CBC Man Alive Host Roy Bonisteel dead at 83
August 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Former CBC television host and journalist Roy Bonisteel has died at the age of 83. Bonisteel hosted the current affairs program Man Alive from 1967 to 1989 and became a public speaker, writer and citizenship judge. You can read the Winnipeg Free Press news item here.
Man Alive was definitely my favourite T.V. program for several years! The show’s name was based on second century church leader Iraneus’ quotation: “The glory of God is in man [sic] fully alive.”
Roy Bonisteel was a most gracious, kind, and thought-provoking host. Over the years he interviewed a wide array of some of the most interesting saints and sinners. Too bad CBC could not find a successor to continue with the program on a permanent basis.
Roy’s book, although published in 1980, In Search of Man Alive is well worth reading. In it you can read Roy’s conversations with such people as: Malcolm Muggeridge, Elie Wiesel, the Berrigan brothers, Claude Ryan, Sondra Diamond, Gordon Sinclair and George Johnston, Barbara Ward, Robert McLure, Mother Teresa, Viktor Frankl, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Germaine Greer, and others.
My favourite chapter is “The Witness,” Roy’s conversation with Holocaust survivor and author, Elie Wiesel. Each chapter begins with a quote, here’s the opening one from Elie Wiesel: “Silence to me is the soul of the world. It is what cannot be said that is important.” (p. 49) Yet, ironically, Wiesel believes himself to be a witness, to speak of the unspeakable tragedy of the Holocaust. His closing words summarise it well: “I really see myself as a witness,” he told me. “I bear witness to the past through tales and story telling. I try to reach out, especially to the young and say ‘look what happened. Listen.’ It’s not that awful. It’s not to be sad about. It’s a privilege and a curse at the same time. To live today is to remember. So listen to my tales and spread them.” (pp. 55-56) True to Wiesel’s word in this conversation, I highly recommend his books, and encourage readers to visit his website here.
Thanks to the contributions of people like Roy Bonisteel, the church and the world is more liveable and sane. God grant Roy Bonisteel eternal peace.