Bernie Pascall has spent the past 15 years in the idyllic retirement setting of Parksville, away from the shouting and tumult of Canada’s great stadiums.
But the arenas still reverberate in his mind as the Islander was named in the media category to the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame last week with the Class of 2021 — headlined by former Montreal Alouettes coach Marv Levy — to be enshrined on Nov. 21 during Grey Cup weekend in Hamilton.
“It’s flattering and humbling,” said Pascall, whose broadcasting career ran from 1957 to 2000, including 30 years as sports director for BCTV.
“Especially since the CFL is such a vital component of sports in this country. It brings Canadians together and is steeped in tradition. The Grey Cup was a happening. I hope the league continues to be viable.”
Pascall said his favourite CFL venues were Empire Stadium in Vancouver and CNE Stadium in Toronto, now both gone.
“You had to nail your scripts down because of the weather,” he recalled. “There were no private suites to broadcast from in those days. And there weren’t the all-sports networks like TSN and Sportsnet. There was only CTV and CBC, and we shared the Grey Cup year to year.”
Pascall worked everything from the NHL to the Olympics and this is the broadcast legend’s fifth hall of fame, following his inductions into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, B.C. Football Hall of Fame, B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Pascall said there is not one that is more meaningful to him than the others.
“They are all important, and all mean something, in their own way,” he said.