John Harada, 65, on July 15. Harada worked at numerous stations over the span of a 35-year career, starting out in radio at his high school station – Raider Radio – at Erindale Secondary School in Mississauga. That led to on-air stints at CKWR Waterloo, CFGO Ottawa, Mix 99.9 (CKFM-FM) Toronto, KOOL FM (CFCA-FM) and KFUN FM (CKKW-FM) Waterloo, SUN FM (CKUL-FM) Halifax, 104.7 Heart FM (CIHR-FM) Woodstock, and The Fox 99.9 (CFGX-FM) Sarnia. For the past three years, up until eight months ago when he started hosting mornings stateside at The New SRQ (WSRQ) in Sarasota, Florida, Harada was the voice of afternoon drive on community station 88.7 The River (CIWN-FM) in Mount Forest, ON. In addition to radio, Harada also did freelance voiceover work and produced several television shows for Rogers TV, including “John Harada and Friends.” He counted former CHUM announcers Mike Cleaver and Brian Thomas among his mentors. Off the air, Harada trained in Kenpo Karate and Wing Chun, taught black belt karate, and played and coached hockey over the years. Read more here.
Bill Luxton, 92, on July 13. Born in Toronto to English parents, Luxton’s family returned to London, where he joined the British Army at 18 in 1945 and volunteered for the Forces Broadcasting Service. Training as an operator and announcer, the military took Luxton to Germany and Libya, and after his discharge, he returned to Canada in 1948, landing a job as a junior announcer in Port Arthur, ON (now Thunder Bay). Luxton was later accepted to Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts which led to work with CKWS Kingston. When CJOH-TV Ottawa was started in 1961, Luxton was called for an audition. He would go on to work with the station for 27 years as a host and actor. Luxton was known for playing Uncle Willy on children’s show Willy and Floyd, which ran on the station for 22 years, and serving as the announcer for The Amazing Kreskin, in addition to hosting a daily magazine show, among other roles. In retirement, Luxton read to kids at Broadview Public School and sang with the Grey Jazz Big Band.
Leo Sabulsky, 67, on July 10. As chairman of the Chetwynd Communications Society, Sabulsky obtained the first “Class A” community radio licence in Canada in 1997 for CHET FM. He went on to spearhead the launch of CHET TV, CHAD FM (now known Peace FM) where he hosted weekly radio show, Leo & Friends. In addition to being an educator for more than 30 years, Sabulsky was a longtime volunteer firefighter and served as Chetwynd Fire Chief from 1994 until he retired this past June.
Hodan Nalayeh, 43, on July 12. Born in Somalia, Nalayeh emigrated to Canada with her family at age six. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Windsor and later studied broadcast journalism at Seneca College. Working in radio and television in both sales and production, in 2013 she was named vice-president of Sales & Programming Development of Cameraworks Productions International, based in Vaughan, ON – a full-service video and television production facility focused on distributing multicultural programming. In 2014, Nalayeh served as host of half-hour Somali community show Integration: Building A New Cultural Identity, which aired on CityTV. More recently, she’d been hosting English-language show Integration on OMNI Television. Nalayeh and her husband were among 26 people killed in a terrorist attack in Kismayo, Somalia on July 12.
John Plul, 79, on July 8. Plul served as the promotions manager for CKNW Vancouver for 25 years, helping raise millions for the station’s Orphan’s Fund charity, in addition to helping establish Canuck Place, a hospice for terminally ill children. Plul also served in the provincial government of W.A.C. Bennett as Deputy Tourism Minister under Grace McCarthy. Among the initiatives that department helped launch were the first B.C. Film Office, in addition to a Cruise Ship Centre. In retirement, Plul continued to serve the community as a governor of the CH.I.L.D. Foundation, established to fund research for children with Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and liver disorders.
Marjorie Valentine Waters, 98, on July 5. The wife of late CHUM founder Allan Waters, the pair were highschool sweethearts and married in 1942. Marjorie acted as a receptionist at CHUM for many years and later served as a company director. CHUM was sold to Bell Globemedia in 2006.
Ing Wong-Ward, 46, on July 6 from complications from colon cancer. A Ryerson Journalism graduate, Wong-Ward joined the CBC in 1993 and went on to a 23-year career with the public broadcaster contributing to both radio and TV. On the television side, she hosted The Disability Network, and was a researcher and producer for Newsworld and The National. At CBC Radio, she spent 15 years behind the scenes as a producer with CBC Toronto Metro Morning, Here & Now and Fresh Air. Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Wong-Ward was also a disability advocate and was recognized with the City of Toronto Human Rights Access Award in 2004. She left CBC in 2016 to work with Toronto’s Centre for Independent Living as its associate director.
Elie Savoie, 84, on June 28. Savoie started his broadcasting career in the 1960s, holding a number of positions with CFCR-TV Kamloops (now CFJC), and as a production assistant for CHAN-TV. He joined CBC Vancouver in 1964, leaving to take a program director position with CBC Regina in 1977 and then director of television for CBC Windsor. He returned to CBC-TV Vancouver as PD in 1983 and went on to Program Project Development. Savoie notably served as a director and executive producer on long-running series The Beachcombers. He retired from CBC in 1991, going on to consult and teach Media Studies at Capilano College.
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