Jane Goodhall

Some people make an instant impression on you.

In my case it was Jane Goodhall, the legendary animal conservationist.

When I met her, she shook my hand and said – hello, I’m Jane Goodhall.

That did it.

My mind was made up.

What a beautiful, gentle, caring, human being, I said to myself.

And so began our interview about her life’s work.

What she was trying to achieve with her beloved chimpanzees.

It was fascinating to hear her talk about them.

It was clear they were like children to her, loved, treated with affection and a deep desire to understand them better.

But behind all those emotions and that deep yearning to better understand them there was one word that said it all – Love.

Everything she did for them was based on love – her unconditional love for them.

I found myself listening, instead of asking a lot of questions.

That’s the usual back and forth when you interview someone.

But not in this case.

Bt the time 30 minutes elapsed, the set time for the interview, an assistant of hers gently reminded her that the allotted time for the interview was over.

But she would not have it.

Instead she said, that’s okay and the conversation continued.

And then she did something that rarely, if ever happens.

She said, tell me a bit about yourself.

I told her I had just been appointed business editor at The Vancouver Sun, a major newspaper in those days, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

I was a mere 28 years old and I was determined to do things differently, a departure of what old-time business editors do.

One of those different things for me meant writing a weekly business column.

And I wanted it to be different, not always on the usual business topics.

And when I read that she was going to be in Victoria, Canada, for a lecture, I decided, let’s interview her.

I did the usual, approached her media people, requesting an interview.

The following day, back in Vancouver, I wrote a column about it all.

The response from readers was terrific.

And I realized – doing things differently often pays off.

For me I am amazed that after all these years I still can recollect all of it.

But, really, I should not be surprised – amazing people leave us with life-long memories and impressions.

And Jane, you are one of them.

And before I leave this recollection , there is one thing she said that sticks with me to this day: