Deaths (2)


2582 KNOX, Cahill William

Cahill William Knox passed away on Friday, May 29, 2015, at the age of 95 years. He is survived by: his loving wife Alice; two daughters Pat (Jim) and Barb (Terry); four grandchildren Bobby, Andrew, Steven and Michael; and five great-grandchildren.

Cal lived life to the fullest, enjoying golf, curling and summers at the lake with his family. He was a HAM radio operator and an active Mason for over 60 years. As per Cal’s wishes no service will be held. We will lovingly remember all our times together. Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family via the website


8073 SLOAN, Derrick Raymond

Derrick, long time resident of Kanata, beloved husband of Rosemary and father of Tyler, passed away in Ottawa on May 8th, 2015 after a battle with cancer. He is survived by his son Tyler and brother Kevin. Derrick will be fondly remembered by his many colleagues from the Royal Military College of Canada graduating class of 1969, colleagues at Industry Canada and by his many friends throughout the Ottawa area. Friends are invited to the visit Beechwood, Cemetery and Funeral Services, 280 Beechwood Ave. (East of Vanier Parkway) Saturday June 6th, 2015 for a Graveside Service at the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces at 1 p.m. followed by a reception in honour of Derrick’s life at the Hall of Colours of the Beechwood National Memorial Centre from 1:30-3:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, guests are encouraged to make a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Following are notes, basis of a talk given by classmate 8056 John McCormick  at Derrick’ funeral service:

For those of you who do not know me my name is John McCormick and I have known Derrick and his family for almost 50 years – while I have not spent a lot time with Kevin, I have coached & played hockey with Paddy, played a lot of duplicate bridge with Emmet, ate Marie’s dinners and been a life-long friend of Derrick and Rose.

I am going to tell you a few Derrick stories two of which occurred almost 50 years ago and one just a month ago.

I first met Derrick in the early morning hours of September 7, 1965 on my second day at RMC.  I had arrived the evening before at the Kingston train station from Edmonton on tickets provided by the Canadian Military.  I was met at the train station by a 4th year cadet in RMC formal scarlets, CWTO Souci, who told me in broken H’englis that I was late and ‘ad to ‘urry-up as the rest of the recruit class had arrived.   The other late arrivers and I were lined up told to remove any jewelry, do-up the top button of shirts then we were bused to the college, sitting at attention – not the easiest thing to do – and told to have a good look at Kingston as we not be seeing it again until it was blanketed with snow.  We arrived at the college, dumped our steamer trunks in our rooms, and then had our first meal at the cadet mess hall served by a staff that was less than happy to stay late.   After the meal – it must have been around 8:00 PM – I was run from one location where I collected some kit, run back to my room where I dumped my kit than ran to another location, this went on for hours until I was finally escorted to my room told to turn off the lights – which I did and then plopped myself down on my bed and cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, very early the next morning, I was aroused from a troubled sleep by an impeccably turned out cadet who looked around and told me what a shithouse my rooms was and it was never, ever to be in this condition again.  I was to put on my red RMC swim trunks, my white sneakers, grey socks and singlet (what the hell is a singlet?), bring a towel and ‘form up’ in front Fort Haldimand in 5 minutes (form up ??).  Ten minutes later, after figuring out what a singlet was (it is a fancy tee shirt), I bolted out of my room, ran down the stairs and out in front of Haldiman – only to find the rest of my recruit squadron formed up and waiting for me – once again I was told I was late and further to this I told that apparently I could not follow simple instruction – I did not bring a towel nor was I wearing socks – I was sent back to me room where I found grey socks and a towel and ran back down

Only then was I allowed to ‘form up’ with the rest of my squadron and when I did so there was Derrick (one the 16 three squadron recruits) – his name neatly stenciled on his singlet  – Sloan DR – his white sneakers made even whiter by the ‘WhiteIt’ he had liberally applied, his name tag sewn into his socks, singlelet and probably his red RMC swimming trunks.

You see Derrick’s older brother Paddy was also at the college and a year ahead and clearly had given Derrick a heads up.  Derrick, who had been driven to the college by his father, LCOL Emmet Sloan, arrived in the morning and had spent a leisurely collecting his kit, stencilling his name into his singlets, WhiteIt’ing  his white running shoes and sewing his name tag into all his kit.

