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Terry Fox-themed typewriter painted by Surrey artist to salute 1980’s ‘Marathon of Hope’

Restored word machine revealed ahead of the run’s 43rd anniversary
From left, Dave Benning, Darrell Fox and Brendan Raftery with the typewriter restored, painted and gifted to honour Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. (Submitted photo)

For the 43rd anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope launch, Surrey artist Dave Benning and Port Moody typewriter restorer Brendan Raftery have created something special.

Their commemorative word machine celebrates the legacy of Fox’s cancer fundraising run with images painted by Benning on a vintage Smith Corona Series Five Silent Super series model, restored by Raftery.

The Canadian-made typewriter was re-branded for the old Eaton’s department store chain in 1958, Fox’s year of birth.

“Terry used a typewriter to write letters to launch his fundraising campaign, so this just seems appropriate,” noted Benning, who lives and works in the Rosemary Heights area.

The art-covered typewriter has been gifted to the family of Fox, who began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980.

For Benning and Raftery, their hope is the typewriter will be displayed permanently somewhere, someday, to celebrate Fox and his heroic run.


The Terry Fox typewriter. (Submitted photo)
The Terry Fox typewriter. (Submitted photo)

An April 30 fundraising event at Port Moody’s Brave Brewing (noon to 2 p.m.) offers a chance to see the typewriter in person, along with others restored by Benning and Raftery, a commercial printer who also sings in the band BC/DC. People can type a note for Mother’s Day for donation to Terry Fox Foundation.

Their pal Derrick Hill, a friend of Fox who was involved with the Marathon of Hope, met Raftery through an internet classified ad about typewriters, and became a fan of his work to restore old machines. With an idea to create a themed one with Fox’s images, one was found in a collector’s car in a Vancouver alley. Once cleaned up, the typewriter was ready for Benning’s artwork.

Other examples of their typewriter art, saluting JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, “Star Wars,” T0m Hanks and others, are found on Old School Typewriters’ website,

On, Benning showcases his diverse work including portraits of rock stars, actors and other celebrities, and the custom-painted running shoes he’s done in recent years.

“After my daughter requesting custom-painted shoes, I looked into it and discovered the culture,” Benning says on the website.

“Wearable art is a very unique way to express your style and interests. Whether it is a pair that depicts your favourite team, band, show, movie, the options are limitless. Using only top quality Angelus paints and factory finish coating, the shoes are painted, heat treated and protected so you can wear them.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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