Dalton Minty Eulogy

By Keith Minty





Dalton Horace Minty my father was born on January 16, 1923 in Rocanville Saskatchewan. His father Charlie and mother Lillian operated a large prosperous grain farm with steam powered farm equipment. The stock market crash of 1929 and start of the great depression forced his father to alter his grain farming plans. My father said that he did not suffer any significant hardship during the depression however his parents were able to provide all the necessities of life to him.


In general he had a good childhood except for the dreary chores of farm life and especially working in a very large garden. For all those people who knew my father he always had a large vegetable garden in both Manotick and the cottage. Us kids know as we all assisted in the weeding of these gardens.


In 1938 after farming in Rocanville for 50 years, his father sold the farm and purchased a blacksmith and machine shop in Onanole, Manitoba. Onanole is located approximately 250 Km. north west of Winnipeg near Riding Mountain National Park. His father operated the shop until his death in 1944. My father went school until grade 11. For the next two years he assisted his father and brothers who had moved to Onanole in the areas of mink ranching, farm work, sawmill hand and logging. He was able make enough money to provide himself with clothes, food, recreation and a bicycle.


In November 5, 1940 my father enlisted in the pre-RCAF training as a areo-mechanic in Moose Jaw. Graduation and formal enlistment in the RCAF occurred in 1941. In August 1941 after a year of training he was selected for an overseas posting.


He spent 20 months servicing Rolls Royce engines in spitfire planes at air field located all over England. In July 1943 he was selected to be trained as a pilot. He got his wings on October 19, 1944 after completing 400 hours of flying.


His love of flying mentioned that he loved to fly with colin .


He was discharged from the RCAF in March 1945 but gave serious consideration to flying Spitfire naval planes in the far east. Common sense prevailed and he enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Manitoba. Prior to entering university he worked at Port Alberni at the Bloedel, Stewart and Welsh lumber operation. There he a partner of a two man chain saw. He remembered the thrill of felling trees of 36 inches in diameter and 250 feet high.


At university , the students usually spent their summers in a job related to their field of study, my father decided grow potatoes. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba. He was awarded an Athlone Fellowship to study engineering in England.

In 1953, he joined the staff of the Mechanical Engineering Department at McGill University. In 1954 he married my mother Elaine and I was born in that year. In 1956 in Redondo Beach California my brother Bruce was born.


In 1957, he was appointed as assistant mechanical engineering professor at Carleton University and moved to Manotick in 1958. Heather my sister was born in 1959 and my other brother Colin in 1961.


From 1960 to 1995 he was a consulting engineer. He worked with several firms and started his own firm. During this time his marriage to Elaine was dissolved. Doris Jelly was his companion for the past 12 years.


I have somewhat followed in his footsteps in becoming an engineer. He was a mechanical and I am a mining engineer. My relationship with my father has been up and down as most relationships go; however I did respect him.

Father figure


As a kid, we lived in the town of Manotick . For those people who do not know where it is it is, Manotick is located approximately 20 minutes south of Ottawa on the Rideau River. It was a great place to be for a kid, lots of farmers’ fields and a pond nearby. I can remember as a kid, when he came from work and before dinner he would hit the baseball to us kids. That was great.


In the wintertime he would string up water hoses from the house to the pond and flood the pond for us to skate on. Unfortunately none of us became good hockey players.


He was active in the community all his life. He wanted to improve the life of others. Highlites of his community service include school trustee, Member of the Long Island Aquatic Club and member of the Unitarian Church. He was instrumental in the building in this church.


As kids we would always borrow his tools for the building of tree forts. Surrounding the pond were large maple and elm trees. In the trees that we could climb in somewhat safe manner we built forts. To build forts we used my father’s tools. I have no idea how many hammers we lost, the pounds of nails we consumed or how much trouble we got into. We could always count on finding a stash of wood for a fort – building supplies around the house, as our house seemed to be under construction all the time.


Dad always made sure that us kids had all things kids needed. He was able to provide for us all the lessons we wanted. We learned to ski at a young age and had years of swimming lessons. There were music lessons and all the equipment we needed for any activity we wanted to be involved in. In later years he provided a lot of support to his sons and daughters.

Dad took us to the circus when we were young. Each year we looked forward to going to the circus. We always enjoyed going to the circus and I think Dad liked it as much as the kids did.


I had learning disabilities as a kid. He spent a lot of time helping me overcome these disabilities. I can remember the many nights sitting out on the picnic table during the summer as he would help me with my school subjects. Along with my persistence and dedication, and his assistance I was able to become a mining engineer. He was proud that he had an engineer as a son and mentioned it to others in his discussions.


For many years I was associated with a National Museum Naturalist Club called the McCoun Club. Every Saturday and he would drive me to the club meetings. He took the time to make sure I was able to go to these club meetings.


Our relationship was good. It improved when he got sick. We were able to discuss many issues and our relationship did improve. In the last months of his life we were able to have a pretty good relationship. I felt closer to him than I ever had before.




He was always interested in what I was doing. When I was travelling the world visiting mining operations I always sent him postcards from the country I was visiting. He would place the postcards on the fridge. He mentioned to Doris that he was very happy to get these postcards.


He was interested in my occupation. He took a course in geology at Carleton University. He realized that geology was all around him but that he did not know anything about it.

In closing I want to read the poem High Flight written by Pilot Officer John Magee in January 1941, which was a favourite of his. I read this poem in memory of my father.














High Flight


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And advanced the skies on laughter-silver wings

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds –and done a hundred things

You have dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.


Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, nor even eagle flew—

And, while silent lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space

Put out my hand and touched the face of god.