For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 


John Trumbell Band, K.St.J.


Lieutenant-Commander, O-4180, RCN(R)


Born: 1915


Died: 18 Sep 2005, Toronto, Ontario


BAND, John Trumbell, K. St. J- Peacefully in Toronto, on Sunday, September 18th, 2005, in his 91st year. Son of the late Charles S. Band and Helen Warren Band. Husband of the late Elizabeth Rogers Band (née Lumbers). Predeceased by his sisters Priscilla Morley and Helen Band. Survived by his sister Barbara Gunn. He leaves his cherished children and their spouses: John M. Band and Teri, Sarah Band, Victoria Macrae and Rick Clarke, Jalynn Bennett and Bill James and Jennifer Rogers and John Hewgill. John leaves his beloved partner Patty Fischer. Papoo and Papa to his treasured grandchildren and their spouses: Kara McIntosh and Jeff Taylor, David Muller and Anna Potvin, Alexandra Bennett, Braden Bennett, Ryan McIntosh and Alison Lovell, Ashlynn Band and David Lowe, Jeremy and Rebekah McIntosh, Courtney Band, Sam Bennett, Matthew Band and Zoe Band. Cherished great- grandfather to eleven lively great- grandchildren: Elias, Graydon and Esmée Taylor; Olivia, India and Kai Morgan; Eloise, Tucker and Luci McIntosh; Jack McIntosh and Ella Muller. Respecting John's wishes, a private burial has taken place. A service of thanksgiving and remembrance will be held at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 227 Bloor Street East, Toronto, on Friday, September 30th at 12 o'clock. By special request, donations may be made to the Trinity College School, History Department, 55 Deblaquire St. N., Port Hope, ON, L1A 4K7 or St. Clement's School, Music Department, 21 St. Clements Avenue, Toronto, ON, M4R 1G8 or Princess Margaret Hospital, Sarcoma Research, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 2M9. (The Globe and Mail 23 Sep 2005)


