Queen's University

Letters to the Editor

A Matter of Degree

Re: “Life in the fast lane”
ISSUE #1-2013, P. 24-25

In this article Caroline Hargrove, Sc’89, is quoted as saying, “I took a math and engineering course....”

I hate to nitpick, but in fact, Caroline is a graduate of the Mathematics and Engineering Program – that is with capitals, and it’s not a course, but rather a degree program. Indeed, in the article she attributes her decision to come to Queen’s to the existence of this program and makes some nice comments about the benefits she derived from her time as a student in the program.

Queen’s Mathematics and Engineering program is the only one in Canada that combines engineering with rigorous mathematical studies. Students in “AppleMath” learn how to apply sophisticated mathematical methods and analysis to problems in control, communications, electrical, mechanical and mechatronic systems.We’re proud of our grads and like to tout their not inconsiderable successes, and this article sort of misses the mark in terms of promotion.


The letter writer is Chair of the Mathematics and Engineering program. – Ed.

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Caroline Hargrove expresses my feelings exactly. However, she feels there aren’t many jobs in which people can use or benefit from the work one does. Engineering itself is a profession in which results are useful and beneficial.

Princess Margaret visits the bridge in Frederiction, NB, 1960Princess Margaret viits the site of the site of the new "Princess Margaret Bridge" in Fredericton, NB. in 1957. The letter writer is greeting the Princess on the left of the scene. (Photo courtesy of Jack Hockman) 

Upon graduating from Queen’s in 1947, I became an engineer in a construction firm that specialized in the building of bridges in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. In 1957, I went to Fredericton, NB, to build a TransCanada Highway bridge. This structure was named the Princess Margaret Bridge, in honour of her visit to the site. I had the pleasure of being presented to the Princess as “the young engineer in charge of the project.”

In 1960, I moved to Florida, where I worked for two large corporations in the estimating and bridge building departments. I started my own company in 1980, and we specialized in design and field inspection as well as materials testing. When I retired in 1997, my son took over the business. I feel very proud of having built many bridges that are useful and beneficial to the people of Canada and the United States.


The Princess Margaret Bridge, which commemorates the memory of Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister, is a two-lane structure that spans the Saint John River at Fredericton. In 2010-11 the 1,097-metre bridge underwent a $77-million restoration and was reopened to traffic in May 2011. – Ed.

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A Tip of the Hat to Claude Scilley, Com’78

Queen’s and the football Gaels lost a keen observer and supporter in ­November when Kingston Whig-Standard sports editor Claude Scilley, Com’78, had his 40-year newspaper career ended when Sun Media cut 65 jobs and closed the firm’s local printing plant.

Claude’s buyout happened without a whimper or one line of type in the newspaper about his long and devoted service. Claude wasn’t singled out. Two other 30-year employees, a publisher and a top ad executive got the same silent heave-ho.

Kingston-born, Claude started his sports-writing career as a high school student and grew up during legendary coach Frank Tindall’s glory years, developed his gridiron savvy through the Hargreaves years, and reported on the championship and “character-building” seasons of the current Sheahan era.

I feel Claude deserved a better send-off salute, including one from his alma mater. His dedication to recording and analyzing local gridiron action from the local high school to the intercollegiate level followed in the best tradition of the Whig’s mixing of sports editors from sons of Kingston – Herb Hamilton, BA’32, LLD’75, and Don Soutter – with imported writers such as William Walshe, Mike Rodden, Paul Rimstead, Doug McConnel, and Ron Brown. Claude’s “cleats-on-ground” coverage surpassed the traditional “FourW’s” – who, what, where and when – with the pesky interview question of “Why?” that often provoked illuminating answers.

While his byline no longer shines on the Whig sports pages (nor has an editorial successor been named), Claude can still beam his broad smile. We can only hope that his byline reappears somewhere soon.


The writer, a longtime watcher of Queen’s sports, occasional contributor to the Review, and former Whig-Standard editor and columnist, was accorded a retirement party in 1988 on concluding his 33 years with the then-independent, Davies-family-owned newspaper. – Ed.

