(19 October 1933 - 30 January 2019)
Past President, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch
We have lost one of our most active members. Gerald Harrison Thomas, passed away at his home in Cowansville, on 30 January 2019, at the age of 85. Beloved husband for sixty years to Marjorie Mason Thomas, who pre-deceased him by only eleven days.
Gerry was born in Abercorn, Quebec, on 19 October 1933. After graduating from the Cowansville High School, he began working at the Bruck Mills textile plant in Cowansville at the age of 19. In 1979, Bruck Mills was sold and renamed Consoltex, at which time, he retired as Director of Finance after forty-five years of loyal service.
All his life Gerald was committed to many different communitv organizations. For years he was an active member of the Scout Movement and of the Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins Hospital Auxiliary. In 2002, he was a recipient of " The Golden Jubilee Medal", the commemorative medal created to mark the 50th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession and awarded in Canada to nominees who contributed to public life.
Gerald was also a long-time member of Sir John Johnson Branch, UELAC. Although not a descendant of a Loyalist, he was a very active member. He served as Vice-President of the Branch from 2009 to 2012, and then, until 2016, as President. Since 2016, he was our Past President, and recently, in June 2018, he had also taken the position of Treasurer.
Gerry was a devoted husband, a loving father, a proud grandpa, and a caring brother. Family and friends were very important to him. Gerry was a supportive dad to his daughters: Daphne (Jamie), and Paula (David). He will also be lovingly remembered by his three grandchildren: Liam, Jessica, and Matthew, by his sister: Margaret, and his two brothers-in-law: Wayne (Louise), and Winston (Eileen), as well as many other relatives, loved ones and friends.
Gerry will be truly missed and long remembered.
By Michel Racicot UE
President, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch
Patricia Ann (Cairns) Adair
(15 August 1950 - 14 September 2019)
Patricia Ann Adair (Cairns) was born on 15 August 1950 in Virden, Manitoba, the eldest child of Freda (Othen) and Bob Cairns. She passed away on 14 September 2019 at the age of 69 years at the South East Integrated Care Centre in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer.
She is survived by her loving husband, Gerry, her children: Tina (Brian) Cowan, Jennifer (Brian) Schafer, Sandra (Trevor) Garrett, Robert (Kerrie) Adair, and Karen (Chris) Venaas, and her grandchildren: Justin (Hayley), Andrew (Aliesha), Matthew (Courtney), Blair, Teigan, Saffra, Ryder, Sidnee, and Devin, and five beautiful great-grand daughters Alianna, Isabelle, Malia, Miah, and Allyssa. She is also survived by her siblings: Eileen (Grant) Dunham, Tom (Laureen) Cairns, James (Kim) Cairns, Lorraine (John) Fidelak, David (Cindy) Cairns, and Barb Cairns, her mother-in-law: Betty Adair, Aunt Kay Cairns, Uncle Keith Othen, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is predeceased by her parents: Bob and Freda Cairns, aunts and uncles: Mac and Lil Cairns, Alex and Maureen Campbell, James Kevin Cairns, Pat Cairns, and her father-in-law Bill Adair.
Pat lived in Sinclair, Manitoba for the first five years of her life and then moved with her parents and family to Maryfield, Saskatchewan, where she attended school and graduated in June 1968. She married Gerry Adair on 20 July 1968 and they recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. Pat and Gerry spent their early married life in Regina, Saskatchewan, and Thompson, Manitoba, before moving back to Maryfield in 1975 to farm.
Pat and Gerry were blessed with five awesome children and there was nothing more important to her than spending time with all of her family regardless of the event. She spent countless hours researching her genealogy and enjoyed all types of crafts, especially cross stitching, gardening, telling stories and feeding her hummingbirds.
Pat had a busy work life in addition to being a mom and a farmer's wife. She started off as a taxi driver in Thompson, and also worked for Gardewinetrucking in Thompson. When Pat and Gerry moved to the farm, she became a Jill of all trades and helped with the cattle, the combining, and everything in between. When her children were older, she worked for Home Care and then at the Sunrise Villa as a care aide and, later, as the supervisor. In 1991 Pat started as a volunteer with the Maryfield ambulance service, becoming an EMT in 1995 and then a paramedic in 2004. She became the ambulance site co-ordinator in 2006 and stayed in this position until January 2019 when her health made it impossible for her to continue her duties. Pat was also a first aid instructor and kept busy training high school students, the local firefighters, as well as the public and employees from other local businesses.
