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October 21, 2017 12:24 pm

Voice of the North Falls Silent

Thursday, April 2, 2015 @ 7:10 AM

meisnerprogram2Winnipeg, Manitoba – Ben Meisner,  known as the  Voice of the North, has passed away following a short, and courageous battle with cancer.

He died in the Health Science Centre hospital in  Winnipeg in the early hours of April 2nd,  with his wife Elaine, son Reg and daughter Kim (Burns) at his side.

After falling  ill while  on an ice fishing trip in Manitoba, Ben was  adamant about coming home to Prince George.  Knowing there was no cure  for his condition, he directed his care team in Winnipeg, to  focus on doing whatever was necessary to ensure he could achieve that goal.   As it became clear to him that his condition was not  going to improve enough to allow  that move to happen, he made  notes on his  goodbyes, and insisted  the  people of Prince George and Northern B.C. be  thanked for everything  they had done for him over the more than  40 years  he lived in  the region and for the  thousands of  emails, texts, comments on 250News and facebook  which offered prayers and support during his illness.

He also wanted to thank those who had  worked so hard to try and  get him  back to Prince George  as quickly as possible.

Born in Maryfield Saskatchewan  on June 3rd 1938, he was the  youngest of four children born to William Meisner  and Anna Wolowska.  He would  move to Winnipeg in  the early ’50’s  where he worked as an office boy  at the United Grain Growers. He eventually began a career in broadcasting  at radio station CKDM in Dauphin Manitoba,   a start that would launch a  career that would span 60 years.

Over the years,  his career would see him  work in Winnipeg Manitoba, Toronto Ontario, Yorkton Saskatchewan,  manage a radio and television station in Red Deer and in Kamloops, before moving to Prince George, where he  hosted the  Meisner Program on CKPG for nearly a quarter of a century in addition to operating other businesses.

ben

(At right, Ben Meisner receives the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal from MP Dick Harris)

He  has written columns for the Prince George Citizen,  the Prince George Free Press, hosted a talk show on CFIS FM, and launched his own independent internet website, 250News.

Ben Meisner  was also a Senior Bencher with the Law Society of BC,   a recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals  and a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Radio, Television and Digital News Directors Association of  Canada.

Ben  is survived by his wife Elaine (Macdonald), son Reg (Cynthia), daughter Kim Burns (Tony)  grandson  Derek Meisner (Tanya), daughter Kelly Gair (Michael) and grandson  Will Royrock, brother Bill (Leona) of Hinton Alberta, brother Ron (Marge) and  sister Trudy Perkins both of Winnipeg Manitoba,  brother-in-law Gordon (Macdonald)  in Cape Breton and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been  finalized.

 

Comments

Rest in Peace Ben. My deepest sympathies to Ben’s family and friends.

Goodbye Ben
You were and will always be remembered as one of the great ones.

My condolences to the Meisner family

Prince George has lost a great spokesman.

Heart goes out to you Elaine and the rest of the family, its a sad day for Prince George and journalism. Ben was a trooper and a principled man to the end, he will be sorely missed.

My condolences to the family. He was a really nice man. F*ck cancer.

My sympathies as well. It feels like I’ve known Ben for most of my adult life though I never did have the pleasure of meeting him. Rest in peace, Ben, and thanks for all you’ve done for “the little guy”.

rip in peace

Truly a tragic story. My deepest condolences.
RIP Ben.

Deepest condolences to Bens family, friends and the crew at 250news. A sad day in the north. Goodbye Ben. You will be sorely missed Meisner Sir!

A true man of the people, he brought clarity to many issues.. he will be missed.

my heart goes out to his family and friends.

Truly a sad day. My condolences to Elaine and family, we have lost one of the greats.

A huge loss for our community. Our hearts are filled with sadness today. Rest in peace friend. We thank the family for sharing Ben with us for this many years. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

Good bye Mister Meisner. Thank you for all you’ve done.

