A Tribute To Charlie Warner

Posted by Tom Locke on October 7th, 2018 filed in General, History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts

On October 1, 2018 I lost a good friend – Charlie Warner.

That name may not jump out at you but if I told you he was the Vancouver Sun photographer who took the famous shot of runners Roger Bannister and John Landy in the Miracle Mile at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, it may ring a bell.  This photo would win him international acclaim as the “best sports action picture” of 1954.

The Shot - Protected MM Image

Charlie passed away at the age of 89 from prostrate cancer.  Sir Roger Bannister passed away earlier this year on March 8th.

Charlie and I first met in the fall of 1992 when I pitched him my idea of creating a painting from his famous photo to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miracle Mile in time for the 1994 Commonwealth Games that were being held in Victoria, BC that year.

Charlie listened to what I had to say and was quick to point out that over the years many people had used his famous photo without his permission. His faith in me in making this commemorative happen remains one of the highlights of my career.

One of the defining moments in our relationship was the look on Charlie’s face when I showed him an image from the original footage of him in the act of taking his historic shot.

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Charlie was a humble man and I am convinced that he didn’t realize the impact that he had made on others over the years.  Case in point was a dinner my wife and I hosted at our place in September of 2016 for our friends Doug and Marg Norman. Doug and Marg resided in Chicago; however, Doug was born in Vancouver and witnessed the Miracle Mile first hand as a young boy. It was his favourite moment in time. Unbeknownst to Doug and Marg, we decided to make the dinner a celebration of Doug’s 80th birthday which was coming up in November … so, we also invited Charlie and his wife, Doreen, to dinner that night. Charlie played it to the hilt as just being another friend popping over for dinner.  When Doug found out who Charlie was, he was over the moon.

Charlie, Doreen, Marg & Doug - Sept 2016

              Charlie, Doreen, Marg & Doug

​I am going to miss you Charlie but I will always have that special moment in time to remember you by.

For more on Charlie and this moment in time, check out www.miraclemile1954.com

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