Life and Times of Craig Oliver

Published: Monday, 03 December 2012 01:03
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Oliver's Twist by Canadian Journalist Craig Oliver


I seem to be on a bit of an upswing on reading currently. I had two books on the go at the same time over the past month. One was Lloyd Robertson’s The Kind of Life It’s Been and the other was this one Oliver’s Twist by Craig Oliver.  Both men are long time Canadian journalists who have loved their lives and loved their jobs as lifelong journalists in Canada.


Unlike Lloyd, Craig was a grassroots reporter, commentator, and host in the broadcasting business. He wined and dined with the interesting, the rich, the famous, and the troubled. He heralds from small town Prince Rupert and has never forgotten his roots, his beginnings, his challenges and his accomplishments. He was born into a poor and troubled family, the son of alcoholic parents, raised by foster parents on and off.


Despite the isolation of hiding behind a troubled upbringing, Craig remained optimistic about things getting better for his struggling mother while he continued to build a wonderful and adventurous life for himself. He kept in touch with her and held on to the faint hope that she would overcome the evils of alcoholism – that was one hope that was never to be. He experiences the warmth and wonder of real love and true love, passion and compassion from his special relationships with others – eventually getting married and having children, and living a life that his parents could never get to experience.


Despite his long time struggle with dealing with the impact of glaucoma, Craig Oliver knows how to read people and greet people of every socio-economic background, including Queens, Princesses, Princes, Dukes, Barons, Lords, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Members of Parliament, friends, colleagues, former teachers, and the average and not so average citizen. He has been around and he has seen virtually everything possible in a newsperson’s world from instability and infidelity, to referenda, elections, tragedies, wars, 911 and other emergencies, grief and loss as well as the excitement of Royal visits, the Olympics, and assignments on the international scene.


Craig also shares his memories of unforgettable adventures in the Canadian wilderness hiking, canoeing or camping with colleagues, former Prime Minister Trudeau, other politicians and colleagues, and with his son, Murray, who is a journalist working the beat in Uganda.


This book treats us to many interesting stories and tales of the personal and professional experiences of a hardworking, descent and determined man who has been in the broadcasting business for over forty years. I read every page and viewed every picture with considerable interest and heard myself saying, now and then, Thank you, Craig, for unravelling that mystery for me; thank you, Craig, for your honesty and candour; thank you, Craig, for putting pen to paper and sharing your life’s experiences with us.


This is a great book.