Durand, Paul, (Dec. 18, 2017)

DURAND, Paul – Paul died peacefully on December 18, at a time of his choosing, in the company of loved ones. His struggle with ALS was marked by dignity, clear-eyed courage, and courtesy towards others. He deeply appreciated the friends and family who made his life a happy one and who helped him through this last difficult time. He particularly wanted to recognize his wife and partner of over 30 years, Patricia Fortier. Also appreciated were his children by his first marriage (Rosamaria Durand), Julian, Stephen and Michelle, his siblings Barbara Kilby and Bob Durand (Wanda), his brother-in-law Ray Curran, his sisters-in-law, Verla and Gail Fortier, and his nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his dear sister, Stephanie Curran, and his parents, George and Marion. He was 76. Paul placed deep value in his close friendships, including his many colleagues turned friends, the international companions of tennis and of course the Ottawa coffee cohort. His loyalty was steadfast and his subversive wit always at the ready. This served him well both on and off the court, in a successful career that included international banking and diplomacy. Born in London, Ontario, the St. Clair river and the village of Corunna/Sarnia where he grew up held a special place in his life. As a young man, however, he “got the hell out of there” and after touring north America he began his career in the Bank of London and South America in Nassau, Bahamas in 1961. This was followed by bank assignments in El Salvador, Colombia (Bogotá, Cali) and then Chicago and Toronto as Vice-President of the Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago. He finished his BA (Political Economy) after studies at Northwestern University and U of Toronto. In 1975 he switched careers to join the then Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). He was posted in Barbados, then was assigned to the Privy Council Office in the final years of Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister. India in 1987 was his first posting with Patricia. He moved to then-Department of External Affairs where he specialized in the Latin American region, helping to usher Canada into the Organization of American States in 1989 and in 2001 helped to achieve the adoption of the OAS Democracy Charter. He served as Director, then Director General of that region with postings as Ambassador to Costa Rica accredited to Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama (1992-5), Ambassador to Chile (2000-1) and Ambassador to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., (2001-6). After retiring from the Foreign Service, he became Resident Representative of the OAS in the Dominican Republic when Patricia was Ambassador there. Returning to Ottawa, he served on boards of private companies and think-tanks active in the Americas region, as well as the Rockcliffe Lawn and Tennis Club. A memorial service for this wonderful man will be held Saturday, January 13 at 3 p.m. at St Columba Anglican Church, 24 Sandridge Road in Ottawa. Donations can be made in his name to the ALS Society of Canada.

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