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“Woodsie” and the Queen's Family

Re: “A sense of family”
ISSUE #1-2013, P. 2

I am so glad the Review devoted some space to the life and death of Harold Woods, BSc’47 – a.k.a. “Woodsie.” I’ve often wondered about him.

Hank Wood, Sc'47Hank Woods, BSc'47, reads a poem

When I was working at the Queen’s Journal in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was an intermittent visitor to the Journal office; probably his visits coincided with his “roving reporter” visits to The ­Review upstairs in the old Students’ Memorial Union building at the time. When I took a job in the communications office at the University of Waterloo, I was startled to discover that Woodsie was a periodic visitor there as well, though I don’t think his appearances continued the way they clearly did at Queen’s.

What an extraordinary family the network of Queen’s people is, to be sure!


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The term “a sense of family” could be the title for any number of reflections about Queen’s, but this article personalized it beautifully in paying tribute to an unusual and memorable character, Harold Woods – a.k.a. Woodsie.


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Hockey History Clarified

Re: “The pioneers of Queen’s women’s hockey”
ISSUE #1-2013, P. 39

While I read the interesting item on the Queen’s female hockey pioneers, a few references caught my eye.

While the first men’s hockey club at Queen’s was officially established in 1888, the first men’s game was played in March 1886 – that’s why we celebrated Kingston’s hockey centennial in 1986 – and annual matches with the Royal Military College were played again in 1887 and 1888.

The  women's ice hockey team of 1896 The "morning glories" of 1896 (Queen's Archives photo)

Only seven of the nine women in the accompanying photograph were listed in the story. One of the women missing was Marion Fraser, who scored in both games against the Black and Blues. Apparently she’s an alumna who never graduated.

Ironically, it was Fraser’s relatives who preserved the photo, which I presume ended up in Queen’s Archives – compliments of Linda and Robert Sparks of Gatineau, QC. The Fraser stick – the earliest still around from that era of women’s hockey – was loaned to the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in Kingston.

Incidentally, Marion Fraser (second row, far right) appears to be wearing a Queen’s striped tricolour sweater under her blouse.


Bill Fitsell is one of Canada’s foremost hockey historians. His most recent book is Captain James T. Sutherland: The Grand Old Man of Hockey and the Battle for the Original Hockey Hall of Fame (Quarry Heritage Books, $29.95). – Ed.

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Inspiring Words in NYC

I was touring the Rockefeller Center in New York City recently when I noticed some interesting wording carved into the stonework above the door of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The words are in the background of the Prometheus figure – on the west side of the skating rink. The saying is the English version of the Queen’s motto: Sapientia et Doctrina Stabilitas – “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the ­stability of thy times.”

All of this may be old news to longtime Review readers, but I thought it would be a revelation to many a recent Queen’s grad, especially those who are living in the Big Apple or who visit. It also serves as yet another reminder that remembering your Latin, or any foreign language, living or dead, for that matter, can enhance your life.


Rockefeller Plaza in NYCThe facing of the Rockefeller Centre in NYC

Sharp eye, Vicki. In a 2002 Letter to the Editor, the late Prof. Ross Kilpatrick, Classics scholar par excellence and a longtime friend of the Review, alerted readers to the fact the motto from the University’s coat of arms is carved into the facing of the Rockefeller ­Center. It was put there by Lee Lawrie (1877-1963), one of America’s leading architectural sculptors in the early decades of the last century and creator of this stunning artwork representing the dual elements of sound and light as promoters of wisdom. While Lawrie had no ties to Queen’s, he was one of countless people over the centuries who have been inspired by the same Biblical quotation (Isaiah XXXIII.6) that this University adopted as its motto in the 1850s. In case you’re wondering, the Rockefeller Center, which includes the NBC television facilities known as “30 Rock,” was built by financier John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the years 1931-39. It remains one of the world’s finest examples of Art Deco architecture and was the first real estate development to include offices, shops, restaurants, and a theatre – the famous Radio City Music Hall – all in one complex. – Ed.

