Keep moving or you'll stop!
CHRIS MACLEAN
© 2013 FrontLine Defence (Vol 10, No 6)

My grandfather, Lyall Gow, was a proud Cameron Highlander of Scottish descent. At his 101st birthday party (August 2013), even though he was living with prostate cancer, he showed minimal signs of slowing down. He joked that his walker had become the bane of his existence, but he meant it. He hated not being able to “get about” quickly, and being dependent on others for transportation. However, he would never admit that the real reason he needed the walker now was due to the hard landing he made when he did his first tandem jump – a few weeks before his 96th birthday! Nonetheless, it was most certainly one of his most favourite recent experiences.


Instructor Deb Lovegrove (centre) helped arrange the day as Lyall Gow and his eldest great grandson Karch MacLean suit up for their first-ever tandem jumps.

As all of his generation, he worked hard: first as the oldest of 12 siblings on an Ottawa Valley farm, then at his job at the Canadian Bank Note Company, and eventually on the cattle farm he bought as soon as he “retired”. He sold the farm when he was about 82, and was quickly offered a job tending bar at the Kanata Legion Hall (where they subsequently dedicated the patio in his name). He travelled by bus back and forth from the Britannia area. “You have to keep moving or you’ll stop!” he would laugh.

I have inherited his love of travel, and it will take me a while to catch up to the number of places he ­visited. Among his very favourites were the many Alaskan cruises he participated in. Coincidentally, increasing tourism and transit in the North is a recurring topic in FrontLine, including this edition. Grandpa was very proud to have helped out financially when I started this magazine, and especially loved reading the articles on the Canadian Rangers in the North.

He is now one of those bright stars in the night sky, and I will always remember to “keep moving.”

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Chris MacLean is Editor-in-Chief of FrontLine Defence Magazine
© FrontLine Magazines 2013

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