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"BIR" 2003 Obituary


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BIRD o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-13 published
BIRD, Sheilah Hope (née MARSHALL)
died in Sydney, Australia on May 2nd 2003 after a short illness, leaving to mourn: loving husband, Howard; brothers, Spencer (Cayman) Bob (Toronto); sisters-in-law; nieces; nephews and a host of Friends.

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BIRD o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-18 published
D-Day vet one of the 'Two Jacks'
Story of two soldiers'daring escape from a German PoW camp inspired a book of 'amazing adventures'
By Allison LAWLOR Friday, July 18, 2003 - Page R13
Jack VENESS, a D-Day veteran whose dramatic account of capture and escape during the Second World War was chronicled in the book The Two Jacks, has died at his home in Fredericton. He was Maritime writer Will R. BIRD recounted Mr. VENESS's wartime heroism in his 1954 book The Two Jacks: The Amazing Adventures of Major Jack M. VENESS and Major Jack L. FAIRWEATHER.
When Canadians landed on the Normandy coast of France on D-Day, Mr. VENESS and Dr. FAIRWEATHER were there with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. By June 7, the North Novas (as they were known) battled their way inland -- about 13 kilometres -- and had occupied the villages of Buron and Authie when they were met by German tanks and gunfire, led by the 12th SS Panzer Division.
A raging battle ensued that left dozens of North Novas dead and injured and led to the capture of both Mr. VENESS and Dr. FAIRWEATHER. They were among close to 100 who were taken prisoner by the Germans at the time.
"We thought it was bad luck that we were captured but on the other hand there were a lot of people who didn't survive," said Dr. FAIRWEATHER, a retired doctor living in Lewisburg, Pa.
After being forced to walk for close to a week with little food or rest, the two officers, along with the other prisoners, reached the gates of "Front Stalag." The German prison was a collection of worn-out army huts surrounded by three barbed wire fences.
Included in the book The Two Jacks is a card Mr. VENESS wrote dated June 16, 1944. "Dear Mother, I am in a German PoW camp. I am in good health and will write more later. Love, Jack."
The two Jacks would then spend the next six weeks in the prison camp before being loaded onto a railway boxcar. After spending at least five days jammed into the crowded car, with bombs dropping all around them, the two men decided if they were going to escape, now was the time.
"It was made pretty clear in training... an officer's first duty when captured is to escape," Dr. FAIRWEATHER said. "We had that in the back of our minds."
In the dark of the night, just outside the French city of Tours, the two terrified men escaped their imprisonment by jumping from a moving train through a hole in the boxcar.
"Jack said, 'This is our chance, we have to take it,' Dr. FAIRWEATHER recalled. "He said, 'Come on, we can do this.' " The two officers were hidden by a French priest in the belfry of a church (which Mr. VENESS would later visit in the 1970s with his son and first wife), and were soon after linked up with the French underground.
"I'm sure we wouldn't have survived without the underground," Dr. FAIRWEATHER said. "They hid us and protected us."
The two officers served with the French underground in the German-occupied Loire district of France for less than two months before they were able to make a safe return to their regiment in England.
After declining an offer to be re-posted to Canada, both Jacks rejoined their North Nova units in Europe. This next period would mark some of the most intense fighting Mr. VENESS took part in during the war.
"He was a very courageous and a very brave man," said his friend and fellow veteran, retired judge David DICKSON/DIXON of the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench. "He never lacked valour."
John (Jack) Mersereau VENESS was born on November 11, 1922, in Ottawa to John and Annie VENESS. After moving with his family to Fredericton in 1933, he attended Fredericton High School. He went on to complete one year at the University of New Brunswick before joining the Canadian Infantry Corps (North Nova Scotia Highlanders) in May, 1942, at the age of 19. A year later, he went overseas and not long after met Dr. FAIRWEATHER while in England with the North Novas.
Dr. FAIRWEATHER said he immediately liked his fellow Maritimer's directness. "He called a spade a spade."
Over the course of his storied military career, Mr. VENESS would go on to serve in England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France. After returning to his unit after his capture and escape, Mr. VENESS was engaged in fighting in the flooded Scheldt Estuary in Holland and Belgium, during which time he captured a German major-general at gunpoint.
In March, 1945, while leading his company in Germany, Mr. VENESS was seriously wounded by shrapnel from an exploding shell. After more than a month in hospital he recovered.
Mr. VENESS retired from the army in 1946 as a major with many medals, including the War Medal, being mentioned in dispatches, Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm, Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II with Palm (Belgium), The Defence Medal and the 1939-45 Star.
"He had a high respect for the veterans all his life," Mr. Dickson said. "I really [think] he felt he owed a debt to his fellow soldiers."
After returning home to New Brunswick after the war, Mr. VENESS returned to the University of New Brunswick and graduated in 1950 with a degree in civil engineering. He spent four years working in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Banff, Alberta., then returned to New Brunswick to work for the Department of Highways. He retired in 1983 as director of traffic engineering.
In 1948, Mr. VENESS married Jere WOOD from Saint Martin's, New Brunswick They had one son. In 1976, after almost 30 years of marriage, Mr. VENESS lost both his wife and mother in a tragic car accident, while the two women were driving home to Fredericton from St. Andrews, New Brunswick Two years later, Mr. VENESS married Freda LOCKHARD. The couple enjoyed travelling and visited Europe to pay homage to fallen soldiers at military cemeteries and to attend commemorative services.
In addition to travelling, Mr. VENESS was also an active member of the community. He volunteered with a number of organizations, including the Young Men's Christian Association, where he served on the board of directors; the Masons; the Canadian Legion; and the Fredericton Garrison Club, where he was president.
Mr. VENESS's strict, early military training stuck with him throughout his life. Mr. DICKSON/DIXON remembers that a telephone call to his friend meant a brisk talk to convey a message and no idle chitchat.
"He was a little gruff at times," Mr. DICKSON/DIXON said.
Mr. VENESS died of a heart attack on June 30 while playing snooker at his home in Fredericton.
He leaves his wife Freda, son Randy, daughter-in-law Angela and two grandchildren.

