Vancouver broadcast pioneer Dave Abbott died on Sunday (December 18) at St. Paul’s Hospital. He was 74 years old.
Abbott was born in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to Canada in 1960. By 1964, he began work in radio and developed audiences for CJOR, CKNW, and CJVI (in Victoria). He also worked for RTE (Ireland), SABC (South Africa), BBC (U.K.), and CBC (1965 to 1985).
He covered a wide range stories, including the Six Day War in Israel and the Philippine Revolution, as well as stories in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Africa, and Northern Ireland. His interviewees included U.K. Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Philippine president Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Mitzi Gaynor, and Bob Hope.
In recognition of his community service, he won the Salvation Army Community Award three times (1972, 1987, and 1993) and the Neighbourhood Community Award in 1986.
In 2000, he published a collection of stories, jokes, and anecdotes called Catch the Irish Laughter .
His column “Travel Diary” was syndicated in 52 newspapers and broadcast on radio, and he worked as a TV host as well.
He was inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame at the Orpheum Theatre in 2010 and received a star on the Granville Street Starwalk.
He was also a cofounder of the Harry Jerome Classic and the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival.
Abbott is survived by his wife, daughter, stepson, and two grandchildren.