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William C. Winegard passes at the age of 94

Marva Wisdom and Dr. William Winegard .
Marva Wisdom and Dr. William Winegard . Marva Wisdom / Twitter

A devoted and beloved member of the Guelph and Wellington County community and an honoured Canadian has died at the age of 94.

Paul Dredge, president of the Rotary Club of Guelph, confirmed that Dr. William C. Winegard passed away on Thursday afternoon.

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Winegard was born in Hamilton, Ont., and in the Second World War becoming an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. He took after his father, who was also a veteran in both world wars, and the first mayor of Caledonia, Ont.

Following the war in 1952, Winegard attended the University of Toronto where he graduated with a doctorate in metallurgical engineering, and would take a teaching job there until 1967.

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That’s when Winegard moved to Guelph to take up a post as University of Guelph president and Vice-Chancellor from 1967-1975.

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Winegard then took his talents into the political world where he successfully ran for the Progressive Conservative Party in the Guelph-Wellington riding in the 1984 federal election and was re-elected in 1988 and served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister for International Trade, and held positions on the federal cabinet as Minister of State (Science and Technology) from 1989-1990 and the Minister of Science from 1990-1993 under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

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In 1998, Winegard was named as an Officer to the Order of Canada and volunteered his time throughout Guelph and Wellington County as a committed Rotarian and volunteer so several charitable organizations and was named as a Fellow of the American Society for Metals through ASM International.

The Royal Canadian Navy Veteran spoke at several Remembrance Day services at the Sleeman Centre over the years and attended many more at local schools to speak with students and community members about his time in World War II.

He famously criticized Stephen Harper’s Conservative government for its treatment of Canadian veterans and became the namesake of a public school through the Upper Grand District School Board in 2015.

Winegard was also the recipient of the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award from the University of Guelph in 2014 as one of its foundin presidents.

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In a press release from the Rotary Club William C. Winegard Public School has announced that their flag will be flying at half mast in honour of Dr. William C Winegard.