BOURCHIER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-11 published
HUNTER, Helen Jeanne (née MUTCHMOR)
Peacefully, at Saint_Joseph's Health Centre, Toronto, on Monday December 10, 2007, at the age of 79, with her family at her side. Beloved wife for 52 years of J. Reed HUNTER, Q.C. Loving mother of David (Toronto), Patricia (Montreal), Pamela (Ottawa) and partner, Nick FALL (Napanee.) Survived by her twin sister, Anne BOURCHIER (Bob) and her brother Jim MUTCHMOR (Barb) and nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her sister, Mary PASSMORE and her parents, Helen Leone (née HOWE) and Reverend James Ralph MUTCHMOR, former Moderator of the United Church of Canada. Jeanne shall be remembered for her devotion to her family, her love of life, her sense of humour and her desire to help others. She enjoyed the arts, especially the ballet and time spent at the family cottage on Lake Huron. She was a proud member of the "Nifty Fifties" graduating class of 1950 at Wellesley Hospital's School of Nursing. A special thank you to the nurses and doctors on the 4th floor east at Saint_Joseph's Health Centre for providing such attentive care. Friends and family may call at the Turner and Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. West, at Windermere Avenue, (east of the Jane subway station), Toronto on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 from 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at Islington United Church, 25 Burnhamthorpe Road (north of Dundas St. W.) on Thursday, December 13, 2007, at 11: 00 a.m. Flowers, or donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Canadian Diabetes Association would be appreciated.

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BOURDEAU o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-06 published
BOURDEAU, Bonnie (née BALL)
Peacefully at her residence on Thursday, January 4th, 2007, Bonnie BOURDEAU (née BALL) of London at the age of 50. Beloved wife of Dan BOURDEAU. Loving mother of Joseph (Arron) of London, Kimberly BOURDEAU of London, Amy BEAULIEU (Bruce) of North Carolina and Angela BOURDEAU also of London. Cherished grandmother of Mhyhm, Scotty, Denver, Ryan, Andrew and Cameron. Much loved daughter of J.R. and Margaret BALL. Dear sister of Debbie, Brenda, Nancy, David and Jamie. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2: 00-4:00 and 7: 00-9:00 p.m. at the Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road, North, London, where the funeral service will be conducted on Monday, January 8th, 2007 at 11: 00 a.m. Cremation to follow. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Bonnie, are asked to consider the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. (condolences@westviewfuneralchapel.com)

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BOURDEAU o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-13 published
BOURDEAU, Bonnie (née BALL)
The family of the late Bonnie BOURDEAU (née BALL) would like to extend their sincere thanks to relatives and Friends during this difficult time. Your phone calls, flowers, cards, funeral home visitations, words of condolences, donations, and food were greatly appreciated. Our deepest thanks to Pastor Rick BOYES. Don BOURDEAU and family.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-06-19 published
He was the definitive bush-leaguer who 'could have played in the National Hockey League'
Known as Joltin' Joe, he was a favourite defenceman of fans in Victoria, Halifax and Moncton, scoring 52 goals over nine seasons and coming within a phone call of lacing up for the Canadiens
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S8
Ottawa -- Jos LEPINE never made it to the National Hockey League during the golden era after the Second World War, but it wasn't through lack of trying. For 10 years, from 1947 to 1958, the rock-hard defenceman played his heart out for a succession of minor-league teams across North America.
Patrolling the blue line for clubs in Victoria, Cincinnati, Halifax and Moncton, just to name a few, the colourful Mr. LEPINE (known as Big Joe or Joltin' Joe to the fans) wasn't afraid to carry the puck to the opposing team's goal in an era when defencemen were supposed to defend their own zone.
Playing almost 500 games, he scored a respectable 52 goals, an average of almost six per year. That was pretty good, considering that superstar National Hockey League defenceman Doug Harvey scored just 88 times during an 18-year hall-of-fame career.
Packing 215-pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame, Mr. LEPINE was a strong skater with a good shot. He played a physical game in an era when tough guys like Jimmy Orlando of the Detroit Red Wings carved out a career with their fists and sticks. Mr. Orlando, a sharp dresser, mentored Mr. LEPINE in the late 1940s, both on and off the ice.
"He helped me, I remember," Mr. LEPINE told reporter Mike Wyman in 2003. "I didn't have that much experience and he used to say, 'You run after them and bring them to the front of the net. I'll fix them -- they'll never come back.' He's probably the best defenceman I ever played for, except for Harvey."
Mr. LEPINE spent 1,086 minutes in the penalty box paying for his physical play, but he was also an excellent playmaker, earning 299 assists during his career. In 1952-53, he scored a career-high 43 assists and seven goals for the powerhouse Halifax Atlantics of the Maritime Major Hockey League. The Atlantics won the Alexander Cup that year, plus the following year, and Mr. LEPINE helped pack 5,000 to 6,000 fans a game in the old Halifax Forum with his dramatic end-to-end rushes.
Dugger McNeil of Halifax was the Atlantics' founding player-coach. After first meeting Mr. LEPINE in 1946, they played together every September at the Montreal Canadiens' preseason training camp.
By 1948, both men were teammates on the old Montreal Royals of the semi-pro Quebec Senior Hockey League. The level of play was practically as good as the National Hockey League and the Royals used to pack the Montreal Forum on Sunday afternoons with as many as 15,000 fans, less than 24 hours after the Canadiens played Saturday night.
"They used to call it the greatest amateur league in the world. [We] played with Gerry McNeil, Dickie Moore, Pete Morin, Bernard Geoffrion, and guys like that. [Mr. LEPINE] had very good moves, very shifty moves," Dugger McNeil said. "He could have played in the National Hockey League if there had been more teams."
After returning to Halifax in 1952, Mr. McNeil convinced Frank Selke, then general manager of the Canadiens, that he needed his friend to build the brand-new Atlantics. The pair reunited on the blueline and a legend was born. "He was a showman, a real crowd pleaser. He'd come out wearing a tuque during a stoppage in play. He was a household name in Halifax."
Hockey seasons were shorter back then, so the players had plenty of time to find mischief, if they were so inclined. Mr. LEPINE, an individualist who marched to his own drumbeat, liked a good time, to say the least. One day he was attending a team function hosted by brewery owner Victor Oland, who was one of the Atlantics' backers.
The self-conscious players were trying to make chit-chat with various upper-class Haligonians in the Lord Nelson Hotel when Mr. LEPINE decided to liven up the staid proceedings. Starting with a little soft-shoe routine, he moved behind a screen and took off his jacket, tie and shirt in succession. The guests watched in amazement.
"Then he takes off his shoes and socks and sticks his [bare] leg out from behind the curtain. Victor Oland said, 'Joe, if you do that at centre ice at the Halifax Forum I'll give you $1,000!' Jos just laughed," Mr. McNeil said. "Everyone liked to be with him. He loved life and he lived life."
