March On! ...the history of the
Toronto Optimists Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Corps: Scout Band, Opti-Corps, Optimists Bantams, Toronto Optimists
1933 – August 24, 2010
Fred was a co-founder of the Toronto Optimists and the founder of the Optimists Bantams.
Fred's connection with the Optimists began in the early 1950s with the Scout Band and he lived his Scout Promise every day of his life. He devoted his life to his family, friends and community. Fred was Scarborough Citizen of the Year 1978, Scarborough Ward 7 Councilor 1988-1997. Retired from Giffels & Associates. Drummer, HMCS York Navy Reserve Trumpet Band and ASM Toronto Region Scout Band. Despite critically injuring both legs in 1955 and instantly losing his left leg, Fred gave his all to his city.
Here are a few memories of Fred.
I have fond memories of Fred, he was always pleasant and I never saw him without a smile. His accomplishments did not surprise me as he was always one who would take on difficult duties and make them work. I had the pleasure of being in the Guard of Honour at Fred & Aileen’s wedding. It was a pleasure to have known him and he will not be forgotten. (Phil Hennings)
The boys in the corps loved Fred because he was always there with a smile and a helping hand. Even though he had trouble walking (he had an artificial leg) he was always on parade, carrying a water bucket and urging us on. He was the guy who gave us our nickname, The Green Giants. He also told us we'd have to work hard if we wanted to be part of the great Green Machine. (Vern Johansson)
One evening, Dave Harris and I were messing around in the lunchroom, singing Blessed Sacrament, 1961. Dave was pretending to drum and I was pretending to conduct. Fred came in and said, "Hey, what are you doing?" "Nothing", we replied. "Well, let me see that again," said Fred. Realizing that we weren't in trouble, we carried on. Fred made me Drum Major at the next rehearsal. (Vern Johansson)
He was very proud of the kids in the Bantams and we were all very glad that he was part of our lives. Anyone who ever spent even just a smidgen of time with Fred, would never forget him. I say this as a person who had not seen Fred since 1964, the year I went up to the big corps. Fred got a lot of kids ready for the big corps. He is one of the good ones who was a positive influence on the lives of many. (Vern Johansson)
Fred . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We Remember!