Basil "Bas" Scully

Basil (Bas) Scully - CKSO AM TVBirth Date
December 17, 1916

Birth Place
Little Current, Ontario

First Media Jobs
Fort William & Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Deceased
November 11, 2002

Photo Credit
Canadian Communications Foundation

Career
Truly one of the pioneers and veterans of broadcasting and of CKSO was Basil, or Bas, Scully.  Born in Little Current, Ontario on December 17, 1916 he spent his early years in Little Current and in Sudbury.  His first media jobs as a broadcaster took him to Fort William (Fort William amalgamated with Port Arthur and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre to form the city of Thunder Bay in January 1970) and also to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  Basil met his wife-to-be Dorothea Mary Rose Greening in Port Arthur where she taught school. They married and eventually found themselves in Sudbury, in 1953.  Dorothea continued to teach at Nickel District and Lockerby Composite.  The Scully's resided in the Lo-Ellen Park area on Windle Drive in Sudbury for years.  The Scully's were known for their elaborate outdoor Christmas displays year after year.  Their's was a 'must-see' home on anyone's tour of decorated houses.

Basil Scully has the distinction of being Sudbury's first TV weatherman.  In fact Scully announced the weather on the very first day CKSO TV signed on, October 25, 1953.  He had a reputation for his quick comebacks.  It's been said that he was a 'natural comedian', had an 'interesting sense of humour' and possessed a 'natural on-air presence'.

With CKSO TV being the first privately owned television station to sign on, there was a limited number of 'role models' in Canada as the only other Canadian television stations on the air included Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.  In Sudbury, television was such a novelty that people would gather outside the front of Sudbury appliance stores to view the "Indian Head" test pattern on CKSO TV.  Having a limited number of role models was both a blessing and a curse!  Scully would write and describe that television in those days was more or less primitive.  With television unheard of in 1953, viewing audiences really did not know what to expect and so in its novice days, people at CKSO TV could get away with mistakes, bloopers and blunders without having to be embarrassed over them.  Scully described the early audiences as being very enthusiastic!

Stepping outside of broadcasting, Basil Scully became the first Director of Northern Programs for the Addiction Research Foundation.  That was in 1965.  Interest in politics would result in his running as a PC candidate both on the federal and the provincial levels.  He ran against Lester B. Pearson in the Algoma Riding in the 1958 federal election.  Pearson had been parachuted into what was considered a safe riding for the Conservatives.

Outside interests also included a love of music, carpentry and mechanics.  He was also known as a prolific writer of "letters to the editor".  He published an entertaining book of memoirs.

Basil Sculled died on Monday, November 11, 2002 at the age of 85 years in Sudbury.  His wife Dorothea predeceased him only by some 50 days.  Basil was survived by two daughters and extended family members.

Following Scully's death, Bill Kehoe (1928-2004), a friend and co-worker told a Sudbury reporter that Basil was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, a great practical joker and described him as an iconic character of the 'golden days' of television back in the 1950's.  In 1992 Scully wrote an autobiography,  "Barefoot Boy with Chique".