Tributes

This is a page to salute members who have contributed significantly to the success of the society.

Innovation and technology can empower women and girls. Unfortunately, women are (still) underrepresented in fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This year's theme for International Women’s Day, #InnovateForChange, is a call to action, asking everyone to harness the power of technology to create a more equal world. By removing the barriers facing women in STEM, the hope is to unleash new ideas and solutions that will transform societies and strengthen economies.

We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate our Bytown Railway Society Women, Minda Bojin, Felicity Harrison and (in memory) Helen Tucker


Minda Bojin

Minda Bojin

Minda has been a member of the society since the 1970s.  Minda has been involved with our public railway excursions in years past. Your best chance to meet Minda these days is at our monthly Program Nights setting up our refreshment services. Minda also is very active as the Steering Committee Coordinator and Newsletter Editor.with the Disability Advocacy of Eastern Ontario (DANEO). Minda professional career included being a Project Leader and Technical Advisor for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. and most recently as a Founding Partner for the Cahill Community Living Partnership.

Minda says "When I moved to Ottawa from Toronto in the early 70s BRS helped me a lot. I had been a member of UCRS and was thrilled to find like minded enthusiasts in Ottawa. Some members of BRS are my oldest and dearest friends."

 

  


Felicity Harrison

Felicity Harrison

Felicity joined the society approximately ten years ago.  Felicity is a stalwart member of the society's Dirty Hands Club which is a group of volunteers responsible for railway equipment restoration. Felicity held a director position on our board in the past, and took the BRS training course leading to TSSA certification to operate the Shay steam locomotive.   If you attend our monthly Program Nights, you will be greeted by Felicity, rain, shine, sleet or hail (well maybe not hail) outside the museum's main entrance. Felicity's day job is as a Human and Organizational Factors Specialist for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Other volunteer interests include helping out at the Aviation Museum and Agriculture Museum on an as-needed basis.

Felicity tells us "I love learning about railway history from the extremely knowledgeable members of BRS, and appreciating this method of transportation that has had such an impact on the development of many countries around the world."

 

 

 


Helen at Lemon Creek Bridge in BC.

Helen Tucker (Memorial Tribute)

Helen was the Dirty Hands Club Founder and also held the Secretary position on the Society's board. Her work in an organizational role at the shop is remembered for she, as a professional engineer, was organized, methodical and analytical, as well as practical. She is also remembered for her equipment drawings and sketches and her accurate estimates of the material required fro complete a job. Helen had the ability to exchange quip for quip with the best of us. She was a real hit with the CP and Canadian Atlantic Railway officials and crews alike who were taken back at BRS's lady "fireperson" in the cab of 1201, and in CP's and CAR's bunk houses. Helen's professional career was as an Engineer with the Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). At the NRC, Helen was a co-inventor of a Valve, a Flowmeter and a Viscometer. Helen held three patents with her colleagues. Helen worked in diverse areas as Maglev systems, control systems for dynamometers, wheelchair stability experiments, and a major wheel and brake testing facility.

Bert CanningBert Canning, long-time CP engineer out of Ottawa, passes on at age 87 on August 1st, 2012. As per Colin Churcher, Bert was one of the "stalwart engineers" of CP 1201 trips to Wakefield, Quebec.

Photo courtesy of Colin Churcher.

CANNING, Bertram Thomas

Peacefully on Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at age 87. Beloved husband of Corrine Selleck Canning (nee Drummond), and predeceased by his first wife Berdetta Canning (nee Selleck). Loving stepfather of Harry Selleck (Lori) and Lorie Pitt (Ritchie) and their children Brandon, Colton, Ashton, Joshua and Jarrett. Predeceased by sisters Phyllis Grant (Ray) and Sylvia Kenney (Hillard) and by brother Cecil (Alma). Bert will be lovingly remembered by many nieces and nephews. Friends are invited to visit at the Brown Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 805 Prescott Street, Kemptville on Monday, August 6 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service in the Chapel on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Contributions to the Heckston United Church or the Kemptville District Hospital Foundation.

Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Aug. 4, 2012.

 

Bert Canning

My good friend Dennis Peters died on 14 April after a very short bout of cancer. He was in his 69th year.

Many years ago Dennis said to me, “I fly under the radar.” By flying under the radar, few realized the full extent of Dennis’ activities in the Ottawa and national railfan community. However, he was a force to be reckoned with and was involved in many activities. He grew up in Lowertown and experienced the changeover from steam to diesel. He was a founding member of the Bytown Railway Society and, even before that, was involved in the unsuccessful attempt to save the Grand Trunk Railway station on Lebreton Flats. But Dennis’ railway enthusiasm was firmly founded from being employed by Canadian Pacific as a brakeman in this area working at both Ottawa West and later at Walkley Yard. Later he was with Omer Lavallee in CP Bygones before moving to Ottawa with Parks Canada and Canadian Heritage.

Dennis enjoyed rail travel both in Canada and elsewhere. We had a great trip to Moosonee and explored a little of the Ottawa Valley.

Dennis’ collection of employee timetables, railway plans and other memorabilia is legendary and he was quick to share this, especially as a member of the Ottawa Railway History Circle. After retirement he became involved with the C. Robert Craig Memorial Library and had just become President. With the recent changes to the publication of Branchline Dennis had become one of the editors where he was able to exercise one of his many skills – the art of writing good English.

