George Mainer: Obituary


Born and raised in Winnipeg, George went to RMC in the fall of 1953. From the very start at the College it was noticeable that he was restrained in discussing his own ambitions, strong willed and determined to a degree not experienced by many, thoroughly uncoordinated physically, and a man of original (in the sense of unorthodox) thought with an unusually active mind. In a word, George was the true eccentric. The combination, unfortunately, did not treat him all that kindly throughout his life.

After unsuccessfully attempting to fly a military airplane, narrowly escaping disaster at an early stage of his career, George transferred to the infantry for the completion of his summer training sessions. After graduation in 1957, he went to Dalhousie and took law for a year to complete his degree. He was then posted to 1RCR. Over the next few years he had postings to Ipperwash, Germany, and, finally, NDHQ with the Directorate of Military Intelligence (where he probably should have been all along). At Ipperwash George injured his neck in an accident while practicing on a motorbike in order to obtain an operating license required by his CO for all subalterns. Later, in Ottawa, a fall further complicated matters. The combined effect of these two accidents dictated the rest of his life.

After leaving the Army, he attended Ryerson in Toronto and obtained a teaching certificate. At or about that time (it is not clear) he acted for a short period as an assistant to an unnamed MP from a riding in Ontario. In any event, he was soon in Sutton, Ontario to teach at a high school there. Several years later his physical condition had deteriorated to such an extent that he was obliged to cease work and accept disability insurance for his many remaining years. He moved to Toronto after he stopped teaching and lived alone in a comfortable apartment, where he died suddenly in September 2000. George never married.

George did not stay in contact with the College or his class after graduation, and little was heard of him after he left the Army in 1963. Because he was such a character, however, many reminiscences from classmates have flowed in since news of his death was received. One that sums George up best has to do with those infernal exercises on the box horse. Lacking coordination for this sort of thing, he did not do well, but his efforts to dominate the horse were something to behold. He surely hurt himself many times, but undoubtedly had the satisfaction of knowing that he hurt the horse more!

Author: 3918 A.K. Roberts
Published in Veritas magazine, Summer 2001


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