It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Alexander (Dal) Hall on 10 April 2019. Lovingly remembered by wife Margaret (nee Napier) and sons Bradley (Dianne Hardy) and Craig. Proud grandfather of Ryan (Jennifer), Kelly and Jamison (Asia) as well as great grandfather of Abigail and Hannah. Cherished son of the late Albert Henry Hall and the late Beatrice Hall (nee Jamison). Predeceased by brother Jamison (Nancy nee Fergusson).
Dal was born in Northern Ireland and came to Canada with his family as a young boy. He and his family settled in Toronto where his father and mother built and operated a grocery store on Eglington Avenue. By the time he graduated High School WW II had started and he enrolled in the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps while attending Year One in the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto.
In late 1942 he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and then began the rather long process of training for and achieving his Pilot’s Wings. After two years of training and domestic postings he transferred to the Canadian Army. More training followed and like his fellow candidates he volunteered for the war in the Pacific which ended before any deployment could occur.
From 1949-1962 he was a Lecturer then Assistant Professor of Forestry at U of T which included a three year stint at the (then) new Forest Ranger School in Dorset. After two years as a Manager with Kirkland Timber and Jamar Plywood in Kirkland Lake he returned briefly to Montreal then Ottawa where for the next 25 years he was the Executive Director of the Canadian Forestry Association, a national forest conservation organization. Included was a one year executive exchange as adjunct professor at University of Alberta.
Dal was very active and enjoyed forestry and the outdoors immensely, an interest fostered in his early years after arriving in Toronto and spending many hours along the Don River which at that time was wild and undeveloped. His work took him across Canada and the United States and he was comfortable on snowshoes and cross country skis.
Conservation, woodlot management, forest fire protection and education were key components of Dal’s 25 year career with the Canadian Forestry Association. He was instrumental in developing and / or implementing the Smokey Bear Program and National Forest Week and served on the Forest Fire Management Committee of the North American Forestry Association for over 20 years.
Dal was both an enthusiastic and excellent accordion and harmonica player and throughout his life he enjoyed playing, either individually or more often as part of ad hoc bands featuring these two instruments accompanied by more primitive ones such as washboards, gutbucket (wash tub base) and juice harp.
Dal and Margaret were married 2 June 1951. Their first year was spent in rather basic conditions in Dorset, Lake of Bays before moving to Toronto. During their first few years of married life Dal was often away on various Forestry jobs and projects during the summer months. They spent almost 68 wonderful years together and were blessed with many friends. As Dal wrote in his autobiography – they made a good team.
Many thanks to the Chartwell Riverpark Residence Team for their care and understanding and to Veterans Affairs Canada for their continued support.
Friends are invited to visit at the West Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 150 Woodroffe Ave. (at Richmond Road), Ottawa on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 12:30p.m. – 2:30p.m. A private family service will be held later. In lieu of flowers donations to the charity of your choice are appreciated.