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Home > McGill News > 2002 > Summer 2002 > Letters


Familiar Face


My wife, Trudy, was thrilled to see the Spring 2002 issue of the McGill News with the picture of Sally Armstrong gracing the front cover. They were in the same classroom at Town of Mount Royal High School in the fifties. Sally is a brave woman to have ventured into Afghanistan.

We both appreciated the attractive format of the magazine. Keep up the good work!

Taun M. Robertson, BSc'60
Riverview, N.B.

Who's on First?

I enjoyed reading the Editor's Notebook in the Spring issue, especially since I was one-half of a couple from the same faculty to marry. I also read the letter from Barbara Gilbert, who thought she and her husband John might have been the first. John Gilbert and I were residents at Yale right after the war, he in pathology and I in obstetrics and gynecology. Not only that, but we lived next door to each other for three years while our MD wives took care of the kids, and we all became great friends.

Virginia Hall, MDCM'41, now deceased, and I were married after our internships on July 9, 1942, so it seems we were the first unless someone else checks in.

Thanks again for the items in the News.

Frederick W. Goodrich Jr.,
Medford, Ore.

Ed. note: We dug out the rule book on this one. The discussion started after the appearance in the News of a planned giving ad in which Drs. Ken and Eileen Cambon, both MDCM'51, are described as being the first husband-and-wife team to graduate together from the Faculty of Medicine. Barbara Brooks and the late John Gilbert married after their final exams but before graduating in May 1943. Since the Goodriches graduated in 1941 but married a year later, I think the title stays with their former neighbours. Any other takers?

Concern About Logistics

I have been trying not to write this letter for several months, but I have failed. I am writing to complain about the misuse of the opening word in the Newsbite "Buddying Up," on page 9 of the Winter 2001/02 issue. The article talks about "logistical concerns" such as buying a bus pass, finding a place to exercise and setting up utility payments.

Logistics refers to the operations involved with supplying troops in battle with the material they need -- fuel, ammunition, etc. The word does not refer to minor administrative details. Proper use of the word is illustrated in the following:

"Towards the end of World War II, for 'political considerations,' it was decided to allow the Soviets to do most of the fighting in eastern Germany. Eisenhower restricted the gasoline supplies of one of his most aggressive generals in order to restrain his advance. Had George Patton had unlimited logistical support, the present eastern border of Germany would be east of where it currently is."

Robert Shepherd, MDCM'76
Ottawa, Ont.

Ed note: Dr. Shepherd is correct, but language is a fluid thing, and sometimes usage overtakes strict meaning. That may be happening in the case of "logistics." Our Canadian Oxford Dictionary includes the military definition, but adds another, more general one: "the detailed organization and implementation of a plan or operation." We still struggle valiantly against the use of "impact" as a verb, but may lose that battle. Incidentally, since it is Grand Prix weekend in Montreal at the time of writing, we are seeing and hearing the word "podium" to denote a top-three result in Formula One races: "This season he's had one tenth-place finish and three podiums."

Another Fine Farm


As a McGill alumnus and a former member of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on Macdonald Campus, I am always pleased to see coverage of agriculture in the McGill News. In that regard, I must commend you for the article "La Ferme du Campus Macdonald," which explained the value of a working farm for teaching as well as for the development of leading edge technologies for agriculture.

In the interests of accuracy, however, I must point out that the Macdonald farm is not "the only on-campus working farm in Canada," as suggested in the opening sentence of the English synopsis. Indeed, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, which grants diplomas, bachelor's and master's degrees in association with Dalhousie University, has also had a working farm on its campus in Truro since 1905. This farm currently generates over $400,000 of revenue annually from the sale of farm products, as well as hosting research in genetics, nutrition, reproductive physiology, organic agriculture and crop management. Unique to the NSAC campus farm is a mink unit, as well as a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility. Like Macdonald, NSAC has been awarded a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to renew its poultry research facilities.

Thank you for helping to raise awareness of the important role that university farms play in teaching and research in the increasingly critical areas of technological advances in agriculture.

Garth Coffin, BSc(Agr)'62
Nova Scotia Agricultural College
Truro, N.S.

Photo Confusion

I just read the Spring 2002 issue of McGill News and I have only praise for you. Great work! I usually feel that way for you guys, but this time even more, especially since a few of my pictures were printed on the pages which featured McGill graduates' pictures of New York City after September 11. I feel grateful that you printed all those images, because it makes us feel that we are indeed sharing those painful moments with Montrealers and with other McGill alumni.

A little note, if I may. One of my pictures was wrongfully attributed to another photographer. It is the picture on page 38 of the World Financial Center's Winter Garden. The photographer was not Ms. Amanda Borella, but myself.

Thanks again for your incredible dedication to keeping the McGill family together!

Paul Tremblay, MLIS'97
New York, N.Y.

Ed. note: Paul Tremblay and Amanda Borella, BA'95, snapped very similar images. A substitution at the last minute led to the mislabeling.

We apologize to both our photographers.

Beloved Friend

A member of the family who previously owned our house is a McGill alumna. Because she has not changed her correspondence address, I receive a copy of the McGill News. Recently, I've been flipping through the magazine to watch for notice of my friend Michael Rothberg,

who perished in one of the World Trade Center towers on September 11th.

Michael was a proud undergraduate of McGill and went on to find great success on Wall Street as the Head of Program Trading for Cantor Fitzgerald. We had worked together in a small derivatives group at Kidder Peabody where we became not only productive colleagues, but also friends. When Kidder was sold to Paine Webber some years back, Michael was hired by Cantor to establish a program trading operation. He brought along three other friends from our group, who, at the time of the tragedy, had established one of the most respected departments in the industry. Michael had risen to, I believe, managing director and was enjoying extraordinary success at Cantor.

Michael was an extremely competent, hard-working and funny individual. Coincidentally, we had spoken just weeks before the attacks, when I was encouraging him to return to Montreal, my new home, and take a walk down memory lane with me where we could visit and catch up on our lives.

If I've missed any published recognition of Michael, I apologize. Otherwise, would you please pay tribute to such a fine individual, dear friend, and highly successful graduate of McGill University.

Kathryn J. Markwick
Westmount, Que.

Ed. note: The death of Michael Rothberg, BSc'84, MSc(A)'86, was noted in our In Memoriam pages in the Winter 2001/02 edition. As regular readers will know, we publish eulogies only in exceptional cases; for example, upon the death of a long-serving principal, who would be known to many graduates. The News has neither the staff to prepare them nor the space to print them. In Mr. Rothberg's case, we could do no better than the moving tributes posted by family and friends at his employers' special memorial website. Learn about this remarkable young man at www.cantorfamilies.com/cantor/jsp/.

Alive and Well

In your Winter 2001/02 issue, you reported in the In Memoriam section that I died on May 25, 2001, in Edmonton. I assure you that I am very much alive and living in Ottawa, Ontario, where I am the Director General of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Human Resources Development Canada Labour Program). Since graduating from McGill in 1971, I have obtained an LLB and LLM from the University of Ottawa.

I would appreciate it if you could print a correction.

Elizabeth MacPherson, BA'71
Ottawa, Ont.

Ed. note: We are pleased to hear of the health and success of Ms. MacPherson. The late alumna is Elizabeth (Menzer) MacPherson, BSc'57. We apologize for any distress caused to friends and family of both graduates.

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