Bill Acheson

Bill Acheson - CKSOBirthplace
Copper Cliff, Ontario

January 18, 1921

September 30, 2014

Photo Credit
Bill Acheson (1947)

William (Bill) Frank Acheson was born in Copper Cliff, Ontario on January 18, 1921. His childhood years have been described as happy. Bill attended university in Kingston, Ontario. He began his radio career in Timmins before the end of World War II. Following the war, Bill embarked on a vacation trip home and took the opportunity to drop into the CKSO studios inquiring about a job. He was anxious to be working in his hometown. His wish came true when he was offered a position immediately! In addition to working on-air, he wrote commercials, as many as 20 to 30 on some days.

Bill also wrote and hosted a program, “Melody Theatre”. It featured the writers of contemporary music of the day. The program garnered a great following.

Bill Acheson wrote two plays as did a good friend of his, Jack Coleman, who was also at CKSO for a short while. The plays were billed “Four by Two” for broadcast.

Bill’s wife, who had predeceased him, also worked at CKSO Radio. Judy (nee Bainard) was head of the women’s department. Once Bill and Judy married in June of 1947, Judy had to leave CKSO due to a law on the books back in those days dictating married couples were not permitted to work at the same location. She left CKSO in the spring of 1947. Bill described her as being a fire cracker. She wrote her own material for the women’s show, read the news and wrote commercials. She was only 20 at the time.

Bill left CKSO later in 1947 to start a career in the life insurance business with his father-in-law, Burt Bainard, starting at Great-West Life. Then in 1955 he moved his family to Winnipeg, where the Head Office was located. He was given the opportunity to start a new branch in London, and so the family moved back to Ontario. It was back to Winnipeg around 1964 where Bill switched companies to be manager of the local North American Life office. Bill would remain in the insurance business until he retired. Bill and his wife Judy enjoyed many friends, bridge, curling and the cottage back in Winnipeg. Following retirement though, they moved back to British Columbia, first to Abbotsford, and later to White Rock. Judy passed away in 2009 and the next year Bill moved back to Winnipeg to reside with his daughter, Peggy.

In his early 90s, Bill loved to reminisce on how young their gang was at that time in the business, the gratitude they had for the opportunity to use their creative and writing skills, and for the many memorable times shared. Bill passed away on September 30, 2014 at Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg, suffering from pneumonia. He had been admitted following injuries sustained as a result of falling a few times. He was 93.

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