When Marg Harrison looked at her newborn son she exclaimed, "What a beautiful Beau." The nickname stuck. Though named after his father in keeping with family tradition, Thomas Harrison was also known as Bo for the rest of his life.
Growing up during the Depression, Bo learned the value of a day's work. At an early age he hawked newspapers in Toronto's Cabbagetown. When he had an extra nickel he loved to spend a Saturday afternoon at the movies.
Bo also loved sports and developed into a fair athlete. After high school he decided to try luck his luck by playing for a baseball team in Northern Ontario. To make ends meet, he got one of his first jobs working in the mines for Inco.
One night, he and a friend decided to experience Sudbury's nightlife by going out to dinner. While they were waiting for their meals to arrive, the owner hurried over to apologize. Apparently the entire wait staff had quit en masse and there was no one to serve dinner. Bo and his friend immediately volunteered to help. Instead of being served dinner, they happily waited on everyone else to assist the surprised restaurant owner.
Bo met the love of his life on a weekend outing to Balm Beach, Ont. He married Jean Rhodes in 1952 and they moved to Scarborough, Ont. Together they raised a large and loving family of five children - David, Christopher, Timothy, Lisa and Thomas - followed by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Throughout his life Bo was a bon vivant who liked to have fun. Though he never had an alcoholic drink until he was well into his 20s, in later life Bo cherished a glass (or two) of wine. He had a knack for verbal wordplay and, to varying degrees of comedic effect, delighted in dropping puns into daily conversation. To close friends and family members these jokes were known as "Bo humour," and they were as likely to elicit groans as they were indulgent laughter.
When he retired after more than 30 years in the film department at the CBC, Bo pursued his love of sports and became involved in his community. He volunteered to help organize many events, and served terms as president of his seniors' baseball league, local curling association and community seniors' centre. He was recognized as seniors' volunteer of the year for the City of Toronto in 2007.
The remainder of Bo's time was filled with the many seniors' bus trips to local attractions and theatre festivals that he and Jean helped to organize, and in travelling around the world. On their last trip in the summer of 2009, Bo and Jean finally got to visit Scandinavia, a place they had wanted to see for many years.
Thomas Stuart Harrison is Bo's son.