William David ("Bill") McCowan, Scarborough
I met Bill McCowan in 1943 at the R.C.A.F. Station in St. Thomas, Ontario. I regarded him with some awe -- he was from near the big city of Toronto and I, of course, was a small-town boy from Alberta. He really surprised me for he had none of the usual vices that come with being away from home and on one's own. He was a quiet, caring, dedicated individual. In fact, I always think of him as a "gentle" man. He followed all the rules and did all that he was supposed to do.
Bill and I took the Aircraft Electrician Course at St. Thomas. We were there for some three months. I can truthfully say that I remember him better than any other fellow taking that particular course. If I remember correctly, he was sent to the flying school in Claresholm, Alberta, and I to No. 10 Repair Depot in Calgary. Once when on leave, he came to see me there.
Unfortunately, other postings came along and our paths did not cross again. When the war was over, I returned to the Calgary area for employment. I met and married my wife, Louise, and our first home was in Edmonton. When we were moved back to Calgary, I was fortunate to secure a position with Canada Trust and, in 1962, we were transferred to Toronto.
Glen McDell, another mutual friend and airforce buddy, came to town. My wife was in Calgary at the time so Glen and I were alone. We contacted Bill and were invited out to his home for dinner.
This would be the first time that I had occasion to meet Bill's wife, Nancy, and his family. Nancy must have had really good taste and knew a good fellow when she saw one. As well, she must have been rather special to have attracted "gentle" Bill and led him to subsequent matrimony. At any rate, she had a lovely dinner prepared for us. You could say she did it up proud.
We had a delightful evening meeting Bill's family and recalling with him our Airforce days. I made the comment that since I had come to Toronto I had heard a great deal about the Scarborough Bluffs but I had never had the opportunity to see them. Bill promptly took us over to see his mother and from her house we had a great view of the bluffs. Bill's mother greeted us so warmly. She was a fine lady and we left feeling that we were rather special people. Bill very proudly travelled the McCowan Road route which I understand was named after his family. Having met his mother and his own family, it was obvious the McCowan people were well respected to have had their name affixed to a landmark as such.
We were eventually moved back to Edmonton and in 1971, the McCowans came to our city during our Klondike Days. They contacted us and we arranged for them to come to our home for dinner that evening. We then got dressed in our Klondike finery and whilst wandering about through the masses of people, we ran into Bill and Nancy and family. It was a pleasant surprise but we had a much better visit later that evening.
My association with Bill McCowan was a short one but I do remember him fondly. He was a good friend and a darn good buddy. During those war years one rather treasured such associations.
Louise and I are happy to learn that Bill and Nancy are celebrating their 40th Anniversary. I am sure Bill has been a good husband and a good father and that their forty years together have been full and most rewarding. To them both, we send warm greetings for continued good health and many happy years yet to enjoy.
Happy 40th Anniversary Bill and Nancy!!