Deepest condolences. RIP Ben.
You were a great Canadian!

Thank you Ben for giving the little guy a voice. Deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Black was Black and White was White…You called it the way you seen it. No BULLSHIT. This city will be poorer for your loss. Hope there are jet boats up there. Good fishin’ Ben….BILL

Thoughts and prayers being sent to Elaine and Family. Such a terrible loss.

My sympathies to the Meisner family and to all of Prince George – we’ve all someone special, who gave so much.

Prince George has lost a great man. My condolences to Elaine and family.

This is so sad, you will be surely missed by very many people, I was just talking to Ben on the phone maybe 3 weeks ago and you would not know he was in any way sick. I’m real big fan of his style and enthusiasm for the 250 vs the 640. It’s part of the reason I have been involved in some level of politics. The area of Prince George has lost a very strong voice and an advocate for the north. Not would he call people out but he never backed down. My condolences to Ben’s family and close friends.

Wow, not at all the news that I expected to see first thing this morning!

The City of Prince George has lost a man of principal, a man of conviction, a great man! But our loss pales in comparison to the loss that the Meisner family must now deal with. My condolences to Ben’s entire family at this most difficult time!

May he rest in peace!

So sad…My deepest condolences to family and loved ones..He will be remembered as one of the greats!!

Condolences to Elaine and the entire family & all of Ben’s colleagues.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when Ben lets loose with his next ONE MAN’S OPINION…given them hell Ben!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elaine and family. Ben’s impact was real and will be missed. God speed Ben and may he rest in peace.

Rest in peace Mr Meisner. You always called it as you saw it and never backed down. Condolences to the entire family.

My condolences to you and your family, Elaine. I am so sorry for your loss. Ben, may you rest in peace.

Sad loss for northern BC. Condolences to the family, friends and opinion250 coworkers.

Very sad, and very sudden.

Always a great and independent voice for the entire North. Proud to have known Ben and counted him a friend. Sincere condolences to Elaine and family. We shall not see his like again anytime soon.

So sorry to hear of Ben’s sudden passing….a great loss to Northern British Columbia.

Such a loss for our City. Happy fishing Ben, you will never be forgotten.

Ben always had the guts to ask the hard questions. The world would be a better place with more questioning like Ben.
Cheers To a great Canadian.

Too soon! What a loss for the Prince George community. Rest well, Ben. To the Meisner family, please know that like many others in PG, although I never met Ben, I could not have respected and liked him more. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

An icon has passed. I first “met” Ben watching him on Kamloop’s CFCR television station. I was struck first by the voice and then by his presence. Many years later I was gifted by being able to work with Ben and Elaine. I got to see glimpses of the man behind the voice, a very gracious and kind individual greatly in love with his wife, his dog and life in the north.It was a great privilege. Deepest sympathies to Elaine and family.

I was very saddened to hear that Ben was unable to return to his beloved Prince George prior to his death. I have been interviewed by Ben numbers of times over the years and I learned early on – go in prepared or be prepared to pay the price. He asked the questions that the public wanted asked and he kept asking the questions. He was a pit bull when he had a story that needed to be told. I also knew the Ben who phoned you at 7:00 in the morning when he knew you had been in an accident. Ben stories will be told for years. My deepest condolences to Elaine and their children. Prince George lost its biggest champion and may you rest in peace Ben.

I met Ben through several meetings where I was a speaker in the early 2000s and while he and I had some differing opinions I admired him for speaking his voice and reporting the story and generally reported the full story which I applaud him for he will leave a big hole in regional reporting

my condolences to the family, he was and always will be a well respected man

Didn’t always agree with Ben, but always respected him. My heart goes out to his family, what a shock this must have been.

I’m very saddened to hear of Ben’s passing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to and reading his opinions and writings over the years. He’s been a great inspiration & I’m going to miss him.my very sincerest condolences to his family. RIP Ben …. You”ll be missed.

RIP Mr.Meisner. Truly a great man. he will be missed.

