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"CNC" 2006 Obituary


CNCP o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-20 published
McDANIEL, James Christian
Born March 27, 1918 Peacefully at home, June 18, 2006, after a Father's Day dinner with family and Friends and not without his daily cigar and glass of wine. Beloved husband of Carol Ann McDANIEL. Brother to Winnifred McDANIEL. Loving father to Marc, Sandra (Les), Michelle, Valerie (Bill) and Grant (Judy). Grandfather to Hudson, James-David and Gabriella McDANIEL; Owen and Evan STIBBARD; Gabriel, Lindsay, Jackie, Bonnie, Laura and Leslie ROCHER. Jim began his career in 1934, in the heart of the "depression" as a telegraph messenger with what was then known as the Canadian National Telegraph Company. Jim rose through the ranks to become head of Sales and was at the heart of the last century's technology revolution from Morse code through to fibre optics. During the 1970s and 1980s, Jim was a pioneer in the way he acted as Chief Customer Advocate in television commercials - for what had come to be known as CNCP Telecommunications - becoming Mr. CNCP. Later in the 1990s, after a brief retirement, Jim agreed to become a member of the senior management team at Unitel Communications, where he contributed his powers of persuasion and national presence to the effort to bring competition to Canada's long distance telephony market. Jim served his country in World War 2 as part of the Royal Canadian Air Force telecommunications section of the Canadian Joint Mission in Washington D.C. Jim had a life long commitment to fitness and fellowship and enjoyed nothing more than rising at dawn to be with his Friends at the Cambridge Club and golfing with those that were close to him at The Toronto Hunt Club. Winter escapes to Florida with family and Friends were cherished right to the end. He will be forever in our hearts and prayers. Visitation will be at Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home, 467 Sherbourne Avenue, on Wednesday, June 21 between 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service will be at St. Paul's Basilica on Thursday, June 22, at 10: 00 a.m.

