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William Peter Main TRUEMAN
1934 - 2021
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WILLIAM PETER MAIN TRUEMAN 1934 - 2021 William Peter Main Trueman (1934 - 2021) died on July 23, 2021 in Toronto after a brief journey with cancer. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, community volunteer, sponsor, and friend. He was also a well-known Canadian journalist. Born in Sackville New Brunswick, he began his career in Ottawa in the mid-1950's at the Ottawa Journal. At 23 years of age, he became a columnist for the Montreal Star in New York and moved into broadcasting-first at the CBC during the 1970 FLQ crisis and later -- in 1974, as Global Television's original news anchor. In semi-retirement, he was host and managing editor of the Discovery Channel's award-winning series Great Canadian Parks and oversaw a series of documentaries for the History Channel featuring national historic sites. In everything he did, Peter Trueman was a larger-than-life character, not only because of his 6-foot 5-inch stature, but also because of the many lives he touched with his wisdom, humour, humility, and outspoken observations of everything from world events and Canadian history to the environment and his concerns over the changing face of journalism and role of TV news. In the early Global years, he frequently smoked a pipe, and was often nicknamed 'the professor' or 'the preacher' for his serious approach to honest journalism and his drive to explain the day's events in an accurate and thoughtful way. He ended his nightly newscasts with a commentary and closed with the well-remembered phrase, 'that's not news, but that too is reality.' He also took many young journalists under his wing, including future Global National anchor Kevin Newman, and CTV Health reporter Avis Favaro, and mentored many throughout his five-decades-long career. As one former colleague, George Wolff, so eloquently stated recently: 'He shared so much of himself and his experience and his deep convictions with me, and with his support staff at Global, and even with the audience in his nightly commentary. We all know him for that and appreciate him as much more than a colleague; he was our friend and respected mentor.' The future of his chosen career concerned him deeply, however, as evidenced in his 1980 book Smoke and Mirrors: The Inside Story of Television News in Canada. These concerns led to his early retirement from television by 1988. 'TV itself, by pandering to the lowest common denominator,' he wrote, 'has debased North American standards to such a degree that before long, the people who want better television will have only each other to talk to.' Peter cherished his wife Eleanor, celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary last December. Over the course of their marriage, Peter and Eleanor moved 20 times, mostly with three kids -- Anne (Brad), Mark (Krithia) and Victoria (Chris)) -- in tow from New York, Virginia, Washington, Ottawa, Toronto, Amherst Island, Kingston. But it was the 23 years that Peter and Eleanor spent on Amherst Island in semi-retirement that Eleanor refers to as 'the golden years' that the family cherishes the most. His 11 grandkids (Sarah, Leo, Claire, Eleni, Leah, Joshua, Kathryn, Martha, Devin, Eva and Grace) all remember the thrill of sitting on his knee for his semi-raucous version of 'This is the Way the Ladies Ride' with a loud hobbledy-hoy refrain, his tall hugs, important life conversations and gracious smile. His sister Sally and her children, Paula, Oliver and Claire also enjoyed visits and special occasions to 'The Island.' In 2001, Peter became an officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2013 he was also awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal for significant achievement and remarkable service. These awards held particular significance for Peter as his father, Dr. Albert William Trueman, also became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1974 for his work in university administration and teaching Shakespeare. But the medal Peter Trueman valued the most was the one he received on his first anniversary as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1970. He would go on to have another 50 years of sobriety after that. During that time, he was a very active participant, helping and sponsoring others undergoing the same struggle, always no more than a phone call away for anyone who needed a hand. At his request there will be no funeral service. Friends, family and the public are invited to share remembrances, thoughts, photos at the website https://www.forevermissed.com/william-peter-trueman/about to help us celebrate his life. Through his studies of Canadian history, and extensive travels in Canada during his career, Peter developed a deeper appreciation of Indigenous culture and the on-going journey to a true reconciliation with all Canadians. Donations may be made in his honour of his memory to https://indspire.ca/

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Jul. 26 to Jul. 30, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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26 entries
August 4, 2021
I have been waiting and thinking and writing about what I would like to say about Peter.

