Peter Calamai, the founder, along with Penny Park (who died last month) of the Science Media Centre of Canada, died yesterday morning at his home in Stratford. Peter was a journalist’s journalist: curmudgeonly, dogged, determined, demanding. He was an old-fashioned, ink-stained newshound. He began as a dashing young foreign correspondent for the old Southam News in Nairobi, Kenya (one of only 2 Canadians on the continent at that time). He returned to Ottawa to be the editorial page editor of the Ottawa Citizen, and then found his true calling: science correspondent for the Toronto Star. Peter always said he didn’t want to be in the science section: he wanted to be on page A1. He cared passionately about both science and journalism (which he taught at Carleton). But his secret passion was Sherlock Holmes. He wrote several scholarly articles for the Boot Makers of Toronto (the local Sherlockian society). Plus he was awarded both an honorary degree (from McMaster, his alma mater) and the Order of Canada for his work on literacy. It’s a cliche to say they don’t make them like that anymore, but in Peter’s case, it’s just the truth. So let’s raise a glass of single malt (his favourite drink), and say R.I.P.
Peter Calamai, 1943–2019
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