Year Born: 1925
Year Died: 1973
Hancock, Ruth (1925-1973)
Ruth’s first job in Canada was stenographer to a bank manager. She had moved to Canada after graduating from a private school in England. From the bank she went to Chrysler as a salesperson, then to John Labatt Ltd. in London as an executive secretary, and into broadcasting in 1957 as a temp at newly licensed CKKW Kitchener. She hired office staff, organized an opening party for the station, and set up the books.
The temp job turned to fulltime, but she moved with her husband to Toronto in 1960 and there joined the Canadian Association of Broadcasters in 1961 as Toronto office manager – a position she retained until January 1973. While with CAB, she also served as executive secretary of the Broadcast Executives Society, the Central Canada Broadcasters’ Association, and the Station Representatives Association of Canada.
In 1973 she joined CTV as director of promotion and public relations. Three months later she was appointed executive assistant to the president. But in June, 1973, she was admitted to hospital with cancer and died on Dec. 12 that year.
Two months before she died, the CCBA named her broadcaster of the year for “diligence, competence and incredibly energetic enthusiasm; for her unusual perception and downright decisiveness along with a great combination of tough mindedness and unfailing good humour; for her genuine love and affection for people and her willingness to help others personally and professionally.”
A scholarship fund was established in her memory in 1974 by CTV, BES and the CAB. In addition, the CCBA created a Friend of the Industry award in her memory. It was presented annually between 1974 and 2000.
Gerry Acton, who succeeded Ruth as office manager of the CAB Toronto office, said: “She was a woman of boundless energy, great integrity and seemingly endless patience. Her interest in seeing young people have the opportunity to expand their talents in the industry she loved and served so well was an inspiration to all who came in contact with her….we affectionately referred to her as mother superior.”
Written by Jerry Fairbridge – April, 2002