Ray Guy was a Newfoundland journalist and humourist best known for his satirical newspaper and magazine columns. He was born in Come By Chance, Placentia Bay, to George Hynes and Alice Louise Guy, but was raised and schooled in Arnold’s Cove, the community that was to provide fodder for many of his columns.
Guy studied journalism at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. After graduation, he wrote for the St. John’s Evening Telegram 1963–1974, and his columns also appeared in magazines such as Atlantic Insight and the Newfoundland Quarterly. His writings included political satire and humorous essays on life in a Newfoundland outport, and his columns in the Evening Telegram often criticized the policies and ridiculed the excesses of Premier Joseph Smallwood, during a time when political opposition to Smallwood was ineffectual. In 1977, Ray Guy received the Stephen Leacock Award for the collection, That Far Greater Bay. In 1979, Gordon Pinsent created Up at Ours, a half-hour CBC St. John’s television series that starred Mary Walsh as the owner of a boarding house and Ray Guy as the principal boarder. In 1985, Walsh appeared in and directed a stage play written by Guy, Young Triffie’s Been Made Away With, which Walsh directed as a film in 2006, promoted in some markets under the shorter title Young Triffie. Guy also appeared as a commentator on the CBC St. John’s news program Here & Now.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2001. Guy also wrote a monthly column for the Northeast Avalon Times. Other books to Ray Guy’s credit include You May Know Them As Sea Urchins, Ma’am (1975), Outhouses of the East (1978), Beneficial Vapors (1981), An Heroine for Our Time (1983), This Dear and Fine Country (1985), Ray Guy’s Best (1987), and Ray Guy: The Smallwood Years (2008).
Ray Guy passed away on May 14, 2013 in St. John’s, NL.