Eric (C.E.B.) McConachie 1927-2012 R.I.P.

Written by  //  June 8, 2012  //  Absent Friends, People Meta, Wednesday Nights  //  2 Comments


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McCONACHIE, Charles Eric Bruce
Born in Edmonton on April 8, 1927 to Grant and Elizabeth McConachie, Eric passed away peacefully on May 24th, 2012, at the age of 85, in Chateauguay, Quebec. Dedicated husband to Barbara (nee Gunderson) who predeceased him in 2006, beloved father to Lynn (Gilles Doiron, EdD.), Jane McConachie and Bruce (Elizabeth LePoidevin), and loving grandfather to Marc, Jessica, Isaac, Danielle, Michelle and Cassandra, Eric spent the remaining years of his life with his dearest companion Iris Glenn, who sadly passed away two months earlier. Eric will be fondly remembered for his enthusiasm towards life, eternal optimism and entrepreneurial spirit. A memorial celebrating Eric’s life will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, during the summer. To send your condolences or for further information about the memorial, please write to:
Published in The Gazette on June 8, 2012

8 June 2012
Dear David,
I am Eric’s daughter Lynn and I’m just writing to let you know that dad passed away on May 24th in Chateauguay.
I know you were a friend of dad’s and that he thoroughly enjoyed attending your soirees….
I am attaching his obituary. It will be inserted into the Gazette for either Thurs. or Friday’s edition; however, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind advising some of the other soiree attendees, who might have known dad, about his passing…
Thank you and warmest regards,
Lynn & Gilles Doiron
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dear Lynn,
Thank you so very much for letting us know of Eric’s death. He was a dear friend with an extraordinary mind, and the sad news brought many memories flooding back. How lucky we were to have known him, and, in my case, to have worked with him.
One of my favorite memories is of a last-minute call from Eric to ask if David would ‘lend me out’ for a formal event that was a fund-raiser for the United Nations Association. Bombardier had bought a table and Eric was the presiding senior representative; your mother did not want to go as the other people at the table were predominantly unilingual francophone. Eric thought it best to travel by taxi, so he ordered one to pick him up at the house in TMR. As he emerged from the house, looking very spiffy in his black tie, your mother waved him off cheerily. He arrived at our house to collect me where David waved me off, equally cheerily. The driver was totally bemused. He obviously thought that we belonged to some swinging spouse-swapping group. We had a great chuckle about that and enjoyed a lovely evening.
We hope that he is in a happier place, where there is no pain, no ailments, and lots of scope for his creative genius. I envisage his spirit encouraging young aviation pioneers to think BIG and overcome the barriers of red tape. How we loved the long conversations with him about aviation and many other matters. And, above all, we will always remember the early development work he did on what became the Skyhook JHL-40*.
He was such a welcome guest at Wednesday Night and we were absolutely delighted that the photograph that accompanies the obituary was taken in our home (he is standing in front of the picture of the Getrude L. Thébaud, the schooner that my father’s cousin built to race against the Bluenose).
We send you all our deepest sympathy. He loved you very much and took great delight in telling his friends of all your doings.
Diana Nicholson

* Skyhook JHL-40

2 Comments on "Eric (C.E.B.) McConachie 1927-2012 R.I.P."

  1. Tony Shine June 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm ·

    To Diana and David, as mutual friends, and to Eric’s family.
    It is always sad to lose someone who was an important player in a chapter of one’s life. It is particularly sad when that chapter gets relegated to the archives of one’s own life.
    Eric played a special role in my own game board of career adventures. Eric was in aerospace and I, for a while was in airports. He was a pro; I was an amateur. He was almost like royalty with his relationship to Canadian aviation history. I was a parvenu as a member of a consortium that had landed what , we truly and naively, thought was an historic contract to manage the implementation of the momentous Mirabel airport. We thought that with the Airports for Export program of the then Canadian government, we, in our consortium, would win the favour of nations galore around the world and we would proceed to plan and design and supervise airports all around the world in countries that then, in the 70’s and 80’s, thought that Canada was the upcoming source of everything wonderful. Eric McConachie shared that belief. Our group , bravely known as CAIM, which stood for Les Consultants en Aéroports Internationaux de Montréal, was a consortium of the engineering firms, SNC and BBL, and ourselves as architects and planners, Bland LeMoyne Shine & Victor Prus.
    Lo and behold, we started winning international contracts after hustling and bustling around the world. Together, Eric’s gang and my buddies, we undertook a variety of projects together in Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Madeira, Lagos ( ? ) and ,of course, we went travelling all over the place with the Airports for Export guys promoting Canadian goods and services. And we attended international conferences. Ah, those were the days. I was close to Eric for a period then and I respected him and enjoyed his company. We ate and drank together…and our wives joined in, both in Montreal and overseas on special occasions.
    And then the bubble burst ,,, and we all know the story. Mirabel no longer had the reputation that its name was meant to conjure up. And it was a sad reflection of what that chapter represented in Canadian history.
    So I look back on that chapter of my life and I think of my good times with very special colleagues and Eric McConachie played a memorable role in my own saga. Thanks, Eric. I remember them fondly.
    My salutations to his surviving family members and to his colleagues and friends. Tony Shine.

  2. Bill Casselman May 11, 2021 at 6:29 pm ·

    I was hired by Eric Nov.22,1965.This was the beginning of the CL215 program at Canadair. And from my experience with forest fire bombing. He put me to work in the sales engineering department.He
    was one of the best I,v ever worked for. I stayed at Canadair four years in that stretch. I later flew
    for twenty years with Canadair /Bombardier flight Ops. ending up on the RJ. Its A late but sincere tribute to Eric,s proffesioalism during the early days and leading to the CRJ launch.
    Bill Casselman

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