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And Let's Not Forget...

Re: “Missing Grey Cup alumni”
ISSUE #1-2013, P.5

I have another name to add to the list of alumni who were not mentioned in the Review’s article on Queen’s ties to the Grey Cup.

My father, John Delahaye, MD’27, was a starting middle wing (tackle nowadays) on both the Tricolour’s 1922 and 1923 Grey Cup teams.

Without a great line to block the opposing line there would have been no famous Queen’s end run featuring the likes of Harry Batstone, BCom’26, MD’32, and Frank “Pep” Leadlay, BSc’25. For the benefit of younger readers, I should explain that the end run was a great play in the 1920s partly because of the speed of the backs, especially when the ball was carried out of bounds on a play. When that happened, it was spotted one yard from the sideline to start the next play, giving the ball carriers a full 64 yards of field width in which to work their magic.


The letter writer played with the football Gaels 20 years after his father – from 1944 to 1947. – Ed.

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Thanks for the Memories

Re: “The colours of autumn”
ISSUE #3-2012, P. 39

Football parade in the fall of 1971

This photo brought back lots of memories, though only vague ones, of that particular day. The caption says it’s the fall of 1971, which was the opening year of the “New” Richardson Stadium, which we must be walking to.

On seeing the photo, I laughed and showed it to my partner, Bart, since it confirms that I’m a pack rat. I’m the woman at the left margins of the photo wearing a short pink coat over my green-and-white top. I still have that top in my closet, though after 40 years (!) I only wear it around the house or yard.

There’s also a funny coincidence to the scene in the photo, since to my left is Clare Harkin, Artsci’74; she’s the woman with the long, dark blonde hair, sun glasses and brown jacket. The strange thing is that I didn’t know Clare in the fall of 1971, but met her in the fall of 1972. That’s when we had adjacent rooms in a 12-person co-op “House” (#926) in Elrond [now known as Princess Towers], the year Elrond opened. My Elrond years were my favourite ones at Queen’s.

Thanks for bringing it all back.


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Ontario's Rush to Wind Power

Re: “The Winds of Controversy”
ISSUE #1-2013, P. 4

Having spent the last three years studying and questioning the rationale for large-scale industrial wind turbine development in Ontario, we are skeptical of the comments made by Rob Parsons. He is the placating voice of the (undeniably powerful) wind lobby that is working with the Ontario government to force rural communities around the Great Lakes to accept industrialization of the countryside -- without due consideration of the consequences.

The Green Energy Act has enabled regulatory changes that take away many basic rights and protections – not only for human health and quality of life, but also for the environment, wildlife and habitat. Combine this regulatory “free ride” with large subsidies and a supportive bureaucracy, and wind companies pay only lip service to the many issues surrounding wind power. Don’t be fooled that these are idealistic entrepreneurs.They are giant corporations. So it’s no surprise that a wind “farm” project in Ontario has never been refused; the appeal process is a farce. The truth is that Big Wind is driven by subsidies -- and misdirected politicians.

This rush to wind (and solar) power in Ontario simply does not make sense. The grid is already overloaded. There are no power storage facilities, and we have done next to nothing about conservation. Amazingly, we pay other jurisdictions to take our surplus power, and it seems that soon we will shut off wind turbines at times of excess and pay producers for at least part of their losses. Energy-hungry industries are already leaving Ontario because of electricity costs and charges for us ordinary souls are set to skyrocket.

The implications for people and wildlife directly affected by these installations are far-reaching and should be taken seriously, not mocked or derided as is so often the case. However, the media is strangely quiet and most politicians aren’t listening.

We fear that in 20 years (when the subsidies run out) former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty’s legacy will be the rusting relics of wind towers around the Great Lakes.

If you value democracy and want to maintain the quality of life in Ontario, we urge you to start paying attention to the fight over wind power. 


Queen's Alumni Review, 2013 Issue #2Queen's Alumni Review
2013 Issue #2
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