Col Reay "Joe" Black, MBE, MID, CD (Ret'd)
We regret to advise that Colonel Reay Melbourne "Joe" Black, MBE, MID, CD, BSc (Civil), BSc (Mil), (Ret'd) of Cambridge-Narrows, NB died at home on 16 August 2007.
Born in Sussex, NB, in 1919, Colonel Black graduated from Mount Allison Academy, Mount Allison University ('38), Royal Military College ('40), University of New Brunswick ('49), and the London School of Economics ('50 - Beaverbrook Scholar).
Colonel Black was a veteran of the Second World War and received a Mention in Dispatches for his performance. He served in the United Kingdom and Northwest Europe. He commanded the 30th Field Company as well as the 2/3 Field Park Company in the Canadian Army Occupation Force. .
On return to Canada after the war, he served on the Northwest Highway System. He then served during the Korean War in the HQ of the Commonwealth Division in Korea. He was made a Member of the British Empire for his service. The citation reads:
For a year Major Black worked as the First Staff Officer Grade Two in the Engineer Headquarters of 1 Commonwealth Division. To make a success of this job required extremely hard work, constant tact, technical skill of a high order, and unremitting attention to detail. These qualities this officer has displayed to a very marked degree and, combined with his cheerful humour under all circumstances and in the face of all difficulties, have been largely responsible for making this first experimental engineer organization in the commonwealth division the success that it is. His initiative and drive at all times has achieved results which few could have equalled and has greatly eased the task of his superiors. His good handling of his staff has created a happy and efficient unit, whilst his willing work in the background has contributed very materially to many of the successful operations carried out by the divisional engineers against the enemy.
Colonel Black had a full career in the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers and the Canadian Military Engineers. In September 1968 he became the first Base Commander of CFB Chilliwack after Unification of the Canadian Forces. He then went on the be Command Construction Engineer at Mobile Command HQ in St-Hubert QC. He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1974 and worked as the Town Engineer for the Town of Sussex until 1981. He was an avid sailor on the waters of the Atlantic coast, and enjoyed skiing the Alps and Rockies.
There will be no visitation by request. Following cremation, a memorial service will be announced at a later date.