Derrick and I often spoke of that moment and we both agree – that precise moment around 6:15 am 7Sep65 was the high water mark of Derricks RMC and military career.

As most of know and have experienced Derrick had his own way and did not take to being told what to do  – which is kinda what the military is all about.  In the first days at RMC you are told what to do, how to do and when to do it – I will come back to this not liking being told what to.

Derrick’s high watermark of his athletic career at RMC came a few months later during the Recruit Obstacle Race.  For those of you have not heard of the RMC Recruit Obstacle race – and I am not talking about the current both sexes one held in the warmth of ex-cadet weekend but the one that was held in the day – before a recruit drown and it was changed.  Our obstacle race was held at the end of October – I recall that it snowed briefly in the morning of our race.   The race was comprised of a number of obstacles including a trench filled with water and logs, an obstacle in the middle Kingston harbour to which we had to swim and climb over and sever walls to scale, pitch black tunnels to navigate.  It was an ordeal.

It was a squadron competition and each of the five squadrons was set off in 10 minute intervals – 15-20 18 year-old boys dashed across the parade square to the first obstacle 300 yards away – the water and log trench – about 50 yards long.  Once you completed the first couple of obstacles which were located on the college grounds hundreds of yards apart you were pretty much spent and ran the rest of the race on adrenalin – you were beyond thinking for yourself – you had no idea how long the race was so there was no conserving energy your squadron upper class-men would point to the next obstacle and had to figure a way around it.  As it turns out there were 15-20 obstacles and the race lasted around 40 minutes.

I do not know how or why but coming to the last obstacle I was leading our squadron – the last obstacle was the simplest obstacle of the entire race – you were given a gunny sack at one end of the football field told to hop the length of the field – what could be easier.  I grabbed the gunny sack put both feet in and attempted to jump, and as hard as I tried I could not lift myself off the ground – in fact, as far as I could see nobody could get off the ground.  Now when you are played out, totally exhausted, you get creative, you try to find a way and the way was to attempt to jump, fall forward and crawl as far as you could before you were kicked you and made you get up which I did, fell forward crawled some more was kicked, got up and proceeded.  I continued to do this until I was half way thru and I heard a commotion behind turned around and saw this energizer bunny bounding up the field and that of course was Derrick who went on to come first in our squadron and in the top three in the entire class.

Of course there are reasons why Derrick could hop like an energizer bunny and the rest of us could not get off the ground.  Derrick signed up for Harriers and was running every day after classes – that is the first reason.

The second reason is more interesting and instructive.  At RMC, in recruit term, punishment for minor offences were given by seniors to recruits for every real and imagined offences (and Derrick had a lot of these offences) were circles which were in effect were 1/4 miles laps around the parade square.  Every evening after dinner and during study time the offenders were paraded out in white shorts, singlets, white running shoes, inspected (to ensure there was a crease in your shorts) and then you ran your circles – there was a maximum of 12 (3 miles) and Derrick would typically run the maximum.  He was doing this every night which was 1) cutting into his study time and 2) putting him into the best shape of his life – which allowed Derrick to hop the last 110 yards of the football field while the rest of us could not get off the ground.

Derrick got on the punishment treadmill early and he never really got off – once on the treadmill you spent all your time marching, preparing your kit for inspection and one’s studies suffered.  So Derrick, in spite of being gifted academically, spent only two tumultuous years at RMC before returning to Ottawa and enrolling in Carleton where he quickly re-established his academic credibility.  He graduated from Carleton with a degree in Commerce, wrote the Civil service exams and entered the public service – the utility of which Derrick and I would debate many times throughout the remainder of our 50 years of friendship.

I, on the other hand, to the surprise of some, made it through RMC and after graduation entered the Air Force.  I was posted to radar squadrons on the Pine-tree line and on the DEW line where I fearlessly protected Canadians (and others) from the godless communist hordes of the north.   If you check you will find not a single communist horde penetrated the DEW during my watch.

Derrick, on the other hand, had joined Industry Trade & Commerce where in the 70’s a new agency was created – FIRA – the Foreign Investment Review Agency.   Now I have to admit I do not know this as a fact but there is a good chance that while I was on the DEW line protecting Canadians from the godless communist hordes of the north Derrick was in a comfortable office in Place Du Portage protecting Canadians from the god-fearing capitalist hordes of the south – between the two of us we had your back and your front – unless you were facing east or west then we had your sides.

