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"WUE" 2006 Obituary


WUENSCH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-19 published
WEEKS, Ernest Poole
By Arnold SIMESTER, Page A16
Proud Maritimer, Rhodes scholar, civil servant, world traveller. Born January, 1912. Died January 23, in Ottawa of pneumonia, aged 94.
Ernest WEEKS was the son of Rev. E.S. WEEKS, a Methodist minister. Ernest had two sisters, Pearl and Jean. As a boy growing up in Murray Harbour, Nova Scotia, he could remember things such as hearing the Halifax Explosion rattle all the windows in his house and experiencing the Spanish Flu of 1918.
After attending Mount Allison University he won a Rhodes scholarship in 1933 to study economics. He travelled Europe where he saw Mussolini giving a speech, and saw Hitler, dressed in his brown shirt, driving through rapturous crowds in Hamburg. He also visited collective farms in the Ukraine as he rode through Russia. The memoir Ernie published in 2004 (Memoirs, 90 years, 1912-2002: Canada and Elsewhere) is an amazing first-hand account of his witnessing "a sort of twilight of the fabulous Empire, and a time of revolutionary changes in Europe." He also met personalities such as Churchill and George Bernard Shaw through different Oxford connections.
In Hamburg, he met a German woman named Gerda WUENSCH (through study and travel he became fluent in five languages) and when the Second World War occurred he found himself in Britain with a young family living through the Blitz. He worked for the Ministry of Information preparing propaganda, including foreign radio broadcasts at the British Broadcasting Corporation. One night during a very severe raid, with his wife and son by his side, he heard the whistle of V-1 "buzz bombs" coming from directly overhead. From experience he knew the Germans flew the V-1s in lines of threes so they heard the explosion of the first bomb, then the second bomb hit closer. The third bomb just missed his flat and levelled a house 100 yards away.
He returned to Canada in the 1950s and worked as an economist for the federal government; he worked for a wide variety of departments. He shared an office with a young Pierre Trudeau at one point and he counted C.D. Howe and Jack Pickersgill as his mentors. He served as executive director of the Atlantic Development Board, assistant deputy minister of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, and the chairman of Canadian Saltfish Corp.
Although he moved and worked in privileged circles he never took himself seriously. He established the Semi-Senile Snow Shoeing Society (or the SSSS as the members called it) in Ottawa. This group of Friends met for more than 50 years on Saturdays to explore the woods in western Quebec or in the Ottawa valley. After so many miles a bonfire would be built and stories would be told as they ate lunch and sipped their snowshoeing drink (half whisky and half maple syrup). The group came from all walks of life, largely through Ernie's wide involvement with organizations such as the Young Men's Christian Association, his church, the press club, the Rideau club, and the Canadian Geographical Society.
Charlie Hurst, his best friend, described Ernie as a man who "knew the name of every tree and flower, who could talk about international politics for hours, always with all the details, who could tell a good story -- and who would listen, too. He was a fantastic man with a fantastic mind." They only stopped snowshoeing in 2002, when every other member of the original group had died.
A testament to his spirit is that, as Ernie's body grew frailer in the last few years and as he was reduced to a cane and then finally to a wheelchair, the most he would concede to his health when an inquiry was made might be a casual "Last week was tough, but, you know, I'm making progress." After which -- inevitably he'd meet your concerned look with a smile and say, "But tell me how you're doing."
Arnold SIMESTER is Ernie's step-grand_son.

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WUERCH 2006-01-07 published
ULCH, Josephine
Peacefully at Marian Villa, London on Monday January 2nd 2006, Josephine ULCH in her 97th year. Wife of the late John ULCH (1978.) Dear mother of Joan WUERCH (Harry) of London and a foster son Kenneth HEUSTON of Wisconsin. Loving grandmother of 10 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren. Predeceased by her son Gordon (1964), her grand_son John and a great-granddaughter Sheri Lyn. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at Faith Tabernacle, 1920 Huron Street, London on Saturday January 14th 2006 at 11 a.m. Visitation one hour prior to service. Rev. David KELSEY officiating. Expressions of sympathy and donations (Faith Tabernacle Building Fund or Gideon Bible Society) in lieu of flowers would be appreciated and may be made through London Cremation Services. 672-0459 or online at

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WUERTH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-21 published
COPELAND, Eunice " Eunie"
Peacefully with her family by her side on Thursday, January 19th, 2006 at the Scarborough Grace Hospital at the age of 75. Beloved wife of the late Ross. Dearly loved mother of Craig, Karen, Lynne (Greg WUERTH), Dianne and Elaine (Dave McDIARMID). Dear grandma of Jill, Erica, Kylie, and Cameron. Dear sister of Marg BLAKE and the late Audrey WATERS. Fondly remembered by her Friends. Visitation will be held at the "Scarborough Chapel" of McDougall and Brown, 2900 Kingston Road (one block east of St. Clair Ave. E.), 416-267-4656, on Monday, January 23rd from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Chapel service Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 at 11 a.m. Reception to follow in the Arbor Lounge followed by interment at Pine Hills Cemetery. If desired, donations can be made to the Lung Association. Online condolences can be made through

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