Mr. LEPINE's life on the ice began early. By 6, he was skating on outdoor rinks in Ottawa's Lowertown neighbourhood. Things were tough during the Depression and his family lived from paycheque to paycheque. When he was 16, he decided to quit school and try his luck in Montreal as a hockey player. Every French-Canadian boy wanted to play for the storied Canadiens and Mr. LEPINE thought he had what it took. He got off the train with $15 in the pocket of his only suit.
Reporting to the Montreal Junior Canadiens' training camp in September of 1943, he shyly presented a letter of introduction to coach Wilf Cude. The coach couldn't read French so he ordered the rookie onto the ice to show what he could do. Mr. LEPINE made the team.
Three years later, in his last year as a junior, Mr. LEPINE came within a whisker of cracking the Canadiens' lineup. "Up to 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I was ready. I was supposed to be the fifth or sixth defenceman. They called me at 4 o'clock and cancelled me out," he told Mr. Wyman.
Despite that huge disappointment, Mr. LEPINE got to know many of the Canadiens, who would often shoot pool with the Royals after practice. The stars didn't stand on their fame, Mr. McNeil recalled. "We were just hockey players together."
Away from the rink, Mr. LEPINE enjoyed life in the fast lane, patronizing a variety of nightclubs during an era when Montreal was known as being "wide open." El Morocco, Ruby Foo's, the Chez Paree - Mr. LEPINE knew them all, along with many of the lowlife characters who populated Montreal's café society. One night, he even had a drink with the glamorous stripper Lili St-Cyr, his wife Rosemary said: "That [lifestyle] may have worked against him, regarding promotion to the Canadiens."
The Habs' strait-laced coach, Dick Irvin, was a well-known non-drinker and may have cast a disapproving eye on the rambunctious Mr. LEPINE. An all-powerful management never even gave him a chance to show what he could do in the National Hockey League.
By the end of the 1950s, Mr. LEPINE started thinking about hanging them up. His final season, 1957-58, was with the Belleville McFarlands of the Ontario Hockey League. After helping his team win the Allan Cup, he retired for good.
After that, he spent two years running a gas station in Lowertown and then landed a spot with Seagram's. From 1960 to 1987, he sold liquor and loved it, since the job required him to be social, which took no effort at all.
A member of the Halifax and Victoria hockey halls of fame, Mr. LEPINE enjoyed coaching bantam and midget hockey in the 1980s. Besides golfing, camping, travelling and gardening, he socialized with his old hockey mates at reunions, spinning yarns about Rocket Richard, Doug Harvey and others he had shared the ice with over the years.
Maurice Joseph (Jos) LEPINE was born March 19, 1927, in Rockland, Ontario He died of cancer in Ottawa on April 26. He was 80. He leaves his wife Rosemary, son Jean, daughters Cathy, Leona and Colette, and sisters Marie, Jeannine and Madeleine.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-08-07 published
Flight nurse logged hundreds of mercy missions for the Royal Canadian Air Force
In the 1960s, she was one of a few nurses qualified to fly search-and-rescue missions at any time of the day or night, and once helped save the life of a young polio victim
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S8
Ottawa -- Racing against time to save the life of a six-month-old girl, Flying Officer Kay MacDONALD of the Royal Canadian Air Force kept an anxious eye on the girl's vital signs during a trailblazing medical evacuation in which new medical equipment was used to great effect.
It was midsummer in 1960, and Christina Moyes of Vanderhoof, British Columbia, was suffering from acute respiratory poliomyelitis. She was breathing by artificial respiration, but it was clear that the situation had its limitations. For more than 24 hours, the girl had experienced temporary halts in her breathing before going into a coma, and things weren't getting better.
Finally, the decision was taken to move her to a modern hospital in Vancouver and the Royal Canadian Air Force's search-and-rescue organization kicked into high gear. On July 16, Ms. MacDONALD and a doctor from the University of British Columbia flew into Prince George aboard a C-47 Dakota and collected Christina. The aircraft was part of 121 Composite Unit, which operated out of an Royal Canadian Air Force base on Sea Island, just south of Vancouver.
Ms. MacDONALD, an Royal Canadian Air Force nursing sister who spent most of her time treating patients at the base infirmary, was also on call 24 hours a day as one of a handful of nurses qualified to fly search-and-rescue missions. Known as flight nurses, they were widely respected throughout the air force for their dedication and for their skill.
Responsible for search-and-rescue in British Columbia and its territorial waters, as well as all Yukon, 121 Composite Unit flew hundreds of missions every year over vast expanses of land and ocean. From fishermen in danger of drowning when their boat capsized to pilots whose aircraft crashed in the dense bush, dozens of people owed their lives to the dedicated aircrew of 121, including flight nurses like Ms. MacDONALD.
Flying with two pilots, a navigator, a radio officer, a flight engineer and a two-man team of elite parachute rescue jumpers, Ms. MacDONALD had a lot of responsibility. "The flight nurse is responsible to the captain of the aircraft," she recalled years later. "She notifies him of any change in the condition of the patients, and recommends appropriate action. This can be a request to change altitude, or to land at the nearest airport for examination by a physician."
Christina's mercy mission wasn't the first one flown by 121 Composite Unit to help a polio victim that summer. During June, July and August, 121's Dakota aircraft, complete with huge orange letters that spelled "RESCUE" on its fuselage, flew 13 missions and evacuated 16 patients during an outbreak of polio that reached "near-epidemic proportions" in the interior of British Columbia.
Carefully placing Christina in a litter fixed to the inside of the aircraft, Ms. MacDONALD and the doctor hooked her up to a brand-new form of respirator. Connected directly to the windpipe, the "Bird breather" worked by inflating the lungs and then letting them deflate automatically. Driven by oxygen pressure, it is a positive-pressure apparatus that works on a closed circuit unaffected by the altitude of the aircraft. This meant that aircraft were able to fly at 12,000 feet, ensuring a more comfortable trip.
A few hours later, Ms. MacDONALD and her crew landed at Sea Island and carefully transferred Christina to an ambulance. The mission was over and another life was saved, she wrote in 1968 in The Canadian Nurse. "For the baby, this flight meant the chance to survive; for the evacuation team, the flight meant a new milestone: it was the first time that a Bird respirator had been used in mercy flying in Canada."
Christina's mother expressed her thanks in a letter dated December 6, 1960. Mary Moyes wanted to make sure Ms. MacDONALD knew exactly what she and the rest of the rescue crew had done for her daughter. "Thank God for men and a woman like you," Mrs. Moyes wrote. Happily, Christina fully recovered.
Kay MacDONALD grew up in rural Prince Edward Island during the Depression. After graduating from Charlottetown Hospital's School of Nursing during the Second World War, she worked in Halifax for the Department of Veterans' Affairs and Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. By 1957, she was ready for a change and on June 5 she enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Over the next 14 years, she served in Canada and Europe during the air force's golden era, a time when it boasted more than 2,000 aircraft and more than 50,000 men and women stationed in dozens of bases in Canada and abroad. Dressed in a crisp, white uniform crowned by a starched cap, she was a familiar sight to patients hospitalized at Royal Canadian Air Force stations in Cold Lake, Alberta., Sea Island, Trenton, Ontario, and in Marville and Grostenquin, France.
