RE­MARK­ABLE AL­BER­TANS: WHAT OUR READ­ERS THINK

Calgary Herald - - CITY -

When it comes to talk­ing about Al­berta’s most re­mark­able cit­i­zens, the con­ver­sa­tion can be a long one. The province has been, and is, home to thou­sands of peo­ple who have made last­ing and/or on­go­ing con­tri­bu­tions. There have been count­less in­no­va­tors, in­ven­tors, First Na­tions trailblazers, mul­ti­cul­tural lu­mi­nar­ies, busi­ness lead­ers, com­mu­nity ac­tivists, phi­lan­thropists, ath­letes, artists and more. So, when Post­media news or­ga­ni­za­tions in Al­berta de­cided to pro­file 150 re­mark­able Al­ber­tans to mark Canada’s sesqui­cen­ten­nial, we knew our read­ers would have many names to add. The orig­i­nal list of the 150 Al­ber­tans can be found at cal­gary­her­ald.com/150, but what fol­lows are names of some of the peo­ple our read­ers would add to the list.

Buck Shot (Ron Barge): For 30 years, “Buck Shot” was a fix­ture in Cal­gary liv­ing rooms as kids gath­ered around the fam­ily TV to watch him and Benny the Bear per­form songs and skits. Barge, an ac­com­plished mu­si­cian, came up with the idea for a chil­dren’s show while work­ing as a stu­dio man­ager at lo­cal sta­tion CFCN. The first show aired on March 13, 1967, and within a week more than 14,000 pieces of fan mail ar­rived at the sta­tion.

Tony Spo­le­tini: Suc­cess has fol­lowed Spo­le­tini from the foot­ball field to the food busi­ness. A twotime Vanier Cup cham­pion with the Univer­sity of Cal­gary Di­nos, he won a Grey Cup with the Ed­mon­ton Eski­mos be­fore join­ing his home­town Stam­ped­ers. After re­tir­ing from foot­ball in 1992, he and two cousins opened Spolumbo’s Fine Foods and Deli. A well-known com­mu­nity booster, he has been a lead­ing force in the de­vel­op­ment of mi­nor foot­ball in Cal­gary, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of sev­eral field projects.

Wil­liam Maxwell (Max) Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook; born May 25,

1879; died June 9, 1964: A Cal­gary high school is named after Lord Beaverbrook, a Cana­dian-Bri­tish ty­coon who made his first mil­lion dol­lars by age 30. After achiev­ing suc­cess in a va­ri­ety of pub­lish­ing and po­lit­i­cal en­deav­ours, he moved to Cal­gary where he helped run an elec­tion cam­paign for fu­ture prime min­is­ter R.B. Ben­nett. Among his many busi­ness ven­tures, he founded the Cal­gary Power Com­pany Lim­ited, which be­came Tran­sAlta Cor­po­ra­tion.

Ray­mond (Ray) Thorsteins­son; born Jan. 21, 1921; died April

23, 2012: Thorsteins­son’s work greatly en­hanced the world’s knowl­edge of the Arc­tic. As a multi-award-win­ning ge­ol­o­gist, he wrote pa­pers, cre­ated maps and com­pleted re­search that pro­vided new un­der­stand­ing of the north. His con­tri­bu­tions to the ge­ol­ogy of the Protero­zoic and Pa­le­o­zoic rocks was un­matched.

O.B. Las­siter; born Nov. 10, 1885;

died Septem­ber 1977: Os­car Bruce Las­siter picked peanuts, cot­ton and wa­ter­mel­ons as a field boy in his na­tive North Carolina, set­ting the stage for his move as an adult to Cal­i­for­nia where he started a farm. But sto­ries of the Cana­dian west lured him to Al­berta, where he bought farm­land east of Leth­bridge in 1917. He even­tu­ally had the largest farm in the province and be­came an ex­pert in break­ing prairie land, turn­ing it into us­able farm­land. He in­tro­duced in­no­va­tive and en­vi­ron­men­tally-con­scious farm­ing meth­ods, such as strip farm­ing; he brought tech­nolo­gies and the first Cater­pil­lar to Cana­dian farms; and, he was hired to turn land in the Peace River area into farm­land for sol­diers re­turn­ing from war. Dur­ing the De­pres­sion, he and wife Alice — also a re­mark­able in­di­vid­ual — gave food and shel­ter to count­less peo­ple in need. Las­siter was also in­volved in pol­i­tics, par­tic­u­larly as a cam­paign speaker for fu­ture Premier Wil­liam Aber­hart; and, he cre­ated his own oil com­pany. “There’s no way he would say ‘can’t,’” re­calls daugh­ter Tobi Hentze. “He al­ways told us ‘ You can do any­thing you want to do.’”

