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2018 Issue 1: The Water Issue

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Letters to the editor, February 2017

Letters to the editor, February 2017

The early days of radio astronomy

I read with interest the article “The early days of radio astronomy at Queen’s” (Issue 4, 2016). I would like to point out an omission: while it mentions that it was a project that the physics and electrical engineering departments collaborated on, guided by Professors Harrower and Chisholm, it lists only the graduate students supervised by Dr. Harrower. I believe credit is also due to the half a dozen or so graduate students in the Electrical Engineering Department, who worked on the initial concept as well as on the antenna design and construction.

Although I was one of that group, I don’t deserve much redit, but surely names like George Aitken, Dave Conn, and a number of others are worth a mention. (My “accomplishment” involved long hours of tedious hand-computation of various antenna patterns, something that any computer today can do in a fraction of a second.)

Robert Lantos, Sc'59

Yoo hoo, Boo Hoo!

It was interesting reading about Boo Hoo. Please check a 1960 yearbook. Boo Hoo was pictured with pictures of the winter carnival. It was drawn by a friend of Queen’s, Bob Beda. Bob lives in Vancouver and would be proud to know Boo Hoo is still around.

Lois Barker, PHE'61

[Boo Hoo the bear cartoon]
Bob Beda's cartoon of Boo Hoo the Bear.

I read the article regarding the history of Queen’s loveable mascot, Boo Hoo, and could not wait to chime in on my participation. I was the original student to wear the Boo Hoo costume in 1980, although I was not the first choice to be Boo Hoo. That honour belonged to my roommate Phil Moore, PHE’81, who was a gregarious and notable personality on campus and a logical choice. Phil was 6’6” and played varsity basketball with the Gaels.

The Gaels booster club saw the success of mascots in pro sports at that time (like Youpee and Philly Phanatic) and thought it would add to the already stout Queen’s spirit to have a mascot. They arranged through the athletic director, Al Leonard, to revive the original once-living mascot Boo Hoo by having a costume made that roughly resembled the A&W Root Bear with a tam and tartan vest.

As we all know, “made to order” does not fit all, so Mr. Leonard may have made a mistake by using Phil, who was the tallest person on campus, as the sizing standard. Phil eventually realized that attending football and other varsity games as the mascot would conflict with the basketball schedule. He thought I had the personality traits to be a good mascot and introduced me to the athletic director as a suitable substitute. Somehow, I got the non-paying job, under the supervision of Rick Powers (who was in the iddle of his many Queen’s degrees) and donned the extra-tall bear suit for its first year.


Ron Weston, Artsci’81, Law’84

I was Boo Hoo in 1986–87. After three years as a starter on the Queen’s varsity rugby team, I came home one day from a September training session complaining to my roommate Peter Green (Artsci’87) that I had had enough of serious rugby and that I wanted to have “more fun” in my fourth and final year at Queen’s. Well Peter, who happened to be the head of the Queen’s Bands’ cheerleaders, immediately said, “You should come join the Bands!” I laughed and told him it was a fantastic idea with just one problem – I didn’t play any instrument! “Oh,” he said, “that’s no problem ... Leave it with me.” The next day he came home to announce, “Jimmy, you’re in the Bands!” I would be Boo Hoo.

So I did it! Football games, the Santa Claus parade in Toronto, all sorts of campus events … it was a blast! And key to it, of course, was that outside of the Bands, no one knew it was me inside the bear. My classmates, friends, family, and even my former rugby teammates ... nobody knew it was me. One of my favourite memories was a particularly rowdy football crowd who tried to tackle Boo Hoo. But I had just come off the rugby team, so none of them could catch me! “Man, that Boo Hoo is fast!” Hilarious.

This story has a final funny twist. The one year out of four that I didn’t play rugby, Queen’s won the OUAA Rugby Championship, in 1987. Guess they didn’t need Boo Hoo after all!

Go Gaels!
Jim Jaques, Com’87

The class of 1920

We asked our readers if they could identify any of the students in our Arts 1920 photo. Christine Hennigar helped us with one: Agnes Condie, seen here (top left) with the 1917–18 field hockey team. Agnes played field hockey and basketball at Queen’s, helping both teams win honours. She was later named to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame.

[women's hockey team 1917]
Queen’s University Archives


[cover of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 1, 2017]