Doug Ordinal Biography

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Doug Ordinal
It is with sadness that we note the passing of long time supporter and loyal member Doug Ordinal during the night of Aug 6, 2000. Below is Doug’s obituary from the Chronicle Herald.

ORDINAL, Robert Douglas “Doug”

ORDINAL, Robert Douglas “Doug” – 81, Dartmouth, died August 6, 2000, in the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Palliative Care Unit. Born in Kamsack, Sask., he was a son of Maximillian and Mary (Roberts) Ordinal. Raised and educated near Pelly, Sask., he was a veteran of the Second World War. Serving in Canada, Great Britain, Africa and Continental Europe, wherever duty called. He re-enlisted in the late 1940’s and served with the RCEME for several years. A former resident of Wellington, he owned and operated an auto-repair shop until fully retired. He was an active member of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum for many years, helping to restore aged aircraft’s, arranging transportation for parts and pieces, and was indeed the “great procurer”. He enjoyed his time with his radio control model flying club, the Atlantic Society of R.C. Modelers, where he built aircraft’s and instructed beginners. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie (Lister) Dundas, Dartmouth; daughter, Sandra (Bill) Stewart, Shelburne; son, Robert, London, Ont.; five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Isa (Simms); several brothers and sisters. Visitation will be 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, August 9, Thursday from 10-2 p.m., funeral service Thursday 2 p.m., both in Atlantic Funeral Home, 125 Memory Gardens. A reception to follow in the funeral home. Family flowers only. Donations may be made to the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Halifax International Airport.

Aviation Museum Looses a Friend
By Gary Porter

As the flags of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum were lowered to half mast Monday, the weather seemed fitting. The grey misty day, appropriately marked the passing of Doug Ordinal last Sunday night. Ordinal, known as the “Chief Scrounger” of the museum, worked tirelessly to promote the cause of aviation history.

“His presence is in the very walls of this place,” says curator Reg Clarke. “You could count on Doug to conjure the imagination of children and oldsters with stories of dog fights and triumphs against insurmountable odds and the visitors loved talking with him.”

Jim Johnson, president of Cougar Helicopters, points out that it was Ordinal’s infectious excitement about aviation history that eventually landed him on the Board of Directors for the museum, located next to the Halifax International Airport.

“He had the tenacity of a pit bull but the good nature of a retriever. He brought me back to the reasons why I got involved in the aviation industry in the first place,” Johnson says.

“This museum owes a lot of its existence to Doug Ordinal,” says Dave McMahon, president of the museum. McMahon explains that the museum is totally volunteer run and dependant on donations. “Everyone involved in the museum has a Doug story and with his passing on, we’ll pick up his projects and continue to work to keep his legacy alive. It just may take three or four people to keep on where Doug left off.”

Marcel Olsen, a volunteer and head of the Sabre fighter jet restoration team, talks about his impression of how Ordinal affected the museum and its exhibits. “The overpowering thing about this place is its personality. After a few weeks here I began to realize that this museum wasn’t about sheet metal and rivets, it’s about people. Doug never wanted us to loose sight of that,” he says.

But Ordinal was more than one of Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum’s ringmasters. “People in the aviation industry had respect for Doug. You could beat your head against a wall for days trying to find the right person to ask for a part or a tool. Old Doug would simply walk in to a place, tell someone who he was, what he wanted and hand them an empty box,” Says Don Hurtle, head of the Canso flying boat restoration team. Hurtle chuckles as he remembers Ordinal. “And sure enough, out he’d walk with the box full. I don’t know how we’ll fill those boots.”

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