What she most loved to do, however, was to take part in airlift evacuations, and she participated in many in Canada and Europe. In fact, Royal Canadian Air Force brass thought so highly of Ms. MacDONALD's experience in the air and with her administrative, teaching and mentoring skills that she was appointed chief instructor of the aero-medical evacuation course at Trenton's No. 4 (Transport) Operational Training Unit. There, she taught flight nurses, nursing assistants and medical assistants sent from the army, navy and air force. Courses were three weeks long, with 15 students at a time.
Ms. MacDONALD, who was known for her sense of humour and approachability, took great pains to ensure her staff maintained high teaching standards. This wasn't too hard, since they revered her, said retired captain Gail HARROD of Ottawa.
"Kay was a wonderful boss, friend and mentor. She was widely admired for her nursing knowledge and dedication to her work," said Ms. HARROD, who worked with Ms. MacDONALD in Trenton from 1965 to 1966. "She was always professional yet approachable, a team player, a role model for us as a nurse and a lady."
Besides studying aviation physiology, decompression, load planning and how to survive a crash, students finished the course by taking a five-day training flight across Canada and the United States. Ms. MacDONALD and her instructors took pains to make sure that the exercise as realistic as possible. "Emergency conditions are simulated," she wrote. "Each student has a chance to be a 'patient' and to work as part of the nursing team or the documentation team."
Teamwork was highly stressed, since moving patients aboard the Royal Canadian Air Force's "flying hospital wards" demanded close co-operation between medical staff, the air evacuation team, and both aircrew and ground crew. "Teamwork among members of the air evacuation team is essential. The flight nurse is team leader and briefs her assistants on the nursing care and condition of patients; on the patients who require special observation on diets and medications; and on the use of special equipment for patient comfort," she wrote.
In 1971, Ms. MacDONALD left the Canadian Forces three years after her old unit at Sea Island was renamed 442 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron and relocated to Canadian Forces Base Comox on Vancouver Island. She retired with the rank captain and spent the next 14 years at Ottawa's Grace General Hospital where she worked as the discharge planning nurse.
Catherine (Kay) Jane MacDONALD was born October 8, 1920, in Pisquid East, Prince Edward Island. She died of cancer in Ottawa on April 29, 2007. She was 86. She leaves her nieces Louise, Adele and Anne, and nephews Charles, François, Pierre and Conrad.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-10-20 published
Arctic pioneer married famous explorer on strength of a telegram
In 1938, she dropped everything and sailed north to wed a man she scarcely knew. Her honeymoon with the 'Lone Wolf of the Arctic' was spent mapping Baffin Island
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to The Globe and Mail; Globe and Mail archives, Page S10
Ottawa -- When Ella MANNING told her family and Friends she was pulling up stakes and moving to the North to marry Arctic explorer Tom MANNING, everyone tried to convince her not to go.
Seven decades ago, in the 1930s, well-brought-up ladies just didn't do something so adventurous and outrageous. Determined to go her own way and do exactly as she pleased, Mrs. MANNING didn't care what anyone thought. She was 32 and felt she was meant to share Mr. MANNING's life in the Arctic, and that's all there was to it.
His marriage proposal was a bit unconventional, to say the least. There was no courtship or declaration of undying love on bended knee. Instead, in April, 1938, she found a telegram waiting for her at her Montreal home. "If you wish to join me at Cape Dorset this summer for two years I shall be pleased. Think well. Fools rush in. I shall not be able to receive a reply. Tom MANNING."
Mr. MANNING, an ornithologist and explorer known as the "Lone Wolf of the Arctic," had asked an Inuit man to take his offer to the nearest radio transmitter. That took three months, but she eventually received it.
That was all the adventurous Ella, known as Jackie or Jenny to her Friends, needed to start making plans. She had met Mr. MANNING in 1935, and not seen him since, but she was content. Thoughts of buying a wedding dress and trousseau never entered her head. Her belongings, including a stock of toothbrushes, filled just half of a small kit bag, she wrote in her 1943 book, Igloo for the Night.
Packing was the easy part. After that, she had to convince the Hudson's Bay Company to assign her a berth on one of its ships, the Nascopie, due to sail from Montreal in early July on its annual journey to Hudson's Bay Company posts. That was the hard part because various officials, amazed at her request, seemed to enjoy giving her the runaround on "general principles," she wrote.
"No white woman had ever gone to the Arctic to live away from the posts; it was madness to try and keep up with the travels and share the hard life of the man who had asked me to go. So they made excuses: Mr. MANNING had not been heard of for a long time, and they didn't know where he had gone."
One unidentified Hudson's Bay Company official was even worried that Mrs. MANNING would not be able to replenish her makeup. "What will you do for fresh supplies of face powder, nail polish and cosmetics generally?"
Mrs. MANNING put him in his place with a characteristic, no-nonsense answer: "No one is going to know if I powder my nose or not. And, as for nail polish, I think its lack will be no great hardship."
As for her family and Friends, they "shook their heads gravely, and pondered to themselves - I'm sure they did - the improbability of my ultimate survival among the terrifying perils and hardships of an unknown land."
In the end, she sailed on the Nascopie on July 8, 1938. Sixteen days later, on July 24, she reached Cape Dorset. The wedding ceremony was conducted on board by the Bishop of the Arctic, Archibald Fleming. The best man was the son of Lord Tweedsmuir, then governor-general, who was a passenger. The ring came from a copper engine fitting. "My old Harris tweed suit took the place of satin and lace," wrote Mrs. MANNING. "I couldn't find my one-and-only pair of gloves. There were no flowers and music."
For a honeymoon, she helped her husband to continue his task of mapping the west coast of Baffin Island, and gathering bird specimens for museums down south. A larger-than-life figure who spoke sparingly, Mr. MANNING begun exploring the north in 1932, when he was just 21.
Now he had a partner in his new wife. Travelling in her husband's tiny boat, the Polecat, and later by dog sled, Mrs. MANNING quickly learned to do without the perks of civilization she'd been used to. "Goodbye to clean white sheets," she wrote ruefully. She wore a shirt, breeches and a duffle dicky, a parka-like garment. Outer pants were made of seal or bear skin. Boots were sealskin.
Their epic journey was a perilous one. "The country where we proposed to live was unknown to us, but also to the native who accompanied us. We expected to be at least 300 miles from the nearest Hudson's Bay Company post, and the supplies we were taking with us would have to last, with few additions, for over a year. There were no natives within 250 miles of us in any direction. All of this I accepted without a qualm."
The tiny Polecat was crammed with supplies: Flour, butter, jam, milk, tobacco, pemmican and about 800 litres of fuel. Also on board were seven dogs to pull the sled, and four puppies. More puppies were born later.
Mrs. MANNING quickly learned the many skills needed to survive in the Arctic, where the temperature in winter can dip to -40 and the weather can turn treacherous in a heartbeat. It took her seven attempts, but she finally made a pair of fur mittens. She learned how to keep a blubber lamp - essential to produce heat and light in an igloo or tent - burning, and how to make bannock, a dietary staple.
