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On December 29th 2013, in late afternoon, thousands of people must have felt a twinge of heartache whether in Ontario, from coast to coast in Canada, the United-States, England, France and Australia or other locations. Some felt weak in the knees; some shed a few tears while others were struck by a great sadness. Frank Binder left us, but not empty-handed. He left us all with a long lasting and personal gift, even without our knowledge.
The many people that were touched are individuals that are still able to walk, run, work, visit family and friends, people who can simply take advantage of being alive and happy in their daily lives thanks to the efforts of our friend Frank in the context of Operation Lifesaver and Direction 2006, two initiatives that greatly reduce grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents.
By his perseverance, his professionalism and people skills, he contributed to the planning and development of educational material, partnership guides and community presentations. Working in a team came naturally to Frank, he never worked solo. Whenever he would come up with a great idea which would have a positive impact, he was the first to share it with his colleagues from CP and other railway companies, because even though Frank was “Mr. CN”, he was most of all a Rail Safety Champion for all, without limits or turf wars. Ric Ladouceur and Bill Law from CP Police Services can confirm without a doubt.
We could write pages upon pages of anecdotes, projects, videos and texts of which Frank was the author and that are still in use to save lives in Canada and the world.
I am retired now and therefore cannot speak for Transport Canada or the Government of Canada, where I had the honour of getting to know him. Mind you, as a Canadian, I would like to thank Donna and his two children, Jonathan and Jason, for generously sharing Frank’s precious time with us.
I cannot end without highlighting the close bond that was formed between “The Boys” (Ric Ladouceur, Bill Law and I) who had the privilege of being at his bedside with his family during his final moments.
Frank will keep his place at ‘’The Boys’” table for our annual dinner in December and we will for sure have a beer in his memory.
Friend, colleague and rail safety partner