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"FED" 2003 Obituary


FEDORCHUK o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-10 published
By Bev QUINN and Arch RITTER, Monday, November 10, 2003 - Page A16
Veteran, Mason, jeweller, piper. Born November 27, 1916, in Ottawa. Died March 3 in Ottawa, of stomach cancer, aged 86.
One might have thought that Allan was born with bagpipes in his hands. Instead, he started taking chanter lessons from his uncle, Alex McBAIN, at 6, moved up to the pipes at 8, and by the age of 11, won a gold medal for piping in Banff, Alberta.
Allan's father, George, was born in China but became a restaurateur, first in Montreal, and then in Ottawa. Here he met Margaret Helen, from Moose Creek, Ontario They had six sons and one daughter. All the children worked in the St. James Café, George's fish-and-chip shop in Ottawa. As a boy, Allan also delivered candy by wagon for Short's Candy Store, worked as paper boy for the Ottawa Citizen, delivered for a drug store, and worked in a radiator shop and garage.
In 1931, Allan joined the Ottawa Highlanders (later the Cameron Highlanders) as a piper. He went on active duty in 1939 when the "Camerons" were mobilized, then moved to Camp Borden; later to Iceland and Scotland in 1941. From 1943 to 1944, he studied piping at Edinburgh Castle with the renowned Pipe Major Willie ROSS. He was posted in England until D-Day when he went to France, Belgium and Germany. He was released from the army in 1945.
Allan met his first wife, Sophia, in a social club the troops would frequent in Edinburgh while on leave. They were married in 1944 and she came to Canada as a war bride. Allan and Sophia had four children, George, Allan, Margaret and Heather, and eight grandchildren, one of whom predeceased him. Sophia passed away in 1986 from breast cancer.
Allan entered watch-making coincidentally, when a fellow soldier threw his broken Timex against the Nisson hut wall. Allan picked it up and repaired it in a day or two. Soon everybody, including a brigadier general from 3rd Division Headquarters, was bringing him watches for repair. This led to a watch-making course in 1943 in Brighton, England, courtesy of the military.
Following the war, Allan worked for Jack Snow Jewellers in Ottawa, then acquired Elgin Jewellers. In 1974, Allan handed Elgin Jewellers over to his son, Allan, who still operates it.
Allan was an excellent piping instructor, referred to by some as a "student's teacher." He taught hundreds of students, some up until one month before he was diagnosed with cancer. He was an inspiring mentor, a demanding musician, and a good friend.
One of Allan's best students was Bev FEDORCHUK from Dauphin, Manitoba They met at a chanter practice with the Sons of Scotland pipe band in Ottawa in 1991. Bev fell in love with his laugh, his beautiful smile, his sense of humour and his quality as a true gentleman. Two years later, they were happily married.
Allan formed two pipe bands, the Sons of Scotland in 1980, and the Highland Mist Pipe Band in 1993 where he was pipe major until 1995 and music director until 2000. In 1996, Allan won the "Over 50" Champion Supreme award in the Ontario Highland Games circuit in "Open Solo" piping -- in the same event (march, strathspey and reel) he had won some 60 years earlier.
During his last hospital stay, on New Year's Day, 2003, Allan was visited by three Cameron pipers who gave him a "levee" since he was the oldest living Cameron. It was during this period in hospital that Allan remarked that his biggest regret was that people don't realize the sacrifices that he and his fellow soldiers made for them in the Second World War.
Lest we forget.
Bev is Allan's wife, best friend and piping student; Arch his student and friend.

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