SMC executive vice president John Iaboni, board member Fred Walker and awards luncheon committee member Ralph Mellanby were among those who attended a memorial for Alec. Walker and Mellanby remembered Bollini with warm anecdotes about working together with him beginning in Montreal, professional relationships which mushroomed into lifelong friendships.
Canada’s leading tennis writer Tom Tebbutt, a long time friend and colleague, offered this tribute to Alec Bollini:
“I went to visit Alec at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Friday, December 21 and arrived at his room on the sixth floor only to discover someone who was not him seated on his bed.
I then went to the nursing station and was told he was “gone” and that was followed by the nurse pointing upward. At first, I thought she meant he had been moved to another floor for treatment, and that it was upstairs from where we were. Then she said he had died.
Walking along Queen Street right after hearing the news, I had an unlikely experience. The door opened on a parked vehicle beside the sidewalk as I went by and I heard the name “Trent Frayne” on the radio blaring inside. I did a double take because the great writer Trent Frayne was friend of Alec’s and of mine. Then, I think it was on TSN sports radio, I heard some more…“and Randy Starkman.” They were talking about well-known sports journalists who had passed away in 2012 – and here I was just having learned that Alec had died.
I’d known him for more than 35 years, from when he was on staff at CBC in Montreal and I was working there as a freelancer – and also from playing tennis on the public courts in the City of Westmount.
Alec was an intelligent man with a curiosity about, and knowledge of, the world that went far beyond Rocket Richard or Guy Lafleur.
But most of all he was just a good-natured, honorable human being.
I wrote about Alec dying on my twitter account. I gave the notice of his passing and then concluded with, “he was a fine man” at the end.
Then I changed it – to “he was a ‘truly’ fine man.”
A really good guy is gone – Adios Amigo ”
Alec had been a member of the Radio Canada International staff based in Montreal and later Toronto for several years. He took a special interest in sports both vocationally and avocationally. His personal sports favourite was tennis and he frequently represented Canadian sports journalists as a member and leader of Canada’s group participating in the annual World Journalists’ Tennis Championship tournament.
Alec was a founding member of Sports Media Canada — serving on the Board of Directors with distinction for twenty years.