Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DALE

Who among us can say that they have brought someone back from the dead? This is exactly what Dale Brazao did one time while on assignment for the Toronto Star newspaper. This is but one of a lifetime of stories from Dale's career.

Born in Faro, Portugal in 1951, Dale, his brother and mother moved to Franz, Ontario  in 1961 where his father had found work earlier on the railway. Franz was a railroad stop on the Algoma Central Railway, northeast of Wawa.

In grade 13, Dale read a pamphlet about how exciting it was to be a newspaper reporter. Following his heart, he set off to Carlton University for four years of journalism. The Star came to conduct interviews at the school where Dale met the man who would hire him, asking if he could start almost immediately.

"Can I start! Do you think I want to go back to the steel plant in Sault Ste. Marie! Of course I can start." This was the beginning of a robust career with his only employer, the Toronto Star. A rare thing these days. "I've been there ever since. I don't know any other employer other than Mother Star," he says laughing at the length of his career.

Among many roles at the Star, Dale was often one of the go-to guys when disaster struck. From hurricanes to floods to earthquakes and 911, Dale has done them all. But it was a woman in Florida he remembers as a defining moment in his career.

BACK FROM THE DEAD: A Canadian woman who had faked her own death was hiding out in Orlando, Florida. Dale found her at a bus stop after a tip came in to the homicide department of the Orlando police where he was interviewing them. After the FBI had investigated, Dale went to the police and made a deal. If he could get the woman to confess, could he be the one to extradite her back to Canada. He did. Dale was given custody of the woman and brought her back to Canada – very much alive!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

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