He was not family BUT he definitely did remind me of my father.

His respect for what I was doing was sincere yet it was not the order of the day per se...it could only be seen by someone with vision/education and respect for others.

I approached him 18 years ago with my ideas and hopes and he initially turned me down saying rightfully that he was retired and asked constantly to endorse this/that... but I was persistent and sent him material of what I was hoping to create and he eventually acquiesced and offered to be the Honorary Spokesperson - he appreciated the vision and direction it was taking.

Within all of that he also became interested in pursuing mindfulness meditation. This was mostly because my main influencer was (and still is) an incredible teacher named Shinzen Young. Peter came to a few meditation retreats and really admired Shinzen and definitely continued a regular meditation practice.

We had so many lunches and discussions.They were so humble and real. He spoke mostly about his love and commitment to his wife Eleanor and the happiness his extended family provided. He worried about the world and his loved ones, he was honest, he was genuinely just "Peter."

My metaphor for Peter is CANADA. He was TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE.

God bless his life and this land -... we stand on guard for THEE ..,

You will NEVER be forgotten Peter...I thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me...

Jane
Friend
August 3, 2021
I was in my last year of university and living at home when Global arrived and Peter as the news anchor. He quickly became my father’s favourite which mean I watched him too. I soon came to appreciate his mellifluous voice and his closing insights into reality.
I connected in person when Peter moved to Amherst Island and would show up in Kingston from time to time. But we became friends when we both attended a meditation retreat a number of years ago in Niagara Falls. Peter always had time to chat and I never felt he was impatient though I imagine many people enjoyed saying hello to him.
as I think now about his comments about reality at the end of the newscast, I think he might have been coaching us to be mindful.
thank you, Peter, for your kindness and wisdom. we will miss your gentle presence
Rory Skelly
Friend
August 3, 2021
Eleanor, Thinking of you and family at this sad time with your loss of Peter. After we met, I was privileged to meet him through you. He was such a gracious man and I know he meant so much to you and your family. Much love to you all.
Joan Taylor
Friend
August 2, 2021
Sincere condolences to Eleanor and family.

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

I loved Peters nice tall hugs!
Donna and Mike
Friend
August 1, 2021
A fine man and talented journalist. They don’t make many like Peter anymore. My heartfelt condolences to Eleanor and all the family.
John Moore
Acquaintance
July 31, 2021
At the end of Peter Trueman's last broadcast - a sad occasion - he told the viewers how important it was to write letters to the station (or elsewhere, by implication) and how seriously the ideas in them were taken. This was before the email revolution, of course. I took this to heart and have told all my students to do the same. I have never forgotten his wisdom. Thank you for your gift.
Bunny
Student
July 30, 2021
The heart hath its own memories
and in it are enshrined the precious keepsakes (Longfellow)

Our condolences to Eleanor and family. May you treasure memories of good times together. We enjoyed Peter's friendship and kindness, having met in Kingston through Taoist Tai Chi.

