Quick Facts About John (Jack) Alexander Scott
Born: 14 April 1935 at Thorndale House, Duncairn St., Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Death: 10 January 2001 at Guelph, Ontario, Caanda
Son of Hugh McDowell Scott & Sarah Bailey
Brother of: Sarah Millicent Marie Bailey Scott (Hall)
Husband Of: Patricia Joan Stephen (Marriage 20 MAY 1960, Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Ian Hugh Scott
Janice Elizabeth Scott (Hagan)
Andrew Gordon McDowell Scott
John Alexander (Alex) Scott
James Ian Stephen Scott
Colin Andrew Scott
David Hugh Scott
Aaron James Scott Kropf
Biography of John (Jack) Alexander Scott
I’m hesitant to write a biography of my father in this series of Scott Family Stories. My father could have books written about him, and I fear I’ll leave some things out that others think ought to have been included. If I were to write a complete biography here, I’d have no time to focus on others that are part of the Family Stories.
He was a pretty amazing man in many ways and perhaps one day, a biography that would do him justice will be written. In general, he was a man of his convictions, he could be a practical joker at times (like his father), yet could spend hours in serious thought and critical thinking about philosophy, Christian doctrines, politics, and as an avid reader, his general knowledge was quite vast. He had interests in many things, that he passed on to his children. I’ll write more about him in my own “Personal Memories” section, below (at a later time).
Early Years Of John Alexander Scott
John was born on April 14th, 1935 in Northern Ireland at Thorndale House, Glencairn Ave.,Belfast.
I personally don’t have a lot of details, oddly enough, about his very early years; my dad would speak of those years in general terms and in a very happy way. When he was born, his family lived at 17 Veryan Gardens in what is now Newtownabbey.
World War II broke out when he was five years old, but during most of the war, I believe he was unaffected by any direct German air raids, although Belfast (and Veryan Gardens) was struck. The war years were more about the rationing of food that his family had to endure and I remember him mentioning how so much of what we took for granted would be considered a rare treat when he was young. I believe the family had moved from Veryan Gardens as it was apparently hit quite hard during the Belfast Blitz of 1941.
As a teenager, he lived in a house called “Mourne View” at Ballymacbrennan, Lisburn. Completing school at about age 14 or 15, he went on to work as a clerk where he received a very complimentary reference letter from his employer.
Although his schooling finished early, he had a breadth of knowledge and critical thinking skills that would rival many who completed a degree at university at any time, including today.
Against his father’s wishes, he joined the B-Specials. He was issued a Lee Enfield .303 which he hid under his bed so his father would not discover that he had joined! We came across a Firearm Permit for the Lee Enfield along with 20 rounds of ammunition:
Royal Ulster Constabulary
John A. Scott had an interesting career in policing, both in Northern Ireland and in Canada. In about 1955, he applied for and was accepted to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and as a constable after completing 6 months of training at the RUC Training Depot in Enniskillen, he was assigned to various locations including the barracks at Browns Square (sometimes referred to I believe as “Brown Street RUC Barracks”), Ballyclare, and other assignments.
He was involved in a border skirmish with the IRA at one point, and was part of a search and seizure of arms near Londonderry. He also spent time with police dogs and training, and we have photos of him somewhere, in the rear of military type vehicles but that were actually RUC.
His RUC training was perhaps among the best police training in the world. While it was close to being military in nature in some ways, my father recalled how what is now referred to as “community policing” was very much emphasized.
John actually joined the RUC twice! After a few years after he first joined, he felt “called” to the ministry of the Christian gospel and left to attend a Baptist Seminary in Toronto, Canada.
After getting married in Toronto, he returned to N. Ireland and joined the RUC again, going through the training a second time in about 1961.
Vaughan Township Police, Ontario
There were various reasons for deciding to immigrate to Canada with his wife in 1966 and when he arrived for his second time, he easily got employment with the Vaughan Township Police (later this police force would amalgamate with surrounding town police forces into the York Regional Police Force). In those days, and well into the next decade or more, if you had experience with the RUC, you could almost be guaranteed a job with any other police force.
At this time, he became close with other ex-RUC officers that had come to Canada including Joseph Rainey (Richmond Hill Police Force) and Jack Hamilton (Vaughan Township Police Force). They would all remain friends for many years.
John left the Vaughan Township Police Force in 1970, just prior to its amalgamation into the York Regional Police Force. He attempted a career as an Insurance sales man, but looked for other work as well.
Community Guardian Co. Ltd.
Not many people are aware of the Community Guardian Co., and what they actually did. In the late 1960’s, the Province Of Ontario was looking at creating a private police force for the Ontario Housing Projects in Toronto (later to become MTHA – Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority). Various types of models were looked at – with the idea of a professionally trained “police” of some sort, in the communities but as a buffer between the residents and the management of the Ontario Housing Corporation (OHC, later MTHA).
