Raised to love this province and its people, the grandson of the late Geoff Stirling shares his thoughts on the miracle of being a dad and treasured family values
Some might say he’s one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s A-list celebrities, but regardless, Jesse Stirling is a name that rings familiarity throughout households across the island. Proving himself as a young prodigy and working his way up the media chain, Stirling was born into a family destined to be remembered as trailblazers.
LOVE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND
Grandson of Newfoundland and Labrador broadcasting icon Geoff Stirling, and brother to Real Housewives of Orange County star Lydia McLaughlin, Jesse was born in San Fransisco, but spent a good chunk of his childhood on the rock.
“I feel like I was raised in Newfoundland. My very first memory is splashing around in some puddles by the ocean on the beautiful rocks down at my grandfather’s land in Torbay,” Stirling shared in an exclusive interview with The Newfoundland Herald.
“I already loved Newfoundland deeply by the time I moved here in junior high, then I went away for university and had a career in Silicon Valley, but then I came back in my late 20’s and spent basically 15 years working for my dad and helping run NTV, OZFM and The Herald. Long story short, Newfoundland has always meant a lot to me.”
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Speaking of things that mean a lot, it’s about time we mention Stirling’s beautiful bundle of joy, Olivia, who has recently been welcomed into the world this past year.
“I’m an older dad. I know that I would rather be a father now at 46 than I would at say 26. I don’t have a temper anymore, I have a lot more free time, and a little bit more stability. We tried for seven years to get pregnant.”
OUR LITTLE MIRACLE BABY
And those seven years were all but smooth sailing. For four years, the couple worked with a fertility doctor, and were given a 15 per cent chance of getting pregnant, which would continuously go down by 1 per cent per month in which they did not succeed.
“After we went off all the fertility medicines, had the big talk, decided that we weren’t gonna be able to have a kid, we were fine with that, we thought maybe we’d adopt. Then one night, we went out on a date just for fun, my wife had a glass of wine for the first time in two years, and bingo, it happened. Our little miracle baby. I credit God and the wine,” Stirling laughed.
“What I wasn’t ready for is you’re very worried and concerned when your wife is pregnant, you’re just hoping so much that this baby turns out okay. That worrying doesn’t stop once they’re born, there’s even more that can happen to them on the outside. It’s almost like a piece of your heart is just out there wandering through the world.”
Stirling also hinted that he, wife Amanda, and their baby girl do plan on moving to Newfoundland permanently, at some point, to embrace a childhood like his own for Olivia.
“I want to have her remembering spending every summer in Newfoundland, and there’s gonna be a chapter where we live permanently in Newfoundland, like I did. Basically, I want to give her the growing-up experience that I had, the tradition continues.”
Part of that tradition is helping out the Janeway. After having a “near-death” experience at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre as a kid, Stirling grew fond of the healthcare system, specifically the Janeway, and its welcoming vibes.
“I woke up as a kid and I thought I had this weird, exotic disease and that I was dying, I had these grotesque boils all over my face and a 104-degree fever. I showed up and they said; you sir, have chickenpox,” he reminisced jokingly.
Seven years ago, the Janeway approached the Stirling family, and Stirling Communications, in regards to the Janeway Telethon. As a small, family-owned company, they questioned whether or not it would be too much to take on.
“I give all the credit to the team of people, not even just our company, but it’s a lot of on-air volunteers and the many talented people behind the camera that you never see. No one’s doing it for the glory, the name and fame, or the money, we’re doing it just to help the children of this province.”
“Newfoundlanders and Labradorians give more per capita than any other people in North America. This year’s telethon, I did a brief calculation, it was over six dollars per every man, woman, and child. It’s an insane amount of generosity. It’s for the children and the children are our future. It’s like building a foundation for your province. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
STRONG STIRLING ADVICE
What does the Newfoundland and Labrador broadcasting prodigy, proclaimed Lydia McLaughlin’s “super hot brother”, and new father, have planned for Father’s Day? Well, nothing!
“This is the life of a travelling salesman. Unfortunately, I’m planning to have my first Father’s Day away from home. Maybe we can start some new traditions, ask the readers to write in with what their favourite Father’s Day traditions are and maybe I can copy a few of them,” he laughed.
One thing Stirling does have an abundance of is very useful advice from his father and his grandfather, which has been passed down over the years and helped Stirling down his road of success.
“I think the best advice my dad ever gave me was; pace yourself. When I was in high school, I loved pulling all-nighters and cramming for tests. Then as you get older, you learn that it is all about pacing yourself. Life, and your career, is a marathon, it’s not a sprint, so make sure that you have your work life balanced,” he shared.
“My grandfather, it’s really hard to narrow it down to one piece of advice. I gotta quote his; “it’s all just a movie, buddy”. Life becomes very interesting when you start to look at everything as a movie and you’re the director, you’re totally responsible for every scene you’re creating, down to the bit players, the costuming, the dialogue. If you don’t like how the script is going, change it.
“How the universe works, is if you’re putting out your intentions, the universe will give you a series of steps to take in order to achieve your goals and then it really requires a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and ambition. The million dollars doesn’t come marching to you, what does come marching to you is the knowledge on how to make that million dollars. We can all be living the life of our dreams, it’s just a matter of focus.”