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He brought radio and TV to Barrie

Jack Mattenley, Barrie's media pioneer, will be celebrated on Saturday, Jan. 30, at Burton Avenue United Church, 37 Burton Ave.
jack mattenley
Jack Mattenley, Barrie's media pioneer, died Jan. 19 at 99 years old.

He was a driving force in the media business, bringing radio and then television stations to Barrie after serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

Jack Mattenley died last week at the age of 99.

"He will be sorely missed," said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. "He made an enormous contribution to the community and his legacy lives on with great TV and radio in Barrie."

Lehman recognized Mattenley at a Council meeting Monday night, reflected on their last meeting on Barrie's waterfront in October at the 60th anniversary of CKVR Television - now Rogers Two Barrie.

That was a live broadcast and Mattenley was pleased to join in the ceremonial cake cutting and pose for the official anniversary photo.

He was born in Toronto on Sept. 9, 1916 and grew up on a farm in the Gilford area of Innisfil.

During the war, Mattenley served as a radio technician, teaching others to work the radio system. 

In 1949 he joined the local AM radio station CKBB. He helped grow the station which later became B101 FM.

By 1955, he had moved to his television career, launching CKVR with friend and station owner Ralph Snelgrove. He was the first station manger and that's where where he stayed until retiring in 1991 after 50 years in the business.

"He was in his 100th year and certainly had an incredibly full life," Lehman said. "He could tell a great story and after that many years in th media, there were lots of stories."

Mattenley passed away Jan. 19 at Hospice Simcoe in Barrie.

He was predeced by his wife Bernice and leaves behind sons Terry and Joe, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A visitation will held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Burton Avenue United Church, 37 Burton Ave., followed by a Celebration of Life beginning at 2 p.m.

Robin MacLennan

About the Author: Robin MacLennan

Robin MacLennan has been a reporter, photographer and editor for the daily media in Barrie, across Simcoe County and Toronto for many years. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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