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ALUMNI QUARTERLY - winter 2008
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Home > McGill News > 2003 > Summer 2003 > Letters


More McGill connections

I enjoyed the article on the stamps honouring McGill alumni, but was disappointed to note that my grandfather was not included. He was His Honour Robert Stanley Weir, BCL1880, DCL1897, and among his many accomplishments, he wrote the words for the English version of "O Canada." Two 17-cent stamps were made to honour him along with Calixa Lavallée and Adolphe Routhier, with the dates 1880-1980 on the stamp bearing their pictures.

Just another addendum to your interesting article!

Robert Graydon Weir Goodall, BA'48, MDCM'53, MSc'56
via email

I was very happy to see the cover of the Spring 2003 issue and Patrick McDonagh's article "Stamps of Distinction." I expect that there are quite a few philatelists among McGill graduates. Like Dr. Sourkes, I too collected stamps as a youngster and returned to philately later on. My major focus is on stamps related to music, although I have several other collecting interests as well.

In reply to Dr. Sourkes's request for information about stamps related to McGill of which he may not be aware, the following two could be included in a McGill collection: one of the four stamps in the Canadian Photography set, issued by Canada Post on June 23, 1989, to commemorate 150 years of Canadian photography, which features William Notman the stamp issued November 11, 2000, honouring a military regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians).

Many thanks for an interesting and informative article!

Alefna Pascual, BA'64
Mississauga, Ont.

Ed. note: Dr. Sourkes will no doubt be pleased to know of new candidates for his collection. Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith, 1820-1914) was associated with McGill as governor, chancellor and special benefactor. He was also a patron of the arts, and McGill named the Strathcona Music Building in his honour. William Notman's photographic archives were donated to McGill in the 1950s on the death of his descendant, Charles Notman. Because it was such an important historical resource, a group of concerned Canadians raised the money to buy the collection which was deposited with the McCord Museum. Readers can browse the huge collection -- which contains portraits of Lord Strathcona -- at www.mccord-museum.qc.ca.

Mrs. Pascual included information with her letter which may intrigue Dr. Goodall.

A second military stamp issued with the one recognizing Lord Strathcona's Horse commemorates a rifle regiment, Les Voltigeurs de Québec. The musically inclined regiment uses drums to display battle honours instead of the traditional flags, and members of its band were among the first musicians to publicly perform "O Canada."

Neighbourhood memories

The recent demise by fire of the beautiful old greystone building at University and Milton Streets was cause for pushing the "RW" button, as in "Remember When." Student residents of the Phi Delta Theta frat were hardly a blip in the psyche of present-day grandparents, born in the '30s and formerly housed there, who would eventually show pride in future grads of the 21st century.

Milton and University, up to Pine, along to St. Urbain and back down to Milton were the parameters of our games of "chase" for our gang from Jeanne Mance Street in '34 to '36, a pre-war, semi-Depression era. Events at Molson Stadium were our entertainment as we grew up. I was privileged to see Syl Apps win the Dominion pole-vaulting championship there. The great college football teams led by Frank Tindall of Queen's, Johnny Metras and the McFarlane brothers of Western, and Perry of University of Toronto, vied with Pop Kerr's Redmen, led by Ron Perowne, the late Andy Anton, Russ McConnell, Fred Wigle, Keiffer et al. And who could forget kicker Herb Westman (now deceased) who led them to a title by counting every single point one soggy Saturday afternoon. My proximity to McGill; the stately Roddick Gates and impeccable grounds; the eventual erection of the Sir Arthur Currie Gym -- all contributed to an early education about McGill when I was a student in the field |of life at the age of ten.

S. A. (Steve) Walker
LaSalle, Que.

Not so fast

Any discussion of solar cars at McGill ("Une voiture qui a sa place au soleil," Spring 2003) would be incomplete without mention of McGill's first solar vehicle, built in 1993. Team Ra Power, so named after the sun god, was, at the time, the largest Faculty of Engineering student initiative ever and was the first solar powered car ever built in Quebec.

I was fortunate enough to be recruited to help with fundraising and to this day my memories of that team and the various races and public events we participated in are some of my fondest memories of working at McGill. While our car was not capable of speeds of 120 km, we did run the car through two inches of snow on St. Catherine Street as participants in the 1993 Santa Claus Parade.

Bruce Hill, BA'83
Guelph, Ont.

Ed. note: Bruce sent this picture of Team Ra Power, top Canadian finishers (11th out of 34 universities overall) in Sunrayce '93.

The course was from Arlington, Texas, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team members are (back row, from left) Pedro Gregorio, BEng'92, MEng'95; Gary Savard, Faculty of Engineering; Joey Mennitto, BEng'92, MEng'95; (front) Mike Mastrogiacomo, BEng'93; and Joanis Louloudakis, BEng'93.

In good hands

I wanted to write a note to commend you on an outstanding winter issue of the McGill News. With fond memories of my time at McGill still in recent memory, I really enjoyed the articles on Bernard Shapiro, the new professors, and campus residences. After meeting then-Principal David Johnston in 1994 and being very impressed with his knowledge and experience, I was worried about the future direction of the school. During my time at McGill I realized it was in stable hands, and the article on Mr. Shapiro certainly reinforced these feelings.

"Passing the Torch" was an excellent introduction to some of the new sharp minds that will lead McGill into this millennium. It reminded me of the very important fact that as an undergraduate, I was less concerned with the research grants of my professors and more concerned about their ability to spark interest with lectures and their approachability during office hours. Brian Ray and Oliver Coomes in the geography department were two such professors.

Finally, the piece on McGill residences made me reminisce about the good times up the hill at Molson Hall and the respect that was given to us by Director of Residences Flo Tracy, which certainly led us to be (usually!) more responsible first-year students.

Keep up the good work.

Willie Macrae, BA'98
Pemberton, B.C.


It has been brought to my attention that the notice of the death of my son, Brian (Winter 2002/2003), has placed him in the wrong faculty. We, his parents, are most proud of the academic achievements of a very special young man, and hope that a correction may be made. The notice should read: Brian D. Faughnan, BEng'90, MEng'95. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in 1999.

We would also like to pay public tribute to the members of McGill Outing Club and the travel group and alumni that flew to Whistler to aid in the search for Brian.

Sheila Faughnan
Pointe Claire, Que.

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