In the end, a former Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Force was invited to create a private company, of which the only and sole contract would be to OHC and their housing projects in Toronto. The actual job description that the Ontario government included was “community based policing.” Those who would be hired had to adhere to a type of policing that was originally envisioned by Sir Robert Peel – and their philosophy was “Arrest as a last resort” with the original motto being “A Helpful Man In Your Community,” (later changed to “A Helpful Person In Your Community”).
The officers would take an enormous amount of pressure off of the Toronto police force by responding to all calls that the Toronto police would have responded to, including domestic conflicts, disturbances of all kinds, neighbour disputes and any other criminal activity. They would carry out their own investigations, and worked very closely at times with the Toronto Police.
The philosophy was so successful that other housing authorities throughout North America including Chicago studied the systems and philosophy of the Community Guardian Co. Ltd. An example of this companies involvement is noted in this report, Project For The Security Design of Urban Residential Areas by the Institute of Planning and Housing, New York University and prepared for the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice of the US Department Of Justice.
They worked unarmed and on their own, although they could request backup or police assistance for calls or situations that would warrant it.
In 1971, John Scott would join this company and worked at various housing projects throughout the city and eventually was promoted to the rank of “Supervisor.”
Community Guardian Resource Protection Co. Ltd (CGRP)
Because the Community Guardian Company was limited in their ability to seek out other contracts and grow as a business, a “daughter” company was formed by the founder of Community Guardian which allowed for bidding on other security, protection, and consulting projects. Staff from the parent company could be “seconded” from CG to CGRP for temporary assignments.
It was the result of this that John Scott was seconded to CGRP and spent about 6 months in Ottawa, providing security consulting services to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with regard to security systems including a security force to be deployed in the new National Museums.
John Scott took an interest in industrial and commercial safety and took night school courses in this field during the 1970’s. As a result, he was offered employment with Firestone as their Safety Manager. He worked primarily out of the Firestone tire plant in Whitby (Dunlop Tire) but would visit other plants in North America with the goal to improve safety records.
Finally, he joined the Industrial Accident Prevention Association as a Safety Consultant and traveled widely throughout Ontario although had a base close to his residence of various firms that he would call into to provide safety consulting.
Originally, John had come to Canada to study at the Toronto Baptist Seminary, and while he did not graduate before marrying his wife and then returning to Northern Ireland, he continued throughout his life with a strong interest in theology and evangelical work. He was deeply familiar with the doctrines of various Christian denominations including both Protestant and Roman Catholicism.
He was often invited to preach at various churches and assemblies; these include but not limited to various Baptist denominations, Free Presbyterian, Presbyterian, Brethern, and Independent churches.
He was ordained by Rev. Greg Adams (a former Roman Catholic priest) at the Ukranian Presbyterian Church in Oshawa, Ontario. Although he was ordained, John Scott seldom, if ever, used the term “Reverend” in front of his name.
***Later in life, he would graduate from Liberty University? with most of his studying done by correspondence* (to be confirmed?)
John enjoyed many hobbies including fishing, hiking, backpacking, painting, bee keeping (until a very serious reaction to some bee stings on one occasion), reading, the study of history, philosophy, theology, and general knowledge.
Health & Death Of John Alexander Scott
John suffered with health issues from middle age including high blood pressure/hypertension which resulted in coronary artery bypass surgery. His condition somewhat improved however he suffered kidney damage to the extent that he was required to have dialysis several times a week. He suffered several strokes before passing away on January 10th, 2001 as the result of a massive stroke.
John (Jack) was a friendly person to all and made friends easily. While he had his own strong theological convictions, he enjoyed conversations with anyone from any walk of life, creed, or religion. At his funeral, there was not enough space for all those who attended, with an overflow crowd to the basement of the funeral home as the service was broadcast on CCT. Possibly every nationality, race, and religion as well as non-religious atheists were represented at his funeral.
As I write this, I realize I probably could do a much better job of representing my father’s life. I’m sure there will those who read this that will correct me on some details, or ask why I left out something; fact is I realize this can be added to in the future and wanted to start somewhere. I still miss my dad very much – and just days after he passed away, I wrote a small tribute while writing for a fly fishing web publication.
I will add more to this section later.
Others can include their own memories/facts that should be included/updates by getting in touch or leaving a comment below.
Photos That Include John (Jack) Alexander Scott
There are so many that I could add and that would indicate the kind of life he lead that I’ve started a separate photo gallery section with photos of him, with his family, and doing things he enjoyed.
Most of the above was written from my own personal memories. I am thankful to my sister Janice Hagan for providing a copy of his birth registration which provided additional details as to his exact place of birth and his residence after his birth.