Paul Canniff – As I remember him

Our paths crossed several times but we never conversed as we really didn’t know each other. Then one day I was in the World Exchange Plaza, where I had parked my car. When I got to the elevator Paul was already standing there to get to his car. That is the first time we spoke and in our conversation he mentioned that he worked on the, not his words, “World Wide Web”. At that time internet was an exotic technology and I didn’t know anybody who worked in that field. I was curious, so I asked him if he could give me a brief introduction to it. Paul was his usual gracious self and invited me to his home office, located above the garage which was separate from the house. He proceeded to tell me how he was working on the website for the Canadian Embassy in Washington. I recall leaving the meeting and us standing on the driveway, where he made several obscure and disparate cultural references which surprised me, but I was soon to learn were central to his character.

As Dalwhinnie noted below, Paul went through some difficult periods which were exacerbated due to medical issues as well as limited career options as he was a trained Kremlinologist. He soldiered on and I think it is fair to state that after a long journey, he was able to vanquish his internal demons. His remunerative work in Regina brought a degree of stability and an active membership in Masons brought him immense joy. It is surprising that it took him that long to join the Masons given his fondness for organizations that are based on strict and formal order, such the Governor General Foot Guards of which he was a part.

The most amazing thing about Paul was his memory and the ability to recall obscure facts, along with wide knowledge of contemporary cultural references, both relevant and irrelevant and lowbrow as well as highbrow. With the right pedigree he could have easily edited a literary magazine. There are not many people who can claim to be able to do that, whilst boasting a complete Chelsea FC tattoo.