The former Island MP who wrote the bill that would establish the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal has died.
Jack Frazer, who represented Saanich-Gulf Islands for the Reform Party from 1993 to 1997, died Dec. 17 following a brief illness in Victoria. The retired Canadian Air Forces pilot was just shy of his 81st birthday.
Frazer won the federal seat from Art Phillips, a strong Liberal candidate, through a campaign emphasizing his concerns about high taxes, unemployment and the deficit.
He served as defence and veterans affairs critic and deputy whip. But one of his biggest achievements was seeing his private member’s bill establishing the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal passed into law in 1997.
“He was probably one of the most respected members of parliament, by MPs from all sides,” said Gary Lunn, who succeeded Frazer in the riding. “I’m not sure he actually cared for the partisanship nature of the House.”
Lunn called Frazer smart, principled and “a true gentleman.” He said the Reform Party saw him as a hard worker who would get things done.
“Jack had a way,” he said. “He worked feverishly on five committees and I think two was the norm.”
Asked about his entry into politics in 2003, Frazer told the Times Colonist: “I was concerned about my country.”
Following Frazer’s retirement from politics, Prime Minister Jean Chretien appointed him to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, operated by Veteran Affairs Canada.
“When the appointment came through, people weren’t surprised at all,” said Lunn.
“He was passionate about the military.”
Frazer was born in Kamloops, Dec. 20, 1931. He spent 35 years in the Canadian Forces, rising to the rank of colonel. He was awarded the Order of Military Merit, Meritorious Service Cross and the Canadian Forces Decoration.
Frazer flew aircraft ranging from the F86 Sabre to the CF104 Starfighter, as well as performing in air shows as part of the Fireballs and Golden Hawks aerobatic teams in the 1950s and 1960s.
He led several units in Canada, the United States and Europe.
While serving as a Zimbabwe-based military attache, he assisted in organizing the evacuation of citizens to 10 western nations following the 1985 coup d’etat in Uganda.
The following year, he retired with his wife June to Saltspring Island, where the couple were regular supporters of Legion Branch 92 and patrons of the Chemainus Theatre.
Frazer was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
He leaves behind June, his wife of 56 years, son Bradley (Susan), and daughters Lee Valentine (David) and Kimberly Mann (Kelly).
A celebration of life will be held at 443 Squadron Hangar at Victoria Airport on Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. Donations in memory of Frazer can be made to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92.
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