Three Cheers for Me
   

SYBERTOOTH FORUMS - Bandy & Springhill

  HomeHelpSearchLoginRegister

Sybertooth Inc. HomepageJump to the Bandy Page
 
Pages: 1 2 3 
Reply Add Poll Send Topic Print
Donald L. Jack 1924-2003 (Read 796 times)
Forum Administrator
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Posts: 127

Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
05. Jun 2003 at 17:54
Quote 
Donald Jack's many fans worldwide will be saddened to learn of his death, at age 78. Below is a copy of the news release sent by his publisher.
_______________

DONALD JACK, AUTHOR OF THE BANDY PAPERS, DIES AT 78

McClelland & Stewart announces with sadness the death of Donald Jack, one of Canada's most beloved humorous novelists.  He recently passed away in England at the age of 78, survived by two daughters and six grandchildren.

Born in England, Donald Jack came to Canada in the early 1950s and soon established a career as a writer for film, TV and the stage.  His play The Canvas Barricade was the first original Canadian play to be performed on the main stage at the Stratford Festival.

He is most widely remembered, however, for The Bandy Papers, a series of comic novels recounting the adventures of a blundering First World War hero who went on to fame and misfortune in the post-war world.  The first six books in the series, Three Cheers For Me; That's Me In The Middle; It's Me Again; Me Bandy, You Cissie; Me Too and This One's On Me were recently re-published by McClelland & Stewart.  They gained no fewer than three Leacock Awards for Humour and the undying loyalty of Bandy fans everywhere.

When Three Cheers For Me first came out, with Don posing as the editor of these astonishing first-person records of trench warfare and war in the air, some reviewers treated it as non-fiction, recalls McClelland & Stewart's President and Publisher Doug Gibson.  When they were re-issued as a clearly fictional series there was some surprise, but that was overcome by the delight of thousands of readers.  Now that we've recently brought out the first six titles in trade paperback I've discovered Bandy fanatics all over the place.  They'll be saddened by the news of Donald Jack's death.

Recalling his personal memories, Gibson noted, I knew Don for over thirty years and had fun editing several of his books, and I'll always remember him as one of the rare humourists who actually laughed a lot.  His own hilarious blunderings, I'm sure, inspired his affectionate portrait of Bartholomew Bandy, one of our greatest comic characters.
Back to top
 
 
View Profile WWW   IP Logged
Terry Fallis
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #1 - 10. Jun 2003 at 14:59
Quote 
Over the last year I've read all of the Bandy books and have enjoyed every one immensely.  I've gained great affection for Bart Bandy, which to me is a clear measure of the Donald Jack's comic virtuosity.  He will be sadly missed.

I'm hoping the re-printing of the Bandy books will help ignite a new generation of fans.  Perhaps CBC should produce the Bandy miniseries.

I had heard that there was another Bandy book in the works.  I'll keep my fingers crossed...
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Craig Hansen
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #2 - 10. Jun 2003 at 22:58
Quote 
After reading voraciously as a kid, I collect the works of only two authors:  Douglas Adams and Donald Jack.  Now they're both dead.  I hate to sound self-centred, but that is very selfish of them.

I don't know why, exactly, but I remember almost exactly the opening sentences of the first books I read by both:

"Deep in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the
western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.
Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 98 million miles is an insignificant
little blue-green planet who's ape-decended lifeforms are so amazingly
primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat Idea."

- and -

"On my way back to the Front, I ran over a general."

The two best openings to works of comic fiction I ever read.

I smiled in wonder at the former.  If you haven't read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, do so before you lose your towel.  But I nearly died laughing at Donald's opening, the succinctity of it all.  I'm pretty sure that's a word.

Along the way, these two authors scarred me for life, especially Jack.  I find it hard to look at any superior of mine without seeing many of the characteristics of that ill-fated general, or some other bigwig that Bandy crossed paths with and inflicted great suffering upon.  My respect for authority destroyed, I now run my own business.

I even made my wife read "Three Cheers for Me".  Once finished, she admitted that she understood me better.

I second the call for a Bandy miniseries.  Though I would find it much more appropriate to include Volume 1 into the school curriculum to replace one of those awful tomes that attempt to destroy any appetite for reading the young student may have developed.

