Jim Taylor Accepts 2010 Bruce Hutchinson Award

Posted by Howard on Nov 8, 2010 - 6 comments

The Bruce Hutchison Award has been given since 1991 to for lifetime achievement in the field of British Columbia journalism. This year's award was given to columnist, television commentator and author Jim Taylor. Whether Taylor is classified as a sportswriter or a humourist, both of which he exemplifies, it would be the first time either category has been recognized by a Hutchison Award jury. Taylor's acceptance speech follows:
"My thanks to the selection committee for this wonderful award. But just so we're clear:

You have given it to a journalist who, at age 20 and writing a pop music column for the Daily Colonist, trashed a new release and wrote that in a year no one would remember the singer's name. The recording was Heartbreak Hotel. The singer was Elvis Presley.

You have honored a man who, in 1976, filed a column from the BC Lions training camp stating that they'd have to find another field goal kicker because the new kid wasn't going to cut it. The new kid's name was Lui Passaglia, and sure enough - 25 years later he had to quit.

And, to complete the hat trick, you have presented the Hutch to a man who once penned the immortal words: "Pigs will fly before Russians play in the NHL."

I mention this dubious hat trick only to show you that the humility with which I accept this award is truly justified.

On my first ever newspaper assignment, a high school soccer match, I set a world record for brain-freeze. I was 17. My mother, knowing how much I wanted to write, had someone find the money to buy me a beat-up second or third-hand Underwood typewriter.

I swear this is true: I took my soccer game notes home, carefully measured the width of a newspaper column in the Colonist, set the typewriter margins to that width, and wrote my story. As I recall, there were a lot of hyphens.

If the sports editor had laughed, I would have run from the newsroom and never returned. He didn't, and things got better.

I'm concerned about the "lifetime" aspect, lest it mean I have to quit. I hope to have more words to write, and people to read them. If not, then I can't think of a better way to write a final -30- than with this award.

Thank you so very much."