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BIRD o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-02 published
WEAVER, Clare Thorne
Died on Monday, September 29th, 2003, at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital, Bracebridge, at the age of 64. Beloved daughter of the late Harriet and Bill WEAVER. Much loved sister of Brink (Margaret) and Stewart (Carol) of Toronto and Muskoka and Vicky WEAVER (and the late Richard BIRD) of Lake of Bays. Miss WEAVER, formerly of CosCob, Connecticut, enjoyed a happy year with David and Jackie GOODFELLOW of Gravenhurst where she received special care. Fondly remembered by her five nieces and nephews and in particular Harriet. Friends will be received at the Reynolds Funeral Home ''Turner Chapel'' 1 Mary Street, Bracebridge (877) 806-2257 on Friday, October 3rd, 2003 from 1: 00 p.m. until time of service in the Chapel at 2: 00 p.m. Burial in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, on Monday, October 6th, 2003 at 11: 00 a.m. Memorial gifts to the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, 75 Ann Street, Bracebridge, Ontario P1L 2E4 would be appreciated by the family.

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BIRD o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-13 published
Died This Day -- James BIRD, 1892
Trader, interpreter and native leader known as "Jemmy Jock" born in Rupert's Land in 1798; son of a Hudson's Bay Company chief factor and a Cree woman; made Hudson's Bay Company apprentice by about the age of 11 and clerk by 18; in 1820s, sent to gain trade with Blackfoot, Blood and Peigan; became accepted and respected by tribes; credited as "a very intelligent interpreter" of the Blackfoot language in the signing of Treaty No. 7 (1877); died in Montana.

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BIRINGER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-03-03 published
ENNIS, Lillian
On Saturday, March 1, 2003, at Kensington Gardens, in her 85th year, after a long and full life. Beloved wife of the late Dr. Julius ENNIS. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Paul and Laura, Jon and Janice, Nancy and Monica, and Barry and Karen. Dear sister and sister-in-law of the late Sonia and David GARFIELD, Al and the late Doris JANIS, the late Pearl and Dave DAVIS, Ruth and Josh SEGAL, Bunny and Edith ENNIS, and Rita and Marvin WEINTRUAB. Devoted grandmother of Simon, Joshua, Miriam, Naomi, Isabelle, Sam, and Julie. She will be missed by her devoted nieces and nephews and her many Friends. The family is grateful for the attentive care given by Dr. Anne BIRINGER. Special thanks to everyone at Kensington Gardens. At Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Avenue West (one light west of Dufferin), for service on Monday, March 3, 2003, at 12: 30 p.m. Interment Chevra Mishnayis Section of Mt. Sinai Memorial Park. Shiva 8 Conrad Avenue, through to Wednesday evening. If desired, donations may be made to the Lillian Ennis Memorial Fund c/o the Benjamin Foundation, 3429 Bathurst Street, Toronto, M6A 2C3, 416-780-0324.

