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Veteran Halifax political commentator Harry Flemming dies at the age of 74


HALIFAX - Harry Flemming, a feisty and opinionated Nova Scotia journalist who relished poking a stick at politicians of all stripes, has died. He was 74.
Flemming, who years ago wrote death notices for himself in two newspaper columns, died Saturday morning in Halifax after battling cancer and pneumonia. His death was confirmed by his close friend and neighbour, Jeremy Akerman.
"Flummery and flattery got you nowhere with Harry; he could instantly see through fakery and insincerity," Akerman, an actor and former politician, said in an e-mail message.
"He was a courageous, outspoken journalist whose opinions, while seldom popular, were invariably respected."
Flemming built a loyal following as a newspaper columnist with the former Halifax Daily News.
He also appeared as a political panellist on CBC-TV's "1st Edition," the public broadcaster's suppertime news program in Nova Scotia.
Veteran CBC-TV newsman Jim Nunn, who refereed the popular CBC panel with Flemming and Parker Donham, said Flemming "was just a lovely man" with a remarkable mind and a talent for telling anecdotes.
"The guy was absolutely amazing," said Nunn, of Flemming's ability to remember details of Nova Scotia politics, Canadian history, baseball seasons of yesteryear and other events.
"You'd didn't mix it up (intellectually) with Harry unless you were prepared to be embarrassed at some point."
Flemming, who won two Atlantic Journalism Awards for commentary and was nominated for several others, left CBC in 1995 after nine years, but continued writing for the Halifax Daily News.
Flemming is survived by three children and three grandchildren. Memorial arrangements aren't complete.

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