Peter Worthington (1927-2013)
Back in 1964 my mother-in-law and father-in-law where young reporters at the Sherbrooke Record. When they got married, their wedding was given a front page picture, with a small special interest style piece on the inside. Sharing the front page was an article on the American involvement in Viet Nam. It predicted, with uncanny accuracy, the American presence growing exponentially in the region, and the difficulty the Americans would have winning Viet Nam.
Peter Worthington understood the problem of Viet Nam right 3-4 years before those problems became obvious to the rest of the western world. I never underestimated Peter Worthington’s ability and prescience after that. It was Worthington who was the first person I read who said Bill Clinton could be impeached over his testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
Peter Worthington’s greatest claim to fame was standing in a basement parking lot in Dallas in November 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby feet from Worthington, the only reporter on the scene. If that was all he would be remembered for, it would be a life well lived. But Worthington fought in World War II and Korea, was charged by the Trudeau government under the official secrets act (charges later dropped), and, when stationed in Moscow in the heart of the cold war, he played hockey for the Canadian Embassy hockey team, wearing the number 007 and making himself a target of the opposition Russian players.
Remarkably, he never received an order of Canada, an oversight that can’t possibly be because of his conservative beliefs.
Worthington died last night, age 86, in hospital in Toronto.