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Life of Henry Bose Aired on CBC

August 27, 2016
Henry Bose at 80 and his peculiarly fascinating diary

Henry Bose peruses diary – an aid to memory for CBC drama of his life.

In 1948 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced a dramatisation of the “Life of Henry Bose,” the pioneer farmer of Surrey Centre, featured on the network’s “Summer Fallow” program.

Bose, who as a young Englishman adopted the motto “Spe labore fide” — “through hope and work and faith” — was presented as a man whose personal success in farming was matched by his years of community service.

“The Life of Henry Bose” aired Monday June 7, 1948 at 7:30 pm.

It’s likely the show was listened to on the porch. Temperatures in the Valley over the weekend had reached 90 F.

As the rural drama played out, the Fraser River, the mighty stream that long ago had laid down the fertile soil so favored by the pioneers, had burst its banks and was threatening to take it all away again. Cows rushed past Brownsville in a torrent of water and milk cans were washing up on the beach at White Rock.

“The Life of Henry Bose” was produced at CBR Vancouver — the CBC station then at 1130 on the AM dial — by Peter McDonald, with a script by David Savage.

Playing Henry Bose was Murray Westgate, who, in later years, became well-known to Canadians coast to coast, as the “ESSO” man seen on Hockey Night in Canada.

Other local actors appearing included Bill Buckingham, John Emerson, Juan Root, Alan Roughton, Eric Vale, Frank Vyvyan and EV Young.

Writer Savage, producer McDonald and some of the actors were already familiar to British Columbians from the CBC’s long-running noon-hour series, The Carsons – a drama of the day-to-day life of a farm family in the Fraser Valley.

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