Some sad news for Canadians over the weekend as we saw the passing of former National Speakers Bureau Exclusive Speaker Knowlton Nash. He was best known as the voice of The National on CBC for a decade. Knowlton brought a new way of delivering information to Canadians; not satisfied with simply reading the headlines, he immersed himself in the story in ways most anchors shunned away from, preferring to take the title of “Chief Correspondent.”
Knowlton Nash is a Canadian icon alongside our NSB Hall of Fame speakers like journalist Allan Fotheringham, sex educator Sue Johanson, and Dr. Tomorrow Frank Ogden.
Members of our executive management team shared fond memories of their experiences with the legendary Canadian:
–Perry Goldsmith, Founder:
“One of the best speakers of his time and a true gentleman with humility. Ours was a long and happy relationship. He worked hard to provide his audiences with original insights on issues and could always tell some entertaining stories from the media. Audiences, like television viewers, developed a strong bond with Knowlton. He was unique in the media. Knowlton is missed. ”
–Theresa Beenken, CEO:
“I distinctly remember the day I first met Knowlton Nash. I was fairly new at the bureau, in our Vancouver office. He came by to see the team, and he stood in the hallway that was my office and he chatted with us all.
I was starstruck. Not only because it was ‘the’ Knowlton Nash, the voice of Canada, but because of his kindness and humour and what a gentleman he was. It was then that I understood that someone could be famous and respectful – he would treat people as he’d like to be treated.
I treasure the opportunity to have represented him and keep my personally signed copy of his ‘Trivia Pursuit’ book as a reminder of his kindness and of his candour in challenging us all to take a discerning look at what we deem important. ”
–Leslie Gould, Executive VP:
“I was so incredibly moved by his warmth and humility and found him to be the most grounded and approachable individual which left me wondering how did he manage to get so far?”
–Jennifer Clarkson, Director of Health and Education Markets
“I was anxious when I called him the first time about a speaking opportunity. He sensed it and immediately put me at ease, asked about me and what brought me to NSB.
Knowlton Nash never thought of himself as extraordinary, which perhaps why we related to him so well.
Whether the conference was for a construction group or retailers, the audience made up of students or professionals … Mr. Nash treated all with respect. He felt as privileged to be speaking at an event, as the event organizers felt having Knowlton as their keynote speaker.
Fearless and humble, Knowlton Nash was on the ground to cover some of the most profound moments in our national and world history. He was to Canada, what Walter Cronkite was to Americans … a calm voice of reason. We’ve lost a national treasure. RIP kind sir. ”
Some NSB Speakers also shared words of memory:
Had the privilege of working many times with Knowlton Nash. The integrity, intelligence and kindness we aspire to. Thinking of you. #cbc
— Ian Hanomansing (@cbcian) May 25, 2014
Knowlton Nash made the improbable career switch from manager to anchor and did it superbly. The likes of Nash shall not be seen again soon. — Dr. Brian Goldman (@NightShiftMD) May 25, 2014
Arlene and I mourn the passing of Knowlton Nash, who was a friend and mentor over many years. Much love to Lorraine and family.
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) May 25, 2014
Never had a prouder moment in journalism than when knowlton nash said on the national on my dad’s birthday: “steve paikin reports.” RIP. — Steve Paikin (@spaikin) May 25, 2014
Anchorman Knowlton Nash dead at 86: a very unassuming guy & very nice to me when I arrived at CBC in the early 1980s. RIP Uncle Knowlty.
— Howard Green (@howardgreenBNN) May 25, 2014
Watching Knowlton Nash on ‘The National’ brought my dad and I together every night when I was a kid. We’ve lost one of the greats. #RIP — jian ghomeshi (@jianghomeshi) May 25, 2014
I remember being a young kid on the Rez. My portal to the outside world was CBC, the gatekeeper was #KnowltonNash
— Wab Kinew (@WabKinew) May 26, 2014
Knowlton’s funeral will take place at Grace Church on the Hill at 2 p.m. on Wednesday May 28. It will be open to the public. The family of Knowlton Nash ask in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to the Canadian Journalism Foundation.