2 photographs : b&w (1 negative) ; 13 x 9 cm and 13 x 9 cm
Hon. Barnett Jerome Danson, PC, CC, (8 February 1921-17 October 2011) is a former Canadian politician and cabinet minister. His parents were Joseph (b. October 5, 1885) and Sadie (nee Wolfe) Danson (1891-1981). They had 3 children: Bertram, Marilyn (Farber) and Barney. Joseph and Sadie founded Camp Winnebagoe in Muskoka, Ontario. The camp catered to the Jewish community and offered athletic and social programs.
In 1939, at the age of 18, Barney joined the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. He became a lieutenant and served in the Second World War until he was severely wounded at the Battle of Normandy in August, 1944. As a result of his wounds, Barney lost sight in one eye. This injury led Barney to a lifelong involvement with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) with a focus on education and educational materials for the visually impaired.
After the war, Barney returned to Toronto to work briefly in his family's insurance business before entering the plastics industry, first as a sales manager for Maple Leaf Plastics (1950) and then as founder of his own company, the Danson Corporation (1958). During this time Barney served as the President of the Society of Plastics Industry of Canada.
In 1968, Barney was elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal MP for the Toronto-area riding of York-North. He served in this position until he was defeated in 1978. From 1970-1972 he acted as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. From 1974-1976, Barney held a position in the Cabinet as Minister of State for Urban Affairs. He later served as the Minister of National Defense from 1976-1979. During this time, Barney and Trudeau founded Katimavik, a national volunteer program for Canadian youth. Barney continued his political career by serving as Canada's Consul General in Boston from 1984-1986.
Outside of politics, Barney has held positions on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and spearheaded the advisory committee on the Canadian War Museum which opened in Ottawa on May 8, 2005. The main theatre at the Canadian War Museum is named in his honour. During this time he was also the producer of a 6 part mini-series for the CBC entitled "No Price Too High." The series documented Canada's role in the Second World War. Barney has also acted as the Director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, is a founding member of Temple Emmanu-El in Toronto and was an officer of Sir Arthur Pearson Association of War Blinded.
Over the last several decades Barney has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including Honourary Life Member of Ontario Merit and Non-Status Indian Association (1975), Family of Man Award from B'nai Brith of Canada (1975), Officer of France - National Order of Merit (1994), Churchill Society's award for "excellence in the course of parliamentary democracy", the Vimy Award (2000) and an honourary Doctor of Law (York University, 2006). He was also made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour in 2007. In addition, Barney was given the Order of Canada in 1996 and then further promoted to a Companion of Canada in 2007. Barney was also the chancellor of the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario for many years and received an honourary degree from them in 1993.
Barney married Isobel (nee Bull) (b. 3 June 1922) in London, England on February 6, 1943. The couple had four sons: Kenneth B., John A. H., Timothy S. B. and Peter T.J. Barney died on 17 October 2011.
Barney's autobiography, "Not Bad for a Sergeant : The Memoir of Barney Danson" was published in 2002.
Scope and Content
The item is a portrait of Barney Danson.
Canada. Canadian Armed Forces. Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Danson, Barney, 1921-2011 (subject)
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.
See also accession # 2006-8-15.
See also Danson Family Papers, accession # 1990-11-11, 1990-12-9 and 1990-12-11.
See also item #3173 for a portrait of Barney in the 1970s.