The Group of 78 has lost one of its pillars. Clyde Sanger passed away on January 21, 2022, at the age of 93. His family, untold number of friends and many different communities are the poorer for his departure. G78 is one of those communities. Anyone who attended any of the G78 conferences over the first 25 years of the organization will instantly recognize his diligent work as conference rapporteur. He pulled many disparate conversations and a myriad of strong opinions together to weave the proposed resolutions together into a clear, coherent, elegant statement of positions for the Group to advance in the public arena. His gentle diplomacy and careful wordsmithing solved many arguments among the forceful personalities of our participants. Clyde’s unstinting commitment flowed from his passionate belief in the fundamental aims of the G78: to advance peace, justice and planetary survival.
Clyde was, in essence, The Voice of the Group of 78. In this and other roles, he did as much as anyone to build the Group of 78 into an effective vehicle for dialogue and advocacy on global issues and Canada’s role in them.
Clyde brought to us his deep wealth of knowledge as a life-long journalist, his extensive international experience, his penetrating curiosity, his patient but firm resolve, his impish sense of humour, and his compassionate engagement with people from all backgrounds. In all of these traits and initiatives he was ably joined by his wife Penny – together they were a formidable team supporting the establishment and growth of the G78.
In later years he attended as many of our conferences and luncheon seminars as he was able where, showing he was current with all issues, he posed many well-crafted questions. For the G78 25th anniversary, he produced a booklet of the biographies of those signatories to our Original Statement (1981) who had passed on. In the last months of his life, he was working with G78 colleagues on an update for the 40th anniversary. Now, sadly, Clyde as an “Original” himself will be included in this next version.
The G78 Board and members are grateful and honoured to have had Clyde Sanger as colleague, friend and an anchor for our work. While sharing our condolences to his sons and their families, we salute Clyde’s remarkable life and the richness he brought to others.