|John (Jack) William Duggan was born on Dec. 28, 1919 in Toronto Ontario. He graduated from Malvern Collegiate in 1938 and joined the RCMP in 1941 until his retirement as Staff Sergeant in Dec. 1969. He served many communities including Regina, Cranbrook, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, New Denver, Grand Forks, Trail, Nelson, Slocan City, Lemon Creek and Abbotsford. |
Jack's kind, compassionate, friendly and professional approach to his job led to the development of some of his fondest memories of his early career spent supervising several of the Japanese Internment camps in BC. He carried out his difficult assignment with compassion and understanding. He served in this capacity up until the days of Japanese Canadian departure to Japan or eastern Canada. Jack always looked back on his time spent there with many fond memories. In his own words, "I can recall Popoff Farm, Bay Farm, Rosebery, Kaslo, New Denver and Tashme with many fond memories, and some lifelong memories, and friendships, notwithstanding the circumstances." Jack was one of the Mounted Policemen to supervise or guard several of the camps. The police were quartered in a huge old house sitting on high ground just at the edge of Slocan City. The police office was a larger rendition of the shacks, with a general office and separate office for the member in charge. The office was kept heated and attended to by the Japanese Canadian WW1 vets, who also doubled at night to patrol for fires.
Because of his youth and interest in athletics, Jack played baseball with the Lemon Creek team, they were impressed with his ability to hit and he was impressed with their ability to strike him out. There was at least one baseball team in each camp he went to. By and large there were no issues in the camps, there were some strikes over food, complaints about stolen property, but largely the Japanese Canadians were cooperative. They even spilled out the homemade sake if they knew he was coming to visit, more to save face. He had to supervise and issue permits for those coming and going, they could not travel anywhere without a permit. And twice a year the RCMP had to take a census by going around to every shack, and they had to supervise a fire drill regularly.
Jack participated in the early years of the RCMP Youth Police Program and was chief of police in Kitimat. After retirement he was involved on the executive of the RCMP Veteran's Association to 1995. And since 1950 he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Organization, serving on the executive for over 35 years. In 1985, he received the coveted Brotherhood man of the year award. He coached Soccer, Hockey, Baseball in his communities until the age of 73. In 1998 he was awarded the Governor General's Caring Canada Award.
Jack passed away with much regret on March 25, 2007.