"You are the Key"


Mel was born and raised in Golden B.C. where his father worked for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. His older sister received a CPR scholarship to McGill University in Montrea1, Quebec and when Mel came to deciding on career goals and his future college it was natural for him to follow in her footsteps and he entered McGill as a student of "Commerce" in 1950. He focused on accounting in the broader field of Commerce and completed his university studies with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and Licentiate of Accounting in June, 1954. He was admitted to the Order of Chartered Accountants of Quebec in 1957 and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia in 1959.


After graduation Mel affiliated with the firm of Clarkson, Gordon and Co. in Montreal and was transferred by that firm to Calgary in 1957. He later moved to Vancouver and eventually joined the firm of Chadwick, Potts and Co. where he became a partner 1959. He continued with them after they merged into Touche, Ross and Co. in 1971 and is today a partner in this prestigious accounting firm's Vancouver office.


Mel discovered his wife Joy in the Burnaby area after he arrived in Vancouver and together they have raised two sons and a daughter. They are currently the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.


Both Mel and Joy have been active in the community life of Burnaby and Vancouver and Mel has been a leader in Junior Chamber of Commerce, Senior Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, United Way, the P.N.E. and of course Rotary.


Mel's Rotary life began with his membership in the Burnaby-Kingsway Club on October 21, 1966. He became Club President in 1971-72 and then served District 504 Successively as Treasurer, secretary, member of Finance Committee, Governor's Group Representative from 1982 to 1984 and final1y, as District Governor in 1985-86.

Mel's club awarded him a Paul Harris Fellowship in 1978 in recognition of his high degree of service to the club and to his community. He continues to serve Rotary and with Joy, recently represented Rotary International President Caparas and his wife as their special representatives to a California District Conference.


During Mel's year as District Governor he deftly pulled together a multi-year effort to restructure District 504 which had grown too large for full effectiveness, with firmness, sensitivity and skill he presided over the very difficult effort which culminated in Rotary Internationa1's approval of the separation into two districts (a smaller District 504 and a new District 505). This change was painful to many but a necessity in the minds of most. The optimism expressed at the recent "final District Conference of District 504" was a tribute to Mel's leadership and good judgment.

Another accomplishment of Mel's year was the successful entry of a "Letter for Peace" by Livleen Diwana, a Senior Secondary Student in Abbotsford, B.C. Her entry brought club honors, was District winner and was finally judged best in the entire USCS region. It was addressed to Prime Minister Nakasone of Japan on the theme of replacing Nuclear Power by various alternative methods to achieve peace, and reflects honor to both Miss Diwana and to the club and District.

Mel's busy life will continue to be service-oriented. He hopes, however, to find enough time within his busy work schedule to continue his occasional racquet-ball and golf games at the Vancouver Golf Club.

Rotary Club of Burnaby. To contact PDG Mel by Email