I would love to nominate a volume for the next "Canada Reads" contest (not that anyone has asked me), if for no other reason than to prevent even one student from having to read A Handmaid's Tale.

We may not have met, but it was nice knowing you, Don.

Regards,
Craig Hansen
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Stephen Meek
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #3 - 11. Jun 2003 at 17:31
Quote 
I was saddened to hear of Don's passing. I vividly remember my dad bringing back Three Cheers for Me on his return from a business trip when I was a kid. I also remember being busted by my mom at midnight for reading when I should have been sleeping due to the loud laughter emanating from my room. Thanks for the joy, Don.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Roger Tulk
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #4 - 12. Jun 2003 at 00:36
Quote 
Donald Jack is one of the authors I always wanted to meet, and always wanted to read another book from. I first read his work 30 years ago, and have reread some of them. Somehow, Three Cheers for Me! was always the best, partly because of the shock of meeting Bartholomew for the first time, blowing holes in his father's graduation picture with a rifle, it seems to me. God, it was wonderful!

I've recommende him to  countless friends, which may explain why I can't find my copy of Three Cheers.

I never quite forgave him for killing off Katherine, that sentence, "By the time I got there she was dead," sopped me like a blow. Not that the plot and future development of the series didn't require it, but I was in love with her, too. I forgive you, Donald.

I met a woman with squinty eyes a little while ago, and ws immediately reminded of Katherine. And yes, he did influence some of my attitudes to my job and those unworthies put in charge of me.

My love and sympathy to all who knew him.

Roger
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
RAF_Pepe LePeu
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #5 - 12. Jun 2003 at 15:46
Quote 
Very sad to lose both Douglas Adams and DOnald Jack. The world needs more humour.

I am part of a virtual squadron (RAF209 -- the squad that downed Richtofen) that plays the WWI flight simulation called Red Baron. We have a Canadian member who uses the callsign "Bandy". I have passed along the message to him.

SALUTE! Donald Jack

Capt. Pepe LePeu, VC
209 squadron RAF
http://www.angelfire.com/ma3/RAF209
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Forum Administrator
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Posts: 127

Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #6 - 12. Jun 2003 at 16:24
Quote 
Below is the National Post's obituary for Donald Jack, reproduced with permission of J. Kelly Nestruck/National Post


Humorist created bumbling flying ace
National Post Wednesday, June 11, 2003 Page: S11

Donald Jack, one of Canada's most beloved humorists, died last week at the age of 78 in England.

Mr. Jack was the author of the popular Bandy Papers, a series of comic novels about the bumbling First World War flying ace Bart Bandy, for which he won three Stephen Leacock awards for humour."Most writers of light comedy tend to be quite serious people with a lugubrious view of the world," said Doug Gibson, Mr. Jack's long-time friend and editor. "Don, in fact, was a hilarious guy. You could tell where he was by following the gales of laughter."

The son of Scottish parents, Donald Jack was born in Manchester, England, in 1924. He served in the RAF at the end of the Second World War, where he gathered information for his books, and immigrated to Canada in 1951. Once in Canada, Mr. Jack enrolled at the Canadian Theatre School in 1953, but he soon abandoned acting and embarked on a career writing film scripts at Crawley Films and the National Film Board. He also wrote for such CBC television dramas as GM Presents and Folio. In 1961, Mr. Jack branched out into playwriting with The Canvas Barricade, which became the first Canadian play to have its premiere on the main stage at the Stratford Festival. He followed it up with Exit Muttering in 1962, a comedy about a businessman and the three women in his life.

In 1963, Mr. Jack wrote his first novel, Three Cheers for Me, the fictional memoirs of Bartholomew Bandy, a First World War pilot from the Ottawa Valley. In the introduction, he writes he had discovered the manuscript in an attic in Etobicoke. Many reviewers believed the memoirs were real. Three Cheers for Me was an international success and won Mr. Jack his first Stephen Leacock medal. The New York Times praised the book, writing, "Donald Jack has as light a touch with this fragile art as his hero has on the throttle of a Sopwith Camel."

Ten years later, Mr. Jack approached Mr. Gibson, now president and publisher of McClelland & Stewart, and asked if he would be interested in publishing a sequel to Three Cheers for Me. McClelland & Stewart published the second Bandy book, That's Me in the Middle, and the rest of the eight-book Bandy Papers series. The most recent Bandy book, Hitler vs. Me, was published in 1996. McClelland & Stewart recently began republishing the entire series.

