With a heavy heart, I tell you that our friend and associate writer, Ed Murdoch, has passed away. For almost 14 years, Ed entertained us with stories about his life on the road.
Ed was well-educated and took great pleasure in using words in his articles that he knew I would have to look up. He also used to like calling the U.S.A. the Excited States of America, something I finally gave up on editing out.
Ed held his Class 1 for over 65 years and drove for 50 of those years until he had a massive heart attack in 2001. After spending a month in the hospital, he sold his truck, and for the next ten years, he worked as a safety and compliance officer for an international trucking company.
Most people who read his articles would think that was his whole life in a nutshell. He got his license at 16 and drove a truck for 50 years while raising a family. Then, health problems forced him into a desk job for the next ten years until he retired. It's pretty standard for a trucking career. That is enough for a man who made truck driving his career – right? Wrong! Ed squeezed more into his lifetime than two people could.
Ed taught music for three years at schools in Northern Ontario, and his choirs always won first place at competitions. He started playing piano when he was five and later played the trombone and trumpet. He wrote and published a book about trucking titled, "Driving Through My Memories." After he retired, he had a weekly radio program on a community radio station out of Salmon Arm, BC called Voice of the Shuswap. Then, for his 87th birthday, he went skydiving - in a wheelchair! If that was not enough, even more surprising, he was an accomplished Opera Singer.
Murdoch spent two years travelling with the Festival of Canada Music group, singing opera across Europe, including 17 days in Russia. During his tenure as a performer, he entertained thousands of people, including royalty and dignitaries from North America and Europe. He sang for Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Jean Chretien, and two American presidents, Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson.
But he always came back to trucking. When teaching school, he would drive on weekends and summer holidays. He said that more than once, he drove his rig to practice for a concert, then made a run, and was still back in time to perform.
You might think that this would be the end of his story but no. Ed lived in Enderby for 32 years but then just recently met his soul mate on line and moved to Airdrie Alberta to be with her.
Rest in Peace Ed, you will be missed.