Chilliwack Broadcaster Grant Ullyot Dies

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Chilliwack Broadcaster Grant Ullyot Dies

Postby radiofan » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:02 pm

Chilliwack Broadcaster Grant Ullyot Dies
Posted By: Don Lehn March 4, 2017

Chilliwack – He was one of a kind, a throw back to the early days of Chilliwack and Fraser Valley Radio. He was a staple of the Chilliwack Progress as well as the old 1270 CHWK AM.
Grant Ullyot passed away Friday after a brief illness. He was one week shy of his 82nd birthday.


Former Chilliwack MP John Les took to social media on Saturday to announce the passing of Grant Ullyot.
“Many of my Chilliwack friends will want to know that long-time CHWK 1270 news director Grant Ullyot passed away yesterday (Friday). If ever there was a news reporter who took an interest in everything going on in the community, it was Grant. He was tireless. If there was a story or event, Grant was there, microphone in hand. A real gentleman, kind, generous and caring. I will miss him. My condolences to his family.”

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz told FVN: “I am so sad to hear of Grant’s passing.  Grant will always be remembered as a true blue Chilliwack icon.  I have fond memories of his career years as a newscaster on CHWK radio and am grateful for the way that he worked tirelessly to promote agriculture in our community.  Grant would often visit me at my office and would not only reminisce, but offer opinion on the latest political topic  or wise words when it came to City issues.  He was a grand man and I will always hold a special place in my heart for him.  My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Nancy, and with his family.”

FVN’s News Director Don Lehn worked with Grant when in 1997, 1270 CHWK AM flipped to Radio Max.  “Grant, at the time, was a little miffed that his air time was greatly reduced, but over the years, if there was any animosity between he and I, it melted away. Grant was a little concerned that a City slicker like me, who came from Top 40/AOR was the new (at that time) Morning News Anchor for Radio Max. Gone were the farm reports which Grant took quite seriously. Then News Director Robert Linden gave me the heads up that Grant may be a little prickly at first, but he would warm up to me. I saw him a few years back, when the new School of Agriculture at UFV/Canada Education Park was unveiled. It seemed that all the old concerns simply disappeared. A Class Act. It was Anne Russell and Leslie Courchesne of UFV that brought us back together, which was the last time I saw him.”

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Re: Chilliwack Broadcaster Grant Ullyot Dies

Postby cart_machine » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:11 pm

Grant had the most remarkable sense of timing. The first morning newscast was 6 a.m. (we all-night guys read the news overnight). At 5:59 a.m., Grant would barrel up the back stairs at 50 Yale East, quickly make his way down the hallway, around the corner past the control room, around another corner into the newsroom, rip off whatever hadn't been cleared on the wire (the old clacking variety), and slide the glass door into the little booth just as Jake Unger, who was doing mornings, hit the news intro. Grant introed the cast, then had a commercial break to scan the wire copy and put together the cast.

This happened on more than one occasion. One morning, Jake had enough of it and he told me if Grant wasn't in the station by the time my last record ran out to simply go into the next song. But Grant somehow never missed a newscast, though that sounder sometimes played a little longer than it should have before Grant came on.

Grant was also responsible for Farm Fare at 4:50 a.m. and 5:50 a.m. Sometimes he recorded something, sometimes he left a small reel from Agriculture Canada to be played. One morning at 4:50, he didn't leave anything. Doug Kreut was filling in for me and dialed Grant's number on the air. The phone call woke up Grant. Doug explained to him it was time for Farm Fare ("brought to you by Friesen Equipment") and he was live on the air. Grant somehow ad-libbed a 2 1/2 minute farm report while half asleep. There were times Grant was in the station at 5:50 a.m. and we tried to throw him with a comedy intro (cow sound effects and so on). Grant was never fazed, though one time he laughed and said "I don't know where he gets these things" and carried on with his report. (Doug got away with it. I got called into Lanny Hagen's office when I did it).

As you can tell, this was an era when even smaller stations had a live all-night show. During my first few months doing the shift (1975), there was a flood in Greendale or some place out there that way. CHWK did 24-hour coverage. Radio serves the community, period. Grant was out there for most of it. In the middle of the early morning hours, he gave live reports via the VHF radio in the news cruiser, interviewing farmers and emergency personnel.

Amongst Grant's talents was play-by-play sports, and he was the voice of the Chilliwack Bruins 40-plus years ago. I think he even did Tier 2 playoffs when the Chilliwack Jets were in it. He covered other sports as well; it seems to me curling was among them.

CHWK had a good newsroom then. Grant, Marlene Palmer, Peter Guest, then Doug Rutherford and Ruth Adams.

Yeah, Grant was one of a kind. He's gone and I'm afraid so is that kind of radio.

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