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"LON" 2003 Obituary


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LONEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-12 published
Man of peace died with his boots on
Christian-based, stop-the-war mission to southern Iraq ended in tragedy for Canadian peace activist
By Allison LAWLOR Wednesday, February 12, 2003, Page R7
He was an educator who tried to stop a war before it began. Instead, George WEBER, a former Ontario high-school teacher who was touring Iraq as part of an effort to stave off a war, died there in a road accident. He was 73.
Mr. WEBER was killed instantly when the vehicle he was travelling in as a passenger rolled on an Iraqi highway between Basra and Baghdad.
When the left rear tire blew out of the Chevrolet Suburban, the truck hit the shoulder of the road and flipped over before rolling to a stop upside-down beside the road, said Doug PRITCHARD, Canadian co-ordinator for the Christian Peacemaker Teams, a church-based group dedicated to non-violent activism.
Mr. WEBER, who was travelling in the back seat, was thrown from the vehicle and sustained massive head injuries. Two other activists with the group were injured in the accident.
An investigation has shown that on the day of the accident, the vehicle was in excellent condition, the tires were new and the truck was travelling on a six-lane, lightly travelled highway on a clear day, Mr. PRITCHARD said.
Mr. WEBER, a retired high-school history teacher from the town of Chesley in southwestern Ontario, was among 17 Canadian and American peace activists who arrived in Iraq on December 29. They were committed to living up to a mission statement of the Christian Peacemaker Teams of reducing violence by "getting in the way," Mr. PRITCHARD said.
The group travelled to the country despite warnings from the Department of Foreign Affairs advising Canadians to stay away from Iraq for security reasons. With war looming there, antiwar activists from around the world have been heading to Iraq to act as "human shields" if the bombs start falling, and in solidarity with Iraqis.
"He was a student of world politics," said Reverend Anita Janzen of the Hanover Mennonite Church, where Mr. WEBER and his wife Lena attended. "He was very upset [by] the threat of war [in Iraq]."
Mr. WEBER felt he wouldn't be able to live with himself if war broke out in Iraq and he had failed to do anything, she said.
Yet, when people told him they thought his actions were courageous, his reply was: " 'I'm no hero,' " said his wife Lena. "It was what he felt he needed to do," she said.
In Iraq, Mr. WEBER and the Christian Peacemaker Team visited hospitals, farms and schools to talk to Iraqis about the Persian Gulf war, the United Nations sanctions and the current possible U.S.-led war.
Shortly after arriving in Baghdad, he made a trip to the marketplace to have a local tailor make him a suit. He had planned to pick it up after his trip to Basra but he never made it back to the marketplace. But someone else did. Mr. WEBER wore the suit at his funeral.
Having the suit made in Baghdad fit with Mr. WEBER's personal philosophy of trying to help those most in need. It was not uncommon on his various travels to developing countries to seek out the most decrepit taxi, saying it was that driver who was the most in need of the fare, Lena WEBER said.
"He was really kind of an unassuming and a genuinely humble man who in a quiet way lived his beliefs," said Jim LONEY, a fellow Canadian who was in the truck but escaped serious injuries. Mr. LONEY accompanied Mr. WEBER's body back to Canada from Iraq. Mr. WEBER had been scheduled to return home on January 9. "He was a deeply committed Christian, and deeply committed to peace."
Mr. WEBER's trip to Iraq wasn't his first with the Christian Peacemakers Team. After retiring from teaching, he applied to take part in a Peacemakers mission to Chiapas, Mexico. In his application in 1999, he noted that throughout his life he had been interested in current events and was aware that it was the poor and disadvantaged people in the world who end up suffering the most.
"I think that most of the calamities that befall ordinary folk could be alleviated if it were not for the selfishness and greed that motivate the power structures, which are in place throughout the world.
"But there are also many people of goodwill who wish to treat everyone fairly and with charity. I try to be among this group," he wrote.
He was part of a two-week delegation to Chiapas in February, 2000. This trip was followed by another six-week mission to Hebron in the West Bank in 2001, and another six weeks there in 2002.
In the West Bank, Mr. WEBER was particularly moved by the plight of the Palestinian children and would accompany them to school through military checkpoints ensuring that they arrived safely.
Mr. WEBER had also been a member of the Peace Justice and Social Concerns Committee of the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada between 1994 and 1998.
George WEBER was born on July 28, 1929, and grew up on a farm near Elmira, Ontario He was the fifth of seven children born to Ion and Geneva WEBER. After his father died when he was in his 50s, George was left to take over the family farm. A young man, just 20, he helped his mother raise his younger siblings.
When George felt one of his younger siblings was able to take over the farm, he got on a boat headed for Europe. It was during his travels that he decided he would like to one day attend university.
He returned to Canada in his mid-20s and enrolled in the history department at the University of Toronto. After graduating with a degree, he went into teaching. His first job was teaching history at Western Technical-Commercial School in Toronto.
It was through the Mennonite church that he met Lena FREY. The couple married in 1959 and not long afterward went to Africa. Mr. WEBER taught in Ghana and Nigeria during the 1960s for the Mennonite Board of Missions teaching school and his wife worked as a nurse.
After returning to Canada, he taught at a Toronto high school before settling in Chesley, Ontario, where he taught history at a local high school, farmed and was active in the Hanover Mennonite Church.
"George was a very critical thinker," said Barry WOODYARD, a retired vice-principal at Chesley District High School. "He used to challenge his students not to accept anything they heard on the news," or from politicians. "He felt they needed to do their own thinking."
A quiet, hard-working man, he was known among his colleagues for having a particular talent for forming relationships with the difficult students the other teachers often didn't want to deal with.
"If people needed help he would help them," Mr. WOODYARD said.
Mr. WEBER leaves his wife Lena, children Reginald and Tania and four grandchildren. He also leaves two brothers and one sister.
George WEBER, teacher, farmer, missionary, born on July 28, 1929, in Elmira, Ontario; died near Basra, Iraq, on January 6, 2003.

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LONEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-04-04 published
'Gentle Ben' town mayor transformed his community
When first elected in 1970, Nepean, Ontario, was $22-million in the red but 30 years later his careful leadership had eliminated the entire debt
By Randy RAY Special to The Globe and Mail Friday, April 4, 2003 - Page R13
Ottawa -- For Ben FRANKLIN, there was no such thing as a two-minute drive to the corner store for a newspaper or a quick trip to a local supermarket for groceries. Inevitably, the former mayor of Nepean, Ontario, now amalgamated with Ottawa, would meet people along the way, and what started as a quick errand would extend to several hours of mingling and chit-chat with those he'd encounter along the way.
"He'd often say he was popping out for two minutes to go to the store and six hours later he'd come home," says Mary PITT, who recalled how his wife, Sherry, remembers her husband.
Ms. PITT, who worked as Mr. FRANKLIN's administrative assistant for 18 years before succeeding him as mayor in 1997, said Mr. FRANKLIN never put on any airs with his constituents, and for that, he was universally well liked. "He wasn't one to go around saying 'I'm Ben FRANKLIN and you've got to pay attention to me.' He was just Ben, Gentle Ben as some called him."
Mr. FRANKLIN, Nepean's longest-reigning mayor, died on March 22 at age 60, while awaiting a heart transplant. "Gentle Ben, " as he was known for his engaging and friendly personality, had been at the Ottawa Heart Institute since February 1, and had an artificial heart implanted March 3. He died from bleeding in the skull, caused by a weakness of blood vessels in his brain.
Mr. FRANKLIN was born on August 15, 1942, in Elgin, Ont, a community near Smiths Falls, south of Ottawa. Like his mother, he became a teacher. While teaching high-school geography in Ottawa in the early 1970s, he began writing a column for a weekly newspaper in Nepean and eventually developed an interest in politics.
He won a seat on Nepean's council in 1972 and took office in January, 1973. At the time, it was a part-time job, and Nepean was a township.
"One day he decided that if change was to happen he would have to get into politics," says Ms. PITT, who campaigned door-to-door for Mr. FRANKLIN the year he was first elected. He became mayor in 1978 and Ms. PITT joined his staff as administrative assistant two years later when he gave up his teaching job.
He left the mayor's office in 1997 because of his heart disease, his dwindling energy, and concern that continuing stress might lead to further problems.
Al LONEY, a former Nepean councillor who entered politics the same year as Mr. FRANKLIN, said Mr. FRANKLIN leaves a legacy of sound fiscal management and plenty of parks and recreational facilities in Nepean, which became part of Ottawa in January, 2001, when 11 municipalities were amalgamated to become the new city of Ottawa.
When Mr. FRANKLIN took over as mayor in 1978, Nepean was $22-million in debt, and its taxes were higher than the regional average. Thanks to Mr. FRANKLIN's pay-as-you go philosophy, the debt was eliminated and by the time Nepean was absorbed into the amalgamated Ottawa-Carleton in 2001, it also had the lowest taxes in the region.
"He emphasized the need to put more money into reserve funds, so when the time came to buy a fire truck or put up an arena, the money was there," says Mr. LONEY, who often played golf with Mr. FRANKLIN. " When we built the new city hall in 1980, it cost $24-million and we had all the money we needed to pay it off."
The former city hall building, which also houses a theatre and a public library, is now known as Ben Franklin Place. A park now under construction in the former Nepean will also bear Mr. FRANKLIN's name.
Mr. FRANKLIN's frugal bent extended to his dress, which was usually casual. His casualness "may have contributed to the fact that nobody felt intimidated by him," says Mr. LONEY.
A well-known story about Mr. FRANKLIN's lack of concern for appearances occurred when Mr. LONEY and the mayor went to California on city business. Because most of his clothes were being cleaned, Mr. FRANKLIN brought along only one pair of dress pants and Mr. LONEY had to stand in front of him at most of the meetings they attended because the mayor had dripped ketchup on his pants on their first day out.
Around the Nepean council table Mr. FRANKLIN was known as a consensus builder, who rarely let issues or political opponents get under his skin, adds Mr. LONEY. " He'd have six of the seven votes he needed and I'd say 'That's all you need.' He'd say, 'Give me a few days and I'll get that last one.'"
For two days after his death, Mr. FRANKLIN's body lay in state at Ben Franklin Place where he had presided over dozens of council meetings and where his funeral service was held on March 26. Appropriately, his casket was green, the official colour of the former city of Nepean.
He leaves his wife, Sherry; son, Brent; daughter Suzanne; brother Bill and sister Anita.

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LONGBOAT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-18 published
Nova Scotia's marathon man
Cape Breton boy was Boston's most surprising victor
By Kevin COX Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - Page R5
Halifax -- Johnny MILES was first the determined champion, then the gentle grandfather of Canadian distance running.
His first major running prize was a sack of flour in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1922 -- he finished third in the three-mile race but was first to sprint by the store. After four years of training including sprints behind his grocery cart, the humble, unknown 20-year-old Cape Breton delivery boy and Sunday-school teacher stunned the running world by defeating its best athletes to win the prestigious Boston Marathon.
It was a win that Mr. MILES and his father had calmly predicted to a policeman and a race official the day before. But even Johnny MILES had his doubts on that chilly April Monday as he pounded along the 26.2-mile course on his 95-cent shoes from the Co-op store in his hometown.
At the 22-mile mark, Mr. MILES was running stride for stride with leader and Finnish running legend Albin STENROOS when he looked over and saw a blank and exhausted expression on his rival's face.
"I knew right there that I had him and I had to make a move," he recalled with the gleam of a fierce competitor in his eye in an interview 54 years later. "He was rubbing his side and he had a stitch, so I didn't look back. I speeded up and I think that took the heart out of him."
He is still widely hailed among running raconteurs as the most surprising victor in the 107-year history of the event. Mr. MILES's time -- then a world marathon record -- was so unbelievable that race officials measured the Boston course -- and found it 176 yards short of the classic 26-mile, 385-yard distance.
"I don't know what all the fuss is about," he said in an interview in 1995. "I had a God-given gift and I used it."
Mr. MILES, his father and his mother arrived in Boston by train a few days before the marathon. The day before the race, father and son walked the course, got lost and ended up asking a burly Irish policeman for directions and received some advice that was not exactly a vote of confidence.
"My son needs to know the route because he's entered in tomorrow's race." The friendly officer smiled and said, "Tell your son to just follow the crowd."
On race day, Mr. MILES wore a red, homemade maple leaf on a white undershirt. His performance shattered the 1924 record held by the other race favourite, Clarence DEMAR, the four-time winner of the event.
"That boy ran the best marathon since that Indian [Canadian Tom LONGBOAT] in 1907," a stunned Mr. DEMAR was reported to have said.
A year later, he again challenged the gruelling course but suffered an embarrassing setback when he had to withdraw from the race with serious burns to his feet. His dad had taken a pair of his 95-cent sneakers and shaved down the soles with a straight razor so they wouldn't be so heavy. His feet -- tops and bottoms -- had bled.
It was a rare retreat. Mr. MILES, who trained on rural Cape Breton roads, dominated Canadian distance running through the late 1920s and early 1930s. He captured the Boston crown again in 1929 and won a bronze medal at the British Empire Games in 1931 and also ran the marathon in the Olympic Games in 1928 and 1932.
Born in Halifax, England, on October 30, 1905, Mr. MILES moved with his family to Cape Breton the following year. He worked as a grocery delivery boy at the time of his big win. But his first job as a young teen was in the Cape Breton coal mines. He went to work there to help support his family when his father went off to fight in the First World War.
Mr. MILES left the mines a few years later and entered his first contest -- a three-mile race in Sydney, Nova Scotia -- with the hopes of winning some fishing supplies.
He is revered in his home province of Nova Scotia even though he moved to Hamilton, Ontario, to train and take a job with International Harvester in 1927.
After his victories, some parents even named newborn children after the marathon hero. One of those babies, Johnny Miles WILLISTON, went on to become a driving force in establishing the Johnny Miles Marathon in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
The victories on the tracks and roads by a local boy who had worked as a child coal miner at the age of 11 injected some joy and hope into Cape Breton's coal-mining towns at a time when the industry was going through tough times and work underground was brutish and dangerous.
After he hung up his thin-soled racing shoes in 1932, Mr. MILES became an ambassador for fitness and clean living. He became a manager at International Harvester and worked in many parts of the world for the company after being told by a company executive that he could make something of himself if he put the same effort into his work that he exerted in running.
When running regained popularity in the 1970s, he was startled to become a celebrity among the new set of competitors who recognized his accomplishments. While Quebec runner Gérard CÔTÉ would dominate the Boston Marathon in the 1940s, winning it four times, Johnny MILES's time of 2: 25:40 stood as the Canadian record for the event until Jerome DRAYTON ran 2: 14:46 in 1977.
He was taken aback in 1967 at being named to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
"That I should now be in the same illustrious company as the great stars of hockey, football, track and field, and other Canadian sports was a bit mind-boggling," he told author Floyd WILLISTON in the biography Johnny MILES: Nova Scotia's Marathon King in He was also caught off guard by being named to the Order of Canada in 1983.
"It's not going to change my life -- same hat size and shirt size," he told the New Glasgow Evening News.
Mr. MILES, who regularly attended races in the Hamilton area as a spectator in the 1980s, wondered how well he might have run with the technology offered to runners today.
"I think now I wouldn't eat steak before a race and I'd get these cushioned shoes and I'd know how to train," he said in an interview in New Glasgow at the marathon that was created and named after him in 1975 and still bears his name.
Mr. MILES and his wife Bess were fixtures at the Johnny Miles Marathon, which took place this past Sunday shortly after his death. Runners best remember him for his personal attention, anecdotes, quiet kindness and his enthusiasm for the sport.
Jerome BRUHM, a long-time Halifax runner and historian, remembered his first encounter with the running legend at the Johnny Miles Marathon in 1981.
"He was there and I'm nobody -- I'm just a runner. He came over and I said it was my first marathon and I was kind of nervous. He took me aside and talked to me and he said, 'Do you think you'll win the marathon'? Mr. BRUHM recalled this week. "I said, 'No, I'm a slow runner.' So, he said, 'Then go out there and do that -- finish the race and enjoy it.' He came over to me after the race and asked me how I did and how I felt. I thought that was fantastic that he would talk to me before the race and come over and check on me after the race."
He was a humble, personable man, Mr. BRUHM said.
"When he was inducted into the Canadian Running Hall of Fame, I went over to talk to him and he only wanted to talk about other people, not about what he had done."
Nova Scotia Premier John HAMM praised Mr. MILES for bringing international attention to his home province.
"We will always remember with pride his athletic accomplishments at the Boston Marathon and numerous other competitions as well as his success in business and accomplishments in life," the Premier said Monday.
In 2001, Boston Marathon officials celebrated the 75th anniversary of his startling 1926 win -- but at the age of 95, Mr. MILES said his health prevented him from attending the festivities. However, he promised to try to attend the 75th anniversary of his last Boston triumph.
Will CLONEY, long-time Boston Marathon official, had only praise for Mr. MILES. " There hasn't been a Johnny MILES in Boston since Johnny MILES."
Now there never will be.
Kevin COX is Atlantic correspondent of The Globe and Mail. He has completed 50 marathons -- including the Johhny Miles Marathon and the Boston Marathon.

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LONGMAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-11-25 published
Robert John Alexander McDOUGALL
By Lori McDOUGALL, Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - Page A22
Husband, father, brother, friend. Born April 21, 1940, near Alma, Ontario. Died September 23, in Mississauga, Ontario, of heart failure, aged 63.