She often went for a walk at midday to escape the "smell and squalling and general offensiveness of the tent," accompanied by a black-and-white puppy named Mephistopheles "who looked uncommonly like a little devil and who loved me and nobody else."
Looking around her, Mrs. MANNING was struck by the grandeur of the North. "Everywhere was silence except for the cracking of the ice with the rise and fall of the tide. Occasionally, although no hostile sound broke the eternal frozen emptiness, I felt that I was being watched. Doubtless I was, but it was not the eyes of hare or fox that I sensed. I felt a Presence, something was observing, coldly judicial."
It was easy to let her imagination run riot, she wrote. "There was such supreme, desolate, foreign indifference towards my own puny insignificance; the longer I remained in the north, the more I realized how little the north cared for my life or death. I was not of any importance. Nowhere was there a shelter for the night, unless it was built with our hands; never was there food or warmth unless secured through our own unremitting efforts. There was no rest from the struggle to keep body and soul together."
It was a long way from her Nova Scotia childhood. After growing up on a farm, she attended Dalhousie University in Halifax and graduated with a degree in history and Latin in 1930. After that, she moved to Montreal and worked as a nurse and as a teacher.
Along the way, she met the dour but charismatic Mr. MANNING and something clicked. Their meeting turned out to be a singular experience, in more ways than one. After joining him at Cape Dorset, they spent almost two years together while surveying, and seldom encountered another human being. Finally, her husband had a disturbing dream, wrote Mrs. MANNING in Igloo for the Night, and that impelled them to return south by dog sled to Cape Dorset. They arrived on January 2, 1940, to be told that the Second World War had begun.
Eager to participate in the war effort, Mr. MANNING continued around the Foxe Basin on a journey by boat and dog team that covered 3,200 kilometres and lasted just over a year. When they arrived at Churchill, Manitoba, to take a train south, he met a United States Air Force officer who asked whether the story he had heard about Mr. MANNING's killing a polar bear with a boning knife was true. Mr. MANNING replied, "It was not a very big bear."
He subsequently enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy and helped direct the building of Arctic airfields and worked on developing cold-weather clothing.
Meanwhile, Mrs. MANNING spent most of the war in Ottawa. When peace returned she went back to the North while he, under the auspices of the Geodetic Survey of Canada, established ground control points for an Royal Canadian Air Force aerial photographic survey. A Summer on Hudson Bay, Mrs. MANNING's account of the undertaking, was published in 1949.
In the late 1960s, the MANNINGs separated but never divorced. Mrs. MANNING remained on good terms with her husband until his death in 1998, and spent her remaining years in Ottawa.
Ella Wallace Jackson MANNING was born October 26, 1906, in Mill Village, near Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia She died of congestive heart failure in Ottawa on September 25, a month short of her 101st birthday. Her husband predeceased her.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-05 published
Wartime pilot was among the first to introduce the Royal Canadian Air Force to the jet age
An instructor who had been denied a combat role because he was a superb flyer, he went aloft in a Gloucester Meteor in 1945. It proved to be the most memorable flight of his career
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S10
Ottawa -- Sitting in the cockpit of a Gloster Meteor jet aircraft, Bill GILMOUR of the Royal Canadian Air Force could feel and hear the immense power of both Rolls Royce Derwent 1 centrifugal turbojet engines as they idled quietly before takeoff.
It was December 8, 1945, and he had just received clearance from the control tower. Mr. GILMOUR pushed the throttles forward and the Meteor, the first operational jet fighter to enter service with the Allies during the Second World War, quickly rolled down the runway.
Seconds later, Mr. GILMOUR, a highly experienced pilot and flight instructor who was awarded an important decoration for his instructional abilities, was airborne over a war-weary English countryside. The fighting in Europe had been over for seven months, but the Royal Air Force and its allies, including the Royal Canadian Air Force, were developing and testing new aircraft for post-war service.
For the next 70 minutes, Mr. GILMOUR, an Royal Canadian Air Force flight lieutenant attached to the Royal Air Force's Empire Central Flying School, put his Meteor Mk III jet through a series of dazzling acrobatics. After more than four years spent flying two dozen types of piston-engine aircraft from Spitfires to Harvards, it was the first time he'd gone aloft in a jet.
After rolling and looping at a cruising speed of 660 km/h, as high as 15,000 metres above the earth, Mr. GILMOUR reluctantly brought his aircraft back to earth to the flying school's airfield at Hullavington in Wiltshire. He never forgot that flight for the rest of his life. According to one of his sons, Jeffrey, it even made history of a sort. "He told me that he was one of the first five Royal Canadian Air Force pilots to fly a jet, at the dawn of the jet age."
It was a highlight of Mr. GILMOUR's war-time career, all of which had been spent in Canada as an instructor with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It wasn't that he wanted to stay safe and sound 5,000 kilometres from dogfights in the skies over Europe, it was that he was simply too good a pilot to send overseas on operations.
In fact, on July 28, 1943, Wing Commander E.R. JOHNSTON of Royal Canadian Air Force Trenton's Central Flying School rated Mr. GILMOUR as "an above-average pilot and instructor." That was gratifying, but instructors of that calibre were at a premium and no matter how many times he sent in a request for a transfer to the war, he was turned down. It was galling, but he had to obey orders.
"He was extremely keen to get overseas on operations against the enemy, but the air force obviously saw that he was an excellent pilot so he was selected to remain in Canada to train others," said Jeffery GILMOUR. "He was frustrated because his primary aim was to fly with a fighter squadron against the enemy, but he never got the chance."
Day in, day out, starting in April, 1941, at No. 1 Service Flying Training School at Camp Borden, Ontario, Mr. GILMOUR climbed into innumerable Harvards, Yales, Cranes and Hudsons -- all yellow-painted training aircraft -- at all hours of the day and night. He flew with his students -- teaching and assessing them, cajoling, criticizing and encouraging them -- until he judged they were ready to go solo. Those who couldn't make the grade washed out, packed their bags and were reassigned.
Page after page of neat entries in his log book chronicles the students he took up over Camp Borden and Trenton during those four years. The list -- with names like Hall, Magwood, Freeland, Honeyman, Heard, Eaton, May, Jackson, Jones, Anderson, Smith, Curry, Elmes -- is endless. Ground checks, takeoffs, instrument flying, emergencies procedures, gunnery, night flying, there were thousands of things to learn and there wasn't much time to do it. Almost all of his students graduated, a few were killed during training and some lost their lives overseas on operations, but all were the better for his instruction.
By 1942, Mr. GILMOUR was so good at his job that he was appointed acting chief flying instructor at Camp Borden. That meant even more paperwork, plus supervising the other instructors to make sure that procedures were followed and standards met.
