Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me great honour and pleasure today to speak about our Society’s Past President (1968/1969), former Bank of Montreal Vice-Chairman (retiring in 1975) and Director (retiring in 1986), continuing Honorary Director, Officer of the Order of Canada (1983), recipient of Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun (1989), honorary Doctor of Laws at SFU (1992) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) – John Ellis.
Dr. Ellis' career at the Bank of Montreal embraced some forty years and took him to many parts of the country. From international banking to international relations, Mr. Ellis is a leader in promoting Pacific Rim trading opportunities. As Canadian Chairman and Director of the Pacific Basin Economic Council, as a founding Director and subsequently Honorary Director of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and as Chairman and Director of the Canada Development Corporation, his energy and commitment made him an exemplary agent for change in east-west business relations. He was also generous with his time and efforts on behalf of a wide variety of voluntary bodies concerned with drama, health care, Scouting, chambers of commerce and the Council for Canadian Unity. During his career, he was chair or director of 36 companies and not-for-profit organizations.
Educated at Lower Canada College, Royal Military College and McGill University, John served with distinction in the Canadian Forces from 1940 to 1945. While stationed in England, John met and married a paediatric registered nurse, Joan (Wilson), and returned to Canada with her after the war. They lived in five Canadian cities during John’s tenure with the Bank, had three children (who provided them with 10 grandchildren, and 5 (soon to be 6) great-grandchildren) and they traveled extensively throughout Canada and internationally. She was especially fond of Japan -- and especially of Kyoto -- where they made numerous visits for business and cultural reasons and made many good friends. They were married for 67 years before we lost her in 2010.
I first met John in 1984, in Kobe, on the occasion of the 6th Canada-Japan Business Conference and have been pleased an honoured to call him my friend since then.
- Russell Mark CA, Treasurer & Immediate Past President