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V-E Day in Montreal

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Arthur Reynolds graduated from Bowdoin, a small liberal arts college in Brunswick, Me., and then came north to Montreal for medical school at McGill University. As the war ended and this party began outside McGill's gates, he was about to graduate and return to open a practice in Maine.

Dr. Reynolds can be seen in front of the small Union Jack, near the centre of the photograph, and already “he looks like a doctor,” says Eleanor Hammond, who knew both him and his wife, Helen, an elementary-school teacher, back then.

According to son Stephen Reynolds, “my mother earned about $17 a week, and my dad made $1 for each ambulance call.”

His father was 62 when he passed away in 1982 after a battle with cancer, but Mr. Reynolds recalls family trips to Quebec and how his parents “used to reminisce about Montreal. I think they liked it very much. They had friends who were Italian, and they would go on about the meals, so large and wonderful that you were full by the time the main course came.”

After graduation, Dr. Reynolds returned to Presque Isle, a town of about 10,000 near the New Brunswick border, to work as a surgeon and to run a pharmacy for a while. He also joined the National Guard.

His son says he liked to fly small planes and to hunt and fish. “He loved all those outdoor things,” says Mr. Reynolds, who still lives in Presque Isle and runs a craft business with his wife, Paula. “He wasn't a man of a lot of words.”

Mrs. Hammond, who now lives in Brockville, Ont., kept in touch with the couple after they left Montreal, visiting them Presque Isle with her husband.

She remembers Dr. Reynolds as “very intelligent,” and says he “had quite a distinctive face. He was sallow, very sallow. And he had the rimless glasses. He looked like a doctor. But he was an excellent doctor. Very clinical and very smart. He was fairly serious, but he could enjoy a joke.”

However, his reputation was no joking matter. “When we went to visit,” Mrs. Hammond says, “we would have some drinks. He didn't buy his liquor in the town. He'd go to the next town and get it.

“He didn't drink a lot, but he didn't want his patients to know. You'd never do that nowadays.”

— Shawna Richer

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