For his dedication, Mr. GILMOUR was awarded the Air Force Cross on January 1, 1945. "By his excellent leadership as a pilot he was been a mainstay in the training organization," the official citation read. "For the past six months he had the responsibilities of chief flying instructor as well as those of a squadron commander and has performed those duties most efficiently. The excellent work of this officer and the outstanding devotion to duty he has displayed at all times are most praiseworthy."
Bill GILMOUR grew up in Ottawa and Toronto. Working as a clerk and cashier for the Crown Life Insurance Company was pretty boring, so he took flying lessons and obtained his private pilot's license. "My ambition is to fly," he once wrote. "It has been my ambition every since I was a kid. I want to make flying my business." On June 25, 1940, after a frustrating, six-month wait, Mr. GILMOUR joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was awarded his wings on January 24, 1941.
After the war, Mr. GILMOUR, whose whole life was based around flying and the comradeship he found in the Royal Canadian Air Force, elected to stay in the air force. It was a good decision, since he was immediately promoted to squadron leader and participated in the air force's golden era, which lasted roughly from 1950 to Post-war planners had envisioned a tiny force of just 16, 100 men and eight squadrons, but by 1950, North Atlantic Treaty Organization had been founded, the Cold War was in progress and Canadian troops were fighting in Korea in support of the United Nations. By 1959, the Royal Canadian Air Force boasted more than 2,000 aircraft and 56,000 men and women stationed at dozens of bases in Canada and Europe.
Filling a number of staff positions across Canada during the 1950s, Mr. GILMOUR flew as often as he could, for a total of 3,567 hours overall. Starting in 1955, his 13-year-old son, Jeffrey, a member of 181 (Mosquito) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, was lucky enough to be invited to fly Harvards with his old man on weekends.
"The first time we went flying, he taxied out to the runway. I remember the aircraft moving from side to side. I thought, he must be a lousy pilot, but later I learned he had to do that while taxiing in order to see out of the cockpit," he recalled. "We'd go both Saturday and Sunday, fly all over southern Ontario, fly low level so I could see everything. He'd do loops and rolls but always ask me if I was comfortable."
John GILMOUR remembers a highly-organized man who wasn't the most demonstrative parent, which was something the man had in common with many stiff-upper-lip fathers of his generation, but he knew what values to teach his children. "Loyalty, determination, leadership and dedication, all too absent in today's society. He was away quite a lot -- it wasn't a 9-to-5 job -- so we often didn't see him as often as kids who had civilian fathers."
After retiring from the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1963 as a wing commander, Mr. GILMOUR spent the next 15 years with the Public Service Commission of Canada. He loved golfing, gardening, big-band music (he played a mean alto saxophone) and entertaining his grandchildren.
Walter William GILMOUR was born December 20, 1913, in Winnipeg, Manitoba He died of natural causes in Ottawa on Oct 7, 2007. He was 93. He is survived by sons Jeffrey and John, and by daughters Angela and Paula. He also leaves his sisters Audrey, Jean and Erna, and numerous grandchildren. His wife Sheila predeceased him in 1995.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-07 published
Refugee fled his Nazi persecutors to become a top-secret eavesdropper
Fluent in German and Czech, he was identified by the Canadian Army as someone who could listen in on enemy signals. It was the first step in a long military career, in both peace and war
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S8
Ottawa -- When Fred POLLAK arrived in Canada in 1939 as a fresh-face young man of 19, he was a penniless refugee who could barely speak English. Scarcely more than two years later, he found himself in a top-secret unit where he spent the rest of the Second World War eavesdropping on the Germans.
Having fled his native Czechoslovakia just one step ahead of the Nazis, Mr. POLLAK resolved to fight the Germans and, in August, 1941, he joined the Canadian army. However, it didn't take long for the brass to notice his special skills as a linguist. Fluent in Czech and German - he was born in Bohemia, the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia - he was also proficient in shorthand and typing.
Barely six weeks after enlisting and undergoing very little basic training, he was "hijacked" by the army. For once, the brass decided to put a round peg in a round hole and assigned him to a wireless intelligence unit. He was sent to England to learn Morse code, and then to a top-secret radio post on the English Channel to listen in on German-occupied France.
"There, I monitored, copied, collated, analyzed and reported on German military signals traffic across the water in France," Mr. POLLAK wrote decades later. "At this time, literally no one in the Canadian forces had any experience in tactical signal intercept, nor did we possess recording devices. As a result, everything important was copied by hand. We were given some help by the British, but mostly it was on-the-job training."
The hours were long and the work tedious, but Mr. POLLAK and his fellow signalers knew their work was vital to the war effort. If Allied commanders knew what the enemy was up to, then they could plan their operations on the battlefield with greater confidence.
After a quick promotion to the dizzy heights of lance corporal, sadly without extra pay, he soon heard that he was to be made a sergeant. "But the authorities felt this was too much responsibility and sent me to officer cadet training instead," he said, tongue-in-cheek.
In June, 1944, Mr. POLLAK landed in France as a newly minted lieutenant, just weeks after the D-Day invasion of Normandy. From the rear lines, he donned his headset and listened to the stream of enemy signals, even coming to know the voices of individual German operators. "You listen to them for three years, and you get to know who they are," he told The Ottawa Citizen in 2005.
He also began to be able to read between the lines, picking up all sorts of useful information from little verbal tidbits and indiscretions. For example, radio operators talking about vacations or girlfriends could indicate the location of a unit, or an impending troop movement; a shower of Iron Cross medals intended to boost morale were "dead giveaways" that a unit was about to surrender so, too, did lots of "Heil Hitlers" meant to demonstrate loyalty.
Fred POLLAK was born Bedrich Juri POLLAK into a middle-class Jewish merchant family - his father dealt in grain and building supplies, and his mother ran a general store - that had long assimilated into Christian Bohemia. "Religion was not a huge part of their lives," said his daughter, Susan POLLAK. "It was their cultural identity more than anything else. They participated in both Jewish and Christian ceremonies."
But time was running out for all the Jews of Europe. After Nazi Germany took total control of Czechoslovakia in March, 1939, the POLLAK family knew they had to get out. "A neighbour knocked at the door late at night and told grandfather, 'You have to leave now, tonight. Go and get your exit papers, it's still possible - it won't be possible tomorrow,' Susan POLLAK said.
The following day, after paying a huge bribe, the POLLAKs boarded a train bound for uncertain exile. They were penniless and took only what they could carry. After a brief stay in Britain, the family was accepted by Canada. They arrived in August, 1939, only to encounter a bemused immigration official who blinked when Mr. POLLAK told him his complete name. "You have a new first name now - Fred Allen, after the radio personality."
With his parents, and with brother John and sister Gerta, he settled on a farm near Prescott, Ontario "I was a city slicker, and my performance as a farmer could best be described as flawed," he wrote. "I helped local farmers with their chores, and the bane of my existence was a team of horses that had previously pulled a milk delivery wagon. The horses were trained to stop at the slightest sound. I am a gassy individual and, suffice to say, the horses constantly misinterpreted my signals."
