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"HOY" 2003 Obituary


HOY  HOYT 

HOY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-08 published
Photographer, reporter and royal press attaché
After years at The Globe and Mail, he went on to craft speeches for William DAVIS and to co-ordinate royal tours
By Allison LAWLOR Wednesday, January 8, 2003, Page R5
John GILLIES, a former reporter at The Globe and Mail, who later served as press attaché for the royal tours in the 1970s, died recently at his home in Mississauga, Ontario He was 74.
Known as "a two-way man," Mr. GILLIES was both a reporter and photographer at The Globe throughout the 1960s. He travelled extensively around Ontario, covering everything from fires and train derailments to inquests and trials.
Reporting was in his blood, said Rudy PLATIEL, a fellow two-way man who worked with Mr. GILLIES at The Globe.
He loved digging up stories and talking to people, Mr. PLATIEL recalled.
"For John, the worst time was when nothing was panning out, and he didn't get a story.
"We were sort of the generalists in the sense that we were ready to take on any story," Mr. PLATIEL added. "I think he enjoyed not knowing what was coming up next."
After more than a decade at The Globe and Mail, Mr. GILLIES left the paper for a job with the Ontario government.
Working as a communications officer in the Ministry of Education, his job, among others, was to field media calls and write speeches.
He frequently wrote them for William DAVIS -- who would later become the Premier of Ontario -- when Mr. DAVIS was the education minister. Mr. GILLIES spent 20 years working for the government before retiring in the late 1980s.
Of all the press officers at Queen's Park at the time, Mr. GILLIES was the most up-front, said Rod GOODMAN, a former ombudsman of The Toronto Star.
"If he knew something, he would tell you," Mr. GOODMAN said. "He was very straight and very honest."
During the 1970s, on leaves from the Ministry of Education, Mr. GILLIES served as press co-ordinator for the royal tours to Canada.
He would ride on the press bus, following the Royal Family on their visits to various parts of the country, arranging interviews and ensuring that things ran smoothly for the press.
"Several times, he got to meet the Queen," said his daughter, Laurie SWINTON. "He always said Prince Philip was a real card."
Her father was not known for his impeccable style: Ms. SWINTON recalls a photo taken of him standing with the Queen, wearing a rumpled $29 suit from a local department store. It was not uncommon for Mr. GILLIES to be seen with a crooked tie and untucked shirt. "He was probably one of the only guys at Queen's Park that dressed worse than me," said author and broadcaster Claire HOY.
John GILLIES was born in Toronto on March 4, 1928, the only son of George and Sarah GILLIES. The family lived in a tiny row house in the city's west end. His father worked in the rail yards, and his mother in a chocolate factory, often bringing home boxes of candy for her only son.
Not fond of school, Mr. GILLIES dropped out in Grade 10.
Later, in search of work, he walked into the office of the weekly newspaper in Port Credit (now a part of Mississauga), telling them he needed a job and would do anything. It just so happened that they required a sports editor and hired him.
"He just sort of fell into writing," Ms. SWINTON said.
In 1954, when Hurricane Hazel ripped through Toronto, killing 81 people, Mr. GILLIES's instinct was not to seek shelter in the basement of his home, but to hit the streets to talk to people and gather stories.
When Mr. GILLIES reached an area of the city where a number of new townhouses had been wiped out, a police roadblock met him, recalled his son, Ken GILLIES. A friend who was with him at the time pulled a badge from his coat pocket and flashed it at the officer. After police let the pair through, Mr. GILLIES turned to his friend and asked where he got the badge. "From my kid's Cheerios box this morning," his friend replied.
An avid golfer, it was on the greens in Port Credit that Mr. GILLIES met Frances SMITH, a woman who shared his passion for golf.
The couple married in 1954, and later had three children. Ms. GILLIES died of cancer in 1984.
A helpless optimist when it came to golf, Mr. GILLIES was known to go out under the most dire conditions. He would look at a dark, looming sky and declare that it was clearing, Ken GILLIES recalled. By contrast, said Mr. HOY, the task of getting Mr. GILLIES on the greens when he hadn't scheduled a golf game was next to impossible.
"I don't know anyone else who was that structured," Mr. HOY added, noting that his golfing buddy stuck to his weekly schedule, where each day was dedicated to a particular task. For example, shopping was done not on Thursday but on Saturday. "He had this one little idiosyncrasy," Mr. HOY joked.
A good-hearted man who was also a big lover of dogs, Mr. GILLIES was known to carry a stash of dog biscuits on his daily walks to give to the neighbourhood pooches. "He was a very simple guy," said his son Ken. "He didn't like a lot of ceremony and fanfare."
Mr. GILLIES leaves his three children, Don, Ken and Laurie, and two grandchildren, Corey and Grace.
John GILLIES, reporter / photographer, communications officer born in Toronto on March 4, 1928; died in Mississauga, Ontario on December 4, 2002.