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BIRKS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-18 published
BIRKS, Helen Thompson
Died peacefully on August 16, 2003, in Montreal, in her 92nd year. Predeceased by her husband John E. BIRKS. Dear mother of Sally BONGARD (Strachan), Barbara WYBAR and Peter BIRKS. Cherished grandmother of Sarah, Ashley and John HENNESSY, Caroline, Jonathan and James WYBAR, Nicola Wybar THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON, and Michael BIRKS. Survived by her brother Alan G. THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON and sister June PASHKEVITCH. Predeceased by brothers Richard THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON, John Munroe THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON and sister Margaret LAY. Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at St. Andrew's and St. Paul's Church (3415 Redpath Street, Montreal), at 2 p.m. Memorial service will be held in Metis Beach, Little Metis Presbyterian Church, on Friday, August 22nd, 2003. Donations in memory of Helen BIRKS may be made to McGill University, Attention Libraries (3605 de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec H3G 2M1) or to the Little Metis Presbyterian Church Outreach, c/o 21 Beach Road, Metis Beach, Quebec G0J 1S0.

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BIRMINGHAM o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-15 published
KOSKI, Dr. John T.
Dr. John T. KOSKI died on Friday, November 14, 2003 in Belmont House, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He is survived by his wife Evelyn, his daughters Jane and Anne, his son-in-law Paul and his sisters Rosemary and Marianne.
Following cremation, the family will receive Friends and family at the Newbigging Funeral Home, 733 Mount Pleasant Road in Toronto on Sunday, November 23, 2003 from 1: 00-5:00 p.m. A Service of Celebration is to be announced later, to be held in Toronto.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of two newly established Memorial Scholarships in Dr. John T. KOSKI's name. For Cambrian College students, donations may be sent to Brian VENDRAMIN, Executive Director, Cambrian Foundation, Suite 103, 62 Frood Road, Sudbury, Ontario P3C 4Z3. Or, for Northern College students (Kirkland Lake campus) donations may be sent to Jennifer PEARSON, Coordinator, College Foundation, Northern College, P.O.Box 3211, Timmins, Ontario P4N 8R6.
The family wishes to thank Belmont House nursing staff for their loving care of John, his private duty nurses Yo and Margaret, Dr. BIRMINGHAM and Dr. REINGOLD of Belmont House Staff, and Dr. Nathan HERMMANN of Sunnybrook Medical Centre.

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BIRNEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-22 published
CAIN, Thomas Henry
At St. Joseph's Villa, Dundas, 18 February 2003, of cancer. Professor of English literature at McMaster University for 31 years, Tom had a keen interest in teaching undergraduates to write lucid prose, and was author of Common Sense About Writing (1967). The methods in this manual were conceived and developed while an instructor at Yale University, and arise from the rigors of the old Ontario school curriculum of which he was a beneficiary. Author of Praise in The Fairie Queene (1978), and numerous related articles, he began his scholarly interest in Edmund Spenser while an undergraduate at Victoria College, University of Toronto his graduate degrees were from the Universities of Toronto and Wisconsin. He was a regular church organist from his boyhood, until in 1967 he joined the choir of St. James' Anglican Church in Dundas under the direction of Richard BIRNEY- SMITH, in whose Te Deum Singers he also sang from 1972 until his health began to fail in 1997. In 1976 he joined Saint John's Anglican Church in Ancaster, where he sang in the choir for 22 years, and enjoyed a central role in designing its organ in 1988. His hymn text, 'Eternal Lord of Love, Behold Your Church, ' written for the Episcopal Church's Hymnal (1982), is included in Roman Catholic and Lutheran hymnals, and the 1998 hymnal in present use in the Anglican Church of Canada. A gardener of great knowledge and experience, he shared this interest information and particularly plants generously. Throughout his life, he enjoyed deep Friendships with animals. He found a great store of patience and humour to confront the illness which ended his life. He is survived by his widow, Emily CAIN, of Jerseyville; his son, Patrick CAIN, of Toronto, and his sister, Catherine MacFARLANE, of Maple, who wish to thank McMaster University Medical Centre and St. Joseph's Villa staff for their care and compassion. Requiem Eucharist at Saint John's Anglican Church, 272 Wilson St. (at Halson St.), in Ancaster, on Saturday, March 1 at 10: 30 a.m. (casual clothes) reception to follow in Saint John's parish hall (on Halson St.). Spring bulb flowers will be gratefully accepted at the church or parish hall. Please send donations in lieu of flowers to St. John's Church (music programme), 272 Wilson Street, Ancaster, Ontario L9G 2B9.

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