In addition to raisingher family and work, she was a dedicated volunteer within her community. When Pat said that she would help with something, she was all in. There was no halfway with her. Pat was involved with a wide variety of organizations. She sat on the school board for many years, and was also active with the Maryfield minor hockey and Maryfield figure skating clubs, including acting as a testing judge for figure skating at various testing days and competitions. Pat was highly involved with the Maryfield Blackhawks hockey team as well. She acted as the secretary/treasurer and performed many other duties to help the team out, from selling 50/50 tickets and scorekeeping, to everything in between. Pat travelled with the team often and eventually became the president of the Interprovincial Hockey League, which increased her hockey travel commitments. Pat was also the secretary/treasurer for the Maryfield fire department, and spent many years on the Maryfield Auditorium Committee, helping keep the theatre running by booking, fetching, and tracking down missing movie films, in addition to working every weekend at the theatre to ensure that things ran smoothly. She was also the secretary with the Maryfield recreation board and was instrumental in bringing the first Maryfield Rodeo to town. Pat was a member of the Pipestone Branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society and she eventually assumed the role of secretary for the branch.
Pat was also highly involved with the United Empire Loyalists'Association of Canada for the last twenty years. She was Secretary for the Saskatchewan Branch and led the planning committee to host two Canada-wide Dominion Conferences, one in Regina, and one in Moose Jaw. She travelled to many Dominion Council meetings with her husband, Gerry, and attended many conferences all across Canada, beginning in 2003, and never missing one until she became sick in 2016. Pat loved that she had the opportunity to see Canada coast to coast and made many friends whereever she went. Pat considered her Loyalist friends to be part of her extended family.
In 2015, Pat and Gerry went on the trip of a lifetime to Ireland and England, where they reconnected with some of her father's family and toured all of the places that she had always heard and read about. She was so glad that she went when she had the chance and her health was stable.
In April 2018, Pat and Gerry retired to Moosomin from the Adair family farm, that has been in the family since 1886. The farm has now been taken over bv a grandson. She will be sadly missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Pat's name to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Palliative Care unit at the South East Integrated Care Centre in Moosomin, or a charity of your choice. Condolences can be left online at www.carscaddenfuncralchapel.com
Lieut. Colonel William A. Smy VE, OMM, CD
(16 October 1938 - 18 April 2019)
It was at a Dominion Council meeting, in Toronto, early in 1987, when I first came into contact with Bill Smy.
T'was there that the suggestion was made that the branches in the province of Quebec might hold their first-ever national conference in the year 1989, a year that would mark the 200th anniversary of Lord Dorchester's Order in Council recognizing the Loyalists and the 75 th anniversary of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada.
When I agreed to set up a committee of the two branches, Heritage and Sir John Johnson Centennial, for the convention to be held at Bishop's College School and adjacent to Bishop's University at Lennoxville, Quebec, with H.R.H. Prince-Philip as our guest of honour, Bill Smy, whom I had never met before, turned around in his chair and remarked to me, "I know my way around protocol and would be delighted to act as your right hand man!", and right hand man he was!
For example, he knew where and how to address a letter! He knew who to invite to be seated at the head table at the banquet and exactly where they should be seated.
Thanks to all the input by Bill Smy, we ended the conference with a good financial profit that was shared by Heritage and Sir John Johnson Centennial Branches, and the UELAC headquarters.
There was extensive coast to coast publicity with a considerable increase in membership, and even the formation of a new Branch, called "Little Forks"
As astrongmonarchist, and in recognition of those who remained loyal to the crown, our good friend, Bill, spent endless hours in arranging that we should have, as our guest, a member of the Royal Family, with an official status in our Association: it might be noted that one of which presently holds a U.E. certificate.
When it comes to the likes of our history, I shall be one of the first in line of offer my respects to Bill.
May he rest in peace.
By J. Okill Stuart UE.
Dominion President, 1994 - 1996
I would like to recognize one of the greatest and ablest Loyalist historians, William A. Smy UE.
