Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Maurice Brager left us June 15, 2017

It may be my imagination, but it seems often the passing of friends happens in small bunches.

This definitely  is the case with my two friends, Don Begg and his Golfing partner Maurice Brager.

Maurice was an Air Traffic Controller Colleague, and friend. But most of all Maurice and I were executives in the Vancouver branch of Canadian Air Traffic Control Association. Indeed we both held office in this association during what may have been, no, what was its most turbulent time in the history of  CATCA. The Controllers Vancouver branch of CATCA (not supported by the national office) threatened a strike, which led to the Hutchson Commission into Air Traffic Control - Vancouver Region. The results included, a new State of the art building, latest equipment, Hover Craftand other improvements to staffing etc.

All this to get around to the fact that Maurice and I were the Representatives for the Controllers at this inquiry.  We spent about two weeks sitting side by side at a table with several Government officials across from us for about two weeks. We presented over one hundred papers the Controllers were feverishly collecting/writing back at the Air Traffic Control Centre.

Maurice was the Chairman of the Vancouver local, and I was the regional  Representative.

The Controllers started kidding us, calling us Batman and Robin. They were interesting times.

Like with Don, after retiring, we just slowly lost touch, we were still friends, still had some great memories.  One, which was not related to Air traffic Control follows.

Maurice phoned one day and asked if I would do him a great favor.  I said I would, and he explained
all I had to do was go to Traffic Court up the valley with him. I just had to sit.
Sounded pretty easy, even I could do that.

He picked me up a few days later and explained that I evidently resembled His brother somewhat, and  their lawyer was hoping somehow the arresting RCMP officer would point out me as his brother. Well now I wasn't so sure I wanted to get involved in this escapade. However when we arrived at the courthouse the lawyer somehow convinced me I was doing this for the good of society.

Well, a few minutes before the brothers trial, Maurice dragged me from seat to seat, front to back
including the defendants seat for a second or two. Several RCMP officers standing at the back of the courtroom did not miss this musical chair demonstration. Anyway eventually we ended up sitting right next to the defendants bench. The Constable pointed out me as the defendant - I wasn't so sure this was where I wanted to be now, or why I had agreed to this dumb idea. Maurice was snickering quietly behind his hand, I was sure i was going to jail! As we slunk out, the Officers were waiting for us and gave me a very hard time. The brother got off, I did not speak to him.

 Maurice and I went and had a beer!

Little things one remembers of a friend