Wil­liam Roper Hull; born Dec. 20, 1856 in Somerset, Eng­land;

died April 4, 1925: Thou­sands of chil­dren, young adults and their fam­i­lies are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Hull’s vi­sion and gen­eros­ity, through the as­sis­tance of Hull Ser­vices. The com­mu­ni­ty­minded en­tre­pre­neur’s jour­ney to Al­berta be­gan in 1873, when he and his brother John, both in their late teens, trav­elled aboard a steamship to Vic­to­ria. The two made their way to the B.C. In­te­rior where they worked on an un­cle’s ranch and later made sev­eral trips across the Rock­ies to sell horses and cat­tle in south­ern Al­berta. Wil­liam and a part­ner es­tab­lished one of the first largescale cat­tle and meat-pack­ing op­er­a­tions in the province. He also be­came a prom­i­nent com­mer­cial real es­tate de­vel­oper, re­spon­si­ble for many land­mark build­ings, in­clud­ing the Grain Ex­change and the Al­berta Block in Cal­gary. But he’s best-known for his philanthropy and ded­i­ca­tion to help­ing dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren and youth. Fol­low­ing his wife Emmaline’s death in 1953, his $5-mil­lion es­tate was used to launch a home for or­phaned chil­dren. The agency, now known as Hull Child and Fam­ily Ser­vices, opened in 1962. A Cal­gary park and a south­west school are also named in his hon­our.

Peter An­thony Prince; born 1836 near Trois-Rivieres, Que.; died

1925: After ar­riv­ing in Cal­gary from Wis­con­sin in 1886, Prince man­aged the Eau Claire and Bow River Lum­ber Com­pany for 30 years. He was also in­volved in many other busi­ness ven­tures, in­clud­ing the found­ing of the Cal­gary Wa­ter Power Com­pany, Al­berta Nat­u­ral Gas and Elec- tric, a Robin Hood flour mill and a meat-pack­ing plant. Prince’s Is­land Park in down­town Cal­gary is named for the lum­ber baron and busi­ness­man. Dr. Clara Christie Might; born 1895 in Winch­ester, Ont.; died 1987: After four years teach­ing school, Christie stud­ied medicine at the Univer­sity of Al­berta and Mon­treal McGill. One of the first women in Canada to grad­u­ate from the Fac­ulty of Medicine, she re­turned to Cal­gary in 1927 to start her own prac­tice. Al­berta’s first fe­male ob­ste­tri­cian kept the of­fice open for 27 years. In 1965, she and her hus­band, lawyer Or­rin Might, do­nated their first home to the Cal­gary In­dian Friend­ship Cen­tre. In 1981, she es­tab­lished the Nat Christie Foun­da­tion — in mem­ory of her brother — which has con­trib­uted more than $6 mil­lion to city projects. The Or­rin & Clara Christie Might Li­brary in Cal­gary is the largest of its kind in Canada, hold­ing more than 60,000 vol­umes of Chi­nese books and videos.

John Jones: A Lat­vian im­mi­grant who ar­rived in Al­berta at the start of the last cen­tury, he walked the 80 kilo­me­tres from Ed­mon­ton to Lake Isle, where he cleared land by hand to es­tab­lish a home­stead with his wife. “He never sought the lime­light and just wanted to have a happy fam­ily, and to help oth­ers less for­tu­nate than he was,” says his great grand­son, Shawn Fo­ran. “As years went on he built a fan­tas­tic life for his fam­ily and his com­mu­nity.” A First World War vet­eran, he or­ga­nized the area’s first elec­tions and served as a dis­trict judge, mayor and no­tary pub­lic. Later in life he helped 200 dis­placed Lat­vians set­tle in Al­berta fol­low­ing the Sec­ond World War and es­tab­lished the Lat­vian/Cana­dian So­ci­ety Imanta to sup­port peo­ple of Lat­vian her­itage in the province.

Irene Florence Mur­doch: Pub­lic out­cry that fol­lowed a 1973 Supreme Court of Canada de­ci­sion re­ject­ing Mur­doch’s claim for a half in­ter­est in the 480-acre fam­ily ranch regis­tered to her hus­band led to sub­stan­tial changes to mat­ri­mo­nial prop­erty laws in Canada, giv­ing hus­bands and wives equal rights to prop­erty ac­quired dur­ing the course of their mar­riage. Mur­doch ar­gued she was en­ti­tled to half the prop­erty after run­ning the ranch dur­ing her 25-year mar­riage. The court dis­agreed in a con­tro­ver­sial 4-1 de­ci­sion, find­ing her con­tri­bu­tion did not merit an in­ter­est in the land. Women’s groups across the coun­try took up Mur­doch’s fight, de­mand­ing changes to fam­ily laws. In sub­se­quent di­vorce pro­ceed­ings, she was awarded a lump-sum pay­ment of $65,000.

Mary Cross Dover; born July 1,

1905; died June 9, 1994: Well­known for her work dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, her out­stand­ing ser­vice as a Lieu­tenant Colonel with the Cana­dian Women’s Army Corps was re­warded with the Or­der of the Bri­tish Em­pire in 1946. After the war, Dover served two terms on Cal­gary city coun­cil, from 1949 to 1952 and 1957 to 1960. One of the first fe­male of­fi­cers in Canada, she led many ef­forts to in­spire and sup­port women in the mil­i­tary and vol­un­teered with many or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Cana­dian Le­gion, the Red Cross and the Women’s Cana­dian Club. The YWCA’s Dover House and the north­east Cal­gary com­mu­nity of Dover are named in her mem­ory.

Jean Anne Dr­ever Pinkham; born 1849 at Lower Fort Garry, Man.;

died Jan. 3, 1940: After mov­ing to Cal­gary in 1887 when her hus­band be­came Arch­bishop of Saskatchewan and Cal­gary, she helped es­tab­lish the Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, the first hos­pi­tal in Cal­gary, and the Women’s Hos­pi­tal Aid So­ci­ety to help sup­port the fa­cil­ity. She also helped or­ga­nize the Cal­gary Chap­ter of the Vic­to­ria Or­der of Nurses and the Lo­cal Coun­cil of Women, of which she was the first chair.

Alice Jukes Jamieson; born July 14, 1860 in New York City; died

June 4, 1949: A noted com­mu­nity ac­tivist, she ar­rived in Al­berta in 1903 after her hus­band, Reuben Ru­pert Jamieson — who later be­came Cal­gary’s 19th mayor — was ap­pointed su­per­in­ten­dent for Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­way’s western di­vi­sion. Jamieson was a found­ing mem­ber of the Cal­gary YWCA and served as pres­i­dent of the Cal­gary Coun­cil of Women, which ad­vo­cated for women’s suf­frage in Al­berta. In 1916, she be­came the coun­try’s first fe­male judge of a ju­ve­nile court, and later the sec­ond fe­male po­lice mag­is­trate in Canada while pre­sid­ing over the Cal­gary Women’s Court.

Mar­ion Coutts Car­son; born May 9, 1861 in Kent County, Ont.;

died July 13, 1950: Struck by the num­ber of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from tu­ber­cu­lo­sis dur­ing her early days in Cal­gary, she helped spear­head the first TB Sana­to­rium in Al­berta, which opened in 1910. Car­son led the Al­berta Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis So­ci­ety for 11 years and in 1912 helped es­tab­lish an eight-bed hos­pi­tal for tu­ber­cu­lo­sis pa­tients. Named Cal­gary’s Cit­i­zen of the Year in 1946, she ad­vo­cated for free med­i­cal clin­ics for chil­dren and the dis­tri­bu­tion of milk to needy fam­i­lies. A driven com­mu­nity ac­tivist, she was a mem­ber of the Cal­gary School Board from 1920 to 1924 and as a mem­ber of the Cal­gary Li­brary Board, ad­vo­cated for the es­tab­lish­ment of a cen­tral li­brary.

Ali Ahmed Abouchadi “Alexan­der

Hamil­ton”: Lured by tales of the Klondike gold rush, 12-year-old Ali and his un­cle left Lebanon in 1905 to strike it rich in Canada. A year later, the two would travel be­tween Ed­mon­ton and Lac La Biche, sell­ing wares from a suit­case. By 1915, Alexan­der had opened his own store and would later ob­tain a Ford deal­er­ship. His grand­daugh­ter says Alexan­der learned to speak Cree and later pi­loted boats that would stop at Mounted Po­lice out­posts along the Macken­zie River. By the late 1920s, he owned a depart­ment store, the Ford deal­er­ship, a ser­vice sta­tion, a cat­tle ranch and a sawmill, ac­cord­ing to ac­counts of his life. The town has hon­oured his mem­ory with Alexan­der Hamil­ton park and fish pond.

Lars Wil­lum­sen; died Sept. 10, 1984: Re­ceived the Or­der of Canada in 1976 in recog­ni­tion of his 50-year in­volve­ment with the Cal­gary Zoo and his in­ter­est in the province’s pre­his­toric di­nosaurs. Wil­lum­sen was be­hind the cre­ation of the zoo’s Pre­his­toric Park in the 1930s fol­low­ing his visit to a sim­i­lar park in Ham­burg, Ger­many. He hired lo­cal carver John Kan­erva to build more than 50 di­nosaur repli­cas. The orig­i­nal Nat­u­ral His­tory Park opened in 1937.

Ruth Pea­cock Gor­man; born Feb. 14, 1914; died Dec. 20, 2002: Grad­u­ated from law school in 1940 but never prac­tised. She vol­un­teered as a le­gal ad­viser to Al­berta’s in­dige­nous peo­ple for 25 years, lead­ing changes to the In­dian Act and vot­ing rights, and with the Cal­gary Lo­cal Coun­cil of Women for more than 30 years. In 1951, she helped or­ga­nize the Cal­gary Hand­i­capped So­ci­ety for Crip­pled Per­sons and was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel­op­ing a school and shop for train­ing dis­abled work­ers. Given the name Queen Morn­ing Star of the Cree for her work with Al­berta’s in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, she was named to the Or­der of Canada in 1968.

John An­drew Al­lan; born 1884 in Que­bec; died 1955: This oil­sands pioneer had a lead­ing role in the de­vel­op­ment of Al­berta’s min­eral re­sources. He was named the first pro­fes­sor of ge­ol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Al­berta shortly after grad­u­at­ing from the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy. With stu­dents, he cre­ated a com­pre­hen­sive re­source map of the province, which led to the cre­ation of the Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search Coun­cil of Al­berta and the Al­berta Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey in 1921. Al­lan and many he taught are cred­ited with petroleum dis­cov­er­ies across the province. In a 1927 ra­dio in­ter­view, he pre­dicted the oil boom which be­gan in 1947 with the dis­cov­ery of the Le­duc field.

Jim Ta­m­agi: Born to a Ja­panese im­mi­grant from Ok­i­nawa and raised as a farmer in south­ern Al­berta, he built Bridge Brand Food Ser­vices into the largest in­de­pen­dent food ser­vice dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany in Canada. The busi­ness em­ploys more than 700 peo­ple at six dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres across Western Canada. Ta­m­agi’s ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity in­volve­ment in­cluded work with the Cal­gary Ro­tary Club, Tourism Cal­gary and the Cal­gary Stam­pede. Ta­m­agi helped es­tab­lish the Stam­pede “Pot of Gold” prize as pres­i­dent of the Jaycees and the Dream Home as pres­i­dent of the Ro­tary Club.

Arthur (Art) Jenkyns; died 2005: The lo­cal busi­ness­man founded Op­er­a­tion Eye­sight in 1963 after a Cana­dian physi­cian, Ben Gulli­son, sought help in rais­ing funds to treat In­dia’s blind. Jenkyns be­came a tire­less cham­pion for blind­ness pre­ven­tion and treat­ment. He trav­elled the coun­try to raise fi­nan­cial sup­port and aware­ness. The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which started in Jenkyns’ base­ment, has since raised mil­lions of dol­lars for its ob­jec­tive of pro­vid­ing “the best for the poor­est.”

Richard Ed­ward Tay­lor; born Nov. 2, 1929 in Medicine Hat: The Stan­ford Univer­sity pro­fes­sor shared the 1990 No­bel Prize for physics for “pi­o­neer­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­cern­ing deep in­elas­tic scat­ter­ing of elec­trons on pro­tons and bound neu­trons, which have been of es­sen­tial im­por­tance for the de­vel­op­ment of the quark model in par­ti­cle physics.” Tay­lor earned two de­grees from the Univer­sity of Al­berta be­fore join­ing the High En­ergy Physics Lab­o­ra­tory at Stan­ford.

Jenny Belzberg; born Jan. 7, 1928: A tire­less com­mu­nity vol­un­teer and ad­vo­cate for the arts, the Or­der of Canada re­cip­i­ent is a found­ing mem­ber of the Es­ther Ho­nens Cal­gary In­ter­na­tional Piano Com­pe­ti­tion and the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety’s an­nual Daf­fodil Gala, among many ini­tia­tives. She has served on nu­mer­ous boards, in­clud­ing the Banff Cen­tre for the Arts, the Cal­gary Phil­har­monic So­ci­ety and the Cal­gary Art Gallery Foun­da­tion. Belzberg also founded the Cal­gary Arts Part­ner­ship in Ed­u­ca­tion So­ci­ety, which teams artists with teach­ers at more than 60 city schools. She and her late hus­band, Hy­man, were hon­oured in 1992 by the Jewish Na­tional Fund for their many con­tri­bu­tions.

Clay­ton Robert Car­roll; born April 28, 1920 in Ne­vis, Alta.; died Aug. 28, 2011: The SAIT alum­nus and Sec­ond World War vet­eran spent his early work­ing years with White Mo­tor Com­pany be­fore he and James F. Burns Sr. cre­ated Pioneer Paving Ltd. in 1953. The com­pany built the first phases of sev­eral ma­jor Cal­gary roads, in­clud­ing Deer­foot, Black­foot and Sarcee Trails. In 2003, he was pre­sented with Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional’s high­est hon­our, the Ser­vice Above Self Award. In 2000, SAIT named the Clay­ton Car­roll Au­to­mo­tive Cen­tre in hon­our of his $1 mil­lion do­na­tion to en­hance au­to­mo­tive train­ing for stu­dents.

John Stan­ton: A one-time heavy smoker, Stan­ton be­gan an ear­ly­morn­ing run­ning reg­i­men to lose weight and im­prove his health. The rou­tine led to his par­tic­i­pa­tion in dozens of marathons, many triathlons and, in 1984, the open­ing of the first Run­ning Room store in­side an old Ed­mon­ton home. The busi­ness has be­come among the most rec­og­nized names in run­ning and walk­ing, with more than 120 stores in Canada and the United States em­ploy­ing some 1,300 peo­ple. Stan­ton has also au­thored 10 books on run­ning and fit­ness.

Tony Spo­le­tini fol­lowed up a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in foot­ball with one in the food busi­ness as one of the own­ers of Spolumbo’s. Spo­le­tini has been a lead­ing force in the de­vel­op­ment of Cal­gary mi­nor foot­ball.

FILES

Ron “Buck Shot” Barge, with his pal, Benny the Bear, was a main­stay of lo­cal tele­vi­sion en­ter­tain­ment for 30 years with his chil­dren’s pro­gram.

Lord Beaverbrook

Mary Cross Dover.

Wil­liam Roper Hull

CHRIS ROUSSAKIS

The founder of The Run­ning Room, John Stan­ton, en­joys a light­hearted mo­ment with Gov­er­nor Gen­eral David John­ston at his Or­der of Canada pre­sen­ta­tion at Rideau Hall in Ot­tawa in 2010.

LOR­RAINE HJALTE

Art Jenkyns, founded Op­er­a­tion Eye­sight Univer­sal, which has treated 30 mil­lion peo­ple in 11 coun­tries for var­i­ous eye ail­ments. He said he couldn’t have done it without the sup­port of his wife, Una.

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