After the war, Mr. POLLAK decided to remain in the army. His war-time work, plus his knowledge of history, politics, current events and geography led to his transfer to the Canadian Intelligence Corps. He later became a cavalryman with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Canada's senior armoured regiment.
The post-war era was an exciting time to be in the army and Mr. POLLAK made the best of it, serving in Laos in 1956 on a United Nations peacekeeping mission. In 1963, he landed "the best posting a soldier could wish for: a two-year term with the British Commander-in-Chief's Mission to the Soviet Forces in East Germany, based in West Berlin and Potsdam."
This was a super job for a Canadian major, he wrote. "There was never a dull moment, with constant friction and confrontation between the Soviet and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces. Enduring Friendships were made with British, American and French officers."
It helped, too, that Berlin also offered fine museums, good symphony and opera, and excellent restaurants.
His daughter Nancy POLLAK remembers picking mushrooms with her father in the Grunewald forest when she was 10. "We'd run into local people also picking mushrooms. I would listen as my father spoke impeccable German with them, and then afterwards… I felt him wrestling with a kind of disbelief, and grief, at the enormous and calculated brutality of the Nazis," she said. "He returned to the subject often, to put it mildly."
In 1968, he retired. In a half-serious tribute, an army general described Mr. POLLAK's war record: "Freddy was able to predict: a, the Fall of Paris; b, the defeat at Arnhem; c, the Ardennes offensive; d, the end of the war. Unfortunately it took so long to decode, translate and disseminate these scoops that Eisenhower had already got the news from collateral sources."
From 1970-84, Mr. POLLAK joined the department of national defence and worked in an intelligence division that monitored Eastern European armies. After that, he continued his love affair with the military by conducting tours of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
A strong family man who doted on his four daughters - he needed a sense of humour to put up with all those nylons drying in the only bathroom, a friend once quipped - Mr. POLLAK loved skiing, dogs, travelling and gardening. He was always up to something, from organizing family trips to making his own miniature soldiers.
Fred Allen POLLAK was born Bedrich Juri POLLAK on May 20, 1919, in Brezno, Czechoslovakia. He died of cancer in Ottawa on October 16, 2007. He was 88. He leaves Anne, his wife of 57 years, and by daughters Susan, Catherine, Nancy and Robin. He also leaves a brother and a sister. He was predeceased by his daughter Elizabeth.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-09 published
Gerry LEAVER, 89: Engineer
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to The Globe and Mail, Page S8
Ottawa -- Gerry LEAVER was so traumatized by what he went through as a gunner during the Second World War that he seriously considered becoming a Roman Catholic priest when he was demobilized at the end of 1945.
Serving in Italy and Northwest Europe as a battery captain with 1st Canadian Survey Regiment, he was present at all its battles, both large and small. Spending more than a year in action, including leave and rest periods, he saw the full horror of warfare up close. A reserved man who almost never spoke of his experiences, he was appalled at the tremendous waste and never forgot the suffering he witnessed.
After slogging up the Italian peninsula in a series of hard-fought battles in 1944, he and his regiment arrived in the Netherlands in February, 1945, for almost three more months of fighting before Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.
Although Mr. LEAVER quickly dropped his plan of studying for the priesthood - he went back to Queen's University in Kingston, finished a degree and got on with his life by building a career and a family - his memories of war profoundly affected his life for the next 60 years, his daughter Maureen LEAVER said. "He suffered for his entire life from post traumatic stress syndrome, but he suppressed it until the last years of his life, until the demons became too strong."
Those demons appeared during the summer of 2004, when he started suffering nightmares. They upset him greatly, so he asked his caregiver, Carol GOLDENBERG, if she would write them down in diary form. The result is a valuable record of war-time experience.
The entries, which began on January 4, 2005, describe various incidents that took place during his life, both military and civilian, from the routine to the dangerous. A week later, he dreamed about charging up a hill during an attack with his batman and personal servant beside him. The batman was seriously wounded and soon died in his arms, he told Ms. GOLDENBERG. " Gerry holds him, but does not know or remember how he was feeling or what happened next," she said.
The torment continued unabated. The emotion, suppressed for decades, was not unique to Mr. LEAVER. Thousands of Canadian servicemen experienced the similar trauma. Some carried on, no matter what, and elected to suffer in silence. For some, the pressure was released through excessive drinking. Others took it out on their families.
Gerry LEAVER grew up in a post-First World War Ottawa of horse-drawn delivery wagons. Considered pretty much a backwater at the time, it was known for lumber, civil servants and the Stanley Cup-winning Ottawa Senators.
Besides delivering the Ottawa Journal, a daily newspaper that folded in 1980 after 95 years, young Gerry spent a lot of time at his father's store in the Byward Market, just down the street from Parliament Hill. After school, he would sweep the floor, stock shelves and do whatever else needed to be done. "He would help out by standing out in front and calling out either 'cold milk' or 'meat' so people would come to LEAVER's store," Ms. GOLDENBERG recorded.
Some days, he and his sister, Betty, would walk to the Carnegie Library and check out books. However, their father disapproved of reading and told them books would "burn your eyes out."
In 1937, Mr. LEAVER matriculated at Queen's University, electing to study civil engineering. Perhaps with an eye to the war clouds then gathering over Europe, he joined the Canadian Officers' Training Corps and gained a commission in the army. Not long after that, on September 10, 1939, Canada declared war on Germany.
Nine months later, on July 5, 1940, Mr. LEAVER volunteered for the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, joining 1st Field Brigade, Royal Canadian Artillery, in Ottawa. His prewar training proved valuable, since the brass gave him the rank of lieutenant, one step up from second lieutenant. He was soon transferred to 1st Canadian Survey Regiment. He shipped out to Britain for more training and landed in Sicily with his unit in July, 1943.
What followed -- particularly after the Italians surrendered that September -- was some of the hardest fighting that Canadian soldiers endured during the war. For his gallantry during an action in February, 1944, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for displaying "great devotion to duty at all times… He completely disregarded his own safety and by his skillful handling of the situation, safeguarded that of his men," the official citation said.
By March, 1945, Mr. LEAVER and the rest of 1 Canadian Corps were in France, moving up to the fighting in the Netherlands as the German army fought tenaciously to keep the Allies from crossing the Rhine. On May 6, 1945, Mr. LEAVER's war was over.
There was one more event to come, though. In October, 1946, he was summoned to Ottawa's Rideau Hall to accept his MBE from the governor-general, Lord Alexander.
After graduating in 1947, Mr. LEAVER joined the department of mines, energy and resources two years later. Working in surveying and mapping, he retired in 1977.
Fond of playing tennis, and reading history, politics and current events, Mr. LEAVER devoted his retirement to volunteering. "He helped people all his life," said Ms. LEAVER. "He was a man for all men."
Although he attended few regimental reunions after the war, Mr. LEAVER never missed the annual Remembrance Day parade at Ottawa's National War Memorial.
