Cecil L. Johnston

Radio Operator on Resolution Island 1944-1945



Passed Away in 2013 - Scroll Down for Obituary  

Décès en 2013 - Avis de décès au bas de la page  



Subject: VAW Resolution Island and my Father 1944-1945


Hi! I cannot wait until December when I'll return to see my parents in Saint John, NB and spend time with my father, Cecil Johnston, going through this incredible website with him. He was a radio operator on Resolution Island 1944-45 and I have been searching off and on for months trying to track down historical evidence of the station there. His recollections are keen and I've learned a great deal about his time and experiences while there. He is 91 years young and I know the photos and info amassed here will be very meaningful for him.


Thanks for this.


Denise Johnston

15 October 2012



Hi Denise:


Sorry about the long delay. I was out of commission for a while and I am now trying to catch up. I have finally added your father to the Roll Call. Should you have more info to contribute and/or photos, it would be very much appreciated.


Best regards.


Donald Courcy

18 November 2013



Dear Mr. Courcy,


The timing of your reply is particularly poignant and it is difficult to convey that my father, Cecil Johnston, passed away unexpectedly November 10th, 2013. I do have pictures and the names of some of my Dad's colleagues from their term on Resolution Island that I will share at a future time. Hearing back from you is indeed appreciated and I hope you are doing well.




Denise Johnston

2 December 2013





So sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with your and your family in these difficult times.


Donald Courcy

2 December 2013


Obituary  -  Avis de décès

Cecil Lockett Johnston

1921 - 2013


It is with profound sadness that the family of Cecil Lockett Johnston of Saint John, New Brunswick, announces his unexpected passing on Sunday, November 10, 2013 during his 92nd year.


Cecil was married for 67 years to his beloved wife, Doris Johnston (nee Kizer). Proud and loving father of daughter, Denise Johnston of Burlington, ON and son, Colin Johnston (wife Lesley, nee McCarthy) both also originally of Saint John and currently Kelowna, BC.


Adoring grandfather of Katie Gabanowicz (Karol) Peachland, BC; Colleen Kryczka (Joel) of Kelowna, BC and Erin Johnston (Ben) of Vancouver, BC; great-grandfather of Ellen Gabanowicz and Carter Kryczka.


Also survived by relatives in Saint John and surrounding area and Collina, NB. Predeceased by parents Cecil Rhodes Johnston and Nellie Lockett Johnston and only sister, Marjorie Jean Johnston.


It was during army service with the Royal Canadian Engineers, in which he enlisted in 1939, that Cecil first became engaged in electrical installation work that ultimately led to the motion picture business. Following army service he worked with the federal Department of Transport for three years as a commercial short wave radio operator, including a memorable year in the harsh, isolated post on Resolution Island in Hudson Bay.


In 1946, Cecil joined Dominion Sound Equipment and upon completion of training as a theatre sound technician, he returned to New Brunswick to take up duties there. He advanced through the company and assumed the position of District Manager, after being approached by General Theatre Supply Company. With the amalgamation of the two companies in 1959, Cecil became Maritime District Manager of the new company, General Sound and Theatre Equipment, an affiliate of Famous Players Film Company, a position held until retirement.


Cecil served two years as President of the Maritimes Branch of Canadian Picture Pioneers and held numerous offices in the Kiwanis Club, the Board of Trade, the Saint John Executives Association and New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists. He also served two terms as President of both the Toastmasters Club and the Naturalists’ Club of Saint John.


Cecil’s talents and interests were many and he was known for his discriminating wit and easy-going demeanour. Cecil wrote and enjoyed poetry throughout his life. He was an avid reader, particularly of popular and science fiction and started each day with the newspaper. Crossword puzzles were a long-time pursuit; he rarely missed his daily outing to the lottery booth and until recently, could be seen on his daily walk around the neighborhood.


Cecil was a highly skilled, self-taught leather craftsman and won many 1st place ribbons at the annual A.N.E. exhibitions. Custom items from handbags to wallets and official Coat-of Arms to wall plaques and decorative items were lovingly created for family and friends, both near and far. Cecil derived great joy and personal accomplishment from the world of nature and it was in this field of endeavour that his most passionate leisure pursuits emerged. He was an ardent birder for most of his adult life, with wildflowers, mushrooms and photography following closely behind. Few activities brought greater satisfaction than traversing field and stream in search of an elusive, new or rare bird, or wild flower, to add to his life lists and also to share his findings with others. Cecil’s efforts have made a lasting contribution to official records both within the province and beyond.

In keeping with Cecil’s wishes, no formal services will be held. For those who wish, remembrances to the Saint John Naturalists’ Club or Nature New Brunswick may be made by writing to Nature New Brunswick, 924 Prospect Street, Fredericton, NB E3B 2T9, or website:, or a charity of one’s choice.


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