Family remembers George Wild at Homecoming
By Michael Onesi, Alumni Communications Officer
Classmates of the late George Wild (Sc’53), who are attending the 60th reunion during Homecoming this October, will be able to share their memories with George’s daughter Catharine Wild (Artsci’79).
Catharine is attending her dad’s reunion because she wants to hear some stories about her father’s Queen’s University days.
“We are a pretty big Queen’s family – three generations have studied there. So I’d love to learn more about my father, meet some of his old classmates, and learn some new tales about his university years,” says Catharine, whose dad passed away in 2007.
She wasn’t planning on attending this year. But Catharine’s daughter, Erica McLachlan (Artsci’14), has encouraged her mom to come back to visit Kingston. Catharine remembers her dad coming to Queen’s for his reunion when she was a student in the late 1970s, so it’s a chance to repeat some family history.
Catharine, who lives in Burlington, Ont., decided to reach out to Homecoming officials to see if it was OK for her and Erica to drop in and meet some of George’s old classmates. Reunion coordinator Bob Beddie( Sc’53) said he’s never had a request from a son or daughter to attend their parent’s reunion.
“She told me she wanted to come and we are glad to welcome her,” says Bob.
Erica was close to her grandfather and has heard a lot of stories about his time at Queen’s. Apparently George Wild lived up to his last name
“He was wild. He used to get in a lot of trouble so I am looking forward to meeting some of his classmates and hearing some of the horror stories,” says Erica.
One of those stories involved George taking a shower after a Queen’s hockey game. Somebody took his picture without him noticing and the photo was posted in the woman’s hall. George had been hit in the mouth with a puck and was holding his mouth in pain. But in the photo, it looked like he was posing for the camera. He was later called in to the office by university officials.
Catharine and Erica will likely hear a few hockey stories. George was drafted by the Boston Bruins and offered a scholarship at the University of Michigan but chose to come to Queen’s to study engineering.
Erica and Catharine are dedicated Queen’s supporters. In fact, their existence is because of Queen’s. When George was an engineering student, a professor recommended him for a fellowship in England. George went to Europe and met his future wife, Frances.
“I knew the Oil Thigh before I came to Queen’s,” says Erica. “When I was growing up and people asked me what I wanted to do, I’d say ‘I don’t know what I want to do, but I want to do it at Queen’s.”