OBITUARY

Robin George Piercey

March 24, 1937November 18, 2021

Robin George Piercey passed peacefully away at Berkley Care Centre on November 18th 2021. He was surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife Donna Elaine and their four sons: Mark Leslie, Robin Eldon (Grozdana), Glen Andrew (Natasa) and Samuel James. Robin was the proud grandfather of their eight grandchildren. He is also survived by his only brother, Douglas Leslie (Frances) of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Robin was born to Mae and Leslie Piercey on March 24th 1937. His happy childhood was spent in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It was filled with the joy of his large extended family and friends. Robin’s skills as a communicator emerged while he was still a teenager. He wrote a column in the Evening Telegram, covering local sports. He started his career in journalism in St. John’s in the CBC radio newsroom. Through his accomplishments in St. John’s, he was hired to open the local radio news service in Ottawa which had previously aired ‘rip and read copy’ from the TV newscast. At that time, radio operated out of the 7th floor of The Chateau Laurier Hotel. It was an exciting place to be because of its central location and proximity to Parliament Hill where working in the Press gallery Robin was living his dream. Ottawa was a fascinating place to be in the 1970’s. There was Trudeau mania, the Cross kidnapping, the war Measures Act, the FLQ crisis and Watergate, all dominating issues of the time. After eight years in the nation’s capital, Robin moved to Vancouver and headed up the newsroom on the west coast. The work was still invigorating, and living close to the sea again felt right. He spent four years on the west coast before being recruited by National News in Toronto to be Deputy News Editor. The management of the expanding and changing system, the hiring of staff and the integrity of the service were paramount in his interest and efforts. The years of criss-crossing Canada, having knowledge of both news makers and gatherers gave Robin a special ability as a manager. In 1986 Robin returned to the west coast as manager of the western provinces. During his 31 year career with CBC, which took him from coast to coast, Robin met and interviewed people from every walk of life. In 1990 Robin took a position at the British Columbia Institute of Technology to fill in for the Dean of Journalism who was on sabbatical. The Dean came back but Robin was asked to stay. He reached the pinnacle of his career teaching Broadcast Journalism at BCIT. He spent the next eleven years passing on the lessons he’d learned from work he had done, places he’d been, people he’d met and experience he’d garnered. He brought to his students his people skills, his integrity, his knowledge of the industry, his enthusiasm for communication, his insistence on perfection, his love of his trade and his pride in them. He felt joy in their success and reward in their achievements. Chief among Robin’s joys was his family. Suffice to say the love he gave was returned in multiples. Celebration of Life will be by invitation only. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of British Columbia.

Services

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Memories

Robin George Piercey

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Jeff MacDonald

November 25, 2021

My sincerest condolences to the Piercey family. I was just one of Robin's many students, but his impact on me was singular in its importance. I remain grateful to this day for having the very good luck of meeting and learning from this extraordinary man.

Robin was unforgettable for many, many reasons - chief among them his infectious joy of life, people and, yes, clear, concise writing. Which I'm pretty sure that last sentence wasn't. I don't remember him ever being in a bad mood, despite the constant crimes against the English language being committed on a daily basis. We arrived to his class each day to be greeted with that mischievous look and smile and we knew we were in for yet another entertaining class.

I carry the lessons I learned from Robin to this day. And yes, "understand Newfoundland. Jeff, it's just that simple." remains very much so. It makes me chuckle every time I use it or think of it.

I can't begin to imagine the vast amount of memories and laughs Robin has left you, but my hope is they carry you through the grief you feel right now.

Sincerely,

Jeff MacDonald

Bill Amos

November 24, 2021

Robin Piercey was legendary at the CBC for his terrific, finely-tuned managerial skills, always executed with a a warm, yet sometimes salty, human touch. Then at BCIT he became a giant to the Journalism faculty and students, a truly unforgettable leader. It was my privilege to teach with him for ten years as he helped mold hundreds of young men and women into the journalistic and communications leaders they are today. All of us who knew him will miss him dearly and always treasure his memory.

Trudy Handel

November 24, 2021

I'm so sorry to see that Robin has passed. We had a great time working with Robin at BCIT. He always had a good joke to tell and always saw the best side of things, although I don't think he enjoyed my Newfoundland accent - something about lacking authenticity. He will be missed.

Brian Antonson

November 24, 2021

Donna: Word about Robin's passing has been circulating amongst our BCIT family this afternoon. We're all so sad to see him gone. What a huge contribution he made to our team...over many years. He was highly respected by colleagues and students/grads and industry alike...and by me, personally. I had reached out via email a couple of times over the past year to see how he was doing, and he didn't get back to me, so I wondered if something sad was happening. A long life, well lived, well loved...Robin provided a standard for all of us to achieve.

Brian Antonson

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY