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"HAL" 2004 Obituary


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HALDER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2004-03-20 published
Alexander Gardner WATSON
'Everyone said we'd never win'
How an Royal Canadian Air Force medical officer took a sad-sack squad of airmen and built a team that brought home Olympic hockey gold
By Tom HAWTHORN, Special to The Globe and Mail Saturday, March 20, 2004 - Page F11
Victoria -- He was a hockey enthusiast who turned a makeshift team into world beaters. In 1947, Sandy WATSON was a Royal Canadian Air Force medical officer with an amateur's passion for hockey, but within a year he had put together a squad of airmen that overcame great odds to win an Olympic gold medal.
Dr. WATSON's part in the story of how the Royal Canadian Air Force triumphed at the Olympics began with the announcement that Canadian hockey officials had decided to skip the 1948 Winter Games. The news so upset the doctor, who died late last year at his home in Ottawa, that he vowed to create a team from scratch. "When I read the headline saying we -- this great hockey nation would not be sending a team, I was offended," he said. "And I thought maybe I could do something about it."
The International Olympic Committee had adopted tough new rules defining an amateur athlete. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association felt the new standard eliminated most senior players from the competition.
With the entry deadline just 48 hours away, Dr. WATSON decided on what he would later describe as a whim to build a team from among fellow Royal Canadian Air Force members. The squadron leader won approval from hockey officials and superior officers in two frantic days of lobbying. Canada would take part in the Olympic tournament after all. Now all he needed were some players.
The Royal Canadian Air Force's postwar enrolment of 16,000 promised a wealth of hidden hockey talent. Dr. WATSON had managed a series of exhibition hockey games in England in the months following the defeat of Germany, pitting the air force against the army. The games featured such National Hockey League players as left-winger Roy CONACHER, a sniper for Royal Canadian Air Force teams during the war. Such professionals were ineligible for the Olympic team, of course, so Dr. WATSON knew the calibre of players would not be very high.
About 200 airmen were dispatched to Ottawa for a training camp in October, 1947. The volunteers were mostly a sad-sack lot, a shock for Dr. WATSON and coach Frank BOUCHER, an Royal Canadian Air Force sergeant. Some could barely skate.
The team made its public debut in an exhibition game played at the Auditorium in Ottawa on December 14, 1947. The opponents were McGill University's varsity team, deliberately chosen to offer minimal resistance. The air-force brass was in attendance, as were senior hockey officials and the governor-general, Earl Alexander of Tunis. To Dr. WATSON's horror, the McGill Redmen scored an easy 7-0 victory.
The newspapers were highly critical of the Olympic team. An all-Royal Canadian Air Force team seemed a folly. Senior officers in the air force could not have been happy about such a poor squad wearing the Royal Canadian Air Force roundel on their sweaters. They were likely to be embarrassed on the world stage.
Reinforcements were needed, so Dr. WATSON went hunting.
"We just put the thing together overnight, almost," he told the Medical Post in 1988. "Our guys had played together as a team for something less than three weeks before we left. The goaltender I never even met until we reached Europe."
Dr. WATSON's first move was to scout an Ottawa Senior League game. The New Edinburgh Burghs beat the Hull Volants 6-2, with five goals produced by a forward line of Reg SCHROETER, Ab RENAUD and Ted HIBBERD. Dr. WATSON invited the trio to join his squad, also taking former flying officer Frank DUNSTER and Pete LEICHNITZ.
Other players parachuted onto the team were defenceman Andre LAPPERIERE, a student at the University of Montreal; forwards George MARA and Wally HALDER from Toronto; and, goaltender Dick BALL, also from Toronto.
The recruits joined Louis LECOMPTE, Pat GUZZO, Irving TAILOR/TAYLOR, Andy GILPIN, Roy FORBES, Ross KING, Orval (Red) GRAVELLE and Hubert BROOKS on a team called the Royal Canadian Air Force Flyers, but whose military experience varied. While HIBBERD and LEICHNITZ were civilians sworn into the Royal Canadian Air Force with the rank of aircraftsman 1, Mr. BROOKS, a flying officer, had been a prisoner of war who escaped three times before joining Polish partisans. He was awarded the Military Cross.
With the team preparing to embark for Europe, Dr. WATSON faced another crisis. Mr. BALL, slated to be the starting goalie, failed his physical with a lung infection. Facing another 48-hour deadline, Dr. WATSON awoke Toronto bus driver Murray DOWEY with a telephone call at his home at 1 a.m. The practice goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs was willing to play, but would need a leave of absence from his job. Dr. WATSON convinced his boss, Allan LAMPORT, a future mayor of Toronto, in a phone call at 1: 30 a.m.
Mr. DOWEY was called back at 2 a.m. and told to report at Downsview airport at 6 a.m. to catch an Royal Canadian Air Force plane to Ottawa. The airport was fogged in that morning, so a sleepy Mr. DOWEY caught a train to the capital.
His appearance did not immediately impress the team manager.
"Around noon a skinny, bedraggled kid, looking like something dragged through a knot hole, arrived at my office," Dr. WATSON once told the Ottawa Citizen. "We swore him in the Royal Canadian Air Force, got him kitted up with a uniform and he looked even worse."
The Canadians were given poor reviews by the European press. A tie and a one-goal victory over lightly regarded English teams did not auger well for the Flyers.
The round-robin Olympic tournament was held in an outdoor rink at St. Moritz, Switzerland. In the opening game, Sweden scored against Mr. DOWEY after just two minutes and 35 seconds of play. But the Canadian goalie would be the team's star and a crowd favourite with his innovative use of a catching glove. Canada beat Sweden 3-1, before rolling over Britain (3-0), Poland (15-0), Italy (21-1) and the United States (12-3).
A scoreless tie with Czechoslovakia was followed by a 12-0 drubbing of Austria. The gold-medal game was played against the Swiss hosts on February 8. Dodging snowballs thrown by local partisans, the Flyers won 3-0 to claim an unlikely gold medal and a place in Olympic lore. Canada finished with seven wins and one tie. Mr. DOWEY allowed just five goals in eight games for a miserly 0.62 average.
Two days later, Mr. BROOKS married his Danish sweetheart, Birthe GRONTVED, in a ceremony at a small church in St. Moritz. Barbara Ann SCOTT, the Canadian figure skater who also became an Olympic champion at those same Games, was the maid of honour and Dr. WATSON was best man.
The Flyers barnstormed Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium, Sweden, England and Scotland while overseas. They completed the European tour, including the Olympic matches, with a record of 31 wins, five losses, six ties.
"Nothing in my life gave me the same thrill (as) organizing that trip and then actually winning it," Dr. WATSON said.
While something told him that Canada had a chance, few at home believed it when the team set out.
"Everyone said we'd never win," he told the Medical Post. The headline in the Ottawa Citizen the day they left summed up the opinion of the sporting press: "The Flyers, like the Arabs, are folding their tents and silently stealing away."
Alexander Gardner WATSON was born on March 28, 1918, at Cellardyke, a fishing village on the north shore of Scotland's Firth of Forth. As captain of a minesweeper, his father had trawled for mines during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. Long months spent fishing the dangerous waters of the North Sea seemed unsuitable for the father of a young family, so the WATSONs moved to the Ontario fishing village of Port Dover on Lake Erie when Sandy was a toddler.
A brilliant student, he spent a year studying at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, before completing a medical degree at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He won a scholarship to Cambridge, where he earned a bachelor of surgery. He later studied at Harvard and Columbia Universities in the United States.
An Royal Canadian Air Force wing commander during the war, Dr. WATSON became in peacetime one of Canada's eminent ophthalmologists.
In 1967, he helped found the Sally Letson Foundation for post-graduate training. He served as the foundation's executive director for 25 years.
He was chairman of the department at the University of Ottawa medical school from 1968 to 1985. Dr. WATSON was the driving force behind the university's Eye Institute, which opened in 1992.
He was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1988.
Among his patients were a Parliamentary Guide's worth of notables, from governor-general Jeanne SAUVÉ to New Democratic Party leader T.C. (Tommy) DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS. He treated prime ministers John DIEFENBAKER, Lester PEARSON, Pierre TRUDEAU, Joe CLARK and Brian MULRONEY.
Dr. WATSON also became the eye specialist for the Montreal Canadiens, a legacy of his desperate plea for assistance while putting together the Royal Canadian Air Force team. The Canadiens contributed, while Conn SMYTHE of the Toronto Maple Leafs refused. (Major SMYTHE was army, of course.) One young prospect examined by Dr. WATSON was a gangly, teenaged goaltender who needed contact lenses. Dr. WATSON reported the goalie's vision was good, and Ken DRYDEN would lead the Canadiens to six Stanley Cups.
Dr. WATSON, who retired in 1997, died at home in Ottawa of prostate cancer on December 28. He leaves his wife, Patricia, sons John and Alexander, and five grandchildren. He also leaves a sister, Faye McVEAN. He was predeceased by a sister and a brother, who drowned as a teenager.
His death came just 17 days after that of Mr. BOUCHER, the coach, who also died in Ottawa. They are survived by eight of 17 players.

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HALE o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-06-23 published
Harold John (Jack) HALE
In loving memory of Harold John (Jack) HALE, February 6, 1924 - June 19, 2004.
Harold HALE, a resident of Spring Bay, died at the Manitoulin Health Centre in Mindemoya on Saturday, June 19, 2004 at the age of 80 years.
Harold was born in Woodstock, Ontario, son of the late Harold and Mabel (MOORE) HALE. Harold was a veteran of World War II and a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Little Current. He taught shop in Elliot Lake for 15 years. He also was an avid gardener, woodworker and enjoyed hunting, fishing and a good game of cards with Friends. Beloved husband of Jean (McDERMID) HALE. Loved and loving father of Fern (Wallace) PUGH of Orangeville. Dear grandpa of Katherine and Trevor. A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 at 2 pm at the Wm. G. Turner Chapel of the Culgin Funeral Home, Gore Bay.

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HALL o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-12-15 published
Hilda Anne HARPER
In loving memory of Hilda Anne HARPER, July 24, 1904 - December 7, 2004.
Hilda HARPER, a resident of the Manitoulin Lodge, died at the Lodge on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 at the age of 100 years.
She was born at Evansville, daughter of the late Angus and Isabella (BAILEY) BELL.
Hilda had lived in Gore Bay since 1991, having moved from Evansville where she had lived most of her life. She had worked on the farm with her husband Thomas, and had also worked as a cook at Northernaire Lodge. Hilda had many hobbies and interests, which included quilting, crocheting, loved her flowers and going to church. Her fondest times were spent with her family. A loving and loved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, she will be sadly missed by all.
Hilda was predeceased by her husband Thomas James HARPER in 1977. Dearly loved mother of Geraldine ROBINSON of Espanola, Jim and Barbara HARPER and Les and Lois HARPER all of Evansville. Predeceased by son Kenneth. Proud and loving grandmother of 17 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and 8 great great grandchildren. Also survived by several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by brothers and sisters Flora CAMPBELL, Katie HALL, Gurtie BAILEY, Bud (John,) Lucy MORRISON, Jim BELL, Dora NELSON, Peter BELL and Sandy BELL.
Friends called at the Culgin Funeral Home after 7 pm on Friday. The funeral service was conducted in the Wm. G. Turner Chapel on Saturday, December 11, 2004 at 11 am with Mr. Erwin THOMPSON/THOMSON/TOMPSON/TOMSON officiating. Spring interment in Gordon Cemetery. Culgin Funeral Home.

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HALL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2004-12-28 published
World War I vet Paul MÉTIVIER, 104, carted shells to front
Lied about age to enlist and earned $1.10 a day
Only six Great War veterans left in Canada
Canadian Press
Ottawa -- The smell of warm blood oozing across the battlefields and roadways was Paul MÉTIVIER's most vivid -- and horrifying memory of World War I.
He was 16 when he enlisted but he, along with so many others, lied about his age, telling authorities he was 19.
MÉTIVIER, one of Canada's seven surviving World War I veterans, died Wednesday at 104.
He had been in failing health over the past several months, said his daughter Monique MÉTIVIER, a judge on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
"But he still insisted on going to the cenotaph at the National War Memorial for the celebration of November 11, then insisted on accepting an invitation to the Governor-General's for tea afterwards," she said.
MÉTIVIER lived his final days in a suite at an Ottawa retirement home. He was born on July 6, 1900, in Montreal and enlisted in March, 1917, two years short of legal service age.
"He was poor, he'd been fired from a foundry he'd been working at because he passed out from the heat," his daughter said.
MÉTIVIER joined the 4th Division Ammunition column, and as a gunner led horse- and mule-drawn ordnance wagons to front-line batteries in Belgium and France, spending 15 months carting shells.
"I did the things you can do with horses," he once recalled, adding that he earned $1.10 a day in the army and sent $20 a month home to his mother in Montreal.
He was assigned to the Canadian Boys' Battalion in 1918 after his mother informed officials of his true age, and was sent home from his 10-month Boys' Brigade assignment in England in October, 1918, a month before hostilities ended.
MÉTIVIER moved to Ottawa in 1921 where he got a job as an apprentice photographer.
He worked the rest of his career in the map-making branch of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, rising to chief of reproduction before his 1965 retirement.
"He was a wonderful father and really an extraordinary man," his daughter told the Toronto Star's Joseph HALL earlier this year. He was dedicated to his children and "madly in love" with his wife Flore -- who died in 1992 after 72 years of marriage, she said.
As well as being awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, MÉTIVIER was awarded the French Légion d'honneur for his service in France.
Like all of the surviving vets from that war, MÉTIVIER possessed a "remarkably positive attitude on life" that precluded much dwelling on horror and carnage, his daughter said.
It wasn't until she began looking for records of his service in 1998 that he was seized upon by Veterans Affairs to participate in their various ceremonies -- including a repatriation of Canada's World War I "unknown soldier" from Europe six years ago.
Veterans Affairs officials said MÉTIVIER, whose son Roland was killed in action in 1942 during World War 2, never refused an invitation to represent veterans of the first war.
He showed up every year for Remembrance Day ceremonies at Ottawa's War Museum and the National War Memorial and regularly made appearances in the House of Commons.
Speaking about his role in countless November 11 ceremonies, MÉTIVIER once said: "When I'm there, I think of my son, I think of my past and I hope that the care we take for veterans and the remembrance will continue.
"They gave their lives for Canada so it seems to me that they deserve to be remembered."
MÉTIVIER leaves four children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

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HALLET o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-05-26 published
June Catherine NEWMAN
In Loving Memory of June Catherine NEWMAN who passed away at Laurentian Hospital on Thursday, May 20, 2004 at age 69 years. Predeceased by husband Beverly NEWMAN (1971.) Loved by her children Pam and Bob HALLET of Sudbury, Glenn of Listowel, Bob and Brenda of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Dan and Rhonda of Cold Lake, Alberta, Perry and Gena of Little Current, Caroline and Steve KANE of Waterloo. Cherished grandmother of Erin, Ryan, Keith, Allen, Adrienne, Jared, Allison, Jordan, Ashlee, Chelsee, Tyler, Hunter, Austin and great grandmother of Kegan. Will be missed by brothers Dale MOGGY, John MOGGY, Beverly and Vicky MOGGY. Predeceased by Raymond and Dorothy and parents Comfort and Carrie MOGGY. Visitation was from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm Friday at Island Funeral Home 3 pm Saturday May 22, 2004 at Manitowaning United Church. Burial in Hilly Grove Cemetery.