BAND, John Trumbell - Executive and Art Collector (1915-2005) Navy officer who hunted U-boats during the Second World War returned home to become an insurance broker and a collector of Canadian art - Although he was a distinguished veteran and a former insurance executive, John Band found his true calling in companionship and art. He was passionate about collecting, gardening, fitness, the navy, red wine and crossword puzzles. A good listener, he was the master of drawing people out. Born into a family of prominent Canadian art collectors, he inherited his parents' eye and their zeal for collecting. "I wish I knew the first time I shook his hand," said art collector Ken Thompson, chairman of The Globe and Mail. "I think it was in the mid-50s and it must have been about art." For half a century, the two men discussed upcoming auction sales, although their Friendship meant they never bid against each other. "I respected his judgment on paintings," Mr. Thompson said. Whenever Mr. Band was "adamant" about a picture, such as The Steamship Quebec, painted by Cornelius Krieghoff in 1853, "I jolly well bought it. There wasn't going to be any doubt about that," Mr. Thompson admitted. "He was always around the corner from my house and up here," tapping his forehead with his finger, "he was right beside me all the time," Mr. Thompson said. "I never got along with anybody better." Mr. Band's love of art was ingrained growing up in a home where Arthur Lismer and Fred Varley were frequent guests and painting was a major dinner table topic. "John had a very keen eye for choice works and he sometimes went about acquiring them as though he was a detective," said Lisa Balfour Bowen, a family friend and art critic. "To my knowledge, he was filling gaps in his collection virtually until the time of his death." There was nothing passive about Mr. Band. "He spoke his mind, but it was something that you welcomed. There were no shades. He was always direct and clear," said Dennis Reid, chief curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario. "I have to say I loved him." John Trumbull band was the eldest child and only son of insurance broker and art collector Charles Shaw band and his wife, Helen Warren. His parents moved to New York in 1914 when Mr. Band was transferred to the American office of James Carruthers and Co. Mr. Band was born there a year later. While they lived in the United States, the bands bought canvases painted by the Hudson River Valley artists. They sold that collection when they returned to Toronto in 1923 with John and his younger sisters, Priscilla, Barbara and Helen. "They wanted to collect what was important in the life of Canada their country and the countryside they knew," said Mr. Band's stepdaughter, management consultant and corporate director Jalynn Bennett. The bands bought an island in Georgian Bay and became good Friends with several members of the Group of Seven. "Their home was a testament to the art of the Twenties and Thirties in Canada," said Mr. Reid. " The dining room was stupendous because it was all Lawren Harris's Arctic sketches. There must have been 10 of them." Two years after the bands moved back to Toronto, they sent John to Trinity College School in Port Hope. He was 10. His daughter Sarah, an entrepreneur and retailer, has his first school report framed in her bathroom. "He is rather backward for his age, but he has ability and is a neat and careful worker," his teacher wrote. In 1929, the year of the stock-market crash, the school's main building burned down. Hard economic times and the school's rebuilding difficulties persuaded his parents to withdraw him in 1931, the year he would have graduated, and send him to Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto instead. Nevertheless, Mr. Band was a committed Trinity College School old boy. With his family's help, he gave himself an 80th birthday gift in 1995 by endowing an annual history prize. Mr. Band went to work in 1937 for Irish and Molson, a firm of insurance brokers that became Marsh and McLennan and later Marsh Canada. After war broke out, he enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1941. About the same time, he met Mona Morrow (later Campbell,) daughter of financier and company director Frederick Morrow. They married in 1942. During the war, Mr. Band served on HMCS Swansea, a river-class frigate in 1943 as first lieutenant. The ship, which was known as a happy and successful one, helped to sink three German U-boats in the North Atlantic in March and April of 1944 and assisted in essential enemy sweeps before the invasion of Normandy in June of 1944. He transferred to HMCS Stonetown, another frigate, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, that November and served as its commanding officer until August of 1945. For decades afterward, Mr. Band caught up with his wartime cronies at an annual navy lunch he organized, inviting specialist speakers on military subjects. One of the regulars was Tony Griffin, another distinguished naval veteran. "There were very few officers I could put in the same class as John Band," he said this week. "He knew how to handle ships and men and he had a keen appreciation of the Navy." Michael Whitby, senior naval historian at the Department of National Defence, agrees with that assessment. "He was one of the typical Canadians who volunteered to go fight the war and who did an outstanding job." Mr. Band's strength was to lead by gentle persuasion and quiet example. On Swansea, for example, he insisted that classical music was played on Sundays. When peace came, he went back to Toronto and to Marsh and McLennan, working mainly on Toronto establishment accounts until he retired in 1980 as a senior executive. He needlessly regretted that the war disrupted his plans to go to university, according to Paul O'Donoghue, a business colleague from Marsh and McLennan who became a lifelong friend. "He was the best-informed man I ever met." Mr. Band and his wife Mona had three children, John, Sarah and Victoria (Vickie), but the marriage fell apart in the mid-1950s. After an acrimonious divorce and custody settlement, Mr. Band married Elizabeth Lumbers Rogers, a widow with two children (Jalynn Bennett and Jennifer Rogers,) in 1959. His son lived with them and his daughters stayed with their mother. "We weren't allowed to see him for a long time," said his daughter Sarah, who became extremely close to her father in the past few decades. "He was my best friend," she said this week. "We talked four times a day." As a stepfather, Mr. Band was "warm and caring and curious about our lives without being intrusive," says Ms. Bennett, who was 15 when her mother remarried. He was very outgoing and had a keen sense of whimsy. He once jokingly confided plans for his funeral: a procession down Bay Street at noon with a Brinks truck following the hearse with a big sign on top saying: "Who says you can't take it with you?" Some years after his second wife Betty died in 1992, Mr. Band formed a new attachment with Patty Fischer, the former wife of industrialist Michael Degroote, owner of Laidlaw Transport and the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Mr. Band turned 90 in late August. He celebrated his birthday two weeks ago at a party he organized himself at the Toronto Hunt Club, where he'd belonged ever since his mother had bought him a membership for his 20th birthday. His friend Ken Thompson tried to give him a small J.E.H. MacDonald painting of the family island in Georgian Bay as a birthday gift. Knowing the value of the painting, Mr. Band refused to accept it, although he delighted in pointing out familiar landmarks. Finally, he agreed to "borrow" the painting after attaching a note to the back saying it belonged to Mr. Thompson. He only had a few days to enjoy it. The painting has now come back to Mr. Thompson, layered with "priceless" sentimental value. He plans to hang it near his desk in his office until he gives it eventually to the Art Gallery of Ontario. "But that paper is going to stay with that picture," he insisted. "That's a condition." Last Tuesday, Sarah band took her father to a medical appointment where he learned that his cancer was terminal. He went home, made a final "to do" list to settle his affairs and then "crumpled." John Trumbull band was born in New York on August 25, 1915. He died on Sunday of metastasized sarcoma. He is survived by one sister, three children, two stepchildren, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A private family burial took place on Thursday. A memorial service is planned for September 30 at noon at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Toronto. (Toronto Star By Sandra Martin, Saturday, September 24, 2005, Page S9)


Ships served in:

HMCS ROYAL ROADS - Appointed to Royal Roads 02 Sep 1941 as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Oct 1941)

HMCS NADEN - Appointed to Naden 28 Dec 1941 as a SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Jan 1942)

HMCS GIVENCHY - Appointed to Givenchy 25 Aug 1942 as a Lt, RCNVR, Add'l for Disposal (Navy List Sep 1942)

HMCS DAWSON - Appointed to Dawson 05 Nov 1942 as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List Aug 1943)

HMCS SWANSEA - Appointed to Swansea 29 Sep 1943 as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List Oct 1943).  Appointed as LT, RCNVR, XO (Navy List Jul 1943)

Appointed Lt, RCNVR, CO (Navy List Sep 1944).  Appointed A/LCdr, RCNVR (Navy List Jan 1945)

HMCS POUNDMAKER - Appointed to Poundmaker as CO (Navy List May 1945)  2nd Commanding Officer 15 - 19 Apr 1945 (Macpherson-Burgess - Ship's of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981)

HMCS STONE TOWN - 2nd Commanding Officer 21 Apr 1945 - 19 Aug 1945 (Macpherson-Burgess - Ship's of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981)

* Retired List as LCdr, RCN(R) (seniority 29 Oct 1945) (Navy List Apr 1946)

* Retired List - Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of the Province (Navy List Jul 1950)

HMCS YORK (retired list) as LCdr, RCN(R) (Navy List Jul 1953). Last noted on the retired list at HMCS York in the Navy List for Jan 1960.


John Band's gave marker at the Saint James Cemetery, Toronto, ON.

Source: Find-a-Grave



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