Phil John passed away in September, 2004. Phil
was a long time member of the HFFDC. A bass drummer in the
original "Colonel" line. Phil had been in ill health for the
past few years.
Ron MacIntyre Sr.
Mac passed away Friday, August 20, 2004
I am John Bratschitsch, a 1 year member of the
band (1976-1977), a 7 year Riley (between 1969 and 19'76),
and a RCSCC band member (1968-1969). My best memories
are from those days, and now I'm just a 50 year old corporate creature with a lot of responsibility and no fun. I've been acquainted with a lot of band members past and
present, and I was a pretty good first soprano. I was actually one of the guys that respected Roy Collins. My big mistake was giving up music to become an infantry officer
(mainly out of resentment because Collins passed me over for corporal). But I realized my mistake when it came time to pay mess dues. Anyway, there are several
reasons for this e-mail. One: I am not deceased, though I've had lots of fun telling people that the internet says that I'm dead; Two: I think that I'd like to attend the reunion,
but I'm not sure that I qualify because I was in the Firefighters for only 1 year; and lastly, because I'm starting to believe the website about my demise, and I'd like to be
present at my wake in the event deceased mermbers are recognized more so than when they were alive (more attention than I get at home).
Anyway, if I don't qualify as an alumni can you please correct your website so my mother can be assured that I am not dead, as such things are very upsetting to her? .
James Inrig Jr. "Jimmy", "The Colonel" passed away
on Friday, December 26, 2003.
Jimmy was the original percussion intsructor of the HFFDC. Jim continude to instruct the Firefighters drum line abd compose all percussion music for over thirty-five years. Jim was and "Honorary Member For Life" of the HFFDC.
Jimmy produced top level drum lines for all of those years. The "Colonel" was in the RHLI Bugle Band, The Viscounts Drum Corps and the Canadian Commanders Drum Corps.
He will be sadly missed by many drummers across Canada and the U.S.A.
Ronald Falla Sr. passed away on Sunday, December 7, 2003,
in his 77th. year.
Ron was the original brass instructor of the Hamilton Firefighters Drum Corps when it was started, in 1961 and one of its' founding members. He was the first "non-firefighter" to be a member of the Corps. Ron served as drum major in 1990 an 1991. He had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Bugle Band, serving as Bugle Major for many years. Ron was one of the original members of the Viscounts Drum Corps.
Still serving member sof the HFFDC are Ron's son Ron Jr, his daughter-in-law Laura Jean, his granddaughter Victoria and Mat Falla.
Ron had been an "Honorary Member For Life" of the HFFDC, an honor that is not bestowed on very many people.
Bill Hart, a founding member and
past-president of the Corps', mother-in-law passed away on
September 1, 2001.
In the early 1960's, Mrs. Nellie Heddle designed and constructed, three of the flags that the HFFDC has carried for many years. 1) The Drum Corp Flag; 2) The flag with the fire-axe head; 3) The flag with the Maltese Cross. The photo at the right shows all three flags being carried in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1990.
The photo shows the Corps on 5th. Avenue, in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral. After the Corps played "Danny Boy", the Bishop of New York came down onto the street and shook the Drum Major's hand.
Two of the three flags are still in regular use to this day.
John (Jack) Hargrove, Colour Guard, Drum Line, Glockenspiel, Cymbals
Passed away February 16, 2001 in his 71st. year
In Service with HFFDC 7 years.
Jim Lisson, Drum Line, Bass & Specials
Passed away January 24, 2001
In service with HFFDC approx. 10 years.
There aren't many pictures of Jim. This is the only one we could find. It was taken marching in the 1969 Grey Cup Parade, in Montreal.
In this photo, Milt is the second man from the left, carrying the Canadian flag. He served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, running convoy escort for the merchant marine in the triangle from from New York City to Newfoundland to England.
Milt was an active Hamilton firefighter for 37 years. He was one of the original founding members of the HFFDC. Along with sixty other firefighters, he canvassed the downtown merchants of Hamilton, raising the initial funds to start up the Corps. He served on the executive board of the Corps for several years during the early 1980's.
Although he had been sick for the past two years, Milt remained on the Corps' "active" roll, because he always wanted to be an active member and, after 39 years of continuous service, couldn't bring himself to retire.
Milt was actively marching with the Corps up until about two years ago, and even after that, he and his wife Eileen, still participated in many Corps activities.
"Uncle Miltie" always attended, and
enjoyed the G.A.S. reunions, wherever they were held. The
picture to the right shows him at the Y2K G.A.S. Reunion in
Baltimore this past May. Milt is seen wearing his (now famous)
Hamilton Tiger-Cat pyjamas, talking to Carmen, of the Audubon
In Memorium - Ray Andrew,
August 5, 1945 to April 4, 2000
In Service with HFFDC - Sixteen years
This image is from a 35mm slide,
taken in 1972 by Eric's long time friend, Bill Hart.
It was stored in damp conditions and has deteriorated somewhat.
Return to Table of Contents