There's an expression that goes: "There aren't any strangers in the world, just Friends you haven't met yet." Bob couldn't have agreed more. He and his wife, Sherry, once went on a trip to Britain. They were riding home one evening on the London Underground when he struck up a conversation with a distinguished-looking gentleman next to him. "Oh, you live in Canada," the man said. "Can you swim there?" Bob laughed. "No, really, I'd like to visit, but how long would it take to swim across the Atlantic and down the Saint Lawrence?" Dad paused, then roared with laughter. He'd been chatting for the previous 20 minutes to a charming, well-dressed lunatic. This was vintage Bob -- he couldn't resist a chance to get to know just about everyone.
Bob was born to Hugh McDOUGALL and Marie LONGMAN, a farmer and a teacher who ran a lively household on the 10th concession of Peel county in Ontario. Bob, the fifth of seven children, was known as the family peacemaker -- and prankster. One Halloween, a teenaged Bob found himself sprawled face-down on a friend's kitchen table, having buckshot picked out of his back. It seems a local farmer was none too appreciative of Bob and his mates tipping over his outhouse, and had hired some local gunslingers from Guelph to defend his turf. The case raged on in local court for months.
Bob was student president at Drayton High School and went on to have a successful career in marketing for the Royal Bank of Canada, where he once topped the country in sales. Bob's career grew as his circle of banking Friends grew. He loved a drink and a good laugh, and the parties were legendary, from ice-fishing trips to Grey Cup weekends to tailgate parties at Rich Stadium, where he'd held season's tickets for the Buffalo Bills since the 1970s. Bob's loyalty to the Bills ran deep: "Who can say if O.J.'s guilty?"
In 1986, Bob developed hairy-cell leukemia and endured several years of poor health. He won the battle in the end -- thanks largely to his participation in a drug trial in California in 1990 -- but his health remained fragile and he took early retirement from the bank in 1994.
Retirement gave Bob a ticket to travel. His wanderlust had started young: In high school, he and some Friends jumped in the car and drove straight to Acapulco. For a bunch of rural Ontario farm boys in the 1950s, this was high adventure.
In recent years, Bob ventured to China, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Islay, Scotland, where he launched a door-knocking campaign to find long-lost relatives. No one could quite place him, but the quest delighted the locals, who still send Christmas cards to "Cousin Bob."
Throughout his travels, Bob had a keen eye for opportunity. He was an entrepreneur at heart, talking up a glorious stream of ideas with the enthusiasm of a born salesman. A chance meeting with a Japanese bureaucrat in Nepal once had him thinking about the idea of distributing used Japanese bicycles in Canada. Where others rolled their eyes, Bob saw opportunity.
Curiosity and enthusiasm made him an interesting character, but it was his generosity that really set him apart. When daughter Lori started her first job in Toronto, he sent a dozen red roses to her office, both embarrassing and delighting her. When Sherry turned 50, he spent months crafting plans for a blow-out party, complete with a This-Is-Your-Life presentation. For this was the kind of man Bob was -- loyal, full of mischief, with a surprise or two up his sleeve.
Lori is Bob McDOUGALL's daughter.

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LONGSTAFFE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-31 published
LONGSTAFFE, J. Ron, C.M.
Died peacefully in Vancouver on May 28, 2003, after a stoic battle with bone cancer. Survived by his devoted wife, Jacqueline, daughter, Brandy (Rob AUBIN,) also by his son, Ted, and daughter, Zoe LEWIS, and brother, Douglas in Toronto. Ron was born in Toronto on April 6, 1934. He attended Upper Canada College (Class of 1952). Graduated from University of British Columbia with degrees in Arts and Law in 1958. Spent 28 productive years in British Columbia and Alberta forest industry, primarily with Canadian Forest Products Ltd., including 10 years of Executive Vice-President. Served 3½ years as Chairman of the Port of Vancouver (1994-97). During his career, Ron was engaged in many community activities, including President, Vancouver Art Gallery; President, Canadian Club; Chair, Project Building Committee at St. Paul's Hospital for 18 years Chair, St. Paul's Hospital Board for 5 years; Chair, Celebration of Life for Pope John Paul 2nd at British Columbia Place Stadium (1984;) Co-Chair, World Affairs Dinner with Lee IACOCCA (1986.) More recently, Ron participated as a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board; Director of the National Youth Orchestra and Vancouver Recital Society. Enthusiastic collector of Canadian art and international graphics for over 50 years; major donor of art works to the Vancouver Art Gallery since 1978. Appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001. Many thanks to all the medical and nursing staff who provided compassionate care for Ron during the last 8 months at St. Paul's Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Cancer Control Agency and Vancouver General Hospital. No flowers by request. Arrangements for a celebration of Ron's life will be announced shortly. Personal Alternative Funeral Services 1-604-857-5779.