Kathy Reinke and Peter Webster
July 28, 2021
Dear Eleanor,
How shocked and saddened I was to read of Peter's passing while at the airport enroute to Haida Gwaii - the first trip out of my covid cocoon.
I felt so fortunate when you and Peter entered my life that serendipitous moment that you came to see the condo in Kingston - and every visit, during your 8 years thereafter, was a joy.
I had grown up with Peter's remarkable voice and presence in my living room - and what a delight it was to then talk current events and sort the world over a cup of tea in yours! Peter's wit, intelligence and generousity of spirit provided such guidance and insight in all those conversations.
Surrounded by the love and support of family, may you find comfort and cherish the memories that bring light and happiness at this sad time.
With great affection,
Margaret
Margaret Martin
Friend
July 28, 2021
Peter was such a lovely mountain of a man in his presence, compassion and spirit. I cherish the 20 years of memories of being first neighbours, then friends of Peter and Eleanor when we lived just down the road on Amherst Island. Dear Eleanor, my thoughts are with you and your family as you adapt to this great loss.
Lynn A'Court
Friend
July 27, 2021
When I first walked into the Global newsroom I knew nothing. But thanks to Peter, in the years that followed I got an unparalleled education in journalism, writing and was privileged to learn first hand what a dignified, decent and kind man he was.
My sincere condolences to Eleanor and the family.
Digby Cook
Digby Cook
Friend
July 27, 2021
It was a great honour and privilege for me to know and work with Peter Trueman I first met Peter at Global Television News in Toronto when I worked there as a news cameraman during the early 1980’s. But it was about ten years later while producing and photographing Great Canadian Parks, that our professional and personal relationship cemented. Aside from his tremendous writing and editorial skills, Peter was all in as he tirelessly embraced the challenge of documenting Canada’s protected spaces from coast to coast to coast. He criss crossed hundreds of kilometres of various landscapes by foot, horseback, and river raft. He spent countless hours reaching remote locations on the legendary De Havilland Beaver and Twin Otter aircraft or by helicopter. On one occasion while in the northern Yukon, the helicopter pilot lost control of his machine, spinning violently on its way down to the tundra below but managed to save the helicopter at the last moment, preventing heavy impact. Peter just brushed off this incident and flipped open his note pad to make a notation.
At times we shared a 2-man tent which became a bit tricky considering Peter’s tall stature. And especially when exiting the tent when nature called in the middle of the night!
I always marvelled on how he so poignantly described colourful characters or moments in nature. His description of a young, brash park warden originally from NFLD in charge of a remote research camp on Ellesmere Island (to paraphrase): “who ran the place with a steady hand of a Newfoundland fishing boat skipper”. Or while observing a group of very active whales in the Bay of Fundy: “You’ve never heard heavy breathing this loud until you’ve witnessed the mating of Eastern Right Whales”. He finished the job by documenting every national park in Canada. One of his many lasting legacies.

He was a true pro, a friend, and a wonderful traveling companion.
Ihor Macijiwsky
Ihor Macijiwsky
Coworker
July 27, 2021
Our sincere condolences to Eleanor and family. Peter was a force for good and we enjoyed hearing his story and his shared wisdom.
Blessings and hugs from Betty and Yves in Kingston
Betty and Yves
Friend
July 27, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family of Peter. I have only personally known Peter in Kingston, through TaiChi, but always enjoyed his friendship. He was a great guy.
Francois Mels
Friend
July 26, 2021
It was a huge honour to have known Peter during our Kingston years. We spent a lot of time together chatting about everything under the sun. I know there was a video bio made about him many years ago. I still own the masters from a Cd project we did together in the 90's but I refused to release it. Peter had so many interests. He loved reading, poetry, Bach cello, wooden ships and had always wanted to be an anthropologist. Mitch's park series was as he termed it "The Icing on the cake". He loved world news over short wave radio from distant regions. I taught him morse code once too. He used it on an episode of the parks series where Marconi showcased radio. He would have starved rather than ever do a product endorsement. They chased him, but he was the real deal and always said no. Peter was very spiritual and loved gods creations. Nobody ever influenced me for the better than Peter. We both taught each other things, but kindness and integtrity was key. I remember when he gave me his aluminum canoe. I flipped it first time out. His love and respect for our native people were so far ahead of others. If Peter had many faults he hid them well. He would always claim to have them, but I never found any. My deepest condolences to the entire family. You were his main topic of interest.
Nick Gurr
Friend
July 26, 2021
Peter mentored me in my earliest days in radio/TV news back in 1981. (I'm still working as a successful full-time freelancer today -- "a hired gun," he once said to me with a chuckle -- as a direct result of his sage advice and encouragement.)

