COL ROBERT GORDON DOUGLAS KStJ CD May 13, 1930 - 26 February 26, 2021 Robert (Bob) Douglas, age 90 passed away peacefully on February 26, 2021. Bob married Anne (nee Booth) in 1957 and had 61 beautiful and loving years together until her passing in 2019. Bob is survived by his three children, Cameron (Debra Meilleur), Katherine and Robert Gray (Ellen O'Doherty); grandchildren, Jessica (Richard Cunha), Kasandra (Daniel Ellsmere) and Jillian; as well as four great-grandchildren, Anthony, Caleb, Cole and Franklin. Bob grew up during the Depression Years on Brookdale Avenue in North Toronto. Both loving parents, Robert Trobe Douglas and Dorothy May Worrall, were immigrants from the UK. Bob was predeceased by his older brother Edward (Deanna) of Prince Edward County and a younger sister Isabel and is survived by his sister Dorothy (Ken Wright) of California. Bob was very proud of his father's service in both world wars, where while serving with a Signals Regt in France, he was wounded. Bob's interest in the military started early, and he served as the CO of the Cadet Corps at Lawrence Park Collegiate in Toronto and as a Master Cadet was chosen to attend the first Special Cadet Camp in Banff, Alberta. This led to his joining the reserves as a Sapper in the 2nd Field Engineer Regiment in Toronto, where he rose to the rank of Sgt. Bob then joined The Royal Regiment of Canada, and completed a six-month course at Camp Borden, qualifying as a Lieutenant. Bob then headed off to join the British Army on a special two-year contract. He travelled directly from Canada to Hong Kong to join The King's (Liverpool) at the Bamboo Curtain, in the New Territories. After completing a Selection Course in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, and a Parachute Course in Changi, Singapore, he joined the SAS HQ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya. The SAS were involved in deep jungle patrols against Chin Peng and his Communist Terrorists. Bob later qualified as an SAS Demolition Specialist on a course held at The Far East Engineering School, in Johor Bahru, which culminated with a night parachute drop on a mission to destroy a large enemy bridge. On returning to Canada, Bob rejoined to The Royal Regiment of Canada, and after various regimental postings rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel to command the Regiment. When his firm moved him to Montreal, he became G1 (Training) in the newly formed Sector L'Est HQ. Over the years following, Bob had the privilege of serving as both the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel and Honorary Colonel of The Royal Regt. of Canada, as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Toronto Scottish Regiment, and as Honorary Colonel of the Grey & Simcoe Foresters. His final assignment with the military was Chairman, Executive Committee of The Council of Honorary Colonels of the Canadian Army, reporting to The Army Commander. Bob was very involved in Community activities: AdeC to Lieutenant Governors' Keiller MacKay and Earle Roe Chairman, Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief (Canada), reporting directly to Wing Commander Sir Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO & Two Bars, DFC in the UK. Toronto Commander, The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem Vice Chair, Veterans Advisory Committee of the Board "Sunnybrook Hospital" Governor, Commissionaires (Great lakes) Director, The World Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (WSPA Canada) President, St. John Ambulance (Ontario) President, Fort York Branch 165, Royal Canadian Legion Member, International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association Honours and Awards: Knight, The Most Venerable Order of St. John (KStJ) Knight Commander, Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus (KCSL) British Army, General Service Medal (Malaya bar) Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) three bars Canadian Centennial Medal Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal Canadian 125th Commemorative Medal Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal Volunteer Combatant Cross (France) Gold Cross of Merit (Poland) Bob had an interest in Hiking and Mountains: Hiked across UK "Sea to Sea" and raised $20,000 for St. John Ambulance Climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa Hiked with Tenzing Norgay in Sikkim, India Hiked to Base Camp Mount Everest. Nepal Climbed many times in the Matterhorn area, Switzerland Loved his view in New Hampshire at the family cottage looking at Mt. Washington. Former Clubs: Royal Canadian Military Institute Granite Club Toronto Club Barrie Country Club After 23 enjoyable and fulfilling years with NCR (National Cash Register), Bob became an Investment Advisor, with a career spanning 30 years through many mergers, including Merrill Lynch which he considered the most interesting. During this span, Bob attained the highest credential in the industry, becoming a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI). In May 2015 at age 85, Bob chose to retire from his position as Vice President of RBC DS. Bob and Anne spent their last years residing in Horseshoe Valley, on their country estate "Grenadierwoods", where he enjoyed tinkering with old jeeps and chain sawing trails through the 80 acres of mature trees which he enjoyed walking through with his friends and family. There will be a service once the Covid-19 circumstances allow. It was Bob's wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to St. John Ambulance, 15 Toronto St. Suite 800, Toronto, ON M5C 2E3.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Mar. 6 to Mar. 10, 2021.