Bill Templeman, Local Author and Podcaster, Turns 75

Photo via Pints & Politics on Peterborough Independent Podcasters.

Bill Templeman jokes that he started his podcast, Pints & Politics, “the same as all my schemes: high on ideals and low on practical thinking.”

Templeman’s podcast is recorded from Trent Radio every Tuesday at 9 p.m. and focuses on local politics in Peterborough. Templeman said he thought it would be interesting to create a record of the candidates and give a platform for them to say where they stand.

“When I was a candidate four years ago, nobody did that,” he said.

Templeman believes that there needs to be a greater dialogue between parties.

“Despite my left leaning I think we need more of a dialogue between the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP,” he said.

He says he wanted his podcast to be more authentic than a traditional broadcast about politics. “I wanted to get away from the gotcha side of journalism.”

“In a radio broadcast, you put a lot of energy into it and then it’s gone,” Templeman said. “Whereas a podcast is like a book, it’s always there.”

Templeman, who just turned 75 on October 10, has lived in Peterborough since 2000. He works as a career coach and has volunteered for United Way Peterborough and the New Canadians Centre. In 2014 he published his first book, Leadership Basics for Frontline Managers, and is a contributor to the Peterborough Examiner and Kawartha Now.

His childhood was spent in Montreal under the shadow of World War Two.

“I was aware as a kid I missed something big,” he said. “My father’s drinking buddies would come over and some would talk about the war and I would think about how glad I am to have missed that.”

“It was a charmed existence,” Templeman recalled. “Neither of my parents finished high school, which wasn’t uncommon then. My old man quit in grade eight and went into construction.”

He worked for Hydro Quebec, but wasn’t satisfied with his job and made no secret of it. Templeman’s mother went to art school and by the time she was 18 she was drawing advertisements in newspapers and was completely happy with working independently.

“She was freelance all her life,” Templeman said. “So I had these two models of work in my childhood. My father dragging himself to work, hating it, not enjoying it at all. And my mother loving her work!”

He said he is sometimes curious about what his life would’ve been like if he had stayed in Montreal.

“When I was young I always wondered what I’d do when I grew up,” Templeman said. “One of the ironies is that now I do career coaching.”

When Templeman was entering the job market, “if you could walk and chew gum you could get a job,” he said. “You could always bail out and try other things. Now there’s no bail out. I would hate to be young in the current job market.”

After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Concordia in Montreal, he moved to Toronto to work and study. He left Montreal because of economic opportunity. “It became harder for Anglophones, as it should’ve.”

He went on to complete his Masters in English at the University of Toronto.

Templeman married in 1992 and had his first child in 1995. When his second child came into his life in 1999, it became clear that they wouldn’t be able to afford a larger space in Toronto.

“I would’ve needed to get into the cocaine trade and gotten very good at it to get a larger house,” Templeman joked.

After moving into Peterborough in 2000, Templeman has come to really enjoy the city. “Peterborough has a lot going for it,” he said. “Good art scene, music scene and events.”

“You don’t get that in some other small communities and cities.”

Templeman takes part in canoeing and climbing and volunteers for an organization called Outward Bound, an international outdoor education school.

“Some of the students I met in Outward Bound were pretty life-changing,” he said. “I met this blind girl, and I didn’t find out she was blind until we went on the canoe trip. She did the whole course without any vision.”

She eventually got back to him to thank him for his work, and to let him know that she has taken up skydiving.

“We’re only as limited as we tell ourselves.”