Bill's legacy includes a sizeable number of important publications and a remarkable record of in-depth research, most specifically concerning Butlers Rangers, arguably the most effective military formation of the Revolutionary War as it was waged from Canada, and certainly the most significant Loyalist element in the settlement of south-western Ontario. Bill not only followed the regiment's epic campaigns, but also researched and published the individual records of all of the men who served in the regiment.
Personally, I am forever in his debt for his generous gift of two, cram-packed, three-ring binders containing copies of all his transcripts of original documents regarding the Rangers' formation, management and activities. These transcripts have become a major source for my own writing and have saved me years of painful digging at the archives.
First published in Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter 2019-18, 05 May 2019.
By Gavin K. Watt
Rodney "Rod" Thomas Craig (07 May 1935 - 26 May 2019)
On 26 May 2019, the UELAC lost a most valued member, Rodney Thomas Craig. While not of Loyalist descent himself, Rod's interest in and dedication to Canadian genealogy helped hundreds of others prove lineage back to the refugees of the American Revolution.
Rod and Beverly became members of the Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch in the late 1980s. By 1994 he assumed the role of Branch Genealogist and maintained that position until the spring of 2019. One or the first certificate applications that he submitted was for the Loyalist, Joseph Wardell UE, issued on 04 June 1995. When he was not focused on the needs of his fellow Branch Members, Rod assisted with the Loyalist lineage certification of royalty (Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 2009) and Canada's last WW1 veteran (John F. Babcock, 2009).
Rod will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was an Association Genealogy legend in his own time. Rod, along with his wife Beverly Craig UE, loved helping members attain their goals of receiving UELAC certificates. His selfless service and dedication will never be forgotten.
In 2002, Rod was proud to be recognized as a member of the Most Honourable Order of Meritorious Heritage. In addition to his local and Dominion Genealogy efforts, the jury acknowledged his work for the 1993 UELAC Conference in Hamilton, the 1996 Butler Bicentennial Celebrations, and the 2000 Conference, hosted by his Branch in Niagara Falls. If the list of his achievements were to be updated today, it would include his work as a Director and Chair of the Friends of the Loyalist Collection at Brock University, Member of the Dominion Promotions Committee, as well as his considerable involvement with the Ontario Genealogy Society's Niagara Peninsula Branch.
Born in Crowland, Ontario, on 07 May 1935, Rod spent most of his life as a resident of Ridgeville and Welland, developing interests in fishing, family history, the Hamilton Hunt Club, and fixing things in general. It was said that bringing people together to share good times was very important to Rod wherever he went but, when parting, he always wished everyone to "take it easy".
Predeceased by his parents, Harry Craig and Dorothy Lord, Rod is survived by his wife of forty-nine years, Beverly Burwell Craig UE, his son Jason (Kim Blackwell), and his twins: Trevor (Ashley Goodfellow Craig) and Heather Munderich (Sam). His legacy of a kind spirit and zest for life will live on through his five grandchildren: Maude Rose, Hannah, Nathan, Liam and Eli. Following the Funeral Mass at the Parish Community of St. Kevin Catholic Church in Welland, his eldest son, Jason, praised "his high standards, his analytical thinking and ingenious solutions' during his forty-five years as a quality control engineer at Atlas Specialty Steels. He was "always trying to make things better for everyone else, to raise things to a higher standard." Jason's definitive summation of his father is shared by all who knew Rod. "There is no one like him, nor will there be again."
G.B. Okill Stuart VE
(10 March 1921 - 28 August 2019)
Honorary Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the re-raised 78th Fraser Highlanders, Heritage Activist, realtor, and a Second World War veteran who took part in the 1944 D-Day invasion of Europe, died in St. Lambert on 28 August 2019. He was 98 years old; son of the late Douglas Stuart and Lilias Terrill, and brother of the late Campbell Stuart.
A proud descendant of United Empire Loyalists, Gordon Bruce Okill Stuart UE was born in Montreal, on 10 March 1921. Through the generosity of his uncle, Sir Campbell Stuart, the first Canadian to be appointed to the post in the British Diplomatic Service, Okill was educated at Bishop's College School, Quebec, and at Gordonstoun School, Scotland, where H.R.H. Prince Philip was a classmate.
