The Founding President of Citroën Autoclub Canada has left us. We just heard the news from his children that Glen had succumbed to the Delta variant of Covid 19 on June 3, 2021. As it was in the middle of the pandemic and everyone was isolating, a private funeral service with just immediate family attending was held at Westmount Gospel Chapel in Etobicoke on June 16, 2021 at 10 am. Internment was at Avondale Cemetery in Stratford, Ontario that same day.
Glen’s first foray into owing an automobile was a 1928 Ford Model A, followed up by a 1931 De Soto straight eight coupe. He wanted to purchase a 125 Indian Motorcycle but his dad would not give him permission. Fast forward about 30 years when Citroën came to Canada with the DS, Glen found himself fascinated by both it’s engineering and beauty.
Glen started out as a teacher in London, Ontario and then spent the next forty-two years as a teacher and a principal in a variety of settings including West Park, Brockton and Western Technical schools.
Citroën Autoclub Canada emerged from a group of teachers in around 1972, some eleven years before the “official’ founding of the CAC. A electricity teacher at West Park had purchased a 1972 D Special, and the automotive teacher owned a 2CV. While there were Citroën dealers, such as Raymond in Toronto, who fixed them at that time, many of the repairs were done in the auto shop at the West Park school. According to Glen, the arrival of a Citroën at the door changed the priority of repairs being carried out by the students. “They’d drop everything to fix the Cit.”
At the same time Glen became friends with another Club legend, Dave Kane and together they would find Citroëns that for one reason or another had managed to cease operating. Coming upon a D or an SM sitting in a driveway and looking a little too stationary was Glen’s cue to make a bargain purchase. A little mechanical work and some occasional welding usually brought the cars back to life. And for those that couldn’t be resuscitated, well that’s how Glen began to amass his collection of parts.
No matter what the condition of a Citroën Glen would optimistically see potential, often exclaiming “She’s a dandy!” and that was typically followed by “All it needs is a clutch!” – a saying that has become a caption tradition in our Club calendar each year — placed under a photo of a well-rusted one.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Glen managed to pack at least 5 garages from Hamilton to Peterborough with parts that pretty much covered 2 dozen Citroëns that languished inside — and that excluded many others that found their way to Dave’s farm!
When not engrossed in Citroëns, Glen devoted his time to his church and his family. His beloved wife Ruth, (affectionately called “Ruthie” by Glen and all the Citroën Club members), pre-deceased him on January 14, 2016. They had enjoyed travelling together throughout Canada, the U.S. and Greece, their last trip being a Caribbean cruise.
Glen and Ruthie raised four children – Glenda Ruth, Richard (Maxine ) Catherine (Scott) and John all of who Glen sent each summer to enjoy Mini-Yo-We camp in Muskoka. Glen will be sadly missed them and his grandchildren Marie Christine, Patricia Ruth, Catherine, Arthur, (Catherine) Mark, Paul (John) and Rebecca and by her four great grandchildren, Zuraya and Ezren (Marie) Jacob and Elena (Patricia).
Glen’s enthusiastic manner and infectious interest in Citroëns made him a natural for the role of Club president. He provided great expertise and demonstrated the leadership necessary to gather a group of independent-minded Citroën owners into a Club. He worked tirelessly as President until 1992 when he handed over the reigns to Victor Alksnis.
In the last 30 years since his retirement as president of CAC, Glen would usually come to the Club’s annual Christmas party and occasionally participate in Club outings. His most noted contribution to the Club post-retirement was leading members in October 1996 to retrieve a 2CV from a boathouse on an island in the Black River north of Orillia, Ontario at Washago. That adventure was captured on VHS (the old home and rather fuzzy videotape format) and edited into a 22-minute video called “The Great 2CV Retrieval Adventure”. It can be found on YouTube. (Ed note: The audio track is quite amusing.)
Thank you Glen for all your years of dedication to the Club. We will miss your always smiling face, rosy outlook and finding those Citroëns that you teased us about saying they were squirrelled away somewhere! God bless.