I recall back in 1986 when the big corporation that had bought my smalltown TV station decided that I was a rabblerouser and suspected union activist, and preventively fired me with 6 month's severance (so that was nothing more for me to sue them for).

When I frantically called Peter up and asked for his advice, he paused and then said with a grin in his voice, "Six months' severance? If Global fired me with that offer, I'd take it!"

I did take it and moved on. Some months' later, I ended up interviewing the then-drunk exec who had fired me while I was holding a CBC-flagged microphone at an event in Toronto. Never seen someone's eyes go so wide!

James Careless
Student
July 26, 2021
Dear Mrs. Truman, Mark, Anne, Victoria and families,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Truman. I have many fond memories of spending time in your Don Mills basement on Sunday evenings being part of the Bethesda United Church youth group. It was so long ago but your warmth, honesty and commitment to youth has always stayed with me. Mr Truman made a huge impression on me and I will never forget him. My sincere condolences to all of you.
Anne Hrutka Reynolds xoxo
Anne Reynolds
Friend
July 26, 2021
Sincere condolences to the family of Peter Trueman. I'm honoured to have worked with son Mark and daughter Anne, both of whom are terrific journalists and even better friends and colleagues. Thinking of them as they mourn from here in Halifax.
Reid Parker
Coworker
July 26, 2021
Deepest condolences to all. May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Juliana Carvalho
Neighbor
July 26, 2021
My deepest condolences to all the family ..as he too was a part of ours through television for so many years
Betty Clironomos
Betty
Acquaintance
July 26, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Heidi and Manfred Mokry
Neighbor
July 26, 2021
Good morning Eleanor and dear Peter’s family. I am so saddened to hear of Peter’s passing as he was a true friend, a great mentor, and a wonderful human being. I was on the call to help 12-step Peter in 1970 with a young journalist from the Toronto Telegram when he was living across from my old school De La Salle Oaklands. I now live and have in Vancouver for the last eight years but I will always have fond memories and the utmost respect for Peter’s memory.
David Brady
July 26, 2021
Eleni, we are so sorry to hear the news. I remember your grandfather as the anchor of Global News and always having a calm, reassuring and informative delivery. He was always a welcoming presence every evening. But reading his obituary, I can see how much more he was as a guiding influence to many in the communications and media industry. He is greatest accomplishment, of course, was being such a wonderful family man. All our love and heartfelt condolences.
Pat, Rhoda & family
Patrick Mullrooney
Family
July 26, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Our thought and prayers are with all of you.
George and Efi Tsigaridis
Friend
July 26, 2021
Condolences to Eleanor and family. Peter will be missed by anyone who knew him.
Penny Kingsbury
Friend
July 26, 2021
Dear Victoria, Eleni and family,
Quite the accomplished and full life he lived! I clearly remember Peter Trueman as our everyday guest, on tv in our living room, when Global was initially launched. He was THE trusted voice who delivered the news and commentary in a reliable and meaningful manner. However, upon reading this tribute, it is evident that he was so much more to so many people.
Please accept my sincere condolences on this huge loss to your family.
Sincerely,
Maureen Pickles
Maureen Mullrooney Pickles
July 26, 2021
Grandaddy,
“This is the way the farmers ride, hobbldee hoy, hobbldee hoy!”. I’ve done this with Carter since he was old enough to sit on my lap and he just loves it. There are so many things I want to say but the sound of your voice makes me calm and reminds me of Amherst island. Your soft chuckle, big tall hugs, your quick wit when no one thought you were listening, and the smile of pride on your face when you met Carter mean the world to me. The smell of books and forbidden feeling of your study, the creaking on that black carpet and endlessness of treasures made that house magical, made you magical. You’re a beacon of strength and you are permanently imprinted on my heart. I love you. Looking forward to a big tall hug again some day
Leah Jenkins
Family
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