As a result of school ties, Prince Philip accepted an invitation in 1989 to be a guest at a convention of the United Empire Loyalists in Lennoxville. Mr. Stuart enlisted with the 14th Canadian Field Regiment, Roval Canadian Airforce, in 1940, and served as Bombardier. He was awarded the France-Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the Legion of Honour, France's Highest Order.
He was founding president of a real estate firm, Okill Stuart Inc., and active in numerous public South Shore Montreal community groups and public service organizations including the Federation of Social Agencies, South Shore Community Services and the St. Lambert curling club.
He was twice honoured by St. Lambert as its citizen of the year. He was an officer of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knight of the Military and Hospitaller order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. Okill was the recipient of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs Award, and the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award.
He leaves his wife, Sylvia Fairlie, and his two children from his marriage to Ruth Ann Clarke, who predeceased him in 1973: Colin (Vicki Hinchcliff) of Pigeon Hill, and Heather Stuart of Winnipeg.
Photo: Peter McCabe, Montreal Gazette
Reverend James Donald Lochhead Hanson VE
(14. October 1914 - 26 August 2019)
Just a few weeks shy of his 105th birthday, James Donald Lochhead Howson peacefully shuffled off his mortal coil on August 26th with his daughter, Alix, by his side. Don's was a life that spanned world wars and saw unimaginable technological changes. (The fact that he purchased his first television in order to watch the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965 says much about Don, as his attachment to his English roots ran very deep.) Toward the end of his life, he was assisted in using an iPad to FaceTime with his son, Geoff, indicating some (grudging) acceptance of the changes occurring around him. Born on 14 October 1914, in Peterborough, Ontario,
Don attended Trinity College, Toronto, in the late 1930s. Following graduation, he sailed to Scotland to attend the University of St. Andrews but, due to the increasing tensions in Europe, was requested by his father to return home. Always a dutiful son, he did so and enrolled at Presbyterian College, Montreal, from which he graduated in 1940. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church that year, accepting a call to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Fredericton before taking a leave of absence in 1944 to join the Canadian Navy in which he served until the end of WWII. Following the war, Don returned to Trinity College where he earned an MA in Psychology, and then made his way back to St. Andrews, Fredericton, where he served as minister until 1950. When the Korean War broke out, Don joined the Royal Canadian Army as a chaplain, serving from 1951-53. At the cessation of hostilities in Korea, Don remained in the Army, serving in various postings in Europe and Canada until 1968. In 1953, Don married Mary Archbold at St. Peter's on the Rock on Stoney Lake.
Don's family had been vacationing on Stoney since before his birth, and the cottage at Stone Leigh remained an incredibly important and beloved part of his life. After leaving the Army (in protest over the unification of the Canadian armed forces), Don moved his family back to Peterborough where he became a clinical psychologist at the hospital until he hit the mandatory retirement age in 1979. He remained active, becoming a consulting psychologist for the Northumberland Board of Education until he turned 80, serving on the Peterborough Board of Education, and participating in St. Paul's Presbyterian Church as well as various other groups that spoke to him, including the Order of St. Lazarus, the United Empire Loyalist Association, the Monarchist League of Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Korean War Veterans Association, and the Naval Club. Loving the history of Peterborough, Don was involved in the restoration of the Cenotaph and efforts to preserve important buildings in the area. Don and Mary purchased 100 acres of land in Keene in 1972 with thoughts of building a home there, overlooking Rice Lake. With Mary's death in 1982, those plans were never realized, but Don spent hundreds of hours on the property, planting trees, grooming paths, trimming lilacs, and enjoying taking people on tours of the land. Such was his love of Glenburn that he joined lorces with the Kawartha Land Trust to ensure that the acreage would remain relatively untouched in the future.
While Don lived long enough to lose his peers to death, he had an amazing ability to cultivate friendships with people much younger than himself, and this no doubt was a factor in his long and contented life, as was the joy he took in spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. While human, like all of us, and with his own struggles, it still seems safe to say that we will not again see his like. Don is survived by his son, Geoff and daughter, Alix, as well as their spouses, seven grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
Those wishing to commemorate Don's life may do so by making a donation to Trinity College (University of Toronto) or to a charity of their choosing.