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Captain James Dirk (Jim) Irvine, CD with bar
J.D. (Jim) Irvine was born in Brigden, Ontario on April 3rd, 1926, the son of Dr. Harold and Shirley Irvine. He attended Lambton County Central Vocational Institute in Petrolia, where he was a member of the cadet corps. Having a military father (Dr. Irvine was a Major in the RCAMC), and with a brother in the RCAF, Capt. Irvine attempted to enlist in the Canadian Army in April 1945, having just turned 18. He was told to wait until he had completed his high-school in June, by which time, Germany had surrendered, and the Army was not taking any more recruits.
On graduating High School, Capt. Irvine attended the University of Western Ontario, and the Ontario Teachers College. He also enlisted in the Canadian Officer Training Corps at UWO in 1946, and was commissioned in 1949. He married Jean Jones in December of 1950, He began his teaching career in Watford, Ontario in 1950, where he taught typing and other business related courses. He also enlisted in the 26th Battery, 7th Field, Royal Canadian Artillery. He remained a high-school teacher, moving from Watford to Sarnia, where he taught for many years at Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School. He remained with the 7th Field, achieving the rank of Captain, and becoming Regimental Adjutant. He also became involved with the 102 RCACC, which at that time was located at SCITS, and was Chief Instructor of the corps in the 1960’s. During this time, Captain and Mrs. Irvine had 3 children, Cathy (born in 1951), Janis (born in 1955), and David (born in 1962).
In 1976, Captain Irvine was approached to take command of the 102 RCACC, as the corps was on probation, and threatened with closure. He took command, and under his leadership, doubled the corps enrolment, taking a struggling corps and turning it into a vibrant, active unit. He stepped down as commanding officer in 1979. During his tenure as C.O., Captain Irvine received the bar to his C.D.
Captain Irvine retired from teaching in 1980, and enjoyed a retirement spanning 26 years. Captain Irvine was active in the community, being a charter member of the Art Christmas Aggregation, a musical theatre group in Sarnia. Captain Irvine acted in several productions, with roles as Kris Kringle in “Here’s Love” and Ebenezer Scrooge in “The Stingiest Man in Town”. Captain Irvine died on July 29th, 2006 having just celebrated his 80th Birthday in April. He is buried in the Irvine family plot at Bear Creek Cemetery in Brigden, Ontario.