Former Honourary Lieutenant-Colonels

Lieutenant-Colonel George Gosbee

2012 – 2015

George Frederick John Gosbee was born in Kingston, ON on August 30, 1969. He and his family moved to Calgary where he would go to school, start a family and a business, and touch the lives of many. The brevity of George’s life is no indication of its vibrancy; no matter the endeavour, George approached it with a gifted resoluteness and an inspiring curiosity. When not sporting a suit and tie in downtown Calgary, George was an avid mountaineer, a practicing yogi, a philanthropist, and above all a loving husband, father, son and brother. George’s abrupt end affects many around the globe; he considered himself to be an international world traveler who embodied his three pillars of philosophy: explore, experience, and educate.  Prior to founding AltaCorp Capital in 2010, George was Chairman, President and CEO of Tristone Capital Global Inc. As a corporate, financial, and philanthropic leader, his accolades included: Vice Chair of Alberta Investment Management Co., Chair of Arcadia Biosciences Inc., Co-owner of Arizona Coyotes, Alternate Governor of the NHL, Chair of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, Advisor to the Haskayne School of Business, Director of Chrysler Group LLC, member on the Economic Advisory Council for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, co-founder of Mass LBP, and positions on numerous other organizations.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gosbee passed away on November 12, 2017 at the age of 48 years. His legacy and benevolent relationships he leaves behind are a testament of his character.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lauchlan Currie

2012

Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Lauchlan Currie was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The Calgary Highlanders in September 2015. Lauchlan is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Director of ARC Financial Corporation, the largest Canadian private equity firm focused on the energy business. He joined ARC in 1995, a geologist by background and has over 20 years of investment experience in the Canadian oil and gas industry.

Lauchlan graduated in 1982 with a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Calgary, from Queen’s University in 1985 with an M.B.A and in 1989 he was designated a P.Geol. in Alberta. Lauchlan is a current member of the Advisory Board of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health.

He and his wife Karen reside in Calgary and are raising three children; Ewan, Hugh and Edith

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Shaw

– June 2012

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Shaw was born in Montreal, Quebec and educated at Queen’s University, graduating with Honours with a degree in Commerce in 1977. He was a managing director of Global Enterprises, ATCO Group from 1979 to 2009. Semi-retired, he sits on the board of several companies and institutions, including Aviva Insurance, Great Western Brewery, Cash Store Financial, ITC Construction Group, Chariot Carriers Ltd, Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, Calgary Petroleum Club and the Grief Support Committee of Calgary Health Services. A former Army Cadet at Lower Canada College and Upper Canada College he currently resides in Calgary with wife Linda June Sinclair, and his daughters Amanda and Kathryn.

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert JS Gibson, CLJ, MMLJ

8 Aug 2001 – 31 Dec 2001

Robert J.S. Gibson was born in Bently, Alberta, in 1946, the eldest son of a homesteader, farming near Rocky Mountain House. Bob was raised in a number of towns in Alberta. By the time he was five his father was working for the Department of Indian and Northern affairs as a farm instructor and settled with his wife and four children in High Prairie where Bob began his schooling. He graduated with honours from Bow Valley High School in Cluny, Alberta, and was active in the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Cadet Corps in Gleichen.

Service in the Royal Canadian Navy followed, as an officer cadet, and Mr. Gibson attended his first year at the University of Alberta. His schooling was interrupted by several years working as a surveyor in the seismograph industry throughout Western Canada, after which he returned to the University of Alberta for another year. He became a realtor, joined the team at Southland Canada, and became District Sales Manager with responsibility for thirty-one 7-Eleven stores.

Mr. Gibson went on to become involved in real estate development, rising to Area Manager for Western Realty Projects, responsible for southern Alberta. In 1976 he accepted the position of President of United Management Ltd. and ultimately Managing Director of Alsten Holdings Ltd, the holding company of the Singer Family of Company, a position which he held for over twenty years.

In 1986, Mr. Gibson returned to his family roots and acquired the Bobtail Ranch in Penticton, BC, where he and wife Brigitte raises a commercial herd as well as a reputable herd of pedigree Angus cattle. His other interests included sailing, flying and the military, and Mr. Gibson is a certified offshore sailor, multi-instrument rated pilot, and helicopter pilot who has served as Honorary Colonel of 15th (Edmonton) Medical Company and sat on a number of committees related to Army Reserve restructuring. Charitable works include activities with both the Order of St. Lazarus and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program. He later served as Honorary Colonel.

