Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dave Obee of the Times Colonist reviews ‘Rufus’, 29 June 2014, on the centenary of Rufus’s hiring as that paper’s News Editor!


So, the Colonist was one of the newspapers for which Rufus worked?

It was – he was the News Editor from January 1914 until he joined the army in the fall of 1915 – nearly two years.

Why did he move there from Duncan, I wonder?

Well, it’s a long story. Basically, while still at the Cowichan Leader in Duncan, he’d allowed Sam Matson, the Colonist‘s wily owner, to lend him money – in spite of the fact that he’d often called Matson an unprincipled rogue in Leader editorials! When Rufus started a ruckus about the activities of some of Matson’s friends, Matson had to shut him up. So he offered him the job of news editor at the Colonist..

..knowing he could expose him as a hypocrite if he refused! What a crafty old sod!

And the beauty of it was that Rufus never suspected a thing at the time – he actually thought he’d been head-hunted!

Well, It is poetic justice that Dave Obee, editor-in-chief of the modern Times Colonist, should be the first reviewer of your book about Rufus – on the centenary of that famous hiring, a hundred years ago this year!

Podcast of interview with Jacquie Czernin on CBC 1 Radio West, 6 June, 2014


So, what were you and Val talking about to Jacquie Czernin on the anniversary of D-Day? Poor old Rufus had been dead nearly 11 years by June 1944.



He had – but Rufus’s nemesis, Adolf Hitler, was still very much alive. Jacquie was interested in his talk with Hitler – and in his fears about another great war. Had Rufus lived, I can’t imagine him not having been involved in D-Day, if only with microphone in hand – at 57 he would have been too old to have made it any other way.20140604_191928

This is a captured German map of the Passchendaele battlefield from Rufus’s great War Book – you can still see the mud of that grisly field at the top and at the centre crease.

Was she interested in his Great War exploits?

             I think you’d better listen to the podcast to find out!   And remember that the book, Rufus, the life of the Canadian Journalist who  interviewed  Hitler, can now be bought, or at least ordered, in book stores.   And by the way, during the interview Val talks about the Canadian ambassador to Germany in 1933; it’s sobering to remember that Canada had no ambassador in Berlin, nor anywhere else except London and Washington, until well after 1945.