A member of the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Rafe Mair is probably best remembered for his 19 year career in radio. He has been hired, fired, lauded, and reprimanded for speaking his mind over the last 57 years. Though Mair served as a cabinet minister in Bill Bennett’s government - a man whom Mair would later describe as “the best premier the province has ever had”, it would be impossible to limit Mair’s politics by any particular ideology.
Once known to his government colleagues as “Red Raif” for his conservative leanings, Mair has been one of the most vocal opponents of fish farming in British Columbia and “run of the river” hydro developments. In 2009 he publicly supported the NDP for the first time, due to his great concern for the environment.
Mair grew up in Kerrisdale and got his interest in public affairs through his mother, who used to work at The Province. An avid fisherman for much of his life, Mair remembers fishing down near the Musqueam reserve and recalls that “the Musqueam are the only people who’ve really protected the Coho.”
Mair entered UBC in 1949 and went on to law in 1953. By the time Mair secured articles, he was already working as a golf pro on Sea Island. He practiced law in Vancouver until 1968, when he decided to make the move to Kamloops.
In 1975 Mair turned to politics and became MLA for Kamloops. During his time in government, he appeared on Jack Webster’s show several times and it was Jack who suggested a career in radio.
In 1993 while leading a tour of Britain, Mair met his future wife, Wendy. “I was bowled over. I got to know her right quick. Four days later I proposed,” says Mair. The two were married on January 27, 1994.
Rafe Mair passed away in 2017.