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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor from Ian Caulfield “Uncks” Smith, Arts’77, MBA’79; Derek Redmond, Artsci’74, MPL’79; David Hunt, Mus’73; and John Blackwell, MA’80

Thanks for the memories

Robert Buller, BA'71Robert Buller, BA'71, MBA'77 (Review file photo)

RE: “Seeking thinkers who also ‘do’,” etc.
Issue #1-2014, pps. 2, 7, 8 and 35

Thanks to Associate University Registrar (Undergraduate Admissions) Stuart Pinchin, Artsci’78, for reminding us oldsters (and possibly parents of later grads and current students) of the Unique Queen’s Experience (UQE). Stu and I go back pre-Queen’s to Camp Kandalore in the ‘60s and ’70s, when it seemed that half the staff went to Queen’s.

The late Rob Buller, BA’71, MBA'77 (p.35), [in his role as a high school liaison officer] ­cemented my Queen’s perceptions in 1972 when he came to my high school in the wilds and recruited about 20 per cent of the Grade 13 class of Oakville-Trafalgar High School.

Later, when Rob was running Leonard Hall, he was the first to explain an MBA to me. I stuck around and got one, one of my more memorable professors ­having been Merv Daub, Com’66 (p. 2), for Business Economics and Forecasting.

Upon graduation I chose to launch my ­career elsewhere after declining an offer to join Commerce Capital Corporation, where [Queen’s Chancellor-elect] Jim Leech, MBA’73 (p. 7), was then perched.

The collage of warm memories and most of the emotions known to mankind swept over me as I read this issue, thinking of friends past, those who have passed, and the better future the community of Queen’s helps us all to build.

  • Ian Caulfield “Uncks” Smith, Arts’77, MBA’79 
    Oakville, ON

Revitalizing CFRC

Shelagh RogersCFRC aluma Shelagh  Rogers, Artsci'77 (Stephen Wild photo)

Many alumni will have noted with approval the recent QUAA honours given to former CFRC broadcasters Jeffrey Simpson, Arts’71, LLD’05; Shelagh Rogers, Artsci’77; and Rico Garcia, Artsci’13, but may not be aware of the exciting challenges currently faced by CFRC Queen’s ­Radio itself. As it becomes an ­independent, non-profit corporation, Queen’s Radio is also launching a Revitalization Plan to complete long-overdue upgrades to its broadcasting ­facilities.

CFRC is the longest-running campus broadcaster in the world, continuing a vibrant ­tradition of radio programing and experimentation that began at Queen’s in 1922. In recent years, financial constraints have meant that certain aspects of CFRC’s technical facilities have ­remained stuck in an outdated ­radio era.

CFRC’s Revitalization Plan calls upon all of the station’s stakeholders to help bring Queen’s Radio into a new age of wireless technology. CFRC held a successful funding drive in February, with Kingston ­community members and many Queen’s alumni donating to ­support the installation of a new, on-air broadcasting console in the station. Students have voted an increase in the annual fee they pay to support CFRC, and based on the success of this vote, the ­university administration has agreed to continue to provide free rent to the station for the next three years.

Every contribution helps to build a future for CFRC, as the station adapts its traditional ­radio programing to digital ­platforms. The Revitalization Plan will improve the radio ­station’s website and mobile ­applications to better serve ­students on their smartphones and alumni around the world, as well as Kingston listeners on FM radio.

Renovations will ensure that CFRC meets current safety and accessibility standards, creating a more welcoming environment, particularly for people with disabilities.

I encourage alumni to continue to help Queen’s Radio ­sustain its tradition of cutting-edge broadcast technology, community-building, and experiential learning for students from all disciplines at Queen’s. Alumni can visit cfrc.ca to make a charitable contribution, or to tune in.

  • Derek Redmond, Artsci’74, MPL’79,
    Lecturer, Department of Film and Media

Remembering John Matheson

David Hunt and John Matheson

RE: “The Passing of a Great Canadian”
Issue #1-2014, P. 26

I was pleased to see my dear friend, John Matheson, BA’40, LLD’84, remembered in the ­Review and in the January edition of the @Queen’s broadcast email that goes out to alumni. If I may, I’d like to share with ­Review ­readers a photo of John and myself (left) that was taken at a Queen’s football game on October 22, 2013. 

  • David Hunt, Mus’73
    Kingston, ON

Correcting the historical record

I read with much interest the Review's tribute to the late John Matheson. As a keen history buff, John would not want to have inaccuracies perpetuated about his remarkable career.

The obituary mistakenly refers to Matheson as the “designer of the Order of Canada.” In fact, that distinction belongs to Bruce W. Beatty (1922-2011). Captain Beatty designed almost two dozen Canadian official medals and decorations during a 30-year period.

It should also be noted that the designer of the Canadian flag was historian Dr. George F.G. Stanley (1907-2002), then-Dean of Arts at the Royal Military College and later Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick. Stanley wrote a formal memorandum to John Matheson (who at the time was the Liberal MP for Leeds and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister) on 23 March 1964, providing the original sketch of a maple leaf flag and a detailed rationale for adopting this design as Canada’s flag. At 2 am on 15 December 1964, following the historic flag vote in the House of Commons, Matheson wrote to Stanley: "Your proposed flag has just now been approved by the Commons 163 to 78. Congratulations. I believe it is an excellent flag that will serve Canada well."

John Matheson certainly played a significant role as Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s political point person and lobbyist for these two important national initiatives in the 1960s. However, Matheson was not the designer of the Order of Canada or the Canadian Maple Leaf flag.

The current campaign to have Brockville officially recognized as the birthplace of the Canadian Flag may be well intentioned, but is misguided. The pivotal events relating to the creation of the Canadian Flag took place in Kingston and Ottawa. The fact that Matheson, as local MP, happened to live in Brockville at the time does not make that community the birthplace of the Canadian Flag. To claim it as such is to deny the historical facts.

  • John Blackwell, MA’80
    Antigonish, NS

Editor’s note: It’s true that John Matheson didn’t design the Order of Canada medals; however, he was the one who proposed and then articulated the specifics of the Order. As for the Maple Leaf flag, John is often described as being “the father” of that now-iconic emblem because of the work he did to get the chosen design approved by Parliament. To read the whole story of the birth of the Maple Leaf flag, please see John Matheson’s 1980 book Canada's Flag: A Search For a Country

[Queen's Alumni Review 2014-2 cover]