PIERRE BERTON ADMITTED HE NEGLECTED science classes at Victoria College in order to live and breathe the Microscope, the bulletin-board newspaper created by classmates Harold Parrott and Ivan Mouat.
Starting in 1938, he wrote a “Craigdarroch Comment” column and drew editorial cartoons like the one on this page, which appeared in March, 1939.
The “tallest red-headed man” at the college, as the student annual recorded, loved a good schoolyard argument. It was during one of those heated discussions that he announced he was going to be a journalist. His mother wanted him to be a research chemist and she warned that he would live his whole life in “frayed shirts and worn trousers.”
But Berton had made his decision and he would become one of the country’s best-known journalists, broadcasters, and authors, producing compelling and popular accounts of Canadian history among the 50 books he wrote. He died on Nov. 30, 2004 at the age of 84.