Gordon Ross passes

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Gordon Ross passes

Postby dogfish35 » Fri May 13, 2016 12:58 pm

I heard from a friend that Gordon Ross passed away from cancer last week in Calgary. I have no further details at this time, and don't see any on-line obituary yet.
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Re: Gordon Ross passes

Postby Tom Jeffries » Fri May 13, 2016 3:35 pm

I am sad to hear this - but frankly amazed that (if this is the same Gordon Ross, I worked with at CKPG) he lived this long. He was a very talented and hard living, old school newsie.

RIP.
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Re: Gordon Ross passes

Postby jon » Sun May 15, 2016 4:35 pm

A few years back, I tried to locate Gordon Ross for someone who wanted to re-connect with him. I was not successful.

Along the way, I only ever found one article about him, from 1994. Note that, although labelled Part 1 of 2, only Part 1 mentions Gordon.

Better the minimum wage than welfare; Part 1 of 2
Farrell, Jim; DON THOMAS Journal Staff Writers. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 23 July 1994: [page]F1.

Tears well up in his eyes as he recalls going on welfare, when his confidence hit rock bottom and he considered suicide.

Gordon Ross, 61, was a well-known broadcaster for more than 40 years. He lived well. His was the voice of the Oilers for more than a decade, announcing hockey games at the Coliseum.

Then came an ownership change at radio station CHQT three years ago. At age 58 he was unemployed.

"Canada Manpower was very blunt. They said be prepared not to work again for the rest of your life," Ross says.

"I have a problem. I'm 61 years of age. I've applied for many jobs and I understand the rationale. If I was an employer, I would rather hire someone who is 30."

Ross went through a divorce in the 1980s, then came the loss of his job. Together, he says, they stripped him of his dignity and his possessions.

"I guess in the first year when I was on unemployment insurance, I would have sent out a minimum of 150 job applications. The sad part of it is, for most of them you don't even get a reply."

Ross moved to Ottawa, hoping to get into radio there. Nothing. He returned to Edmonton. His unemployment insurance ran out and he began sleeping in his '81 Olds station wagon.

"I went to Social Services but they can't give you any help unless you have a permanent residence. So I sold my car for $400 so I could rent a place and get some help."

He began looking after a small apartment block, shovelling snow and doing other maintenance in exchange for a room. He found the shovelling hard and worries he may not be able to continue the caretaking job much longer.

"You try not to give up hope. It's difficult, though, because I guess I've been spoiled in my lifetime. I've always been able to work. I've had a high profile and I made a fair amount of money.

"Now I'm at the point where I ration myself on meals. You'll eat one major meal a day on a Monday. On Tuesday you'll only have soup and on Wednesday you'll have another major meal."

He hasn't bought new clothes for a couple of years. He needs new shoes but can't afford them. "By the time I pay my utilities and get a bus pass and buy food, I'm dead."

Friends have stood by him, he says.

"My biggest problem is my own self-ego. I've sort of divorced myself from a lot of my friends. After a while you get tired of answering the question `How are you doing?' "

He was offered a six-month publicity job at the Society for Retired and Semi-Retired in January under the Social Services department's Alberta Community Employment program. Social Services provides his pay of $5 an hour - the minimum wage - but it's a real job.

"I'd rather have this than just collect welfare because you're involved and your self-esteem is still there.

"I get a little annoyed at some of the attitudes toward people on welfare. It's not that you don't want to work. This is the most degrading situation a person can find himself in.

"All you do is reflect on your situation and where you are and that's when hope starts to diminish.

He's been able to enjoy his work with the society, and regaining contact with people.

"You start to feel worth-while again. When you lose your feeling of self-worth, when you feel you'll never be able to contribute again, this is when it gets really destroying.

"I hate to admit it. I've tried to take my own life a couple of times . . . . It just seemed there was no place to go. People pigeonhole you. It's like you're a number and you're no longer a person. It's so demeaning."

He doesn't know what will happen when his ACE job ends in this month. Ross believes he'll probably end up collecting meagre unemployment insurance payments, supplemented by welfare.

"I'm hoping I'll find something. I keep sending out applications. I try not to worry about tomorrow but the day is 24 hours and you may only succeed for 20.

"It can get depressing at times. But you can wallow in self-pity all you want. It doesn't do anyone any good. You do the best you can and live on the hope that maybe there will be a spot where you can fit in."
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Re: Gordon Ross passes

Postby Michael Easton » Sun May 15, 2016 7:35 pm

Hey Jon,

Thanks for sharing this article. As a matter a fact, I think it was me who was asking you about Gordon Ross a number of years ago. I worked with Gordon at CKDA/CFMS Victoria in the mid-sixties. He was doing news. I recall him as one of many who had gravitas in those early days of my career, and what a great set of pipes he had. I'm truly saddened to read he fell upon hard times as described in this article. I personally can appreciate every word he said, probably having once found myself in similar situations.
While we're flashing back in time, someone else who's paths I also crossed was Lorne Cunningham. He was ND at CJVI in the late 60's. The last time I heard him is when I was visiting Edmonton in the early nineties, he was doing evening news at CHQT 880am. You being in Edmonton, it would be great if you could do a follow up on the man.

