Monday, March 10, 2014

Richard Lord RIP

  Montreal lost one of its most colourful characters Sunday as raconteur, businessman, bureaucrat, pioneer Richard Lord of Greene Ave. succumbed to cancer.
   Lord was a great friend to many and the personification of a good time, as he'd light up the room with his tales of growing up the son of a Barbadian WWI vet in Little Burgundy, attending St. Leo's school in Lower Westmount and being a star on the hockey rink and football field.
   Lord was recruited on a hockey scholarship to the University of Michigan which had no idea he was black, and many said that they had no idea that blacks even played hockey.
   His winning personality might have shielded him from racism, as he snagged a series of interesting jobs, one investigating poverty across Canada for the federal government, which led him to many interesting situations in small-town backwaters which had never laid eyes on a vizmin before.
   He was placed in charge of an operation to install the communications systems throughout Expo 67 and also served as a citizenship court  judge. Lord fell about six votes short of beating Warren Allmand for the NDG Liberal nod. But he never showed bitterness towards Allmand, who became his good friend.
   I knew Lord fairly well but not as well as others, of course and will remember him for his good-natured baiting of some ultra-rich Westmounters and his love for the On Flanders Field poem which he'd recount with great - perhaps too much - frequency. He was also a great repository of local micro-history, or old-time gossip, if you will and will be missed as valuable resource.
   Richie had no kids and married relatively late in life, leaving his widow behind. 


Oxford's Magazine Rack said...

Rest In Peace, Richard.
We had the pleasure of meeting you and your wife at a Christmas party in 2012, it was a memorable evening! We only live once, and you inspire those around you to make it worthwhile.
Cheers and Godspeed !

Terence Flanagan said...

Richard and my dad knocked heads on the football field but were fast friends off it. He was a true Montreal legend. He once told me a story wherein he was accosted in his eighties by a young , angry black man seeking to rob him while brandishing a gun. Richard, ever unflappable, proceeded to talk to the young man, telling him stories about black Montrealers through history, to the point where the young man put the gun away, shook his hand and walked away! That was Richard to me.

motschen said...

Correction: Mr. Lord played hockey at Michigan State University (Spartans) East Lansing, MI.