Answers to the Press Club Quiz
Spoiler Alert: Don’t even try to read this blog entry until you’ve attempted to answer the questions. Come on, stop being lazy.
Please note: The answers are highly subjective and the author admits to having only vague recollections of some events due to an overlarge intake of Alexander Keith’s at times. So corrections and additions are welcome.
1. Name any president of the NPC who was not a journalist.
With the exception of flack extraordinaire Tim Kane , who now runs the National Press Club Foundation and the late Spencer Moore, who was a bean counter at the CBC before trying to save the Titanic on Wellington Street, everyone who was president was a “journalist”. But I’m putting it out there when I say that there were a few presidents with pretty wobbly journalistic credentials at questionable magazines and others who worked for virtually untraceable journalistic organizations in other countries. Real journos just wanted to go to the club to drink; they didn’t want to balance unbalanceable budgets.
As the club began to slide into obscurity, the level of journalistic brinkmanship went down considerably. Just sayin’.
2. What was Arthur Haime’s nickname?
The Brig. Maybe someone can tell me why.
3. What was the name of the Chef who first started Friday roast beef lunches?
Chef Peter, of course. Who left the Club to become head chef at the Rideau Club. Last time I saw him, Peter was a sous chef at the Southway Inn, drinking at Tuscon’s. How the great could fall.
4. Who coined the phrase “feckless idiot”?
The late Danny Malenchuk, who incredibly used to be an accountant and did my taxes once in the old days. Scott tells me that Danny, the CBC producer, offered to pay him a hundred bucks to get anybody to say “feckless idiot” in a CBC broadcast. I’m thinking the catchphrase might have been banned, along the lines of any reference to Zotique Laframboise in an Ottawa paper.
Still miss you, Dan.
5. Name three newspapers which folded in Ottawa during the press club’s tenure.
Ottawa Today, Ottawa Journal, and the Sunday Herald. The death watch at the former CanWest continues. Many other papers are dying from neglect and a thousand budget cuts. Also Fox News North.
6. Who wrote “Below the Hill” before Dave Brown?
Gordon Lomer was the first writer of Below the Hill at the Ottawa Journal. Dave Brown took it over, then bailed for the Citizen. Lomer tried to resurrect his column in the late 70s; did we mention the Ottawa Journal folded 30 years ago this August?
7. Who was the hotshot who won the Press Club snooker tournament every year and was a scratch golfer?
Air Canada’s Hugh “Ripper” Riopelle. The man could do anything. Golf, shoot stick, sing, tell really, really bad jokes. Ripper took me, Wicks, Maggie N and a few others on a weekend trip to Switzerland once. He truly was the Godfather of flackery. Still love ya, Rip.
8. Name a prominent journalist who was banned for life from the Press Club, and for what offence.
Gerry MacNeil for terrorizing Bruce Phillips’ female guest in the women’s washroom after a Gallery Dinner. Must have missed his insulin shot that day. Also, I believe one vertically challenged and esteemed Senator was banned. Need some fact checking here.
9. Name the members of the National Press Club and Allied Workers Jazz Band who were actual journalists.
Stu MacLeod. Sometimes Charles Lynch. Mike McCourt. Anyone else?
10. What are three reasons that the Press Club eventually went under?
1) Allowing drunks, reprobates and “freelancers” to run up thousands of dollars in bar tabs, which were uncollectible 2) Stealing from the till and out the back of the kitchen by management, cooks and staff 3) the smoking ban.
11. Name three managers of the press club.
Arthur Haime, Chris Diotte, and incredibly, Howard Williams, the club president. I think Rene MacKenzie, too.
12. Essay question (to be submitted to the blogger site). Who was the best bartender at the club and why? Who was the worst, and why?
The best bartender, for me was Dave Newell, who was cute and personable. The worst was a toss up between few others who had their hands in the till. One might have been an immigrant.
13. Name the only two women who were elected president of the NPC.
The late great Betty Sarsfield who led the charge to have women accepted as members in the 70s, picketing, though I don’t believe she burned her bra. The second one was some magazine editor, whose name escapes me. It used to always kill me that people would end up on the board and in positions of power who had just joined the press club, and had no personal history either in journalism or club politics. Usually, these neophytes would be approached, signed up as members, then recruited for the board. More often than not, they resigned shortly thereafter. Always slayed me.
14. Who was easier to understand: Bilal Syed or Howard Williams?
My bet is on the English bloke who worked for a French wire service. Was his French any better than his English??
15. Final question: Rose Simpson dumped a beer on which journalist’s head? Do you blame her?
My ex husband’s current wife, who was not his wife at the time but thought she was. I received a standing ovation.