Peter Ladner’s 40 year grudge – and the truth behind it

15 Nov

Rod Mickleburgh at The Globe digs into the details of Peter Ladner’s history at the UBC student newspaper and discovers some interesting tidbits.

Man, Peter Ladner sure holds a grudge. In this case for nearly 40 years. His bitterness at being passed over for editorship of the Ubyssey student newspaper in 1969 spilled out in this week’s fascinating Vancouver Courier portrait of the young and restless years of both Mr. Ladner and his mayoral rival Mr. Robertson. According to Mr. Ladner, his loss was the dastardly work of then Ubyssey editor Paul Knox, who autocratically chose Michael Finlay as the student rag’s next leader over young Pete, who wanted a democratic vote.

“I just thought everybody loved me – that I was going to be the editor. I was a little shocked. Actually, I was more than shocked, I was shattered,” lamented Mr. Ladner to the Courier.

What a sad story. Except it’s not all true. Your humble Sixties relic here has done some research down the foggy ruins of time. Not only was Mr. Knox not the editor of the Ubyssey (it was Al Birnie), there actually was a staff vote to choose the editor. The result could not have been closer. The vote was tied, leaving editor Birnie to cast the deciding vote. It was not in favour of the man from the NPA. Having lost that long-ago contest, maybe Mr. Ladner has rearranged the facts more to his liking, as he awaits tomorrow’s much more significant result.

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