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OLIVER CRAGG NORRIS-ELYE (published on August 21, 2010)

OLIVER CRAGG NORRIS-ELYE Oliver Cragg Norris-Elye, 87, electrical engineer (retired), loving husband and father, passed away Sunday morning, August 15, 2010 at Grace Hospital. Oliver is survived and greatly missed by his wife of 57 years, June Willmot (Phillips) Norris-Elye, his children Catherine, Dorothy, Alan, and Jacqueline, his granddaughter Erin, and his brother Richard. Son of Leonard T. S. and Edith Gladys (Tarbolton) Norris-Elye, Oliver was born in Winnipeg on December 5, 1922. In 1942 he was selected for training in radio and meteorology. Posted at a weather station in the Yukon, he took synoptic weather readings to be transmitted in coded form to protect military aircraft. In 1943 he joined the navy and was assigned to North Atlantic convoy duty. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1950, after which he assisted in the flood relief efforts. Due to the flood, the graduation ceremony wasn't held until 1985. During university, his jobs varied from heavy manual labour to a position as a relief meteorological assistant/radio operator. Upon his return to Winnipeg from completing navigation and pilotage courses as a Reserve sub-lieutenant, he accepted a job in Malton, Ontario with AVRO. In 1951 he left AVRO for naval special duty. It was in Halifax that he met his future wife, June, then teaching school, studying and performing in opera, voice production, art and some radio broadcasting. Assigned to the H.M.S. Magnificent, he was promoted to lieutenant while in the Mediterranean partaking in NATO exercises. On returning from sea duty, Oliver joined Canadian General Electric to take their nine month test course in Toronto and Peterborough. Oliver and June were married on June 27, 1953 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and toured Cabot Trail with a stay at Ingonish. They stayed at a lakeside cottage for two weeks where Oliver traveled by canoe and car to work. Later moving to Toronto, June taught at Bruce School, and continued voice and piano studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music, Oliver working at GE head office, while attending evening classes for Business Administration at the University of Toronto. In 1954 June and Oliver moved to Winnipeg to take care of Oliver's father who had suffered a stroke. Oliver worked as Industrial Sales Engineer for Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario for GE. June taught at Strathmillan School in St. James. In 1957 Oliver accepted a position with Manitoba Hydro Electric Board (forerunner of Manitoba Hydro), where he worked for 30 years. Oliver's contributions while at Manitoba Hydro were innumerable, including the conceptual design of the Grand Rapids 230 kV lines. In 1959, Oliver was one of five Canadians selected to attend an eight month course in Schenectady, New York on Power Systems Engineering. Between 1967 and 1971 he was the Nelson River Coordination Engineer. In 1971 Oliver headed a project to evaluate the mechanical performance of 500 kV and 765 kV conductor bundle designs. He sat on committees with the Canadian Electrical Association, the Canadian Standards Association and IEEE. He was a member and at one time Chairman of the APEM Board of Examiners, and from 1975 to 1987 he chaired the Manitoba Hydro Research Committee. He was involved in the Lundar outdoor laboratory project, studying the long term measurement and analysis of environmental effects of HVDC electric fields and small ions generated by Corona sources. Even at the end of his life he felt that this research should be continued. In 1987 Oliver retired from Hydro as Transmission Research and Development Engineer in G and T Planning, and accepted a position with the HVDC Research Centre in Winnipeg as project leader for measurement and analysis of HVDC Electrical Effects. Throughout his life, Oliver personified integrity, generosity of spirit, intellectual curiosity, gentleness, and a genuine concern for others. He had a wonderful sense of humour. Up until a week prior to his death he was active and caring for his wife and family. Following Oliver's wishes, cremation has taken place and no service will be held. We would like to thank the nursing staff at the Grace Hospital for their compassion and care.

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