Norman Alcock, physicist and founder of Canada’s first peace research institute in 1960, received the Order of Canada in the late fall of 2004. Norman and family stayed at the Chateau Laurier the night prior to the awards ceremony, but he suffered a fainting spell, possibly due to a “miniature stroke” and was unable to attend the ceremony.
After the awards had been made, the Governor General, Adriennn Clarkson, and her husband, John Ralston Saul, spontaneously visited the Chateau Laurier where they presented Norman with the Order in person. The hotel provided the Prime Minister’s suite for the meeting, and the whole Alcock family and her Excellency and husband chatted comfortably for a half hour as if they had all the time in the world, though in fact the Govenor General and spouse were on their way to a pressing engagement.
Norman and Pat Alcock are members of Science for Peace, and Norman has also been a Pugwash participant at one time. I telephoned Norman to congratulate him on his O.C., and enjoyed a fine conversation. Every talk with Norman is inspiring in some new and unexpected way.