Lieutenant-Colonel GW Cameron, CM, LLD

24 Jul 1994 – 1 Jul 2000

Gordon Wallace (Scotty) Cameron was born on May 26, 1931 in Mankota, Saskatchewan. He belonged to both the Army and Air Cadet movements between 1946 and 1951, and attended summer training and officer courses at Camp Borden (now Canadian Forces Base Borden) in Ontario. Graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1955 with a degree in Economics and Commerce, he soon held a number of senior posts in the Saskatchewan Provincial Government. From 1960 he held such positions in the Government as Deputy Minister of the Department of Industry and Commerce (1964-1970), and moved on to senior positions in both oil companies and the Energy Council of Canada. He is most well known as the President and CEO of PanAlberta Gas (1974-1994) and also served as President of the Energy Council, President of the World Energy Council, President of the Calgary Petroleum Club and Chairman of the Oilmen’s Golf Tournment.

Extensive community involvement in Calgary was also a focus of Colonel Cameron’s life, sitting on the boards of many cultural, educational and charitable organizations, and chaired campaigns for the Calgary United Way, Easter Seals, Light Up a Child’s Life, Cancer Society and the University of Saskatchewan.

Cameron was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1995 and he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Petroleum Industry Hall of Fame on June 11, 1997. His interest in the military saw him become involved with The Museum of the Regiments as a director, as well as the Calgary Centre for Military Strategic Studies. Honorary Colonel Cameron served in his appointment with The Calgary Highlanders from 1 July 2000 to 31 December 2001. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan, received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, and Confederation Medals for both Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Gordon W. “Scotty” Cameron passed away on June 18, 2013. He was survived by his wife Joan (nee Schnell) Cameron, wife of 58 years whom he met at the University of Saskatchewan, daughters Maggie (Bill) Pringle and Catherine (Bruce) Gerus, was predeceased by a son, Gordie, in 1976.

At right, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Cameron is piped into the annual military band display at the Museum of the Regiments in August of 1996 by Piper Paul Ritchie (left) and Piper Mark MacDonald.

Lieutenant-Colonel JM Pierce

Feb 1988-1991

Colonel Jack Pierce created Ranger Oil in 1958 and grew it into a major firm among the many Oil and Gas related companies in Alberta. Prior to embarking on this business venture, he had graduated from McGill University in 1948 with a degree in Geology. A veteran of the Second World War, he flew with the Royal Air Force and RCAF Ferry Command. His death while on a cattle drive at the age of 67 was a surprise to the Regiment; Colonel Pierce was survived by his wife Erna May, three sons and two daughters.

Lieutenant-Colonel FP Mannix, OC, CD

1981-1987

Fred P Mannix was born in Calgary, Alberta, on 24 February 1942. He attended the Strathcona Boys School, Ridley College and the University of Alberta where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree. During his Ridley years, Mr. Mannix joined the Army Cadet Corps earning the rank of Corporal. He was appointed Quartermaster to the Band and was an instructor on the Bren Gun Squad. His interest in sports during his school years led to appointment as Captain of the fencing team and President of the University of Calgary Judo Club as well as being a brown belt member of the judo team for five years. His sports activities have included polo, squash, tennis, shooting and flying remote control model airplanes. His strong work ethic was formed at an early age; at twelve he worked as a water boy on the IOCC Railroad from Seven Islands to Shefferville, Quebec. At fifteen he was a labourer and powder monkey in the Taber, Alberta Coal Mine. At sixteen, he operated a bulldozer at the Brazeau Dam. He later held a succession of project management jobs from foreman to project manager.

Mr. Mannix later served as Vice President and General Manager, and later Chairman of the Board, of Loram Company Ltd. He continued as a director of Loram, parent company of the Loram Group and Chairman of his own personal company, Manvest Inc. He has also served as Director of the Calgary Polo Club, served on the board of Siemens Electric Ltd, the Alberta Microelectrical Centre, Calgary Research and Development Authority, and the Investors Group of Winnipeg.

In 1978-79, Mr. Mannix attended the National Defence College course XXXII, and was appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in March 1981. In 1986 he was promoted to the position of Honouary Colonel and was deeply involved in the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 when Her Majesty presented The Calgary Highlanders with a new Queen’s Colour, as well as dedicating the Museum of the Regiments in which the Regimental Museum and Archives are housed.

Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel  Mannix retired in 1994 but remained very active in regimental and Reserve Army affairs.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Tennant, CM, ED, CD

1977-1980

Mark Tennant was born on 27 June 1913 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, attending school at St. Rose du Lac, and later moving to Alberta where he completed his schooling in Lethbridge. In 1925, Tennant joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, leaving that organization in 1929 when he joined the Militia, enlisting in the South Alberta Regiment.

On 27 August 1939, two days after Militia units across the country were placed on active service, Tennant re-enlisted in the 20th Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. He was given Regimental Number M7. On 6 September 1939, five days after the Calgary Highlanders were mobilized, Tennant transferred to the Regiment as a Private.

