OPENING NOTES

Cher puts up a flawless front, Bryan Gold takes a run at Chrétien, and Tim Sobey slips through customs

November 26 1990

OPENING NOTES

Cher puts up a flawless front, Bryan Gold takes a run at Chrétien, and Tim Sobey slips through customs

November 26 1990

OPENING NOTES

Cher puts up a flawless front, Bryan Gold takes a run at Chrétien, and Tim Sobey slips through customs

DOUBLE THE PLEASURE

Patricia Mella, the 46-year-old former high-school teacher from Southport, P.E.I., who on Nov. 10 won the provincial Tory leadership on one ballot, will have her work cut out for her in her bid to unseat the popular Premier Joseph Ghiz. But because two heads are better than one, Mella seems to have an unusual campaign advantage. Reporters at the convention in Charlottetown were thrown into confusion when Mella's identical twin sister, Peggy Forbes, turned up at the event. Following Mella's victory, reporters, mistaking Forbes for the new leader, asked Forbes if she was nervous. She just smiled at the TV cameras and replied: "Not in the least. We're enjoying every minute." It was not until later that reporters discovered the error of their wayward microphones. Tory spokesman Maurice Rodgerson acknowledged that the possibilities are intriguing. "It could be helpful if we could have Pat and Peggy campaigning at opposite ends of the Island at the same time," he said. Or endorsing both sides of an issue.

Beauty and the plastic surgeon

Rumors that Cher’s firm, fabulous looks are the result of cosmetic surgery are unfounded, says a Los Angeles law firm that represents the 44-year-old actress. John Forbess of Forbess &

Roth writes that, while Cher admits to having surgery performed on her breasts and nose, a scalpel has never altered her chin, cheeks, ribs, navel, buttocks or thighs. The letter is accompanied by a signed statement from a London plastic surgeon who says that he performed a “complete body examination” and reports: “Cher has maintained her excellent figure through regular exercise and discipline with her diet.” Forbess says that Cher is worried that her fans may view surgery as a way to eternal youth. But there are commercial

considerations. Cher is about to release a book on health and fitness. Evidently, she wants the media to shape up first.

SMUGGLING

DISASTER

Despite a British court injunction banning distribution of the royal exposé Courting Disaster, which chronicles alleged misdeeds among the Queen's household staff, co-author Timothy Sobey admits that, in October, he smuggled copies of the book into England. Sobey said that he took two cases of books with him on a trip to England and told a customs official that the boxes contained books on the British civil service. Said Sobey: “I held my breath for a while, but they let them through. "Books with a truly brilliant cover.

Rockin' with Roy on a new station

Roy Bonisteel’s resignation last year as host of CBC TV's Man Alive landed the veteran joumahst in an unexpected line of work. Bonisteel, 60, will run a newly licensed rock radio station in the Quinte area of eastern Ontario. The station's owners, London, Ont.-based Twigg Communications Ltd., asked him to start a country music station, but Bonisteel said that he insisted on rock music. The format includes plenty of news and current affairs. Bonisteel, who will also be an announcer, says that he rejects the stereotype “that says that just because a listener likes rock, he hasn’t got a brain in his head. ”

A WELL-CONNECTED SWAMI

India’s new prime minister, Chandra Shekhar, is not a man who takes soothsayers lightly. He chose the precise hour of his swearing-in, 11 a.m. on Nov. 10, on the advice of his astrologer. And one of his closest spiritual and political advisers is Shri Chandra Swamiji Maharaj, an Indian holy man who, according to a declassified 1986 CIA memo, was one of the financiers behind Saudi arms-dealer Adnan Khashoggi in the Iran-contra affair. The swami, who counts Elizabeth Taylor among his followers, advised Chandra Shekhar on his TV _ image during last

year’s election campaign. But when V.

P. Singh won, the

swami left the country. Since then, the guru has been living in New York City. Periodically, he visits Toronto to confer with his disciple Walter Ernest (Ernie) Miller, also named by a CIA memo as one of Khashoggi’s financiers in the covert arms sales to Iran. In fact, the swami, who may now play a key role in guiding the world’s most populous democracy, once listed his Canadian spiritual headquarters as Miller’s former Black Hawk Motor Inn in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto, then a favorite wateringhole for local motorcycle gangs, Like politics, religion makes for strange bedfellows.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON, LIKE GRANDSON

As the world prepares for the possible outbreak of war in the Middle East, Canadians may draw some comfort from the fact that the grandson of a man who claims to have shot down the Red Baron, the famed German First World War pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen, is helping to defend Western interests. The grandson, Donald Matthews, is a CF-18 fighter pilot stationed with the Canadian troops in the Persian Gulf. His father, Ernest Matthews Jr., says that his father, Ernest Matthews Sr., who died in 1982, always claimed that it was he, and not Canadian pilot Roy Brown, who ended the Baron's bloody career. Added Matthews Jr.: "He was a bit perturbed that he never got the credit." But Matthews's 90year-old mother, Elsie, just said bluntly, "These wars get on my nerves."

Power to the prince

Prince Charles is the first member of the Royal Family to become an active, paying member of a trade union. The

author of A Vision of Britain, a book decrying postwar architecture in England, recently paid £50 ($114) to join the 5,000-member Society of Authors. Said Mark Le Fan u, the society's general secretary: He may not have much need of our legal and professional services, but his decision obviously indicates his identification with the profession. ” And with some of the people.

On the political fringe

Bryan Gold, a 20-year-old commerce student at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, is the Rhinoceros party’s answer to Jean Chrétien in the Dec. 10 byelection in the Beausejour riding. Gold says that his platform is “two feet high, made of wood and has three legs.” He promises to push for a “Triple A Senate—arthritic, alcoholic and abolished.” As for unemployment, Gold says that, on the Trans-Canada Highway, he would “allow only east-west traffic for a week and then west-east traffic for a week, which would create jobs for people flipping road signs.” To cure the economy, Gold proposes abolishing Statistics Canada. “You can’t have a problem if you don’t have statistics,” he said. Regarding his chances against Chrétien, he declared: “The second time I met him, he had a twinge of fear in his eyes. There’s no chance I’m going to lose.” Not even a statistical possibility.