Ben you brought us more than the news… You brought us a sense of community in your unique way that allowed for vigorous debate and diolog that allowed us to see our community from the perspective of the people in power down to relating the problems of the little guy. Our community was so much richer with your presence and will not likely find another like you any time again. I hope you are able to make one last stop here in PG on your journey ahead. Thanks for everything Ben ;)

And my sincere condolences to Elaine and family. My thoughts are with you in this terrible turn of events.

I was interviewed by Ben a few times several years ago. What struck me then was that, even where our opinions differed, he did not interrupt but allowed me to have my say. He was committed to free speech and democracy, and it is people like him who are the preservers of our democracy.

I am very sorry to hear the news.

Condolences to family and friends,Very sad to here about Mr Meisner,I`m a big supporter of the Canadian cancer Society and have lost more than a few of my friends who mind you survived long because of the society`s work.

Sincere condolences to Elaine and family.

Ben will be greatly missed by many.

I’d say rest in peace, but I suspect Ben is already up there hard at work letting them know “one man’s opinion” I am saddened like all of us, and sincerely give my condolences to his family and friends, but I have to step back, look at the man’s life and accomplishments, with a little envy – because Ben Meisner’s life was a life well lived.

God Bless

I always enjoyed speaking with Ben. Especially when he would call me Bud. I’m sure he called everyone that, but it always felt sincere. I will truely miss my Bud. RIP Ben.

rest in peace

Condolences to those that Ben leaves behind but let them take some comfort in the knowledge that his presence is woven deeply into the fabric of this community and though he will be deeply missed will not be forgotten.

My condolences to Ben’s family and friends..
we will all miss him.

Dear Elaine and family, my deepest condolences to you. Our region has lost one of its most insightful newsmen. More concerned with truth than politics, we are all richer for having had him here. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. RIP Ben.

Ben’s sage voice protected us all from local political corruption. Bless you Ben. We will miss you.

My condolences to the family.
As a younger man, I was sometimes a little intimidated by Mr. Meisner’s forthright style, he seemed to me like someone you definitely did not mess with.
As an older man, I found that I always thought of him with great respect, for his honesty, his knowledge, his passion for the Nechako River.

Godspeed, Mr. Meisner.

metalman.

Our family is deeply sorry for your loss, Ben was a friend of the family for more than 40 yrs. my dad Bernard and him spent many times fishing around the North, I know my dad is missing him terribly .
It was such a shock when we heard the news. He will be greatly missed.huge hugs and condolences go out to Elaine and the kids.
RIP Ben
The Hodgins family

What can I say that hasn’t been said except this comes as a shock? Still remember seeing you in Crazy Willy’s all the time. You will make it back to Prince George one last time, rest in peace good sir.

My sincerest condolences to the Meisner family. What a great loss for them and for our community as well. We had Ben to thank for so very much. It’s hard to believe that his sage voice will now be silent, although his legacy will last for ages. I’m so sad but, it helps to think that he is with Dancer and all his other doggy pals and of course friends and family who have also passed. RIP Ben you will be sorely missed, but always remembered.

So sorry to hear of his passing. He will never be forgotten. My sincerest condolences to Elaine, family and friends.

Sad news. Thank you Ben for all you did to keep both sides of any story known. Sincere condolences to his family and friends for their loss.

Ben was the soul of Prince George. He left really big shoes to fill.

We’ll miss you Ben.

Hugs for his family all around.

My heart and prayers go out to Elaine, and Ben’s family in their time of loss. Ben will be greatly missed in Prince George and area. His one man’s opinion would have so many locals talking about recent events. Ben was able to cover stories in a way that made you think, sometimes made you mad, but always made you appreciate him. As a listener to his shows, and a reader of his articles, I will miss him and his perspective on events that affected all of us. Rest in peace Ben.

A toast to Ben, a man who pursued his passions one day at a time every day. His loss is felt by many while his legacy will live on as an example of true Northern spirit and a unique commitment to community. Condolences to family and close friends.

