AJAs 2016 Finalists


Date Aired or Published October 28 2016
Media outlet where first aired or published: The Daily Gleaner
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Fredericton
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Even though Limestone Siding, near Perth-Andover, is almost two hours upriver from Fredericton, when co-worker Mark Rickard told me about the McLaughlins, I felt it was a story well worth sharing. Here's the Cole's notes version of the story. Golfing was therapeutic for 90-year-old Arthur McLaughlin, who was grieving after losing his wife of 69 years, Phyllis. Phyllis had cancer 35 years ago, and the consequences of those treatments were long-reaching. Arthur was a caregiver for her for a long time. "The care and understanding that he gave her would be second to none," son Dale, 69, said. "When Dad lost her, he felt really lost," Dale said. "You don't know what to do with yourself when you no longer have that responsibility. I knew there was going to be an awful hole there..." Dale suggested an extended father-and-son golfing trip. Arthur was up for playing all 57 New Brunswick Golf Association courses, but they aimed to play a course in all 15 New Brunswick counties instead. They ended up playing 21 course from early May to mid-October, with other family members sometimes hitting the greens as well. "It was quite an experience, for sure," Arthur said. "You never stop grieving, but this was a great distraction." "He has the energy that would exhaust most 50-year-olds," Dale said. "He's an elder Energizer Bunny." That was evident when I asked Arthur what he was planning for his next adventure. "Skydiving," he said matter-of-factly. "I don't know if it's doable ... but I don't know that it's not." I did the interviews by phone on separate days. I had a lengthy conversation with Dale and a shorter one with his son, Blair, but had to wait until the next day to reach Arthur ... he was out pheasant hunting. I liked that the story turned out to have multiple layers -- the father-and-son bonding angle, the reason for their golf venture being the loss of Phyllis, other recent losses Arthur had experienced ... but, most of all, I loved his optimism. How many 20-year-olds, let alone 90-year-olds, would have skydiving on their bucket list? Well, Arthur McLaughlin does -- and readers applauded.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

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