Category Archives: Obituaries

John Hay Carter (NT Staff, ’85–’01)

“Organized, creative and totally dedicated to his students” – words used to describe NT’s John Carter. A teacher of math and computer science, John came to North Toronto via Harbord CI and Parkdale CI. He also spent two years with CUSO in Ghana. During his years at NT, he coached the badminton team, but it was his dedication to the classroom that led to a huge “fan club” of past students who kept in touch with him. His attention to detail came to light when he threw himself into the task of designing the Math Office when it was moved from the “closet” at the the end of the math wing to the room that had been the Ladies’ Staffroom! He was also a leader in computer science education during the 90s and authored several computer science textbooks and higher-level mathematics textbooks.

After John took early retirement from the TDSB, he spent several years as a lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and most recently was the Dean’s representative on academic offences. However, he always maintained contact with NT as he took on the task of keeping his fellow NT retirees informed about what was happening, and he did a great job organizing lunches for retired staff.

John passed away on Monday, October 9, 2017, at the age of 76 at the Toronto Western Hospital, leaving behind his wife, Laryssa, their two children and two grandchildren along with his brothers, nieces, a nephew and many friends. He will be greatly missed.

Gordon Stanley Davies  (’53) (1933-2017)

Born in 1933, Gordon lived a rich and full life. He attended North Toronto in the glory days of Jack Dow and played violin in the school’s fledgling music program, although science ultimately proved to be his passion. After completing his PhD in marine biology at the University of California, he returned to Canada and accepted a position at the University of Waterloo in Canada’s first Environmental Faculty. He played a significant role in preparing Canada’s first Environmental Assessment Process, worked with Thomas Berger on the McKenzie Valley Pipeline inquiry and headed up Kenya’s Wildlife Planning Unit, which was responsible for establishing new national parks in that county.

Gordon had two sons – Erik (born in Nigeria) and Ben (born in Vancouver) – with his first wife, Anita D’Aoust. In 1989, Gordon suffered a life-altering stroke but, although partially paralyzed, continued to teach, work and travel. In 1996, he attended the Maytime Melodies 50th anniversary concert at Roy Thompson Hall and reconnected with Kay Smythe (née Charles, also ’53) – his first girlfriend at NT! – whom he had not seen since graduating. Kay and Gordon were married in Muskoka at a ceremony enhanced by a stirring rendition of John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” which had been performed at the 50th Maytime Melodies concert.

In living with a stroke-related disability, Gordon realized that there were no books written from the perspective of survivors. He took on the challenge of filling this void by interviewing other stoke survivors. Using a single finger to type, he documented their stories and his in What’s Your Handicap? A Guide to Stroke Recovery, published in 2014.

Known for his gentle humour and quiet wisdom, Gordon passed away peacefully on June 9, 2017, with his wife, sons and stepson at his side.

NTCI Music Department & Foundation at Elvino Sauro Celebration

On September 30th, a celebration was held at the Toronto Skating, Curling and Cricket Club to remember the life of Elvino Sauro, who graduated from North Toronto Collegiate in 1952. Ron Wakelin, chair of the NT Foundation, spoke of Elvino’s involvement and the love he held for his high school. North Toronto was such an important part of Elvino’s life, and he always remembered a loan he received as a student to buy a trumpet and take music lessons.

In the past few years, he showed his gratitude by giving very generous endowments to our music program through the Foundation. After the speeches, 16 NT students, led by music teacher Liz Monteith, played some themes from movies. This was a fitting tribute to a man for whom film had been a lifelong love. After their performance the band played the school song, and over half of those in attendance rose to join in.

One interesting fact that emerged among the many tributes to Elvino was that he had a keen interest in gardening and planted a vegetable garden every year for over four decades. In some ways, this may be an apt way to remember Elvino: a person who planted seeds, cultivated healthy crops and lived to enjoy the results of his efforts.

While Elvino is no longer with us in body, the seeds he has sown will continue to bear fruit for generations to come. Many have benefited from the life of Elvino.
He will not be forgotten!

Elvino Sauro (’52) (1932-2017)

With the passing of Elvino Sauro on September 8, 2017, NTCI lost a great friend and benefactor. Born on October 2, 1932, Elvino was a student at North Toronto during the days of the legendary Jack Dow. A loan from the school enabled Elvino, a talented and enthusiastic trumpet player, to buy a trumpet and take private lessons. He took a part-time job at Dominion bagging groceries to pay it off, but he never forgot the generous gesture.

After graduating from NT, Elvino pursued film, his other passion, by enrolling in the radio and television arts program at Ryerson. On Saturday nights during the winter and spring, he also played quite regularly in the dance band at Balmy Beach Canoe Club and jobbed around with various non-union bands. He also performed with the Ryerson marching band and at some football games with the University of Toronto Band. After graduating from Ryerson, he played in a dance band at Clevelands House in Muskoka then worked as a TV producer in Sault Ste. Marie.

A variety of media-related positions in various locales followed until 1964, when he dropped in to see Ryerson’s Direction of Extension Programs (now Continuing Education) to see if there were any films courses in the calendar. As it turned out, they were short an instructor, and Elvino was hired! By his own admission, he had a knack for explaining things to people, so it was no surprise that by the 1968–69 academic year, he was teaching a full daytime course load at Ryerson and was hired full time the following fall. He never looked back, and by the time he retired in 1998, Elvino was director of the film studies program. His memory will live on at Ryerson, as he established the Elvino Sauro Film Award, granted annually to a fourth-year film studies student.

In his retirement years, Elvino demonstrated his commitment to lifelong learning as he pursued a wide variety of continuing education courses. He even bought a trumpet and started playing again in order to be part of NT’s Memories Forever 100th anniversary alumni concert at Roy Thompson Hall in 2012. Always generous, he also funded the medley and the concert program for this special event. This was in addition to his generous donation to the Heritage Court during the building of the new school and his volunteer work to digitize audio and visual records from NT’s archives.

Elvino’s ongoing financial support of NT’s Music Department led to the establishment of the Elvino Sauro Music Award in the 2013–14 academic year. In keeping with his own experience, the award helps financially needy but promising music students in grades 9, 10 and 11 pay for private lessons, music camps and other music enrichment

He leaves behind his wife, Linda, and extended family, including many nieces and nephews. In keeping with his wishes, a celebration of life for family, friends and colleagues is being held at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club on Saturday September 30th from 2–4:30 p.m. Elvino’s enthusiasm and inspirational outlook on life will be greatly missed, but his generosity and commitment to giving back will continue to benefit students at both NTCI and Ryerson University.

Alan Ogilvie (’55) (1936-2017)

Alan Ogilvie, one of the key organizers of NTCI’s 75th Anniversary, passed away in Collingwood on July 4, 2017, after a short illness. He was born in Toronto in 1936, and his interest in music – an interest that continued all his life – blossomed at NT, where he played the cello in the school’s fledgling music program.

After graduating from NT, Alan studied engineering at the University of (Class of ’59). He then founded and ran Ogilvie Consultants Limited for 35 years until his retirement. Alan was a man of many interests, an avid sailor and skier who travelled extensively to participate in sailing competitions and to search out “good powder”!A kind and gentle person, he possessed a great sense of volunteerism – as evidenced in his work with many arts organizations including NTCI, the Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra (in which he was also a performing member) and other groups. He also passed his love of music on to his sons, Andrew and Cameron, both of whom also graduated from NTCI.

A celebration of Alan’s life was held on Saturday, July 15th in Collingwood, followed by a reception at the Toronto Ski Club. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Diane, his two sons, three grandchildren, and two sisters as well as all who had the privilege of knowing him.