1951 — 2007


November 29, 2007

Thank You

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all so very much for your thoughts and kind words. It is overwhelming.

It is hard to believe it has been a month since Danny’s passing. This has been a painful and difficult time for me and Danny’s sisters, but your support and encouragement has helped. The stories told and the times shared will keep Danny alive in our hearts.

Again, thank you so much for writing, for sharing and for remembering.

Hortense Hodge-Zeidler

February 4, 2008

We would like to thank all those who have shared their memories about Danny with us as we have found them all to be heartwarming and of great comfort throughout this trying time.

For those of you who were able to travel to Winnipeg to honor and bid a final farewell to Danny, we offer a special debt of gratitude as we understand the expense of travelling and that it is not always easy to leave your families on such short notice.

Danny would have loved the party; to be surrounded by so much love probably would have surprised him, as he was very humble. We have yet to be able to come to terms with the fact that our brother is no longer with us. 
We would especially like to thank Danny Oldfield and Bruce Meachum for taking such good care of us all, and especially Hortense. Bruce and Danny O. were her special protectors. We would also like to extend our thanks to our Vancouver angels, Joe Stott and Shane Lunny, for bringing so many of Danny’s friends together in Vancouver for a special day in his honour.
Every day we smile, shed a tear and think of how very special he was and how much we miss him.
Our sincerest thanks to all.

Sue and Hedy

Le 29 novembre 2007


Je désire saisir cette occasion pour vous remercier tous et toutes du fond du cœur, pour toutes vos pensées et vos expressions de sympathie. Ce fut incroyable.

Il est difficile de croire que déjà un mois s’est écoulé depuis la disparition de Danny. Ce fut pour moi et pour les sœurs de Danny une période très difficile, mais vos appuis et vos encouragements m’ont beaucoup aidé. Les récits que nous avons entendus et les moments partagés avec Danny resteront à jamais gravés dans nos cœurs.

Encore une fois, merci beaucoup de vos écrits, de votre partage et de vos souvenirs.

Hortense Hodge-Zeidler

Le 04 fevrier 2008

Nous désirons remercier tous ceux et toutes celles qui ont partagé avec nous leurs souvenirs su sujet de Danny; nous les avons tous trouvés chaleureux et réconfortants pendant cette période difficile.

Envers toutes les personnes qui ont été en mesure d’aller à Winnipeg pour rendre hommage et dire au revoir à Danny, nous avons une dette de gratitude spéciale, car nous réalisons l’importance du coût des déplacements et le sacrifice de quitter sa famille à si brève échéance.

Danny aurait adoré la fête; être entouré de tellement d’amour l’aurait probablement surpris, car il était très humble. Il nous reste encore à réaliser que notre frère n’est plus parmi nous.  
Nous désirons spécialement remercier Danny Oldfied et Bruce Meachum d’avoir si bien pris soin de nous, et spécialement de Hortense. Bruce et Danny O. ont été ses protecteurs spéciaux. Nous désirons également remercier nos anges de Vancouver, Joe Stott et Shane Lunny, d’avoir emmené avec eux un si grand nombre d’amis de Danny à l’occasion de cette journée en son honneur.
Chaque jour nous sourions et laissons perler une larme en songeant à quel point il était spécial.
Nos plus sincères remerciements à tout et à toutes.

Sue et Hedy




Between the two times in my life (the Fifties and now) when the word "cool" meant something, there was Danny. He is cool forever. The first time I met him was in November of 1973. The famous Doug Ward and a bunch of about 20 people, a mixture of locals and CBC news trained people were establishing the first CBC outlet between Toronto and Winnipeg. It was a heady time in Thunder Bay and the rest of Northwestern Ontario. The audience was ready. They loved us and what we were about to do. Anything was possible.
Danny was one of those already trained in Toronto. And when he first bounded up the stairs of the wonderful old house that was home to CBQ, for some reason it was me who opened the door. He was spidery in his height and build, wearing a black suit, not the black suit you'd wear for the first day at a new job, but a suit that I remember as corduroy and that our colleague of the time, Margie Taylor, remembers as velvet. Knowing Danny, she's right.
His shoulder-length hair was bouncing. He was wearing John Lennon glasses. And I think, but can't be sure, that he had an umbrella. Oh, and he definitely had a Fu Manchu moustache. Right away we knew our team was enriched — if only in flamboyance which we prized.
The first year he was in Thunder Bay he made a news story out of a number of us who gathered at my tiny apartment to watch the Oscars. "Somewhere upstairs in a darkened room, a specially trained group of people gathered, their eyes glittering with a bluish reflection ... etc. etc." He no doubt wrote better copy than that, but you get the drift. I was gobsmacked that someone would take the sanctity of CBC so lightly. He didn't, but he could.
He was a good friend. I grew to know his sister Hedy and, his hero and mentor, her husband Jack Kusch. I was welcome in their home.
It's been years since I saw him. The last time for dinner at Le Select Bistro in Toronto when he had an absolutely fabulous piece of gossip about somebody in the old CBQ crowd which he couldn't wait to tell me. Since then and despite the distance between us it was good to know Danny was in the world.
The news of his passing is still — 24 hours since I heard it — incomprehensible. To me, he'll always be that dapper young guy on the doorstep.

