Salute to a local legend

On Oct. 30, CBC Manitoba meteorologist John Sauder announced that he will soon be retiring.

To call him a “local icon” would be an understatement. While he’s warned Winnipeggers about wicked weather for 16 years on CBC, his career in local broadcasting goes back much longer. Fellow ’90s kids may remember him as part of the local CKY-TV news team with Gord Leclerc and Sylvia Kuzyk.

Even before that, starting in 1984, Sauder was known to locals as “Captain John,” taking to the skies in a Cessna aircraft to provide traffic reports on a variety of radio stations, including KY-58.

“Captain John” isn’t his only alter ego. Locals may also have caught him donning spandex and feathered hair as “Johnny Thunda,” the drummer in ’80s cover band The Steamers.

Sauder has always brought his signature light touch and humour to his broadcasts, a gift that’s sorely been needed from the news these last few years. I always get a kick when his broadcast pops up in the background of some random thriller or horror film I’m watching, or when he says he eats his perogies the same way I do (boiled, with butter and onions). He’s provided a little warmth and light in these long, dark Winnipeg winters.

Aye aye, Captain John. Wishing you calm skies and tasty perogies during your retirement.

Published in Volume 78, Number 08 of The Uniter (November 2, 2023)

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