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On Jan. 7, it was “30” for Jim Taylor: the end of the life story of a great author, newspaper columnist and broadcaster. 

Taylor died at home in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island after a lengthy illness. The 82-year-old was a friend and mentor to many. 

His legacy includes 7,500 columns for the Victoria Times-Colonist, Vancouver Sun, The Province and Sun Media and 16 books, including seven released since 2005 by Harbour Publishing.

Jim Taylor (Harbour Publishing)

Taylor didn’t think of himself as a sports writer, but a writer whose subjects happened to play sports. 

“Sports, you don’t know who’s going to win, you don’t know how much time is going to be left, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Taylor said in a 2010 interview with Fred Cawsey for the Jack Webster Awards. “In sports there is so much to laugh at.”

That, said collaborator and friend Greg Douglas, is what defined Taylor. 

“He expressed his wit through the electronic media, the print media,” Douglas told Podcast host Bob Mackin. “One in a thousand, one in a million, really, because he just had that gift where he didn’t take himself too seriously, he didn’t take the athletes that he covered too seriously, he just had a lot of fun doing what he did.”

Taylor was a childhood soccer coach to Adrian Dix, who grew up a rabid sports fan and became B.C.’s Minister of Health. To Dix, Taylor was as humble as he was funny. Taylor was as skilful a sports humorist as anyone in the business. 

“Jim’s columns always had a beginning and an end, not only were they funny, but they were well thought through,” Dix said. “I think a lot of modern sports writing is in point-form these days. Jim wrote mini-essays. They were great and readable and connected with people.” 

On this edition, hear more from Douglas and Dix, as well as Taylor’s 2010 acceptance speech at the Jack Webster Awards, which he described as the pinnacle of his career. 

Plus Pacific Northwest and Pacific Rim headlines and commentaries.

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