BRODIE, Henry (Harry) Band, BGen (Ret’d), MBE, CD, KSt.J, RCASC
Harry, age 97, passed away 7 October 2016 in Toronto. He was born 25 September 1919 in Paisley, Scotland. He was predeceased by his wife Flora of 66 years and is survived by his daughters Stephanie, Alison and Jocelyn and grandchildren Lila, Devon and William. He insisted that it was easier to get an army across Europe than his three girls to church on time on Sunday.
Harry’s family immigrated to Canada in 1926 and settled in Hamilton. Harry was a good student but an ‘All Star’ in sports – basketball, football, baseball, and track. He always told us that his brains were in his feet. Not surprising, he was also an excellent dancer. Competitive sports were constants in his life. Still playing golf in his 90s, the one thing he could not master was his short game.
Harry loved life. Always upbeat, he believed self-confidence and hard work could move mountains. His never-say-never attitude, determination, and competitive spirit were something he was born with. Newly arrived in Canada and not able to skate, seven year old Harry entered a race at the local rink. When the starter’s whistle blew, he ran in his skates to victory. If he had doubts he hid them. With Harry, everything was always ‘tickety- boo’.
He enlisted in 1940, joining the RCASC 1st Canadian Division. He shipped out to England in 1941 and joined the Normandy invasion with the second wave of Canadians. WWII took him through France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He was mentioned in dispatches. It was in Brussels in 1945 that he met and fell in love with his life partner, a CWAC, Sergeant Flora Shaddock. They married in England in May 1946.
Harry ‘stayed on’ after the war. Over 33 years as a soldier he rose from 2nd Lieutenant to Brigadier General. He moved his family many times, was a true and loving partner in marriage, helped raise three daughters, rescued many cats (including one at gun point in Ottawa during the FLQ crisis), and had an interesting career. Highlights included service in WWII and Korea, an exchange with the British Army of the Rhine in Germany, and appointments as the Commandant and Head of the Army Service Corp. School, Director General of Canadian Forces Transportation, and Canada’s Military Attaché to the US. According to those he served with, he was a ‘role model, mentor and great leader’. He was a soldier’s soldier.
Harry and Flora retired to Vancouver where they enjoyed life and built many friendships – particularly at Shaughnessy Golf Club. He ran a successful small business and was an active Board member with St. John Ambulance and Cheshire House. He donated a kidney to his daughter at age 60 because he was determined to do everything he could to ensure all his daughters enjoyed full lives. Harry and Flora moved to Toronto in 2008 to be closer to ‘the girls’.
Harry dedicated his life to his family, his country, and community. He was a kind and generous, gentle gentleman who made everyone he touched feel special. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life will take place in January. If you wish to make a donation in his memory, the family suggests The Comfort Fund, Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, St. Johns Ambulance, or a charity of your choice.