FEW CANADIANS have known their country as Blair Fraser knew it; few have so well understood its special complexities, and none have loved it more deeply. The purpose of his life was to communicate this love and understanding to other Canadians. No journalist has succeeded more brilliantly.
For Blair Fraser — historian, teacher, editor, broadcaster, world traveler — was above all a reporter. He had a passion for the truth and an unequaled ability to set it forth in eloquent and lucid prose. To a generation of readers and listeners, he was a trusted voice of reason.
In 25 years with Maclean’s, he contributed to this magazine more than a million words of acute observation, analysis, and comment. His last piece of writing, completed a few days before his death, appears in this issue. Like all his writing, it reveals the man: cultivated, humane, and fair; delighting in the clash of ideas and the workings of politics; tolerant of all weaknesses except dishonesty and sham. His own integrity illumined all he did: he had a host of friends, in high places and low, in Canada and abroad.
His sudden death, in the white rapids of a northern river, was tragic, but it came in the setting he might himself have chosen. He was claimed by the wilderness from which, as a Canadian, he had long drawn his deepest resources of refreshment and strength. He leaves us all in his debt.
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