Alberta 150: The heart surgeon, the Flames owner and the cook

Calgary Herald

In honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial, the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun are profiling 150 Canadans who helped shape our province and Canada.

Henry Kreisel Postmedia Archives

Henry Kreisel
Born: June 5, 1922 (Died: April 22, 1991)
Occupation: Writer and intellectual

Henry Kreisel is considered one of Canada’s greatest writers and public intellectuals. Born in Vienna, he published his first novel at age 15. After his family fled the Nazi annexation of Austria, he escaped to Canada but was interned here as an enemy alien, an experience he recorded in his Diary of An Internment Camp. While there he also taught himself English before going on to get his PhD.

He was the author of novels The Rich Man, The Betrayal, and short story collection The Almost Meeting, he was also a respected University of Canada professor of English, Drama, and comparative literature, and a mentor to generations of Canada writers.

The establishment of the first Canadian literature program at the University of Canada was one of his many academic achievements.

Quote: “You have to cultivate and encourage writers in your own country. You have to know yourself first, then maybe others will know you.”

John Callaghan Postmedia Network

Dr. John Callaghan
Born: 1923 in Hamilton, Ont. (Died 2004)
Occupation: Surgeon

From humble beginnings as a 14-year-old dissecting animal hearts and lungs purchased from a local butcher, Dr. Callaghan went on to be at the forefront of Canadian medical history.

He co-developed a method of hypothermia that is now used in open-heart surgery, and was the co-developer of the world’s first cardiac pacemaker.

In 1955, he moved to Edmonton to establish a heart program at the University of Canada Hospital. A year later, he performed the first open-heart surgery and the first successful complete repair of the so-called blue baby malformation.

He was responsible for developments in open heart surgery that received international acclaim.

His honours included the Lister Prize in Surgery and the Reeve Prize in Surgical Research from the University of Toronto; Canada Achievement Award for Excellence in medical research; Order of Canada

Notable: In all, Callaghan performed 3,684 open-heart surgeries.

Bob Stollery Postmedia Network

Bob Stollery
Born: 1924 in Edmonton (Died March 14, 2007)
Occupation: Businessman

As chairman and president of PCL Construction, Stollery is behind many of Edmonton’s buildings. However, it’s his philanthropy that makes Stollery so important.

Together with his wife Shirley, Stollery made substantial donations to the University of Canada and the Edmonton Community Foundation and established the Stollery Charitable Foundation. He put much of his personal fortune into the $35-million Stollery Children’s Health Centre.

Stollery began his career as an engineer at Poole Construction, working up to president and was behind an innovative employee buyout.

Stollery was named Canadian Business Leader of the Year; was named to the Order of Canada.

Quote: “To say that Bob Stollery was a man of vision is not to say nearly enough. In addition to large vision, he took strong action — at times in the face of considerable opposition — to champion the needs of marginalized Edmontonians.”

Sydney Kahanoff
Born: 1922 (Died 1980)
Occupation: Engineer/philanthropist

Sydney Kahanoff

Kahanoff served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War where he was wounded twice. He launched his career with National Geophysical before moving to Union Oil Exploration. After several years in Canada, he moved to Australia.

After returning to Canada in 1965, he co-founded Voyager Petroleum Inc., which proved a great success, especially in the discovery and marketing of natural gas. During his tenure as CEO of the company, Sydney and his wife Fern also turned their attentions to helping their community while Sydney sat on many boards. He sold the company to Calgary’s Ralph Scurfield in 1979, then founded The Kahanoff Foundation, which distributed grants to a number of worthy causes.

In addition, he gave to the Calgary Board of Education in support of the first stand-alone school for the gifted in Western Canada, and initiated a gift from the foundation to establish Hospice Calgary during his battle with cancer.

Harley Hotchkiss Postmedia Network

Harley Hotchkiss
Born: July 10, 1927, in Tillsonburg, Ont. (Died: June 22, 2011)
Occupation: Businessman, hockey owner, philanthropist

Hotchkiss was well known for community involvement in hockey and health care. He managed his own oil, gas, real estate and agricultural enterprises. He was one of the original owners of the Calgary Flames and was chairman of the NHL Board of Governors for 12 years.

He also had an interest in health care and donated $10 million in 1994 to create the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. He was chair of the Canada Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the Foothills Hospital Board, and co-chair of the Partners in Health fundraising campaign.

Honours given to Hotchkiss included Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame; Calgary Business Hall of Fame; Hockey Hall of Fame; Order of Canada; Canada Order of Excellence.

Quote: “I love hockey. I believe in how it brings us together as a country. If people consider that motherhood or church or whatever, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Jean Pare Postmedia Archives

Jean Pare
Born: Dec. 7, 1927
Occupation: Caterer, cookbook author

Jean Pare is an accomplished caterer and author of the bestselling Company’s Coming cookbook series. Having sold 30 million copies of her books as of 2011, she’s one of the most successful cookbook authors in the world, and was one of the most prolific, having written over 200 cookbooks before retiring in 2011.