Gerald Joseph LEAVER was born November 24, 1918, in Ottawa. He died of natural causes in Ottawa on October 22, 2007. He was 89. He is survived by his daughter, Maureen, and by sons Frank and Garrett. He also leaves his sister, Betty, and grand_son Stephan. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-23 published
head psychiatrist at Ottawa hospital survived notorious Lubyanka Prison
Arrested after the Soviet Union invaded Poland in 1939, he was sent to Moscow for interrogation. After the war, he settled in Canada and became an early advocate of community mental health
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S9
Ottawa -- At the beginning of the Second World War, Victor SZYRYNSKI spent almost a year incarcerated in Moscow's infamous Lubyanka Prison, yet he refused to yield.
Along with many other Polish patriots, he was arrested after the Soviet Union invaded Poland. The country was in crisis - Nazi Germany had invaded Poland from the west 16 days earlier on September 1, 1939, triggering the war.
He had been rounded up a year later on a charge of practising anti-Soviet activities and transported to Lubyanka, the very mention of which was enough to send shivers of terror down the spine of most Soviets. Built in 1898 during the Czarist era as the headquarters of the All-Russia Insurance Company, the building had been appropriated by the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police, after the 1917 revolution and used as a centre of torture, interrogation and sometimes execution.
Dr. SZYRYNSKI felt his heart sink as he was led to his cell deep inside the yellow-brick prison. Over the months that followed, he was subjected to sleep deprivation, scanty rations, and aggressive and lengthy questioning that went on at all hours of the day and night. An intellectual who had published poetry before the war, he suffered through months of intense questioning that might have broken a lesser man.
Although he always maintained that his interrogators never physically tortured him, he said they did their best to get the information they wanted about his activities in the Polish underground. His spirits never flagged, however. His fierce love of Poland and his deep Catholic faith got him through the ordeal.
Dr. SZYRYNSKI, who was an assistant professor of neurology at the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius, then part of Poland, when the war broke out, had another ace up his sleeve. "They couldn't get anything out of him because he knew how to confuse his interrogators by using psychological techniques," said his daughter, Theresa AUBANEL. "He also had the mental attitude to overcome his fears."
Victor SZYRYNSKI was born in prerevolutionary St. Petersburg, the scion of an aristocratic Tatar family that traced its history back to Genghis Khan. After the First World War broke out in 1914, the boy was sent to his grandmother's estate in Finland and spent an idyllic childhood in the countryside.
At 12, he joined the Polish scouting movement and quickly grew to love it, said his granddaughter, Anna STACHULAK. He remained devoted to scouting for the rest of his life. "He used to tell us that life is with people, you have to reach out and be part of a community, not to isolate yourself. He probably developed all this from his love of scouting."
As Poland consolidated its independence from the Soviets after the war, Doctor SZYRYNSKI attended high school in Bialystok, then graduated from the University of Warsaw in 1938 with a degree in medicine.
Two years later, after his arrest, he was on a train with hundreds of others on their way to an unknown fate. Before crossing the frontier into the Soviet Union, the train stopped in Glebokie to take on food and water.
One of the prisoners, a priest, asked a crowd of Poles gathered near the train if someone could go to the local church and get some communion wafers so he could celebrate mass. A young Girl Guide offered to help and ran to the church. Returning, she crawled under one of the carriages to pass the wafers through a gap in the floorboards. It was Doctor SZYRYNSKI who took them from her fingers and, for an instant, they connected.
The priest said mass and the moment passed. Soon, the train was on its way again and eventually the prisoners were delivered to camps and interrogation centres deep within the Soviet Union, including Doctor SZYRYNSKI to Lubyanka Prison.
The fear must have been overwhelming to Doctor SZYRYNSKI and his Polish compatriots. Poland had been split by two brutal occupiers and their families had no idea what would become of them. Would they be sent to Siberia as slave labour for the camps, or would they be taken from their cells in the middle of the night and executed with a bullet in the back of the neck?
Decades after the war, Doctor SZYRYNSKI confided that he had triumphed over his captors because God had come to him in a dream. After that, he said, "it was easy to look into my interrogator's eyes with no fear. It made the cold nights in the prison warmer."
To keep their spirits up, Doctor SZYRYNSKI and his Friends recited as much Polish literature as they could remember. They also managed to read all of the many volumes of Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdue. They shared their meagre food and dreamed of the day when they would be released and reunited with their families.
In June, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and finally the Kremlin decided to release tens of thousands of Poles, including Dr. SZYRYNSKI. He joined Polish forces under British command in Iraq as a medical officer and spent the next five years in Africa and the Middle East, treating Polish orphans living in refugee camps. When the war ended he was awarded Poland's Silver Cross of Merit, with swords.
By that time, he was back in Iraq working at a military hospital near Baghdad. On the staff were a number of Polish nurses, one of whom caught his fancy. She was about 10 years younger than him and, to his eye, there was something very appealing about her.
Her name was Jadwiga SZCZEBIOT and he set to thinking about how they could be properly introduced. It was not long before he had enlisted the help of a priest, who invited the nurse to come by for tea. When she arrived, she discovered the priest already had another guest - Doctor SZYRYNSKI.
It wasn't long before romance flourished between the two compatriots, far from home and facing an uncertain future. They traded stories and Jadwiga shared how, she, too, had been rounded up by the Soviets and shipped to Siberia. He told her of his experiences in Lubyanka Prison, and of being sent to Moscow on a train full of political prisoners. To their astonishment, they realized they had met before. Jadwiga was the Girl Guide who had fetched the wafers.
Two years later - seven years after they had unknowingly met amid the human flotsam and jetsam of a world war - the couple were married in Jerusalem on April 12, 1947.
"We just liked each other," Ms. SZYRYNSKI said this week of their meeting outside Baghdad. "He was nice, very pleasant. We went swimming, walked by the river together."
After Jerusalem, they emigrated to Britain, where Doctor SZYRYNSKI completed postgraduate studies. They arrived in Canada in 1948. After completing his doctorate in psychology at the University of Ottawa, he taught psychiatry. He also specialized in neurology and psychotherapy. In 1964, he was named head of the psychiatry department at Ottawa General Hospital.
For four decades, Doctor SZYRYNSKI's research and clinical work focused on the community and he became an early proponent of preventative psychiatry and the team mental health approach. "He advocated tirelessly for prompt recognition and assistance of mental health problems by co-operation among family, community, professional and religious services," said his granddaughter, Christina STACHULAK.
The author of more than 70 articles, he was a fastidious man who expected high standards among his peers. Over the course of his career, he was awarded many honours, including fellowships in the Royal College of Physicians, Canada, and the American Psychiatric Association.
A central figure in Canadian-Polish community relations, Doctor SZYRYNSKI spent a lifetime contributing to his church. In 1969, at his Ottawa home, he entertained an obscure Polish cardinal called Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. The two hit it off and corresponded over the years, meeting five times in all. "His religion was deep inside, he never talked about it," said his wife. "It was deeds that counted."
Victor SZYRYNSKI was born October 10, 1913, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He died of natural causes in Ottawa on September 21, 2007. He was 93. He leaves his wife, Jadwiga, daughters Barbara and Theresa, grandchildren Anna, Christina, Sebastien, Vincent and Alexandre, and great-granddaughter Rose.