In 1981, Mr. Jack, whose father was a physician, wrote Rogues, Rebels and Geniuses, his only non-fiction book, a funny and irreverent history of medicine in Canada.

When his wife became ill, Mr. Jack returned to England in 1986. After she died, he stopped writing for several years. He was working on the final book in the Bartholomew Bandy series, to be called Stalin vs. Me, when he died. Mr. Gibson is looking into editing and publishing the unfinished manuscript. Mr. Gibson, who compares Mr. Jack's writing to that of P.J. Wodehouse, says his friend of 30 years brought joy wherever he went. "His own hilarious blunderings, I'm sure, inspired his affectionate portrait of Bartholomew Bandy, one of our greatest comic characters."

Mr. Jack is survived by two daughters and six grandchildren.
Back to top
 
 
View Profile WWW   IP Logged
Forum Administrator
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Posts: 127

Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #7 - 12. Jun 2003 at 16:30
Quote 
The Globe & Mail's obituary for Donald Jack may be found at:

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030612/OBJACK/

Back to top
 
 
View Profile WWW   IP Logged
Hedley McConnell
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #8 - 15. Jun 2003 at 22:15
Quote 
I, too, bought my first Donald Jack to read on a train (in England) because of the cover illustration. Shortly after I had all volumes to date. My father bought me Volume IV (then, "Me Among the Ruins") and in the flyleaf he wrote: ". . . in gratitude for introducing me to the funniest stringbag flyer ever".

I rang my son in London yesterday to tell him that Donald Jack had died. His reaction was the same as if we had lost a close friend. That said it all. We HAVE lost a close friend, he has been in our home for over 30 years.

The good thing of course is that, despite Donald's passing, he will continue to be in our home in our "Bandy Box" which has several copies of each volume. Each of which is read regularly.

As for Bart, well, I guess he is having trouble with Katherine, Sigga, Milestone, Derby et al in a place where we all hope to be one day.  Unless, of course, the magnificent Mrs. Lewis has taken control.

Beamington was a good place. There was no place you could get a drink, but there were seven churches.

Blame Canada!



Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Forum Administrator
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Posts: 127

Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #9 - 18. Jun 2003 at 15:17
Quote 
We requested a song in honour of Donald Jack on the CBC radio show "Take Five," and it aired on June 18. Below is our request, and in case you missed the show, this website:

http://www.airforce.ca/kitshop/musiccompact.htm

has an audio version of the RCAF March Past that you can listen to (Track 13). In fact, if you really like it you can buy the CD.

______________________
Canada recently lost one of its great writers. Donald Jack, author of the eight volumes of The Bandy Papers, has died in England at the age of 78. Jack won the Leacock Medal three times for various of the Bandy novels, but the books (Three Cheers For Me; That's Me in the Middle; It's Me Again; Me Bandy, You Cissie; Me Too; This One's On Me; Me So Far: and Hitler vs. Me) are more than just great humour; Donald Jack brought to his writing a deep appreciation for the subtler comedy and tragedy of the human condition and a wryly ironic view of love, war, heroism, and politics. The novels are a journey through the first half of "Canada's Century", historical works which follow the career of Bartholomew W. Bandy, "Quintessential Canadian hero, or menace to peace, order, and good government?" from the trenches of the Great War and his rapid transfer to the Royal Flying Corps (after accidently capturing his own colonel in a daring raid on his own lines), through  Revolution, Prohibition, and Parliament, to WWII and the D-Day landings. A  veteran of the RAF himself, Jack wrote about war, its horrors and waste, without glorifying it, but without diminishing the value of the cameraderie or the need, by times, for genuine sacrifice, as Bandy discovers in Hitler vs. Me.