Thanks,
Warm Regards,
Michael Easton
Mister PSR



jon wrote:A few years back, I tried to locate Gordon Ross for someone who wanted to re-connect with him. I was not successful.

Along the way, I only ever found one article about him, from 1994. Note that, although labelled Part 1 of 2, only Part 1 mentions Gordon.

Better the minimum wage than welfare; Part 1 of 2
Farrell, Jim; DON THOMAS Journal Staff Writers. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 23 July 1994: [page]F1.

Tears well up in his eyes as he recalls going on welfare, when his confidence hit rock bottom and he considered suicide.

Gordon Ross, 61, was a well-known broadcaster for more than 40 years. He lived well. His was the voice of the Oilers for more than a decade, announcing hockey games at the Coliseum.

Then came an ownership change at radio station CHQT three years ago. At age 58 he was unemployed.

"Canada Manpower was very blunt. They said be prepared not to work again for the rest of your life," Ross says.

"I have a problem. I'm 61 years of age. I've applied for many jobs and I understand the rationale. If I was an employer, I would rather hire someone who is 30."

Ross went through a divorce in the 1980s, then came the loss of his job. Together, he says, they stripped him of his dignity and his possessions.

"I guess in the first year when I was on unemployment insurance, I would have sent out a minimum of 150 job applications. The sad part of it is, for most of them you don't even get a reply."

Ross moved to Ottawa, hoping to get into radio there. Nothing. He returned to Edmonton. His unemployment insurance ran out and he began sleeping in his '81 Olds station wagon.

"I went to Social Services but they can't give you any help unless you have a permanent residence. So I sold my car for $400 so I could rent a place and get some help."

He began looking after a small apartment block, shovelling snow and doing other maintenance in exchange for a room. He found the shovelling hard and worries he may not be able to continue the caretaking job much longer.

"You try not to give up hope. It's difficult, though, because I guess I've been spoiled in my lifetime. I've always been able to work. I've had a high profile and I made a fair amount of money.

"Now I'm at the point where I ration myself on meals. You'll eat one major meal a day on a Monday. On Tuesday you'll only have soup and on Wednesday you'll have another major meal."

He hasn't bought new clothes for a couple of years. He needs new shoes but can't afford them. "By the time I pay my utilities and get a bus pass and buy food, I'm dead."

Friends have stood by him, he says.

"My biggest problem is my own self-ego. I've sort of divorced myself from a lot of my friends. After a while you get tired of answering the question `How are you doing?' "

He was offered a six-month publicity job at the Society for Retired and Semi-Retired in January under the Social Services department's Alberta Community Employment program. Social Services provides his pay of $5 an hour - the minimum wage - but it's a real job.

"I'd rather have this than just collect welfare because you're involved and your self-esteem is still there.

"I get a little annoyed at some of the attitudes toward people on welfare. It's not that you don't want to work. This is the most degrading situation a person can find himself in.

"All you do is reflect on your situation and where you are and that's when hope starts to diminish.

He's been able to enjoy his work with the society, and regaining contact with people.

"You start to feel worth-while again. When you lose your feeling of self-worth, when you feel you'll never be able to contribute again, this is when it gets really destroying.

"I hate to admit it. I've tried to take my own life a couple of times . . . . It just seemed there was no place to go. People pigeonhole you. It's like you're a number and you're no longer a person. It's so demeaning."

He doesn't know what will happen when his ACE job ends in this month. Ross believes he'll probably end up collecting meagre unemployment insurance payments, supplemented by welfare.

"I'm hoping I'll find something. I keep sending out applications. I try not to worry about tomorrow but the day is 24 hours and you may only succeed for 20.

"It can get depressing at times. But you can wallow in self-pity all you want. It doesn't do anyone any good. You do the best you can and live on the hope that maybe there will be a spot where you can fit in."
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Re: Gordon Ross passes

Postby dogfish35 » Sun May 15, 2016 8:13 pm

Michael Easton wrote:While we're flashing back in time, someone else who's paths I also crossed was Lorne Cunningham. He was ND at CJVI in the late 60's. The last time I heard him is when I was visiting Edmonton in the early nineties, he was doing evening news at CHQT 880am. You being in Edmonton, it would be great if you could do a follow up on the man.


Lorne Cunningham died a few years ago. As far as I know, that evening news job at CHQT was the last time he worked in radio.
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