Leslie Earl (Les) Shaw 1927 - 2007 Beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Leslie Earl (Les) Shaw, passed away peacefully at his residence in Barbados on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at the age of 79 years. Les will be dearly missed by his wife of 56 years, Lois Shaw; his three children Dianne Shaw (Vladek Zagala), Virginia Shaw (Les Hutchison) and Alan Shaw; five granddaughters Dawn (Mark Santone), Stephanie (Cameron Carfagnini), Carolyn, Tanya and Nicola; two great grandchildren Maximus and Mya; his sisters Bertha Shaw and Dolly MacDonald and his brother JR Shaw (Carol). Les was predeceased by his parents Francis Shaw and Lottie Shaw. Les will also be sadly missed by the many friends, colleagues and employees who benefited from his guidance, inspiration and vision throughout his life. Les was born on November 14, 1927 in Brigden, Ontario, the eldest son of Francis and Lottie Shaw, a hard working couple whose vision was an inspiration to Les. At the age of 23, Les joined the Shaw Family Group of Companies and was employed by them throughout his career. An early predecessor of the Shaw Companies was a general construction business established in the late 1930's in Sarnia, Ontario by Les Shaw's father, Francis. In the late 1940's, at about the time Les joined the family business, the expansion of the petroleum and chemical industries in southwestern Ontario provided an opportunity to expand the construction business to include pipeline contracting. In the early 1950's the family saw the advantages of precoating pipe before shipment to the pipeline job site and opened temporary coating yards that later led to permanent coating facilities being established in Toronto and Hamilton. During the expansion years in the 1950's, the company experimented in the pipe coating and pipe protection field and in 1955 developed a pipe cleaning and coating machine that became recognized as the finest of its kind in North America. Shortly thereafter, the company established branches in several locations across Canada and Les Shaw was appointed manager of all of the coating operations. In 1958, a decision was made to specialize in the field of pipe coating and the Shaw family formed Shaw Pipe Protection Limited to operate the protective coatings business. The pipeline construction business was sold later that year. In the 1960's, predecessor companies of ShawFlex, a wire and cable business, and Canusa-CPS, a manufacturer of heat shrinkable sleeves and sealants for the pipeline industry were established. In 1968, Shaw Pipe Industries Ltd. was incorporated as a private company with Les Shaw as President and in the following year the company went public with its common shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Les was appointed as a Director of the Company in 1969 and became Chairman and CEO in 1985. In 1994, Les relinquished his executive position as CEO while continuing as Chairman, a position he held until his death. In 1980, the company changed its name to Shaw Industries Ltd. and in 2001 the company changed its name to ShawCor Ltd. to better reflect its global reach as a growth-oriented energy services company with six divisions operating from more than sixty facilities with nearly 5,000 employees that deliver technology-based products and services for pipeline and pipe services and petrochemical and industrial markets around the world. In 1996, under Les Shaw's leadership, the Company merged its pipe coating interests with Bredero Price, the pipe coating entity of Dresser Industries, Inc. forming the largest operation providing pipecoating and related services in the world. Subsequently, in 1998, Dresser Industries was acquired by Halliburton, Inc. and in 2002 ShawCor acquired that company's interest in Bredero Shaw to become the sole owner of the world's largest pipecoating business. As a young man, Les Shaw had a dream of building a world-class pipe coating operation. His entrepreneurial vision, commitment to technology and steadfast dedication allowed him to realize much more. For more than half a century, Les has led the growth and diversification of ShawCor's products and services and its expansion around the world. Along the way, Les Shaw's pioneering attitude has earned him the respect of business leaders in the oil and gas industry, while his warm and generous spirit garnered him the admiration of friends, employees and customers alike. Les also applied his values and business acumen in support of other businesses, serving on the Boards of Shaw Communications Inc., EnServ Corporation, Wix Inc. and several companies in the Woodbridge Foam Group. Les Shaw was always a creative innovator and this interest in all things mechanical found its expression both in ShawCor's focus on technology and in Les' avid interest in finding more effective ways to hide eager hunters from that ever wary bird species known as the Canada Goose. Over the years, Les' mechanical ingenuity led to the development of many unique goose decoys, hunting blinds and other related equipment that were used by employees, customers and suppliers at the company's hunting lodge in Alberta's Peace River country, one of Les' favorite places in the world. Over the years Les Shaw was a philanthropist and benefactor to many charities and other causes including The Shaw Foundation. In particular, Les believed in the benefit of a good education for all children. To this end, the family endowed the Leslie & Lois Shaw Graduate Scholarship for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, assisted in funding the construction of The Shaw Center for the Performing Arts at Les' alma mater, Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa from which he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree (LL.D.) and recently provided a substantial gift to McMaster University in support of the Athletic & Recreation Centre and Stadium Campaign. Aside from his firm belief that hard work, sound judgment and prudent risk are the ingredients of success, Les recognized that none of his success would have been possible without the basic freedoms that we all take for granted. Following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 and the ensuing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Les and Lois Shaw became concerned about the deaths of many young American and Canadian servicemen while in the service of their countries and the impact of their loss on the families back home. Beginning in 2003, as a humanitarian and not a political statement, Les arranged to make financial contributions on a no strings basis to each of over 250 surviving families of the American and Canadian servicemen that had been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The sudden passing of Les Shaw has taken all of his friends, employees and associates by surprise but we will always remember his drive and spirit and the many contributions he made to all of our lives. Visitation: Turner & Porter Funeral Home (Butler Chapel), 4933 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario Sunday January 21, 2007 and Monday January 22, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Funeral Service: Islington United Church, 25 Burnhamthorpe Road, Toronto, Ontario on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. Following the Funeral Service, a reception will be held at ShawCor Ltd., 25 Bethridge Road, Toronto, Ontario. Private interment, Moore Union Cemetery, Mooretown, Ontario. Memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario or to the Les & Lois Shaw Graduate Scholarship for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, c/o The University of Toronto, Engineering Advancement Office, Room 116, 35 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A4.
Published in National Post on Jan. 22, 2007.