Ben Meisner was one of those individuals that made such an impact on people that it made it seem like he would lie forever. I remember going to Crazy Willys and meeting him there to ask him to help investigate an injustice that had happened to a friend of mine. He was kind, sincere and thoughtful in his assessment of the situation, an was an immense help. In all my dealings with Ben and discussions with him he was always a man of integrity. At the end of the day all you take with you is what you leave behind. He left his community and his family with a tremendous legacy. Rest peacefully Ben. Love and prayers to his family

You will be greatly missed Ben. You were truly “the Voice of the North” as this article’s tittle suggests and you were always the one who could get answers for people when nobody else could. You have earned an immeasurable amount of respect from people in all walks of life in Prince George and beyond, and nobody will ever replace you. May you rest in peace. Also, my thoughts, prayers and condolences to Elaine and family.

CW

Our deepest sympathies to the family for their enormous loss, Ben was truly a giant and he touched so many people in such positive ways. The best way I know to pay tribute to him is to keep pursuing the ideals he so often spoke of with such passion, his love of the north and of the people who live here.

He will be sorely missed, may you rest in peace sir.

Sad news, condolences to his family and friends and to all who looked forward to what Ben had to say about what was near to their hearts. RIP to a man who stood by his convictions but also knew how to listen to others and perhaps learn from them too.

Ben used to always say that “reality dictates”. Well, I think the reality right now is that there are allot of people in Northern BC remembering their interactions with Ben and what he did for region.

I can’t help but think that he’ll soon be looking down at the Nechako as it winds it way along the cutbanks and into the Fraser. Ben, you did PG well and you should be proud. May your spirit continue to live on in the city that you loved so much.

Heartfelt condolences to family and friends.
Each of us is better for having had Ben Meisner in the world.
Rest in peace, sir.

John Grogan
Robson Valley East
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My sincere condolences to you Elaine and your family. My prayers are certainly with you.
Ben was always there for us at IRL Supplies Ltd.
With Love and Hope
Retired Owner of IRL Supplies Ltd.
Tony Romeyn

My sincere condolences to Elaine and the rest of Ben’s family. Ben was a one-of-a-kind character and hard-nosed journalist of the old school. I’m sure I’ll be one of many journalists in Prince George raising a toast to Ben tonight, now that he has met his final deadline.

Arthur Williams
Prince George Citizen

To Elaine and all the rest of his family, our sincere condolences.
Ben will be sorely missed in this town. A very well spoken man. I really missed Jack Webster when he passed and then I found out about Ben.
Truly great men. May you rest in peace Ben.

Very sad news indeed, our condolences to Elaine and family. I had the pleasure of meeting Ben a few times while walking his dog at Winther Park. A great gentleman and great loss to Prince George. RIP Ben you will be missed!

Very sad, indeed. We have lost a very staunch supporter of our part of the world.

Sincerest condolences to Elaine, Ben’s children, spouses, extended family and Opinion 250 staff. It was too soon.. How does one begin to define Ben? The most unique, dynamic, respectful Man you will ever meet. Ben always had time for everyone as we can see, everyone has their own stories and felt privileged to know him. Tough as they come, but as fair as they come. We have lost a true leader, gentleman and voice of reason. Deeply saddened today, but feel as privileged as anyone to have known Ben. With much respect and sadness, Ben you will be missed.

So sorry to hear of Ben’s sudden passing. My deepest condolences to Elaine and family. You will be sadly missed Ben. You were the voice for the little people in the North.

Sorry to hear you’re gone Ben!

My deepest condolences to Elaine and all of Bens family. I had the pleasure of giving Ben and Elaine a ride to the airport one CHRISTMAS. Two very interestesting people, the conversation was awesome.

I’ve needed Bens help on occasion over the years, he was always there, willing to help.

R.I.P. Ben, we will see you on the other side

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