Veteran Halifax political commentator Harry Flemming dies at the age of 74

Staff ~ The Amherst News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

HALIFAX _ Harry Flemming, a feisty and opinionated Nova Scotia journalist who relished poking a stick at politicians of all stripes, has died. He was 74.

HALIFAX _ Harry Flemming, a feisty and opinionated Nova Scotia journalist who relished poking a stick at politicians of all stripes, has died. He was 74.



Flemming, who years ago wrote death notices for himself in two newspaper columns, died Saturday morning in Halifax after battling cancer and pneumonia. His death was confirmed by his close friend and neighbour, Jeremy Akerman.



``Flummery and flattery got you nowhere with Harry; he could instantly see through fakery and insincerity,' Akerman, an actor and former politician, said in an e-mail message.



``He was a courageous, outspoken journalist whose opinions, while seldom popular, were invariably respected.'



Flemming built a loyal following as a newspaper columnist with the former Halifax Daily News.



He also appeared as a political panellist on CBC_TV's ``1st Edition,' the public broadcaster's suppertime news program in Nova Scotia.



Veteran CBC-TV newsman Jim Nunn, who refereed the popular CBC panel with Flemming and Parker Donham, said Flemming ``was just a lovely man' with a remarkable mind and a talent for telling anecdotes.



``The guy was absolutely amazing,' said Nunn, of Flemming's ability to remember details of Nova Scotia politics, Canadian history, baseball seasons of yesteryear and other events.



``You'd didn't mix it up (intellectually) with Harry unless you were prepared to be embarrassed at some point.'



Flemming, who won two Atlantic Journalism Awards for commentary and was nominated for several others, left CBC in 1995 after nine years, but continued writing for the Halifax Daily News.



Flemming's point-making statements and episodes were well-known in Nova Scotia. He frequently wrote letters to the editor and on at least two occasions landed in court.



In 2003, he won a $327.72 small-claims judgment against the Halifax Daily News for breach of contract, and in 1999 a judge let Flemming off the hook for disabling a noisy machine near his home.



He had sliced a sandblaster's hose with a kitchen knife but was granted an absolute discharge.



Born in Boston in 1933, Flemming was raised in Truro, N.S., graduated from Dalhousie University's law school, and was a journalist most of his life.



He held other jobs and at age 34 was the Liberal candidate in the 1968 federal election, but the written word and broadcasting _ he also did radio commentaries _ won out.



Flemming is survived by three children and three grandchildren. Memorial arrangements aren't complete.

Organizations: CBC, Halifax Daily News, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Boston Truro

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments