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After a 47-year career, 630 CHED broadcaster Bruce Bowie signs off

Bruce Bowie on air. CISN Country 103.9 archives

Just shy of a month after announcing his retirement, radio legend Bruce Bowie signed off of 630 CHED for the final time Friday morning.

Bowie’s final show was full of goodbyes from former friends and colleagues, listeners and even a visit from the Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos, to gift Bowie with a jersey on his last show.

Bowie also got an unexpected call from Edmonton City Councillor Andrew Knack, declaring August 30, 2019 as “Bruce Bowie Day” in the City of Edmonton.

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And the surprises didn’t stop there.

Bowie also got a call from none other than Edmonton Oilers legend — Wayne Gretzky.

 

“Congratulations on Bruce Bowie day,” Gretzky said.

“That’s amazing, 47 years? I don’t know if I’m more amazed by 47 years or how many guys wore number 47?” he laughed.

“You’re going to enjoy the rest of your life. I think the biggest thing when you retire and move on, your eyes open up to so many new things.”

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Bruce Bowie was presented with an Edmonton Eskimos jersey on his last day on 630 CHED Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Chelsey Jensen, Corus Radio
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Bruce Bowie on his last day on the air Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Chelsey Jensen, Corus Radio
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Bruce Bowie was presented with an Edmonton Eskimos jersey on his last day on 630 CHED Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Chelsey Jensen, Corus Radio
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Bruce Bowie was presented with an Edmonton Oilers jersey on his last day on 630 CHED Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Chelsey Jensen, Corus Radio
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Bruce Bowie signed off of 630 CHED for the final time Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Julien Fornier, Global News
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Bruce Bowie signed off of 630 CHED for the final time Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Julien Fornier, Global News
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Bruce Bowie signed off of 630 CHED for the final time Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Julien Fornier, Global News

Bowie announced his retirement on Aug. 1. After 47 years in radio, he said it was time to hang up the microphone and let somebody else get up for the early morning slot.

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Bowie’s career started in 1972 at CKSA in Lloydminster, Alta., and about two years later he started on 630 CHED.

“I was so nervous about being on air in the big city that I broke out in hives on my first day!” he said with a laugh. “That’s a true story.”

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A 630 CHED Christmas ad. 630 CHED archives
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The 630 CHED morning team, including Bruce Bowie, Bob Layton and Eileen Bell, at an event with Wayne Gretzky. 630 CHED archives
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Bruce Bowie works McHappy Days. CISN Country 103.9 archives
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Bruce Bowie with Garth Brooks. CISN Country 103.9 archives
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Bruce Bowie on air. CISN Country 103.9 archives
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Bruce Bowie with Wynonna Judd. CISN Country 103.9 archives

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After 12 and a half years on CHED, he moved to a few other stations, before being approached to take over the CISN Country 103.9 morning show after Wes Montgomery left in 1989.

Bowie held that position for 21 years before he made the move back to 630 CHED in 2010. He hosted the 630 CHED Morning News for nine years — until his sign off on Friday morning.

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Bruce Bowie, along with 630 CHED program director Syd Smith, announces his retirement on the air on Aug. 1, 2019. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie hosts the luncheon celebrating Bryan Hall's 65 years in broadcasting. Kirby Bourne/630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie at the Corus Stollery Radiothon. Supplied to 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie hugs morning news anchor Ed Mason after his last newscast in 2014. Eileen Bell/630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie participates in the Gary Draeger Memorial Golf Classic in support of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie live on location at Northlands Retro Days. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie on location during Heart Pledge Day at the Mazankowski. Supplied: University Hospital Foundation
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Bruce Bowie on location with Kent Morrison from Global Edmonton during the 2018 Grey Cup. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie with guests on his morning show. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie on location with Bryan Hall at Northlands Retro Days on July 7, 2018. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie on location with Bryan Hall at Northlands Retro Days on July 7, 2018. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie and colleagues from radio and Global Edmonton after an event during Corporate Challenge in 2018. 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie with guests on his morning show. Supplied to 630 CHED

“Bruce has been an integral part of our listener’s experience for decades and is a role model for future broadcasters,” said 630 CHED program director Syd Smith.

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“His presence on our airwaves will certainly be missed and we wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

Bowie has said he’s not sure what’s next for him after retirement, but said when announcing his decision that he’d like continue giving back to the community.

WATCH BELOW: Goodwill thanks Bruce Bowie for his work over the years

On top of being an award-winning broadcaster, Bowie has won awards for his philanthropy, including the 2017 Goodwill Greatness Award, the 2016 Community Enrichment Award for his work on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and the 2004 Strathcona Award as Volunteer of the Year.

“After 47 years it won’t be all about me, maybe I can go help somebody else,” Bowie said.

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Bruce Bowie volunteers on delivery day for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. Supplied: 630 CHED Santas Anonymous
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Bruce Bowie helps dispatch bags on delivery day for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. Supplied: 630 CHED Santas Anonymous
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Bruce Bowie hosts the 2017 volunteer event for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous. Supplied: 630 CHED Santas Anonymous
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Bruce Bowie at an event for Goodwill. Supplied to 630 CHED
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Bruce Bowie hosts an event for the Salvation Army. Supplied to 630 CHED

Bowie wrapped up his last cast with an inspiring few final words.

“I don’t think there’s any part of my career I didn’t enjoy,” Bowie said. “When I started I had no end of people saying, ‘This is stupid there’s no future in radio.’ Go after your dreams. Forty-seven years later, here I am.”

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A new morning show — 630 CHED Mornings with Chelsea Bird and Shaye Ganam — will launch on Sept. 3.

With files from Kyle Morris, 630 CHED.

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