Geoff Stirling

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A young business student meets a mentor.

In 1992 I was vice president of the MUN entrepreneur society. It was my job to secure speakers for our monthly meetings. We would usually get a good crowd but on the Sept evening that he spoke the room was over capacity. It was full to the rafters.

I met him at the door to the business building and asked him what car he had driven to place a parking pass on it. He put his hand to his head and said "Mazerati, Farrari, Porsche, frankly son I don't remember what I drove here in. I went outside saw a large Mercedes and placed the pass on that one." He brought a guy with him who had a video camera and that guy tapped business students on the shoulder and asked for them to speak into the camera about their love of Newfoundland and if they had any business ideas. It took me months to secure him as a speaker and it was filled with all kinds of intrigue. His assistant said he could pull out at a moments notice. I didn't know until he stepped in the door if he would actually show up or not. When he did he did not disappoint. His talk was very well received.

It went in many many directions but the room full of business students were in awe that we actually had him there. Incidentally he said to me that I was the first person to ever ask him to speak at Memorial and that is why he showed up.

For several years after the speaking engagement at MUN he would call me up out of the blue and simply talk to me for a couple of hours. As a recent graduate of the MUN business program it was very exciting. He was very intrigued by the small event video business I was running. He even gave me some free advertising one late night on his TV station. I was very grateful to him for that.

The last encounter I had with him was in the late 1990's when he called me up at around 12 midnight and asked me if I wanted to drop down to his place in motion for a chat. My wife thought I was nuts to be going out the door at that hour on a work night but I said to her it's not every day someone like Geoff would call you up and invite you down to his house. I got there about 12:45pm and he met me at the door in a valour jump suit type outfit. He served Lobster and we chatted about his amazing career. He told me he was interested in buying cameras for every single Newfoundlander so that they could feed him footage of all the goings on in the province. This is long before Youtube of course but it's certainly the same concept. We talked till about 4am and it was very cool indeed.

I am saddened that Newfoundland and Labrador has lost one of it's most interesting businessmen. Geoff gave the business students quite a treat that night back in 1992 and connected with many of them after the talk. I recorded the night on video and you can watch the videos here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XyLHrIrHjE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZJAAJeUa4E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVUSopkrSR4

 

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  • Mike Madigan
    December 24, 2013 - 01:12

    Most amazing man for sure. I too received a few calls from Mr Stirling at 5 am from Arizona. I had sent him my first cd Natural with the One Room School song on it and he liked it a lot . He also loved our Legionnaire's song. Geoff Stirling said he'd like to do something for us and out of the blue gave us $20,000 free advertising on NTV and in the Nfld Herald. It was a great success and when the two week ad was over, the eventual vignette of our Sharecropper song was a hit & played for 17 months straight... sometimes three times a day. (NTV's longest video with the NTV logo appearing at the beginning and the end). Geoff also personally did a powerful video of our Legionnaire's Song "at 3 in the morning" he told me. (It's now on you tube, by the way.) Mr Stirling spoke to me of NTV, of going satellite, and how he always worked "overtime" to get NTV to Nflders while CBC was done with tax payers money. "It was unfair", he said. How true! I've no doubt Geoff Stirling was a man way ahead of his time! May he rest in peace. Mr. Geoff Stirling -A true Nfld icon! (mike_madigan@yahoo.com)