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Remembering Nick Doran

Nick Doran

Canada’s aviation history community lost a dedicated volunteer with the death on March 23 of Nicholas (Nick) Doran, CAHS Life Member #2618. A resident of Etobicoke in western Toronto, Nick made especially notable contributions as a founding member of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Canada. The organization is dedicated to preserving and promoting the achievements of the Canadian aerospace industry, especially Avro Canada. He served as Membership Director until his passing after a long battle with cancer. A tribute to Nick by Denise Harris of the Etobicoke Historical Society stated that he died in Florida, surrounded by family. Nick was also a past president of the Toronto Aerospace Museum. He loved to hear and tell stories about Avro Canada and was instrumental in helping to organize memorable AHFC banquets marking special anniversaries for the Jetliner, the Arrow and the CF-100.

Denise described Nick as “one of the kindest, most generous, most gentlemanly and most humble people I have ever met.” Born in Toronto, he graduated with honours from the Police Services program at Humber College. He served with the Toronto Police Service for 34 years, rising to the rank of sergeant. Denise stated that anyone would instantly know how much Nick loved his police career after even a brief conversation about his time on the job. Nick was always involved with his community. He coached ladies’ basketball and was a past president of the Ontario Basketball Foundation. He was also a past president of the Catholic Youth Organization of Metro Toronto.

In addition, Nick volunteered with the Etobicoke Historical Society where he held multiple roles after joining the Board as editor of the newsletter, The Aldernews. He was president for five years, secretary and webmaster for 10 years and speaker co-ordinator from 2005 to 2016 among other tasks. Whatever organization Nick participated in, he was quick to assist in setting up displays, greeting people at countless public events and sharing his knowledge.

Our condolences to Nick’s wife, Shirley, his children and his grandchildren for their loss. At Nick’s request, there wasn’t any public service or funeral and he was cremated. A private celebration of his life was held by the family. Nick preferred to have people remember him at the best of times. On June 5, the regular 9:00 a.m. mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, 3055 Bloor St. W. in Etobicoke, will be dedicated to Nick.

As Denise stated in her fitting tribute, “Nick, the world is a better place for you having been here.”

Gord McNulty