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HOY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-26 published
FOLLETT, Michael
Peacefully, at the Freeport Health Centre of Grand River Hospital, surrounded by the love of his family, Michael died on Thursday, July 24, 2003. He was 59 years of age.
Beloved husband of Sheila; loving father of Amanda and Andrea FOLLETT; step-father of Christa and Jodie HOY, Grant, Carolyn and Susie PARKS. Pappy to Roelien and Danielle PARKS. Brother of Peter (Lisa), and stepsister Lynne (Sandy).
He was predeceased by his wife Mary (LEVOIR,) August 12, 1996, his parents John and Margaret (TAILOR/TAYLOR) FOLLETT and stepmother Peggy FOLLETT.
Mike was well known in the business community. He was Past President of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of The Conservative Business Association and the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club and served on the board of the K-W Art Gallery. Mike is a member of St. George's of Forest Hill Anglican Church. He founded and operated Michael Follett Consulting Inc.
Friends are invited to share their memories of Mike with his family at the Edward R. Good Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo from 2-4 and 7-9pm on Sunday. A service to celebrate Mike's life will be held at St. George's of Forest Hill Anglican Church, 321 Fischer Hallman Road East, Kitchener on Monday, July 28, 2003 at 1pm. with Reverend Mark GLADDING officiating. A private family interment will be held at a later date.
In Mike's memory, donations to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre would be appreciated and can be arranged through the funeral home, phone (519)745-8445 or www.edwardrgood.com

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HOYT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-02 published
James Edward FRASER April 1, 1929 - July 29, 2003
(Former Executive Director Track 3 Ski Association and in retirement tour escort for Golden Escapes Travel) Jim died peacefully after a short but feisty battle with cancer. Loving husband for 50 years to Virginia FAGE (Ginny.) Jim's zest for life and love of family is treasured by his daughters, Leslie (Ken HOYT,) Meredith (Ed YAWNEY) and Leah (Steven SPENCER.) Proud Grandpa of nine grandchildren, Meghan, Jenna, Taryn, Andrew and Owen HOYT, Tyler and Jennifer YAWNEY and Stephanie and Scott SPENCER. Jim was well known for his optimism and sense of humour which continued throughout his illness. His love of travel, good food (he especially enjoyed cooking for his family and Friends), music, theatre, dancing and skiing will be remembered by his family who will carry on his favourite tradition of all camping together. Jim was predeceased by his parents Judge Allan and Margaret FRASER and his brother John FRASER. He will be missed by his sisters Molly (Jack BOYD) and Diane (Michael McCORMACK) all of Ottawa. In accordance with Jim's wishes there will be no visitation. There will be a private family service and interment at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. A celebration of Jim's life will take place in Toronto on September 13, 1-4 p.m. at the Old Mill Garden Room. The family wishes to thank the staff at Sunnybrook Hospital and Cancer Centre who were so kind and caring to both Jim and his family. If desired, donations in his memory may be made to Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre or The Lions Foundation of Canada (a facility for training guide and helper dogs) (905)842-2891. Condolences and inquiries regarding the celebration may be sent to jimandginny13@hotmail.com

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