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"EMI" 2005 Obituary


EMI o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-04-12 published
KEYSTON, Dr. John Edgar
Passed away peacefully in Ottawa on April 8th in his 96th year. Predeceased by his wife Irene née CATLOW, he leaves a son, John Robert KEYSTON and his wife Jacqueline, living in Halifax, Nova Scotia; two grand-daughters, Rebecca and Melanie; and a daughter Judith KEYSTON, living in Lewes, England. Dr. KEYSTON had a very distinguished career in the field of Defence Research. He grew up in the small Nottinghamshire village of Barnstone, England, and was educated at the King Edward VII Grammar School in Melton Mowbray, at Nottingham University (B.Sc. 1929), the Einstein Tower laboratory in Potsdam, Germany (1930-1931) and Magdalen College, Oxford (first class D.Phil. in Physics 1933). His first post was Research Officer with EMI, but in 1937 he transferred to defence research in the preparations for possible war with Germany. At the Admiralty he became Assistant Director of Scientific Research Planning (1943-1945), and Deputy Director of Programmes and Planning (1945-1946). From postwar London he moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as Research Director of the Central African Council (1947-1949), and took time off from this post in 1949 to serve as Scientific Advisor to the Indian Navy in that newly independent country. Dr KEYSTON came to Canada in 1950 as the first Chief Superintendant of the newly established Naval Research Establishment (now Defence Research Establishment Atlantic) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Both the job and the country proved to be congenial to him, and he and his wife became Canadian citizens in 1953. He was subsequently promoted (1957) to the position of Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Defence Research Board, and moved to Ottawa. Still eager for new challenges, in 1964 he accepted a the North Atlantic Treaty Organization appointment as Director of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe Technical Centre in The Hague, Netherlands. From there he moved in 1967 to Brussels as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Director of Armaments and Defence Research, a post he held until his retirement back to Ottawa in 1973. For his significant contributions to defence research Dr KEYSTON was honoured in Britain with an O.B.E. and later a coronation medal, and with the Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm from the U.S.A. He tried his hand at many things, including playwriting - and was winner of the Nova Scotia playwriting competition for 3 years running. He had been a keen cricketer, golfer and gardener, played the piano and enjoyed a variety of music. He will be deeply missed by his family and by his Friends, particularly Audrey COWAN who was his very best friend during the last years of his life. A private memorial service will be held in Ottawa later in April. The family may be contacted through

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