A union rep — it takes one to know one and to understand, honour and respect one. Dan Zeidler was one of those rare breeds that make "being your brother's keeper" a calling.
I met Dan in Vancouver many years ago when I was working as an ITU representative. It was Chuck Dale who introduced us. I told Chuck that any friend of his was a friend of mine.
Dan Zeidler was a straight shooter, always willing to lend a hand. He was a wordsmith. That was his strong suit. He also was a great observer and listener. All those traits made him an asset as a union representative.
Dan: You left us too early, you will be missed. May the Power of the Universe take full advantage of your arrival. May you be at Peace; and may all those who love and miss you on this planet be assured by the knowledge that you did your job well.

Having Dan as a friend and partner in union affairs will be greatly missed.
Any time I had a problem, whether it was union-related or otherwise, he was always there to listen and offer sound advice.
Dan could light a room with his smile. He always took time for everyone. When he spoke to you he made you feel special. He was a great listener and a true friend, someone I looked up to.
The union movement has lost a great person. I have lost a good friend. He will never be forgotten.
I first met Dan Zeidler in the fall of 1990. We were in the final stages of negotiating our first collective agreement with the Comox District Free Press. We became friends from that point on. All of us at the Free Press enjoyed having Danny around, always quick with a joke and a laugh.
He was assigned to help us again when things went sour the very next round of negotiations. While on strike we employed the "dirty tricks squad." We would plan ways of disrupting the employer's operations over a drink or two. I will never forget the things we did together and the fun we had doing it.
After the strike I became his colleague, a staffer just like him for TNG Canada and enjoyed a different perspective and appreciation by working with him. We organized and negotiated together while at the same time ensuring the seriousness of events didn't overshadow the fact that we enjoyed each other's company and just had plain fun.
"Let's get the job done but have fun doing it." I liked that in Danny. You are missed by so many.
Dan was the anchor that kept our small local together during our organizing drive, certification and first contract negotiations at the Regina Leader-Post.
He provided humour during those tense times at the Labour Relations Board, common sense at the bargaining table and he saw the humanity in everyone. At times when we were prepared to lynch one of our colleagues who was mounting a decertification drive, Dan always saw both sides of the issue and would be able to put everything into perspective.
On those days when I fielded calls from colleagues in tears and was at my wit's end, Dan would provide sage advice that would get me through the day.
He was truly a friend and a champion of the little guy or gal and will be missed.
My deepest condolences to Hortense, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a Guild social event at the spring representative meeting in Vancouver some years ago.
Dan we miss you.
You were a gentle guy who cared deeply about what you did and the people you served.
You were a good friend, who knew what loyalty meant.
You were quick to laugh at any bad cards life dealt your way.
There was much you didn't get a chance to do and we who knew and cared about you regret that.
But knowing you, you would have shrugged and said, "Oh well, what the heck."
If only we could do the same.
Danny, a treasure forever.
I first met Dan when the Guild was undertaking an organizing drive at the Regina Leader-Post and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix in 1997.  I had the privilege of representing the Guild before the Labour Board and the Courts. As I am sure Anne Kyle and other members of the central committee will attest to, the trials and tribulations endured by the Local were many-fold.  From the outside looking in, it was readily apparent Dan was both the anchor and the rudder to what was a small ship in rough seas.   
During that period and after, I had the pleasure of enjoying Dan's friendship, sometimes involving a drink or two, but I am sure never too many.  I also had the pleasure of meeting Hortense, to whom I can only extend my deepest condolences.  
Not only the trade union movement but also all who were touched by Dan's spirit have suffered a great loss with his passing.  Seldom is this globe graced by such a kind, witty, insightful and dedicated soul.   
He will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.  
Dear Hortense and Family,
I was deeply saddened to learn of Danny's untimely passing. My last assignment as an International Representative with the Guild was working with Danny in Toronto. I'll always remember him as  a strong advocate of democracy in the workplace and a committed champion of Guild members' rights. One of my roles on the Guild staff was as president of the staff union. I could always count on Danny for strong support within our union. 
One could say Dan had it all: a beautiful wife, tall good looks, and a great personality. Our resident musical troubadour, he travelled with his guitar and possessed a pleasant folk singer's voice. We whiled away many off-hours with mini song fests. I know that he, charmer that he was, will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. 
There are very few words to describe my feelings about the passing of a Great Person like Dan. I have known him both on the job and as a friend.
To his family: Time will help to heal these troubled times.
