William Douglas Lionel (Bill) Graham (1935-2020) was a founding Director and a driving force of the Sources of Knowledge Forum through its first 10 years. A man of immense charm, his warmth and approachability belied a life of high achievement in many fields. In 1953, right out of high school he followed in his father’s footsteps by making the roster of the Grey Cup winning Hamilton Tiger Cats, and repeated that victory with the 1957 T-Cats. In 1959, now playing ice hockey with the Belleville McFarlands, he helped that team win the Gold Medal at the World Ice Hockey Championships.
Those fields conquered, Bill turned to other endeavours. Bill quickly became a very successful businessman, holding amongst other notable posts the Director of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada. Sport, though, was never far from his mind. He found time to become President of the Canadian Carriage Driving Society, a champion squash player, an avid fisherman, an expert skier, and generally a man who could play any sport well. Along the way he made a host of lifelong friends.
There can be no doubt that for Bill his crowning achievement was marrying Pat in 1959. Pat predeceased Bill by a few months but they were together for 60 years and raised a large and accomplished family. On his retirement The Bruce beckoned. Bill and Pat established Graham Farms west of Ferndale where they raised the sturdy breed known as the Canadian Horse. As always Bill took a keen interest in every aspect of his community. Environmental groups, Chambers of Commerce, hospitals, local government and charities all benefited from his generosity and his interest.
We are grateful that he devoted some of his prodigious energy to the development of SOK, and that we had the opportunity to work and learn with him. In tribute to his many contributions SOK awards the Bill Graham Award of Excellence every year in his memory, to individuals who like Bill undertake extraordinary things.