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Tuesday May 7, 2013

Frederick Burbidge
30 September 1918 - 3 May 2013

The family of Frederick Stewart Burbidge announces the passing of Frederick in his 95th year at Knowlton House, Knowlton, Quebec on Friday May 3, 2013. He was born in Winnipeg, the second son of Frederick Maxwell Burbidge and Susan Mary (Stewart) Burbidge. His brother, George Wheelock Burbidge, died in 1943. Frederick was educated at Grosvenor Public School and Ravenscourt School and then attended the University of Manitoba, where he earned a BA in the spring of 1939. He entered the Manitoba Law School in September 1939 and studied there until enlisting in the R. C.N. V.R. in June 1941. After training at H.M. C.S. Royal Roads, Esquimalt, he served at H.M. C.S. Kings, Halifax, a navy training school, and then overseas on H.M. C.S. Huron and later H.M. C.S. Victoriaville on the Atlantic run. He was discharged in September 1945 and returned to the Manitoba Law School, completing his law degree in the spring of 1947. The same year he joined Canadian Pacific Railway Company's law department in Winnipeg as assistant solicitor. In 1950, the CPR appointed him to the law department in Montreal. He rose to position of Assistant General Counsel and then moved to the marketing department in 1960. He held a number of positions in the marketing and operations department and for a time was the executive assistant to then chairman N. R. (Buck) Crump. In 1971 he became the Senior Executive Officer of the railway and in 1972, President of Canadian Pacific Limited. In 1981, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific Limited, retiring as Chairman in 1986. During his time as CEO, a new nine mile long tunnel was constructed in Rogers Pass, greatly increasing the capacity on the railway to move coal from B. C. and wheat from the Prairies to the West Coast. In addition, the charter of Canadian Pacific Limited was changed from that of a purely statutory railway company to that of a standard business corporation. He was a director of several Canadian Pacific subsidiary companies and served on the boards of the Bank of Montreal, C.I.L. He was a member of the Mount Royal Club and St. James Club in Montreal. In June 1986 he was named Officer of the Order of Canada. All of his life, he was an active participant in community activities, serving on the South Shore Protestant School board for a number of years. For many years, he worked as a volunteer at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, serving as the chairman of the hospital board for eight years, and on the advisory board of the Institute for many years. He was a faithful Anglican all his life, and complained that as he got older and knew all the answers, no one asked him the questions. He was known for his attachment to The Wall Street Journal, which his wife of 70 years once dubbed the 'The Walled Street Journal'. He loved his wife. He loved his two boys, he loved his daughters-in law and he loved all his grandchildren. He knew that he had had a wonderful life for which he was very grateful. Frederick married Cynthia Adams Bennest in Winnipeg 27th of April, 1942, who died in Knowlton House February 22nd this year. Frederick and Cynthia will be missed by their sons John and George, daughters-in- law, Heather (née Pippy) and Jenifer (née Lind), a niece Judy Harmon (née Counsell), six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. The family would like to thank our friends in Quebec who helped them live in their own home in Frelighsburg until late December 2012, and then the staffs at the Brome Mississquoi Perkins Hospital in Cowansville and Knowlton House who were of great comfort in their final months. Frederick and Cynthia will be buried in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. A memorial service for Cynthia was held at Grace Church, Sutton, Quebec, on Saturday March 30th. There will be a memorial service for Frederick at Grace Church Saturday May 11th at 2:00.

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