HACKING, Norman




Author Tags: Journalism, Maritime

Norm Hacking, as marine editor of The Province, was long regarded as the West Coast's foremost marine industry journalist. Never one to turn his back on adventure or a beverage, he swam the Panama Canal, was incarcerated for smuggling contraband cigarettes out of Tangier, cycled across Europe, took a bus tour of Albania and liked to say he never missed a deadline.

Born in Vancouver on February 12, 1912, Hacking attended school in Melbourne where he produced a student newspaper. He founded another newspaper at Prince of Wales school in Vancouver, then edited the Ubyssey at UBC where he obtained a history degree in 1934. During World War II he served on minesweepers and corvettes with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve and made 13 trips across the North Atlantic on convoy duty, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. Referred to as 'the admiral' by his newspaper cronies, Hacking once single-handedly navigated a 34-foot ketch from Honolulu to Neah Bay, Washington without an auxiliary engine. For 30 years he was marine editor of The Province, where he worked for 43 years, until his retirement in 1977. He continued to write, primarily for Harbor & Shipping Magazine, and was completing an autobiography entitled, with typical modesty and good humour, Hacking Aweigh. Norm Hacking died in North Vancouver after suffering a stroke at his home in mid-September, 1997. He was 85.

Hacking's maritime books include a biography of Captain William Moore, the most renowned of B.C.'s sternwheeler skippers, a colourful character who took part in every B.C. gold rush, including the Queen Charlottes gold rush in 1852, the Fraser gold rush in 1858, the Stikine gold rush in 1862, the Big Bend gold rush in 1865, followed by gold rushes in Omineca, Cassiar and the Klondike. Moore died in Victoria on March 30, 1909 at age 87, having pioneered navigation on the Stikine River. The Two Barneys is Hacking's memoir about a father and son who both served as well-known captains on the B.C. coast.

BOOKS:

Annals of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, 1903-1965 (1971)
The Princess Story (1974) with W.K. Lamb
Captain William Moore: B.C.'s Amazing Frontiersman (Heritage House, 1993)
The Two Barneys (1984)
Prince Ships of Northern B.C. (Heritage 1995).

[LITHIS / BCBW 2003] "Journalism" "Maritime"