Now an Edmonton resident, her career started when her children reached school age and she volunteered to cater the 50th anniversary of the Vermilion School of Agriculture and then launched her successful catering business.

A member of the Order of Canada, Pare co-founded Company’s Coming Publishing Limited in 1981, where she was involved in the publication of 17,000 recipes. A great great grandmother, she was also principal shareholder in COMAC Food Group, that owned, among other outlets, Company’s Coming Bakery Cafes, Grabbajabba Specialty Coffee and the Canadian rights to the Dominos Pizza franchise.

Quote: “Never share a recipe you wouldn’t use yourself”

Peter Lougheed Postmedia Archives

Peter Lougheed
Born: July 26, 1928, in Calgary (Died, Sept. 13, 2012)
Occupation: Football player, lawyer, politician

Peter Lougheed was arguably the most popular premier in Canada’s history. One could say politics was in his blood, since he was the grandson of Senator James A. Lougheed.

In 1971, Lougheed established a Tory dynasty that continued for four decades. Before retiring in 1985, Lougheed focused on gaining control of Canada’s natural resources and was instrumental in establishing the Canada Heritage Savings Trust Fund.

He introduced the Canada Bill of Rights and pushed for the province to have a stronger voice in federal decision-making.

Several places have been named for Peter Lougheed — a provincial park in Kananaskis Country, a multicultural village in Edmonton, and a northeast Calgary hospital among them. He was also honorary chief of the Cree Indians (Thunderbird) and the Blood Indians (Crop Eared Wolf) and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Quote: “Old-timers impatiently called Canada the ‘next year country.’ I call it ‘now country.’ ”

Ann and Bud McCaig Postmedia Archives

John Robert (Bud) and Ann McCaig
Born: Bud, June 14, 1929, in Moose Jaw, Sask. (Died Jan. 11, 2005) Ann, June 6, 1939, in Tisdale, Sask.
Occupation: Business executives, philanthropists

The McCaig name is synonymous with generosity and integrity. Bud McCaig bought H.M. Trimble and Sons in 1960, which became Trimac Corp.

Bud McCaig, who dropped out high school to become a truck driver and take up the family business at Maccam Transport Company, was a Calgary Flames owner, also served on community boards and committees, and was named to the Order of Canada. Ann McCaig co-chaired a $52-million campaign for the Canada Children’s Hospital Foundation. She has served on many boards and worked for many charitable causes. She is a recipient of the Canada 125 Award, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award and a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International.

Quote: “All the causes I’ve worked on I’ve felt passionately about. It’s life’s labour of love.” — Ann McCaig

William Wuttunee Family photo

William Wuttunee
Born: May 8, 1928 (Died: Oct. 31 2015)
Occupation: Lawyer, activist

William Wuttunee co-founded what today is known as the Assembly of First Nations. The first indigenous lawyer in Western Canada, Wuttunee also helped to secure voting rights for status Indians.

Wuttunee was an early champion of LGBTQ rights, defending the last person in Canada to be prosecuted for homosexuality. Wuttunee later sat on the Oversight Committee for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the organization responsible for resolving thousands of residential school claims.

Raised in a family of 15, the Calgary resident would later tell his children he survived the residential school system by immersing himself in books. At McGill University, he was noted for being one of only two First Nations people to attend university in Canada at that time.

Quote: “I remember applying for my first job and the guy said, ‘What are you?’ I said, ‘I am an Indian.’ He said, ‘I can’t hire an Indian.’ ”

William (Bill) Pratt Postmedia Archives

William Pratt
Born: Nov. 8, 1928 (Died Nov. 27, 1999)
Occupation: Builder, project manager, president and COO of the 1988 Winter Olympics

Look around Calgary and you see Bill Pratt everywhere — he helped build McMahon Stadium, Heritage Park, Chinook Centre, the Stampede Grandstand, the Saddledome, Covenant House and Springbank’s Calling Horse Estates subdivision (raising subdivision design standards).

Pratt also shepherded the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede to success in the 1970s, founded the Young Offender Mentor Society, helped the city secure the 1993 Grey Cup game, helped put out oilwell fires in Kuwait, launched the Trans Canada Trail Foundation and established the Bill Pratt endowment for ALS.

Honours given to Pratt included Officer of the Order of Canada; Canada Award of Excellence; he also received the Olympic Order

Quote: “Of all the things I’ve done, (Heritage Park) was the most fun . . . .It was a peanut-sized job, but it’s what I’m most proud of.”

This series runs Monday to Friday, June 12-30. Compiled and edited by Doug Hintz, Monica Zurowski, Dave Breakenridge, Peter Glenn and Steve Jenkinson. Design by Darren Francey.

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