I returned to Ottawa in the early seventies and Derrick promptly took me under his wing and introduced me to his friends which soon became my friends:

Barry Owens
Neil & Colette
Brian Wendy Dunn
John Saykali
Claud & Crystal
Joe and Ginny
Dave Denman

People with whom have been life-long friends.

During the mid-seventies Derrick, I and Neil (and later Brian) shared a house in the Civic Hospital area – 347 Hamilton – the stories that house could tell are probably best left untold, I noticed both Brian and Neil are breathing a sigh of relief.  Derrick lived there until he and Rose got married – which is another thing Derrick and I agreed that Rose was the best thing that ever happen to him.

During the eighties and nineties Derrick and I were in the family business and would see each other periodically.  I recall how happy Rose and Derrick were when Tyler was born.

When Tyler was 5 or 6 Derrick, Rose and Tyler came to visit out family in Lakeville, MA.  I was appalled, appalled to learn that Tyler had not been enrolled in hockey so all weekend I taught Tyler to repeat the phrase – “It is my birth-right, I am Canadian!”.  Apparently it worked as Tyler play hockey the following winter.

I am going to tell one more story and it is related to this trophy here and it is not an easy story to tell.

After raising their families many of Derrick class of 69 RMC buddies found that they had more free time and one way that we used was every year 12 to 16 of us would go on a one-week golfing trip.  Soon after we started that we decided that it would be good fun to have a running competition (with handicaps) and declare a Champion Golf of the Year at the end of the week.  I was given the responsibility of organizing the golf and as I am a wont to do I over-organized the competition – there were individual and 2-man team competitions, partners and teams were changed every day – their low net, team best ball, team net, individual skins team skins, you name it was a golf game it was included.  Another feature of the outing was we cook our own meals.  Chef de cuisine, sous chef, kitchen scullion and sommelier were assigned for the evening meal – which became a focal point of event – after the meal I would report the golf results of the day and anyone who had a particular good hole would regale how it was done.  The final item discussed was whether any handicaps needed adjustment.  In all the years only one handicap was ever adjusted and that was Derrick’s when we were at John and Alice place outside Nappanee when it looked like Derrick would run away with the competition.  You see it was not a real competition after the first couple of years we decide that nobody would win the competition twice and it was awarded not on merit but based more on seniority. At the time Derrick did not realize this and was not really happy with the handicap reduction and was always keen on the results.

Last year Derrick came in an honest second and this year it was his turn to win.  In the fall Derrick had indicated that he would be going to Palm Springs but this winter when I was talking with Derrick while he was in Florida he told me that he did not think he could make this year’s outing as he back was causing him too much pain.  In fact he did not think he could drive back from Florida – I offered to fly down and drive back with him as I did after Rose passed last year.  As events turn out Derrick was not up to make the trip as a passenger and flew back while Kevin and Vivian drove his new Mustang back to Ottawa.

Well I kept in communication with Derrick after he got back and became concerned so I informed some of his RMC buddies to look in on Derrick – by this time Derrick was in the hospital and several went to visit Derrick.

When the group of us met in Palm Springs the Ottawa boys reported on Derrick’s condition– Bob Morton suggested that this year we should award the trophy to Derrick.  So the competition ran its course and as it turned out Bob Morton won.  During his acceptance speech Bob declined the trophy and suggested that it be awarded to Derrick citing Derrick’s the only person who had their handicap adjusted – to which we all agreed.  The plan was to get his name engraved on the trophy and the Ottawa group would visit Derrick either at home or in the hospital and award Derrick the trophy.

The award was made on the last night of the outing  – a Friday evening – some told a few Derrick stories and we all toasted Derrick – as we had done several times during the week.   Well the Friday evening that we awarded the trophy was May 8 which was the same Friday evening that Derrick passed.  I like to think that Derrick passed while 12 of his RMC friends were toasting his accomplishments.

I appreciate this time to share these Derrick stories with you – I will leave you with one last comment – Derrick and Rose were great life-long friends of mine whom I truly miss.