THE ADVOCATE 429
VOL. 77 PART 3 MAY 2019
nized in 1993 as the Broadcast Performer of the Year by the BC Association
Throughout his career Rafe was a devoted and outspoken environmentalist.
He spoke against fish farms and megaprojects that he believed would
harm wild salmon stocks.
During his life, and publicly, Rafe spoke about the fact that he faced clinical
depression and wrote frankly about it in his book Rafe: A Memoir (Harbour,
2004). For his work in advancing the understanding of mental health
issues, Rafe, together with Pamela Wallin, was given a national award by the
Canadian Mental Health Association. In 2003 Rafe received the Bruce
Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jack Webster Awards dinner.
In 2003 Rafe’s radio show was cancelled by CKNW. He was subsequently
hired at an “oldies” radio station to start a morning talk show, which ran
He became a regular commentary guest on a prime-time current affairs
TV program, The Standard, and he contributed a regular column to The Tyee
for many years.
Rafe’s outspoken comments became the subject of a lawsuit that went to
the Supreme Court of Canada. That case revised the law of defamation by
modifying the honest belief aspect of the fair comment defence. The court
decided that the traditional elements of the tort of defamation required
modification to provide broader accommodation for the value of freedom of
Rafe was a man of significant ego, which was justified by his many talents
and interests. The Tyee wrote: “His self-regard was not insubstantial, as
his online biography cites his expertise on jazz, the law, baseball trivia, constitutional
affairs and Winston Churchill.”1 He was a scratch golfer whose
emotional reaction to the game was also legendary. Apparently he once
threw his golf clubs in a lake in front of the clubhouse, only later to realize
he had left his keys in the bag. When he retrieved them from the pro shop
and was told they knew he could not quit the game for more than 24 hours,
he promptly threw his clubs in the lake again.
Rafe was married three times, first to Evelyn MacInnes, the mother of
their four children. Tragically, they lost their daughter Shawn in a motor
vehicle accident when she was 17 years old. He then married Patti Ballard
(née Patricia McMicking), who produced his radio program for many years.
He then married Wendy Conway-Mair and they made their home in Lions
Bay, where they lived for 17 years. During that period, they spent time
cruising to many places around the world and took regular trips each year
to his beloved London, England. They also visited New Zealand, his father’s