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BOURDON o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-12-19 published
Aeronautical engineer's jet motors powered the Royal Canadian Air Force through Cold War
Although colour blind, he was accepted by the air force for his technical brilliance and rose to become a brigadier-general, all the while steering development of such aircraft as the Avro Arrow
By Buzz BOURDON, Special to the Globe and Mail, Page S7
Ottawa -- Working quietly behind the scenes, Ed BRIDGLAND spent almost three decades playing a major part in developing many of the famous aircraft flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force after the Second World War. One of the Royal Canadian Air Force's top aeronautical engineers of the postwar period, he was involved with the legendary Avro Arrow jet fighter, as well as the supersonic Starfighter, the Argus submarine hunter, the Lockheed Hercules and the Canadair Yukon.
He started working on aircraft in 1944 during the war when he was seconded to Britain's Ministry of Aircraft Production. After being loaned to Power Jets Ltd., the firm that pioneered gas turbines, he later spent time as a project engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, working on performance testing and high-speed flight development.
From August of 1946 to June of 1949, he worked as the chief engineer of the Royal Canadian Air Force's Winter Experimental Establishment. Supervising a staff of 15 officers and 250 airmen, he oversaw the testing of new aircraft intended for Arctic conditions. During the Cold War, the air force had to operate in the Far North on a regular basis, and it was vital that its aircraft could do so safely and efficiently.
It was his first important post, but it wasn't to be the last. Promotion and responsibility came his way during the Royal Canadian Air Force's golden age, from 1950 to 1965. Five years after the war ended, Canada's defence requirements were suddenly back on the front burner: The Cold War turned hot after North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in 1949 to counter the Soviet bloc. A year later, the Korean War ignited.
The pace was frantic. The Royal Canadian Air Force needed thousands of aircrew and technicians to fly and maintain hundreds of new aircraft rolling off the production lines in Montreal and Toronto. Wartime bases were reactivated and modernized, while many veterans - fondly dubbed retreads and sporting hard-earned ribbons on their chests - decided to get back in uniform, providing much needed experience and esprit de corps. By 1952, more than 40 per cent of the government's budget was allocated to the Department of National Defence, with the Royal Canadian Air Force getting the lion's share.
Ed BRIDGLAND's interest in aircraft and engineering started when he was growing up in Calgary. He played football and hockey - skating for three teams at the same time - but truly loved his Meccano toy set. Designing and building Meccano aircraft at the tender age of 13, he was good enough to win two prizes from the British company. He never looked back. A few years later, he was working on the real thing after graduating in engineering physics from the University of Toronto in 1940.
Rejected for pilot training because he was colour blind - he could not see green or red - Mr. BRIDGLAND was determined to help the war effort by qualifying as an Royal Canadian Air Force aeronautical engineer. For once, the brass decided to put a round peg in a round hole and sent him to take postgraduate training at the California Institute of Technology.
By 1949, Mr. BRIDGLAND was in Ottawa at air force headquarters as the officer in charge of engine development, an area that included engine installations, propellers, fuel and lubricants. Earmarked by his superiors for higher command and responsibility, he was sent to the Royal Air Force staff college in Britain. Only the best and the brightest were selected for this extremely demanding course, which he attended in 1954 and 1955.
In June of 1956, he was sent to the Avro Canada plant in Malton, Ontario, to oversee quality control on the famous Iroquois engine, an advanced gas turbine manufactured by Orenda Aerospace for the CF-105 Arrow. It was an exciting 16 months for him, as he monitored the engine's progress and reported back to Royal Canadian Air Force brass on its feasibility. He was convinced that the Iroquois had great capability; unfortunately, the Arrow was cancelled by John Diefenbaker on February 20, 1959.
By that time, Mr. BRIDGLAND was back in Ottawa as director of aircraft engineering, where he was responsible for aircraft-design requirements, specifications, airworthiness and production programs. It was a vital job, since the Royal Canadian Air Force deployed more than 20 types of aircraft, from fighters to trainers to transport aircraft to helicopters.
In 1962, Mr. BRIDGLAND was posted to the Royal Canadian Air Force's No. 1 Air Division in Europe as senior technical staff officer. It was a demanding job that included supervising a staff of 95 officers and airmen, along with responsibility for such technical functions as aeronautical, armament, supply, mobile and construction engineering.
The air division, which had phased out its Korean War-era Sabre jets and its CF-100s, was by then equipped with the new Canadair Starfighter in a nuclear strike-reconnaissance role. After years of dithering by Mr. Diefenbaker, a government led by Lester Pearson had agreed that the supersonic Starfighters would be armed with U.S. nuclear weapons in the event of war.
Working out of the air division's headquarters in Metz, France, Mr. BRIDGLAND had to cope with the unrelenting threat of nuclear war. It was the height of the Cold War - the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis had made things much worse - and the air division's nine Starfighter squadrons stood in constant readiness.
Mr. BRIDGLAND's son, James, said he could not recall worrying about a war. At the time, he was only 10 and did the things kids his age did: went to school, made a stab at his homework and played with his Friends.
"I don't think any of the kids in Air Division knew that our airplanes were flying with nuclear weapons. I never found that out until the late 1980s," he said. "My general understanding at the time was that [our] role in North Atlantic Treaty Organization was purely reconnaissance. My guess is that [we] suffered from misinformation. That amounts to a rather large cover-up, that parents of several thousand families shielded their children from the reality of why they were really there. In retrospect, I think we are all grateful for it."
He remembers his father as a man who led by example, and who loved a good debate. He was pretty good at teaching his children about all sorts of things, too. "I remember a morning in Ottawa when the family was around the breakfast table, Dad dressed for work in a suit and tie, reading The Globe and Mail and drinking coffee. I must have been 10. I can't imagine what possessed me to ask how airplanes navigate in crosswinds, but I did."
On a paper napkin, Mr. BRIDGLAND quickly drew a triangle of arrows. "The first arrow was the airplane's heading - its speed indicated by the length of the arrow," his son said. "From the head of that, he drew a second arrow showing the wind direction and speed. He then drew an arrow from the base of the first to the head of the second. Pointing to the last he said, 'That is the actual path of the airplane.' It was as concise and clear a lesson in vector physics as you could possibly wish for. He must have been a great instructor at the University of Toronto wind-tunnel lab."
Before retiring in 1971 as a brigadier-general, Mr. BRIDGLAND spent his last four years in uniform in Ottawa as director-general, aerospace systems, responsible for engineering and maintenance. Afterward, he worked for the Department of Transport before retiring for good in 1980. His final years were devoted to golfing, skiing, travelling and spending time with his family.
Edgar Parsons BRIDGLAND was born on August 5, 1917, in Calgary. He died of a stroke in Ottawa on October 18, 2007. He was 90. He leaves his son James, daughters Peggy and Janet, grandchildren Zoe, Michael and Kathryn and great-granddaughters Molly and Norah. He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen.

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