year, I served as President of the Student Council. I remember dealing with him with regard to the question of whether or not a particular film should be screened at the school. In the end it did get screened.

Good-looking guy on the left is Graeme Decarie. Person on right is a blogger who was travelling through town and ran into Mr. Decarie at a Tim Horton's coffee shop in Moncton, N.B. on Aug. 6, 2016

Left to right Graeme Decarie and Jaan Pill, who a Tim Horton’s coffee shop in Moncton, N.B. on Aug. 6, 2016.

Some people have a good memory for what people said on such and such an occasion, such as during a debate about the screening of a movie at the school, but in my case what I remember is something about the characteristic body language and in some sense the essence of the personality of a given person.

In the case of Graeme, what I remember about him is a quality of equanimity, a sense of purpose, a sense of humour, a sharp mind, and a capacity to listen and quickly offer a cogent, succinct response to whatever the topic was, that we as students were discussing.

When I met Graeme once again, 53 years later, I recalled those qualities at once.

I could understand at once how it came about that he achieved outstanding success as a university professor, and as a broadcaster on television and radio in Montreal. He’s keen to listen, knows what’s going on, and is a born storyteller.

Click here for previous posts about Graeme Decarie >

Graeme Decarie, Aug. 6, 2016. Moncton, N.B.

Graeme Decarie, Aug. 6, 2016. Moncton, N.B. In an email comment about the photo, Graeme writes: “It doesn’t capture the lush glory of my hair.”

Autobiography Stories

Among the above-noted posts you will find, by way of example:

MCHS Bio for Graeme Decarie, who taught for three years at Malcolm Campbell High School

We also have several posts in which Graeme shares work in progress in the category of Autobiography Stories:

Autobiography Stories – G. Decarie

I’ve begun work on my own Autobiography Stories and encourage you to do the same. I would not have gotten started, had it not been for Graeme’s suggestion that we get to work, and start writing our own stories. He’s explained that a person can start anywhere, as he has done, and just get to work.

In future posts, I will highlight a series of interviews that I conducted with Graeme, at a Tim Horton’s in Moncton where we met, and during a walking interview. We didn’t have time to walk through the marshes by the river, where Graeme Decarie likes to go to get his exercise, but we did spend plenty of time walking in the vicinity of the coffee shop.

Click on photos to enlarge them; click again to enlarge them further

For now, it’s my hope that site visitors will enjoy the photos that I’ve posted, and that you might feel inclined to look up Graeme Decarie on Google, and read some of his blog posts, which he reports are widely read by large numbers of people around the world.


9 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    We watch out for moose as we travel. When I was a Grade 4 teacher in Mississauga, a student who was from Newfoundland came up with a memorable adaptation of a proverb, which is among the statements that I best remember from my own teaching career.

    He said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a moose on the road.”

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I guess it comes down to good genes, to begin with. Plus you’ve made a point of staying active in mind, body, and spirit. You serve as an inspiration for us all!

  3. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    At the age of 16 my brother Jim an I travelled with the family through the Maritimes. We almost collided with a young moose that came out of the trees. My brother who had his driving license met a girl at the campgrounds and as she was leaving she invited us to visit her on the other side of Fundy National Park where she lived. Since her father was a doctor always on call, the family was often awake in the night. We had a nice visit and headed back to the campgrounds at Alma, N.B. just before sunrise. While we looked ahead we saw the most magnificant sight, a large fully-antlered moose standing in the middle of the highway up on the hill. Its size and beauty were magnificant against the dropping moon in the background, a picture I remember to this day. When I was living in Claremont, a young buck about a year and a half old came out of a ditch and I killed it. The result was a $750 insurance claim to fix the new car back in 1981. We all have our moments, I guess. That event made me realize that I never wanted to tangle with a fully grown moose!

  4. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your comments, Bob. Being a major fan of The Moose, I was pleased to see that all through Quebec and New Brunswick, The Moose had arranged to have some great drawings of itself posted all along the roadways, telling people to watch for moose.

    I noted also a variation in the drawings. The front feet on the New Brunswick highway drawing of a moose looks like the legs of a human being. On the other hand, the Quebec highway drawing of a moose has all four feet looking clearly moose-like.

    As well, the Quebec version has a touch of elegance about it, whereas the New Brunswick moose has as much elegance as can be expected when the two front legs look like human legs, as contrasted to having all four legs look like moose legs.

    My guess is that the Quebec transportation authorities brought more resources, by way of art direction and graphic design skills, than was the case with the choices that were made in New Brunswick when it was time to collaborate with The Moose, on the important and highly valuable highway warning signs projects, in the respective provinces.

    Actually, the best drawing might be one where all four legs look like human legs. That would have the appearance of The Moose when it steps out of a Comic Strip. That would attract attention, get drivers to laugh, and possibly get them to slow down. When we were driving along these roads, by day or by night, we were acutely aware that we might have to stop at any time, to make way for The Moose.

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    A Sept. 4, 2016 article is entitled: “Girl, 13, killed in Stephenville moose-vehicle collision: 13-year-old girl travelling in front passenger seat of 2-door vehicle.”

    A Sept. 15, 2016 CBC online video is entitled: “Moose: A Year in the Life of a Twig Eater.”

  6. Lynda Lester Benoit
    Lynda Lester Benoit says:

    I was very fortunate to have Mr. Decarie for two years. He had a way of sharing the information that no teacher ever did before or after. It certainly kept your attention which was what he trying to do with a subject that not all of us were dying to hear every word. At that time in our life many of us had not dedicated our life in a certain direction yet. I changed mine several times. He is a teacher you never forget. I thank him for the privilege of being his student, albeit not a great one.

  7. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your comment, Lynda. I have read many such thoroughly positive and inspiring reflections, from his former students at Concordia. He has mentioned that he much enjoyed (and now misses) being a teacher, in so many capacities (starting with teaching high school history). He also much enjoys hearing from former students!


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