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CNCP o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-26 published
Jim McDANIEL, Telecommunications Expert (1918-2006)
He started off by delivering telegrams on a bike and then sent them via Morse code. He rose to the heights of CNCP communications and embraced the Telex, fax machines, computers and the cellphone
By F.F. LANGAN, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S8
Toronto -- Jim McDANIEL was one of the best-known faces on Canadian television during the 1970s and 1980s. He was a paid-up member of Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists but never worked for a network. He did appear in a long-running series of commercials promoting Telex, then the fastest way for companies to send messages to each other.
He had a rugged face, more that of a character actor than a leading man, and a trademark brush cut. He would walk straight up to the camera and announce: "This is Jim McDANIEL for Telex," and then go on to tout the product from CNCP Telecommunications.
Mr. McDANIEL's face was as familiar as Don Cherry's is now, popping up between periods on Hockey Night in Canada and as a regular spot in the first commercial break on The National. When he first decided to retire in 1983, Telex was still king, pumping out messages between corporations and banks and business offices everywhere at six characters a second. Mr. McDANIEL left just as the fax machine came in.
"The fax killed the Telex business. It used to be a $150-million-a-year business. It dropped off in just a few years to almost nothing," Mr. McDANIEL said. He worked for the same company for well over 60 years. He came back after his first retirement and worked into his 80s, always for a different version of the same company, which morphed from Canadian National Railways to CNCP Telecommunications and then to Unitel. It is now a part of Rogers Communications Inc.
Jim McDANIEL was a working-class lad from Toronto. His father was a senior construction foreman who worked on such projects as the Bowater Plant in Corner Brook and the Bloor Street viaduct in Toronto. He died when Jim was just 7, which meant he had to start work early in life. He went to Danforth Technical School, but only as far as Grade 9. His first job was delivering telegrams by bicycle in downtown Toronto for the Canadian National Railway.
"He rode the bicycle 365 days a year, and winters were a lot harsher back then," said his son Grant.
His pay was $8 a week, though he also got tips. After three years he became an office boy, working a split shift. "They were legal back then," Mr. McDANIEL told an interviewer in 1995.
He started at 8 in the morning, stayed until noon and then resumed at 5 and worked until 9. In his spare afternoon, he studied typing and how to transmit Morse code. Instead of delivering telegrams, he learned how to send them.
Mr. McDANIEL quickly moved up the ladder so that by the end of the 1930s he was a telegrapher. His salary tripled to $24 a week. He developed the fastest telegraph "fist" in the company. In his late 70s, he still kept an old sending key on his desk and liked to show visitors just how fast he could rattle out a message.
During the war, Mr. McDANIEL joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was sent off to aircrew training school in Manitoba. There, someone discovered his skills with the telegraph key. Anyone who could pump out that many words in Morse code was a valuable wartime asset.
He was promptly shipped off to Washington where he took a course in how to manage codes, coming top in his class. After that, he became a cypher clerk, communicating in code from generals in the field and sending them to their military and political masters in Washington.
"It's pretty exciting to know about the invasion of Sicily three weeks in advance," Mr. McDANIEL recalled.
The war changed his life in many ways. Later, it would launch him on his career in sales and then television. But, first off, it taught him that to keep his mind sharp he needed to keep his body in shape. During the war, young men spent a lot of their spare time drinking.
"We used to spend too much time staying up late at night," Mr. McDANIEL said. So one morning he walked into a gym in Washington and was hooked on exercising. He went through a strict physical regimen right up until the last months of his life. It showed. Even in his late 80s, when Jim McDANIEL took his shirt off, he had a wiry, muscled physique that shamed men 60 years younger.
Back in civilian life after the war, he moved quickly through the ranks, at one stage taking the 1950s equivalent of a executive M.B.A., a compressed course in everything someone would need to know to be a manager. All of a sudden, the telegram delivery boy had become general sales manager for CNCP telecommunications.
One of his big assignments was helping sell and then supervise the installation of the first computer messaging system for Trans Canada Airlines, which became Air Canada. Just after it was installed in 1964, much of Canada was fogged in and the airline was able to track its aircraft as never before.
Then came the move from selling face to face to selling on television. "I didn't know anything about advertising," Mr. McDANIEL said modestly. "But they put me in charge."
After a while, he was put on camera. Along the way he also became a public spokesman for CNCP and the Telex business. He travelled across Canada making speeches, using his familiar face and open personality to boost the company's image.
Mr. McDANIEL didn't retire for long. For a while he was a computer ombudsman for a group called the Canadian Information Processing Society. "I have in my heart a sensitivity of how bewildering all this new technology is for people who know little about computers but are affected by them," he said at the time.
With a staff of six volunteers, he handled complaints from the public and small-business owners who were experiencing problems with a computer. Organized into local chapters, Canadian Information Processing Society had 4,500 members across the country.
"I'm not going to be a knight riding a horse with a spear," he said of his new job. "The computer ombudsman is sort of a court of last resort to appeal to if someone is threatened or confused by this faceless device."
He then went back to work, as a sales consultant. He moved from Telex to selling dedicated fax lines and then switched to high-speed data lines to promoting the use of the personal computer, predicting they would reduce office drudgery, which they did.
Many of his postretirement years were spent fighting the Bell Canada telephone monopoly. He made speeches, travelled to Ottawa and lobbied, and used his media image to promote competition. One of his most satisfying successes was helping to bring competitive long-distance calls to Newfoundland in 1993, the year Unitel won the right to provide that service in the province.
Before the introduction of the cellphone in Canada in 1985, Mr. McDANIEL led a CNCP Cellular Communications bid for a licence. Eventually, he worked for Rogers after it took over the company.
Mr. McDANIEL was an early riser. For many years he was the first man in the gym at the Cambridge Club in downtown Toronto. He would park his Cadillac on York Street around 5 a.m., work out in the gym and then be back to pick up his car before the 7 a.m. no-parking curtain came down. Always a snappy dresser, he usually allowed himself at least one good cigar a day, and could be seen in the downtown business district enjoying a puff on his way from lunch.
He was a keen golfer and helped run the Toronto Hunt Club course. He was also a devout Roman Catholic and went to mass before going to the gym on Sundays.
James Christian McDANIEL was born in Toronto on March 27, 1918. He died of cancer in Toronto on June 18, 2006. He was 88. He is survived by his wife, Carol Ann, and by his children, Marc, Sandra, Michelle, Valerie and Grant.

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