Tennant was promoted very quickly, by 1940 he was a Platoon Sergeant Major, an experimental position which was abolished in 1940. Along with many of the other PSMs, Tennant was commissioned as an officer and made a full-fledged platoon commander. As orderly officer, he earned the nickname “The Green Hornet” after a popular radio show character who always knew what the “bad guys” were thinking. Promotion to captain followed in June 1942. Tennant was still with the battalion in July 1944 when the unit landed in France. Tennant served in Support Company and specialized in reconnaissance missions. Captain Tennant seemed fearless and performed all manner of dangerous missions under fire, including spotting for field artillery and using universal carriers to move ammunition and wounded men. He was with the CO of the Black Watch, Lieutenant Colonel Cantlie, when he was killed just prior to the disastrous Verrieres Ridge attack on 25 July 1944. In August 1944 he was promoted to major, and in October was severely wounded during the fighting to open a path onto the South Beveland Peninsula. During a fierce German counter-attack, Tennant was hit by 20mm gunfire as he mounted the steps of a church. The CO, Lieutenant Colonel MacLauchlan, was moved tears on news of his injuries and proclaimed “There goes a stout fellow! Worth three men to us.”

Tennant was wounded a total of three times during the war, and the wounds suffered that day were serious enough to have him hospitalized for several months. In 1945, after being informed he would be sent home, he convinced the medical authorities to allow him to rejoin the Highlanders, and he commanded “D” Company in the absence of George Stott, who was on leave, during the action at Doetinchem and later at Groningen. Company rolls have him commanding “B” Company in June 1945 after George Stott returned to “D” Company. In addition to his wounds, he had been Mentioned in Despatches three times.

After the war, he remained with The Calgary Highlanders, serving as the Training Officer and in 1948, he became Second in Command of the Regiment. In June 1950, Tennant married Joyce Jalland, a marriage that would endure until Tennant’s death. He commanded the battalion from 1953 to 1956, and retired from the military in 1962. In civil life, he had founded the North Hill Auto Body Works, and he served as an Alderman for the City of Calgary for twelve years.

On July 13, 1977, he was appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of The Calgary Highlanders, and held that post until 1981. In June 1981 was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. As a measure of thanks on the fiftieth anniversary of Holland’s liberations, the City of Doetincham named a park “Mark Tennant Plantsoen – A Canadian Liberator” in his Honour in May 1995.

Lieutenant Colonel Tennant’s last public act as a Calgary Highlander was to lay the wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, proudly wearing his Regimental Glengarry headdress.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tennant, CM, ED, CD was buried with full military honours, his casket borne by serving non-commissioned officers of the Regiment he served faithfully, and draped with the Union Jack by special request.

Lieutenant-Colonel HO Wagg, CD

1970-1976

H. Ovas Wagg was born on 6 January 1929 in Ravenna, Ontario. He was educated at Queens University in Toronto and became a Doctor of Medicine as well as Master of Surgery. In 1959 he joined the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, and specialized in Gynecology until his retirement.

His military career began in 1950 when he joined the Queens University Contingent (COTC), and on 1 October 1952 went to 1 Field Ambulance of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.

His postings included 110th Manning Depot in Calgary (1 July 1954), 16th Medical Company RCAMC (1 July 1955) and Regimental Medical Officer to the Essex and Kent Scottish from 1 January 1957 to 1 September 1960, when he joined The Calgary Highlanders.

He was appointed company commander and later Deputy Commanding Officer. On 12 January 1962 he assumed command of the regiment with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, serving until 31 December 1966. In civilian life, he maintained his medical practice, and on 1 January 1970 assumed the duties of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of The Calgary Highlanders, serving in that capacity until 1 January 1975. He also continued to hold an active rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the Southern Alberta Militia District, serving from 1 January 1973 to 30 June 1973 with the headquarters of that formation, before promotion to Colonel and assuming command of the District, serving from 1 July 1973 to 15 August 1975. He was then promoted to Brigadier General and commanded Prairie Militia Area from 1 July 1975 to 15 August 1978.

Brigadier General Wagg was also a member of the Order of St. John, eventually being made a Knight of Justice. He had three daughters and a son with his wife Joan Foreman, and Doctor Wagg retired from his medical practice on 1 November 1996, moving to Collingwood, Ontario.

Lieutenant-Colonel SC Nickle, Sr.

1964-1970

Samuel Clarence Nickle was born in November 1889, the son of a Philadelphia shoemaker. After moving to Canada with his family, he married G Olga Simonson in Winnipeg in 1912 and produced two sons and two daughters. His son Sam later became Honorary Colonel of the Calgary Highlanders.

