05/10/2013 13:25 EDT | Updated 07/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Long-time CBC journalist Paddy Gregg remembered

Former CBC host and long-time journalist Paddy Gregg was remembered in the New Brunswick legislature on Friday.

Gregg died Thursday from complications of diabetes. He was 80.

Premier David Alward said for decades Gregg captured and delivered the news in his signature style that focused on people first.

"His lengthy journalism career allowed Paddy to be in heart of the action, see the world and share his kindness with so many people," Alward said.

"As one of Fredericton's native sons, he has always been fiercely loyal to his hometown and was particularly interested in its history," he said.

"In his retirement, Paddy moved to Rusagonis to farm, grow apples and raising sheep, while putting down roots with [his wife] Chris [Morris] and their children."

Liberal MLA Victor Boudreau extended his sympathies to Morris and her family and said many New Brunswickers grew up listening to Gregg.

"Someone was telling me this morning he was the Regis Philbin of Fredericton. That's how he was referred to," said Boudreau, referring to the American TV talk show and game show host.

"Everyone knew him and listened in attentively to what he had to say in his long career on the CBC morning show. I'm sure Paddy Gregg will be remembered for a very long time."

Covered Vietnam War

Gregg grew up in Fredericton. He went on to become a national CBC television reporter and covered the Vietnam War from Saigon for CBC News.

Gregg was also the executive producer of CBC Fredericton before becoming the host of Information Morning Fredericton in the 1980s.

His wife, Chris Morris, is the legislative press gallery's longest-serving member.

Duncan Matheson, who worked with Gregg, said he loved to talk to people about life in rural New Brunswick.

"He knew politics, he knew a lot of things that he could talk to anybody about," he said.

"But I think that where he was really in his element was when he was connecting with rural people, you know, when he was talking to old ladies about making their pickles and this kind of thing.

"And he had this kind of folksy charm about him that really made for a very strong connection with the audience, especially the rural audience," said Matheson.

Ross Ingram, another former co-worker, said Gregg appreciated scripted discussions but felt most at ease just talking to people.

"'But,' he said, 'if two people can't get down and talk to each other, then you know, you shouldn't be in the broadcast business.' And I guess he was right," Ingram said.