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LONGSTAFFE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-06-02 published
Collecting art was his passion
British Columbia business leader donated 800 works, worth $5-million, to Vancouver gallery
Canadian Press and staff files Monday, June 2, 2003 - Page R7
Vancouver -- Vancouver businessman and art philanthropist J. Ron LONGSTAFFE has died of cancer. He was 69.
While Mr. LONGSTAFFE made his name in business at Canadian Forest Products and was also a lawyer and a Liberal Party activist, he will be best remembered for his donation of 800 works of art, valued at more than $5-million, to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
"One of the things I basically believe in is that art is there to be seen and enjoyed, not squirrelled away in vaults," the Ontario-born Mr. LONGSTAFFE once said of his collection. "I'm not one of those collectors who, having bought a work, says it's all mine and nobody else can see it."
Andy SYLVESTER, a partner at the Equinox Gallery, said that over the years, Mr. LONGSTAFFE and his wife Jacqueline donated a major and significant amount of art to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
"It is almost the core of the [gallery's] contemporary Canadian art collection," Mr. SYLVESTER said.
At shows, Mr. LONGSTAFFE loved to play a little game that involved picking a work to donate to the Vancouver Art Gallery and another to keep for a lifetime, Mr. SYLVESTER said.
Included in the LONGSTAFFEs' recent gift of 75 pieces of art to the gallery are works by Robert Davidson, Gathie Falk, Simon Tookoome, Maxwell Bates, Ann Kipling and Betty Goodwin. There are also various works on paper by Chuck Close, Richard Hamilton, Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder.
Over the years, Mr. LONGSTAFFE, who was at one time executive director of Canadian Forest Products (now called Canfor), donated major works to the gallery by international artists such as David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Paul-Emile Borduas, Charles Gagnon and Claude Tousignant.
Born and raised in Toronto, where he attended Upper Canada College, Mr. LONGSTAFFE went west to attend the University of British Columbia in the mid-fifties. Even then the pattern of buying art was already established in his life. His father had provided all the LONGSTAFFE children with money to buy art starting when they were 16.
During university, Ron LONGSTAFFE told The Globe and Mail in 1985, art collecting became a way of "livening up the walls of my apartment." Over the next decade, it became "a form of addiction," one that had seen him buy as many as five paintings a day.
Although he originally found the art world intimidating, he later counted a number of artists, such as Christopher and Mary Pratt, as Friends. He said that artists, as a group, are "more stimulating than a lot of businessmen.... They have a wider range of interests and are in touch with what young people are doing."
However, he remained deliberately untutored in fine-art history and found most art criticism "unreadable," and preferred to go with his gut instinct about work that "challenges me, stimulates me, and that I like enough to buy."
He said he never bought art as an investment, or simply because "it matched the drapes or looked good over the fireplace. That I couldn't house it was no reason not to have it."
In a private tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the LONGSTAFFE donations at that time revealed a surprising variety that was rich in contemporary art in general and French-Canadian painting in particular (including important works by Borduas, Gagnon, Lemieux and Tousignant). Little preference was shown for any one artist (except for Hockney and Vasarely, represented by 17 prints each, only a few of which were on display). Sculpture was rare. "Canada is short of really strong sculptors," he said at the time.
In the interview he said that, although his tastes changed greatly over the years, he intended "to collect until the day I die."
In recognition of Mr. LONGSTAFFE's donations, the gallery's third-floor exhibition space was named the J.R. LONGSTAFFE Gallery in 1983.
Senator Jack AUSTIN said from Ottawa that he had known Mr. LONGSTAFFE since he was a young man in law school during the mid-1950s.
"I was his law teacher in first year -- in contracts," he said.
Sen. AUSTIN said he knew Mr. LONGSTAFFE as a successful businessman, an active member of the federal Liberal Party and an art collector.
"He did many things and he did them well," he said. "I can only wish that there were more British Columbians that took part in federal politics with his energy and initiative."
In the 1993 federal election, Mr. LONGSTAFFE managed the campaign of Liberal Member of Parliament Hedy FRY, who defeated then prime minister Kim CAMPBELL.
His many positions included director of the Bank of Canada, vice-chairman of the Vancouver Board of Trade, and director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
In 2001, Mr. LONGSTAFFE was inducted into the Order of Canada.

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