I will never forget his endless wisdom, his sharp mind and his commitment to his fellow human beings.
I was deeply saddened when I learned of Dan's passing. What struck me most about him was though we are a very small local, that didn't matter to Dan.
His leadership and guidance, wit and commitment to our cause never wavered. In our local's struggle for survival and then negotiating our first contract after the company came out of creditor protection, Dan was there leading us, willing to listen to my concerns for my sisters and brothers and give me encouragement to push on. His thoughful wisdom influenced larger locals in our shop to protect all our part-time and casual members from employer rollbacks. It is this kind of compassion that I will remember. Thanks Dan, for sticking up for the little guy.
I began work at the Canadian Wire Service Guild (now CMG) in 1991. My first memory there includes "Binky." Between Bif (Dan Oldfield) and Binky, I was convinced to stay and work as the office manager. Together with Jerry MacDonald, the four of us became a family. I will never forget Dan's kindness, support, incredible sense of humour and of course our fun lunches and many renditions of "Roberta, Roberta, what have you done?" My heart goes out to his family and Hortense. Dan touched many lives with his kindness and incredible spirit. One of the truly good guys of this world is gone.
Be at peace my friend.
Like we have so often done year after year,
I raise a glass of wine and smile a cheer
And rejoice in all the wonderful memories.
You shall always be remembered my friend.
The untimely death of Dan Zeidler is a blow for all of us who had the privilege to work with him over the years on a multitude of union assignments. In Detroit, Dan was one of several TNG representatives assigned to our strike at the Detroit News and Free Press. He was beloved by our strikers for his tenacity, dedication and gentle spirit. We viewed him as one of us. I shall miss him greatly.
I met Danny 27 years ago, when I walked into the CBC Vancouver radio newsroom. His warm welcome that day turned into a lasting friendship.
He was a gentle soul who loved to, in his words, "spin a good yarn." He never looked down on people and always fought for fairness.
He loved life, and savoured the moment whether travelling with his beautiful Hortense, working in the garden or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
His Vancouver colleagues and buddies will always remember him. We were lucky to know him!
Dan was a true gentleman who spoke softly, rarely displayed anger, and was an excellent listener.  He didn’t believe in “lip service.”  When he asked you how your family was doing, or did you enjoy your vacation, he actually listened to your answers and when he said it was great to see you, he actually meant it. There was nothing artificial about this gentleman. If there was a choice between confrontation and conciliation, we all know the difficult, but respected choice Dan would make. 
He was also so proud of Hortense. When he was in Victoria for a lengthy period, we shared many special times, and a day never passed without Dan mentioning Hortense.
Dan enjoyed his red wine, a good meal and reminiscing about his many trips to Europe, but making new friends on a daily basis, I think was probably his main goal in life.  Dan was that one fellow who you might have met for only five minutes and never saw him again, and you’d say to yourself “Wow, why aren’t there more people like him?”  Dan didn’t choose his friends by their job title or their wealth, and he never put himself above anyone else, that is until today, he is above us all, whether he likes it or not! 
As the song says: “Only the good die young.”  Dan, you were so good and you were too young to leave us.
Dan was a rare man liked and appreciated by everyone for his good grace, great sense of humour and common sense on the job.
We met many times, and, in particular, I loved our times in Winnepeg after Dan moved there and married Hortense. She is an amazing woman and was the love of Dan's life. It showed. Many a restaurant closed around us after an evening of laughter and great joy.
And no one was better at making the decisions which have to be made during a case and then not worrying about it.
He was straight, sardonic, lovable, joking and serious, all at once. And through the tough and growing times for the union, Dan was the guy who made it seem easy.
We will miss him. A hug for Hortense.
Dan was not just a friend to Canadian journalists and unionists, he was a friend to journalists the world over. He was a great supporter of the need for global co-operation and was a strong advocate of internationalism in the labour movement. I was pleased to meet with him again at the recent TNG-CWA conference in Toronto and I have great memories of his commitment to our activities over the years. He brought a genuine sense of union solidarity, loyalty and, above all, humanity to our work. On behalf of the International Federation of Journalists and its members all around the world, I want to register our sympathy and feelings of loss at his passing.
I am saddened to hear of Dan’s early departure from our lives.
He has left an indelible mark on my life; I will always have fond memories of his laugh, his wit, and of course, his crooked smile. As others have said, Dan was always generous with his time and experience, and for that I am grateful. Over the years I saw Dan organize a strike newspaper in Courtenay BC; co-ordinate an organizing drive in Saskatchewan; and walk a picket line during the strike in Victoria at the Times-Colonist (as well as helping resolve the dispute). His unwavering support and dedication was something I valued. He will be missed.
My deepest sympathy to his family and co-workers.