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HALLETT o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-04-21 published
HALLETT, Carl
-In loving memory of our dear Dad and Grandpa, Carl, who passed away April 22, 1997.
Never more than a thought away,
Quietly remembered every day
No need for words except to say,
Still loved, still missed, in every way.
Lovingly remembered by your children and grandchildren

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HALLETT o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-06-16 published
HALLETT, Vivian--In loving memory of our dear Mom and Grandma, Vivian who passed away June 20, 1997.
We thought of you with love today,
but that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday,
and the day before that too.
We think about you in silence,
we often speak your name.
Now all we have are memories,
and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake,
with which we will never part.
God has you in His keeping,
we have you in our hearts.
Lovingly remembered by your children and grandchildren.

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HALLIDAY o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-12-01 published
William Albert OMNET
In loving memory of William Albert OMNET who passed away on Sunday, November 28, 2004 at the age of 71 years.
Bill was the son of Colin and Gladys (BOND) OMNET of Little Current (both predeceased.) Loved brother of Marie (husband Hal Kewley) of Bracebridge, Jack (wife Jean) of Little Current and Kathryn HALLIDAY of Little Current. Special friend of Ruth and John DUNLOP. Favourite uncle of many nieces and nephews. Bill was born on May 17, 1933 and was raised on the Manitoulin, which was always his home. He worked at the Canadian Pacific Railway, starting there as a young man and continued most of his working years. His love of music, singing and playing his guitar was a gift he shared with family and Friends throughout his whole life. Bill enjoyed nature, watching the huge full moon rise, and listening to the sound of the frogs in summer. He loved animals, especially dogs, reading all genres, and visiting
with his vast number of Friends. Bill had a warm kind spirit that flowed freely to all. Each of us feels blessed to have had Bill be part of our lives. He will be greatly missed by all and will be remembered in our hearts forever. May he rest in God’s care. Visitation was from 2-4 and 7-9 pm Tuesday at Island Funeral Home. Funeral service at 2 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Little Current. Burial in Mountain View Cemetery.

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HALVORSEN o@ca.on.manitoulin.howland.little_current.manitoulin_expositor 2004-09-22 published
Raymond “Ray” John CYR
In loving memory of Raymond “Ray” John CYR, 69 years who passed away Wednesday morning, September 15th, 2004 at the West Nipissing Hospital, Sturgeon Falls. Beloved husband of Marlene (ROQUE) CYR predeceased April 19th, 2003. Loving father of Michele (husband Jean Guy ROY) and Caroline (husband Carl “Magoo” STEELE) both of Warren, Cheryl (husband Claude Simon) of Nobel, Lisa (husband Peter HALVORSEN) of Kipling, predeceased by Edward “Ted”. Cherished grandfather of Rob, Katie, Luc, Tina, Peter, Terry, Joey, Dani, Brianna and Neil. Dear son of Hubert and Daisy CYR both predeceased. Dear brother of Jerry predeceased (wife Dorothy of Listowel) and Janet predeceased (husband Jack of Oshawa). Born in Sudbury he grew up in Minnow Lake moving at 18 to Blind River, to work for Ontario Hydro. In 1958, he married Marlene in Killarney and they enjoyed 45 years together. Ray was transferred to the Ontario Hydro Warren Office where he retired as Supervisor. Ray loved to reminisce about his sports life, from coaching women’s baseball as a teenager to his love of hockey and baseball minor associations. Many local hockey players benefited from his tough but fair coaching. An accomplished athlete in his younger days he maintained a life long love of sports, including actively coaching many Montreal Canadian hockey games from his lazy boy. Ray was an accomplished storyteller with a wonderful sense of humour, he has brought much happiness into the world especially for his children and grandchildren. Rested at the Saint Thomas Parish Hall, Warren, Ontario from 2 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September l7th, 2004. Funeral Service in the Lougheed Funeral Home, 252 Regent Street, Sudbury on Saturday, September 28th, 2004 at 1: 00 p.m. Friends called at Lougheed’s after 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. Cremation at the Park Lawn Crematorium.

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