Captain (Navy) (Capt(N)) Bill Strange, the first Director of Naval Information in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), was a natural communicator.
He began his working life as a teacher and then, as the world entered the golden age of radio in the late 1920s, he began writing scripts and plays for broadcast. He was intricately involved with the medium of commercial broadcast radio as it grew into the fabric of daily life, providing news and entertainment to a world struggling with economic depression and war.
Also working at times in sales, advertising and public relations, it was this extensive knowledge and expertise that led Capt(N) Strange to his appointment as the RCN’s first Director of Naval Information during the Second World War.
Born in British Honduras (now Guyana) in 1902, Capt(N) Strange was sent to boarding school in the United Kingdom. When the First World War broke out, he joined the Royal Navy as a cadet but was eventually discharged due to a vision problem. He moved to Trinidad where his parents lived, and then emigrated to Canada in 1929.
When the Second World War began, Capt(N) Strange used his skills to develop radio programs to help the Allied cause. In 1941, he went to England as a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) war correspondent to “look at the Blitz”, sending scripts back for a series called Carry On Canada.
After 50 episodes of this and other productions, his application to join the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve was accepted in…