Bandy himself is one of those characters who lives in the mind as a real person. One cannot believe he never existed; he is too much flesh and blood. We really believe that the search for the "great Canadian novel" ended long ago: the collective Bandy Papers is it. We maintain the Bandy website at www.sybertooth.com/bandy/ and through this have discovered that there are devoted admirers of Donald Jack and Bandy all around the world. We get email from Australia, the US, the UK, Holland, Denmark, and Canada, from people sharing their appreciation for Bandy, their delight in the fact that McClelland and Stewart has been reissuing the whole series again, and their eager anticipation of the new Bandy book, Stalin vs Me, which, sadly, Jack had not finished at the time of his death. A number of these people have talked about how Bandy helped them get through a difficult time in their own life; for a deliberately infuriating, self-deceiving, horse-faced provocateur, Bandy seems to have an ability to comfort and console as great as his more obvious appeal as ace and jester. We've often thought we should start a festival similar to Dublin's "Bloomsday" -- "Bandy Day" -- to be celebrated on Bandy's birthday, every July 14th. Go out there, drink some champagne, and steal a piano.

For all of us at the Bandy site, and all the admirers of Donald Jack's work across Canada and around the world, would you play (without waiting for Bandy Day) the RAF March Past, for Bandy and in memory of Donald Jack?

Thank you.
K.V. Johansen and Chris Paul
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 18. Jan 2005 at 14:27 by Forum Administrator »  
View Profile WWW   IP Logged
Daryl Hatton
Member
*
Offline


Posts: 1

Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #10 - 19. Jun 2003 at 22:43
Quote 
I discovered The Bandy Papers as a kid, read them voraciously, laughed out loud frequently and cried occasionally. They were, and still are, an absolute delight.

I was thrilled to discover the reprinting of the series as some of my original dog-eared collection had disappeared over the years, lent with enthusiasm to friends who enjoyed them enough to keep them. It is our loss that there will be no new adventures to share.

I agree with those who think these works should be shared and thereby kept alive for a new generation of readers. A few months ago I purchased a complete set of the Bandy Papers and donated them to my children's school library. I encourage others to do the same.

It is interesting that some of the deepest pride I feel in being a Canadian was revealed to me by reading the work of an Englishman.

Donald Jack, thank you.

Daryl
Back to top
 
 
View Profile   IP Logged
Hedley McConnell
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #11 - 29. Jun 2003 at 21:01
Quote 
I was delighted to read about "Stalin Vs. Me" in a posting above. How can I find out if this project is going ahead and when can we expect publication?

In a previous posting I miscounted the number of churches in Beamington. There were 9, not 7.

And still nowhere you could get a drink!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Forum Administrator
YaBB Administrator
*****
Offline


Posts: 127

Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #12 - 30. Jun 2003 at 01:51
Quote 
re: Stalin Vs. Me

McClelland & Stewart generally keeps us informed of the latest Bandy News, which we pass on through the Bandy website. As soon as we hear anything concerning Stalin Vs. Me we'll be posting it here, and/or at http://www.sybertooth.com/bandy/

Since the manuscript was still being worked on at the time of Jack's death, it's possible that it will never be published. We can only hope that it was finished enough to see print in some form. Assuming that it is published, I woudn't expect it to be available until Spring 2004 at the earliest, and more likely later, though that is pretty much just a wild guess on my part based on the schedule of the previous volumes' release.

Back to top
 
 
View Profile WWW   IP Logged
Martin Nicholas Jack
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #13 - 25. Jul 2003 at 06:12
Quote 
I was saddened and very shocked to hear of my Uncle's death just recently.

I had just spoken to him at his home on Withybrooke in England just about a month ago. At the time I was trying to get in touch with my Father Robert jack (His Brother). We were speaking about  his new book, and I am sorry that he did not get a chance to finish it. I only hope that Lulu and Marren give permission for it to be finished.

Although I did not get a chance to see my Uncle and say goodbye,  as I wasn't informed of his death until last week. I only hope that he is creating laughter wherever he may be resting. I have many a fond memory of my Grandfather's house in Manchester, and often played as a child in his house. My Grandfather Robert Paterson Jack and my Grandmother, Sarah had inspired my Uncle as evident in some of his books. It is with sad regrets that I was not able to see you one more time.

Thanks

Nicholas Jack

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Doug Onwschuk
Guest




Re: Donald L. Jack 1924-2003
Reply #14 - 05. Sep 2003 at 18:27
Quote 
The world has lost a truly great author. I have never read someone that can combine terror, joviality, contempt, respect, sarcasm, truth and humor so easily as Mr. Jack. His works were always fun to read and full of history and trivia that were always worth looking up to find more detail on.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 
Reply Add Poll Send Topic Print