I wrote above that Dennis was a good friend. He was more than a friend. He was a mentor. He was my idea of a true senator. Ask him a question and he would respond thoughtfully, not necessarily with the answer you were looking for but with sober second thought.

Dennis Peters’ knowledge and experience is irreplaceable and his passing has left a great gap. He will be missed. - Colin Churcher

PETERS, Dennis James

Parks Canada / Canadian Heritage

Peacefully at home in Ottawa on Thursday, April 14, 2016 in his 69th year, after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Beloved son of the late Joseph John Peters and Annette Marguerite Benoit and husband of the late Dawn Carol Walker. He will be sadly missed by his children, Shannon Peters, Christine Peters (Steve Montroy), Jacqueline Peters (Julie Barton), Tara Nye (Wise), Lisa (Nye) Labonté; Christine Nye (Corey Mask), and Rebecca Hammond; their grandchildren, Thomas-Joseph, Teagan, Peter, Brienna, Owen, Nathan, Émilie, Connor, Téah and Ben. Dennis will also be missed by his many friends and work colleagues at Parks Canada, Canadian Heritage and the Canada 150 team. His greatest passions were his gift for putting thought to paper as well as an extensive interest in all things railway related, including travel, history and operations. Friends are invited to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor)F on Wednesday, April 20 from 1:30 p.m. until Dennis' Celebration of Life in the Chapel at 3 p.m. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Ronald McDonald House of Ottawa, in memory of Dennis Peters. 

Published in The Gazette from Apr. 16 to Apr. 18, 2016

 

 

 

Helen at Lemon Creek Bridge in BC. Photo of Helen Tucker at Lemon Creek Bridge in BC courtesy of Doug Wilson.

The following memorial  appeared in the April 1993 issue of Branchline.

In Memoriam. Helen Grace Tucker, P.Eng. (BRS Director)

"It is with the greatest regret that we inform the membership of the untimely death of Helen Tucker on February 12, 1993, after a lengthy and horrible battle with cancer.

Helen was an active member of the Society who will be sorely missed. Her work in an organizational role at the shop will be remembered for she, as a professional engineer, was organized, methodical and analytical, as well as practical.  She will remembered for her equipment drawings and sketches and her accurate estimates of the material required fro complete a job.  She will be remembered for her sense of humour, and her ability to exchange quip for quip with the best of us.  Her absolutely filthy coveralls, which the guys threatened to steam clean, with Helen in them of course, are legend.  She will be remembered for her procurement of tools and equipment with diligently collected Canadian Tire coupons.

Helen's ability to become "one of the boys" on our famous trip with steam locomotive 1201 from Ottawa to Saint John, N.B. in June 1989 will long be remembered by the other nine of us who were honoured to have her as a fellow crew member. She was a real hit with the CP and Canadian Atlantic Railway officials and crews alike who were taken back at BRS's lady "fireperson" in the cab of 1201, and in CP's and CAR's bunk houses.

At age 49, Helen has been taken away from us. She may gone she'll not be forgotten." (Duncan du Fresne).

Helen was the Dirty Hands Club Founder and also held the Secretary position on the Society's board.

Helen's professional career was as an Engineer with the Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

At the NRC, Helen was a co-inventor of a Valve, a Flowmeter and a Viscometer. Below is a listing of the three patents she held with her colleagues.

Helen worked in diverse areas as Maglev systems, control systems for dynamometers, wheelchair stability experiments, and a major wheel and brake testing facility. (reference: Branchline July-August 1987)

Patents held by Helen G. Tucker
Number   Title/Abstract
US3952577   Apparatus for measuring the flow rate and/or viscous characteristics of fluids Helen G. Tucker, John W. Tanney, William F. Hayes. An apparatus for measuring the flow rate and/or viscous characteristics of a fluid comprising a casing having a fluid passage, a fluid inlet cavity and a fluid outlet cavity, fluid pressure detecting means preferably at spaced positions along the passage, and fluid pressure indicating means for indicating the or each characteristic to be measured....  
US4003405   Apparatus for regulating the flow rate of a fluid William F. Hayes, John W. Tanney, Helen G. Tucker An apparatus for regulating the flow rate of a fluid, comprising a casing having an annular or cone-shaped fluid passage, for radial flow (inwardly or outwardly) between an inlet and outlet which are spaced radially and form unobstructed flow paths....
US4118973   Apparatus for measuring the flow rate and/or viscosity of a fluid Helen G. Tucker, John W. Tanney, William F. Hayes. An apparatus for measuring the flow rate and/or viscous characteristics of a fluid comprises a casing, having a fluid passage which is elongated in cross-section with two parallel, opposed sides and has a flared entry portion leading to a portion of constant cross-section....

Joe Toscas. Photo by Ross Robinson

Joe sitting in the Fireman's seat of TNVR #10 50 ton locomotive in 2002 Joe was BRS' speeder Guru.

Photo courtesy of R. Robinson

TOSCAS, Joseph "Joe"

Courageously at the Hospice at May Court on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 at the age of 78. Dearly beloved husband of the late Elena Conesa. Loving father of Tony and Louise Brunel (Nestor). Also loved by his two grandchildren Virginia Diaz and Edgardo Brunel. The funeral mass was held at Senhor Santo Cristo Roman Catholic Church, 1100 Kenaston Street, Ottawa on Friday, May 7, 2004 at 11 a.m. Interment Beechwood Cemetery. 

Published in The Ottawa Citizen on May 5, 2004

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