The Nickle family moved to Calgary in 1917, and Sam Sr. entered the oil business in 1924 while maintaining a family shoe business. Unfortunately, both ventures were failures and Nickle sold pea soup to eke out a living, and he continued with business ventures in the oil industry until 1944 when his fortunes finally changed.

Becoming well established at last, he turned to philanthropy, and made substantial gifts to the University of Calgary over the years. He became a widower in 1966, and remarried, to wife Althea Catherine, in 1967. He was appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in 1964 and later as Honorary Colonel in 1970.

Lieutenant-Colonel FH Johnson, MC

1961-1963

A scene from 1961; Colonel Fred Johnson talks to a factory representative (at left) and Harry Critchley, in the boardroom of the Motor Car Supply Company.

Fredrick Hope Johnson was born 20 October 1898 in Dublin, Ireland. During World War I, he served with the Irish Company, 6th Battalion, Black Watch, part of the famous 51st Highland Division of the British Army. He was commissioned in 1917 and won the Military Cross in 1918. He also served as a battalion second in command in Palestine.

Emigrating to Canada after the war, he joined the Militia in Calgary and served with the Calgary Regiment as a Captain, and later on staff with 3rd Infantry Brigade. He was credit manager for the Motor Car Supply Company in Calgary, and in 1939 was selected by J. Fred Scott to become second in command of the First Battalion, Calgary Highlanders. He was known as “The Black Douglas” within the Regiment, and was invalided back to Canada in 1941. He served as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel from 1961 to 1963 and passed away on 9 April 1978

Lieutenant-Colonel EL Harvie, OC, CD, QC

1948-1949

Eric Lafferty Harvie was born in Orillia, Ontario on 2 April 1893. He spent a happy and busy childhood there before moving to Calgary in 1905, and he entered law school in 1911. He continued his studies after the outbreak of war, though he enlisted in the 15th Alberta Light Horse in October 1914 and graduated law school in 1915. He was transferred to the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) and went to the 56th Battalion, CEF in March 1916. By June 1916 he was a Lieutenant with the 49th (Edmonton) Battalion. On 8 October 1916 he was wounded at Ancre Heights, and though he recovered, was sent to Barrie, Ontario on sick leave in February 1917. In August he was training with the Royal Flying Corps in Barrie, and later moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and eventually ended the war serving as a Captain in the 49th Battalion.

Harvie married Dorothy Jean Southam (of the famous newspaper family) and had one daughter and two sons. He became a successful lawyer and businessman, working as a corporate lawyer into his early fifties and amassing wealth in the oil business.

In civic life, Harvie was instrumental in the development of the Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park, the Devonian Gardens, the Calgary bicycle path system, and was a patron of the Banff Centre of the Performing Arts. He was also involved with the raising of the statues of Robert the Bruce at the Jubilee Auditorium and that of General Wolfe at the Planetarium (now the Calgary Science Centre). His greatest passion was for collecting, and he had no specific field of interest – his wide ranging interests led to the creation of the Glenbow Museum and its supporting foundation. The museum itself was named after his ranch near Cochrane, Alberta.

Mr. Harvie became interested in The Calgary Highlanders following the Second World War, being appointed Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in 1948 and later as Honorary Colonel in 1950.

Lieutenant-Colonel JH Woods, CMG

1922-1941

James Hossack Woods was born in Quebec City on 12 July 1867 and was educated in Quebec and later McGill University. After completing his studies at the University of Manitoba, he joined the Toronto Mail and Empire in 1893 as a newspaper reporter, first as House of Commons parliamentary reporter and later rising to City Editor. He moved on to work for the Montreal Herald as news editor and later became business manager for The Toronto News. On 21 March 1907, he came to the Calgary Herald as managing director, and negotiated the purchase of the paper by the Southam family of Hamilton, Ontario. He ran the newspaper for 28 years. During the First World War, he was deeply involved in many related projects, such as chairing the provincial branch of the Belgian Relief Committee, assisting the Victory Loan campaign, and visiting war related destinations such as the front line in France and Flanders as well as munitions factories and the Royal Navy anchorage at Scapa Flow. He managed the founding of several press organizations, and traveled extensively after the War.

Colonel James H. Woods inspecting Calgary Highlanders at Mewata Stadium, Calgary, Alberta, on March 29, 1940. Glenbow Archives PA-3831-2

In 1922, he became the first Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Calgary Highlanders; he was thereafter nicknamed “Colonel” at the Calgary Herald. Civic projects also interested him, and he was involved in the creation of the cenotaph at Central Park in Calgary. He retired from the newspaper in 1935, and intensified his involvement in the Boy Scouts movement after meeting Mr. and Mrs. Baden Powell. At the outbreak of World War Two, he once again became a war loans organizer. JH Woods passed away on 20 May 1941.

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