BOB TRIMMERProf. George Hardy: Author-Educationist
I^DMONTUN — the clas* * J sical era of GrcCcc It was not at all .strange to be a man of action mid still a poet, able to got long will) the women,*1 Professor George Hnrdy told a television audience recently.
The stocky heart of the University of Alberts classics, department made mis comment ill discussing three lamed writers of ancient Greece, Aeschylus, aophocles and Euripides.
These men were the first Lfl introduce tear-jerking, the sex motif and the psychological clash in their stories.’*
In some respects, the comment applies to Pror. Hardy himseir. The 08 * year - old Ontario - bom professor a keen stud cm, of ancient Greece and Home, a noted international hockey administrator and one of Canada’s most widely read authors.
* * *
His,, working* nay comprises university classes and lectures, research for fiilurc books* horns in helping young writers in the Edmonton area and more than a passing Interest hi sports.
A traveller, lie has toured many; regions for first - hand knowledge of the settings of a novel, and often he takes color-slides of the area he visits.
He used the latter to-advantage in a four-part television series about ancient. Greece, its people, wars and writers, as he combined the techniques of a teacher and story -.teller to bring the era to life.
To a suggestion it might, be time for him to Mow down, Prof. Hardy replied in an interview: “There are too many other things in life that are interesting and arc waiting lo be done.”
He wrote his first poems as a lad of 10. He was born of English parents Feb. 3. 1895, on a farm near Oakwoqd, Ont., just west of Lindsay. Four years later lie was something of a novelty a I an Ontario lumber camp where, hr wrote poetry and studied at night* after a full day's work.
Jr “it 'if
Besides his work and studies he was a better than averaye amateur athlete in his younger years, playing ba*eb*.U, scc-cer, rugger, basketball and hockey, in later years he was the guiding hand that lifted the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association from a financial de* ficit to a powerful voice for amateurs at home and abroad, But it was his prolific writings til at brought Hardy ■ to public attention. His first commercial venture came during a two-week period while his wife and diildren went east to aid his ailing moLher, and he remained in Edmonton teaching at the university.
During Llie nights he began ts turn out his first short stories, and his pen hasn’t stopped since. Since 1928 ht? has dune eight novels, four radio dramas and 250 radio talks, 100 short stories and magazine articles. His ninth novel is to be • published fall, and already be is thinking of future projects.
He also edited Alberta’s Golden Jubilee Anthology in 1955. “I've always been lucky with
my writing, he says. ‘Tm a fust writer. Generally my first draft Is okay!. My biggest problem is that Tin lazy—i have an awful time getting down to write. I have to put myself on a strict routine or 70 pages a week. It*s a matter of getting myself dovui on a. chair and stayfinr there until I'm finished :*
While he may have trouble yeUiuu untracked, oncc .^taitcd his speed is amazing. He started the draft copy of Iris sixth novel, The City of Libertines, June 24, ItfSG. By August 14 he was headed cast to sell it. He obtained $10,000, returned home and by March the book whs ready for the printers.
Hardy’s novels have sold more than 1,000,000 copies. Six of the eight also have come out in pocketbook form and many have been translated into other languages.
His. ltrst was Son of Ell, a, contemporary novel first published as a serial by Maclean’s Magazine in. 1928-2D. Three historical novels followed* Father Abraham in 1935, Turn Back the River in 1938 and All the Trumpets Sounded in 1942. Another contemporary work. The Unfulfilled, was published in 1932, rind was »llqwctl by the City of Libertines. From Sea Unto Sea in 1959 and the Greek and Roman World In 1962. alt historical stories On deck for the fall is Journey Into the Past.”
★ * ★
Hardy, who worked his way through the University of Toronto on scholarships, and won the Governor•GeueraVs Medal in classics and TJngflTsh, has wnn three major writing awards— the University of Alberta's national award In arts and letters; life fellow of ihe International Association of Arts and Letters: and president of the Canadian Authors' Association in 3950-52.
He also served as president of a number of other local associations, the Alberta and Canadian Amateur Hockey Associations and later me international Ice Hockey Federation. He is a‘ life member of both the A AHA and the CAHA.
Through his leadership the caha lengthened regional and naLional playoffs to best - o[-seven- from best-of-flve series aud ruled that, when bencficlal, all games in a series be played in one centre. The CAHA introduced a strict audit system of team expanses paid clubs in playoffs.
In two yea i s he had the association out of the red and with a bank balance of $fif)?00Q.
★ ★ ★
As CAHA president, Hardy entered into agreement with the National Hockey League for special payments, for all amateur players turned professional. The money was paid to the CAHA and distributed am^ngr clubs the player had served.
At the same time he rejected European Hockey Federation demands for certain rule changes and broke with the European group Lo form an alliance with the United States Amateur Association and the English ruling body.
Canadian players were pro
hibited from playing outside this framework and by 1948 the European group capitulated and agreed lo play by Canadian rules and accept, other than in Olympic Gaines, Canada's definition of an amateur player.
It was then the International Ice Hockey Federation was created and Hardy became Its first president.
The Edmonton educationist, whu speaks fluent French, snys his travels in Cauada indicate to him Frcnch-Canadians know more about their cullurc lhan any other Canadian region. “This is why French Canada is producing some of the best literature in Canada,”
He adds there was more
drama and color in settling the West than any other part. oi Canada and ihe key points,, were the march west of Ihe Northwest Mounted Police and the construction or Ihe CPR.'r
His emphasis on the West in From Sea Umo Sea. led one critic to say: There are too many heroes . * . mid too much domination by events of Ihe West. The result is a wild west script fatally euniprumtar.rt by an attempt to write history.
But it also was praised by Bruce Hutchison, editor and author, who declared that: Probably In no other Canadian book have these characters been portrayed so lively, human and intimale. Fiction could
noi he more exciting or improbable, Mr. Hardy has succeeded, where others have failed. In demonstrating lhat the creation of Canada Is not merely a prodigy of politics but a robust, brawling story of adventure/*
Hardy married LlewcUu May Sonley In 1910. and they had three children—He tan Elizabeth (Mrs. Geofrrey Dickinson of Vancuuvcr); CUoi*kg Rvsiii. now second secretary and consul at the C a n » il i a n embassy In Vienna, aud Margaret Ann (Mrs. William Simpson of Van-Mrs. Hnrdy died in oi v. stroke Dec. 15.
couver). hospital 1950.
The Year’s Last Walk With Summer
-— lr«nfr McCouflherly Photo
rpwO WEEKS ago I wrote * short review of John
first time and they all bear the stamp of a superb literary art*
to be influenced by prccious critics of this sort. So carry on;