Danny and I became friends through Dan Oldfield, when Dan was President of the Canadian Wire Service Guild and I was the National Secretary. Those two guys made volunteer work with the union an absolute delight. Spending time away from my young family was easier when the trip included spending quality time with "the two Dans." They worked hard and contributed immensely, and when the work day was over, they became the social directors, leading us in humour and song, strengthening our friendships and our commitment to "The Guild." 
Many of us got involved or stayed involved with the Guild because of Dan. Dan Zeidler knew when to jump into something and when to back away. He knew who needed cheering up and who was in need of a boost to their self-confidence.
He also knew when someone may have said some things that shouldn't have been said the way they were, and he knew how to make things right again without ruffling feathers.
I'll never forget his smile, his friendship, his laugh — and the way his eyes would light up when he was talking about Hortense. Dan was a good guy to share a drink with and a good man to have around both in good and troubled times. He was one of those rare individuals whom you may not have seen for a year or two but you would pick up a conversation and be laughing at each other's stories as though you had been together just the day before. We're all the lesser off with his untimely passing.
I worked with Dan in the CBC Edmonton newsroom in the '70s. He was open and friendly, smart and hardworking with a killer smile and a funny, funny sense of the ridiculous.
Given the sad circumstances I can now tell a TRUE Zeidler story:
In Edmonton we had an "open newsroom" type set. Anchor in the foreground ... hardworking reporter types in the background.
One day René Lévesque came calling, so we decided to do a live debrief on the set. About 4 p.m. Dan slipped away to a costume store and bought a Pierre Trudeau rubber mask. While the anchor and René did their thing, Zeidler/Trudeau sat in clear view just over René's shoulder, typing away like a madman.
To add further hilarity to the moment, the studio director Jerry Olsen jumped on the talkback and said: "Who's that guy back there? He looks familiar."
I'll miss you Danny. You were a good journalist and a better man.
I first met Dan Zeidler in 1970 when I joined CBC National Radio News. At the time, he was what they called a copy clerk, whose main job was to rip copy off the teleprinters and distribute it to the editors. Within a short while he had joined the radio staff as an editor/reporter and was one of the group which opened the CBC radio outlet in Thunder Bay. From there it was on to Edmonton and finally, Vancouver.
Dan was always a union man and, as the years rolled by, he became more active, as I did. We both served on the executive of the Guild local at the CBC in a variety of capacities, including on a couple of bargaining committees. Even though he lived in Vancouver, I saw him often as he had to come to Toronto for meetings. He was serious about the things we had to do for our colleagues, but when play time came around he played as hard as the rest of us did. It was always a pleasure to be in the company of this calm and level-headed person who had the gift of a positive outlook on life. I shall miss his generosity, hearty laugh, patience and outgoing, friendly disposition.
Some years back, while concluding some union business in Toronto, I mentioned that I was thinking of going to Vancouver for a holiday that summer. He solicited the dates I had planned to go and, when he discovered that he would be away for that time, offered his apartment for me and my wife (who is also named Hortense). That made the vacation so much better than it otherwise would have been.
Dan was very proud of his Czech heritage, and would seek out restaurants where he could find that style of cuisine. I recall a Caribbean restaurant close to the old CBC building in Toronto which became one of Dan's favourite spots because, as he claimed, the ox tail stew tasted just like home cooking!
Farewell Dan — as they say in Yiddish, you were a real Mensch.
I am so sad. I was his co-worker in Communications at CBC Radio when he was in News. To Hortense, my deepest sympathy.
How I remember the many smoky early evenings and often later nights at the Media Club when it was packed with refugees from news and the music department and fledgling web warriors. Oh the laughs and razor sharp commentary from you, Dan. And your sweet soft affinity for banishing melancholy with good conversation. Thank you so much for all of that.
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Dan’s sudden death. I worked with Dan for several years while he was a reporter for CBC news in Vancouver and I don’t think I have ever known a more dedicated reporter. He was always determined to dig inside a story to come up with a new perspective and he enthusiastically pursued the unusual or untold story. But Dan was also a dear friend to everyone in the Vancouver newsroom. His lively sense of humour and engaging personality always made him a joy to be with. I will always fondly remember him as one of my closest friends.
Danny could make you laugh and bring tears to your eyes in the same conversation. He was gentle, thoughtful, artistic and genuine. And he was funny, very funny. Those who knew him can't think about him without smiling, even during this past week as the suddenness and emptiness of his untimely death still hung in the air. Danny was a great union rep. because he was a great person. The Guild will miss him — I miss him. But his kind spirit and zest for life will continue to inspire all of us to imitate his nature. We all smile more because we had the privilege of knowing Danny Zeidler.