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A Fond Farewell For A/V/M de Niverville
It was officially called "a reception in honor of A/V/M A. de Niverville, C.B. LL.D. (a.k.a. Dinty) but for weeks people around Ottawa's No. 3 "Temporary" building were affectionately referring to it as the "Dinny Do".
"Are you going to the "Dinny Do?" they asked each other.
"Of course," was the answer in most cases, and that is how the spacious Assembly Hall at Lansdowne Park came to look a bit crowded the night of November 6, last.
More than 250 well-wishers D.O.T. employees and their guests joined the Minister in paying tribute to the retiring Assistant Deputy Minister, Air. Among those present were Deputy Minister John R. Baldwin; Mr. de Niverville's successor, Assistant Deputy Minister C. S. Booth; and Assistant Deputy Minister, Marine, Gordon Stead; all branch directors including Dr. P. D. McTaggart-Cowan from Toronto, and regional directors and other key personnel from Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Percy Saltzman, a Toronto meteo man who is well-known all over Ontario as a CBC-TV weatherman, acted as master of ceremonies at the reception.
His rapid-fire comedy routine enthralled everyone. Marking a weather map on a blackboard, he explained, "There's always a low (L) over Quebec (Q) with Frost (F) in it (this produced the letters FLQ on the map), bringing cold northerly winds over Ottawa, replacing the usual hot air".
Pursuing the point, he said, "Whereupon the temperature at Ottawa reaches it dopoint Zero ! and when Diefenbaker steps out into that chill north wind, he says, "Man, that's Pearson!".
In a take-off on his own TV routine in which he invariably flips a piece of chalk in the air, he said, "I do it to signal the fact that the weather is a toss-up".
Besides a buffet supper and dancing, the "Dinny Do" also included a floor show put on by the members of air services headquarters. Written and directed by Architect Stan White the show included skits about such subjects as civil servants and red tape.
The show ended with the "Dinty Waltz" in which it was recalled that:
"After the war Dinty managed a plant that made ice cream (vanilla, pistachio), popsicles, fudge sticks, and Eskimo pies with elan, Chocolate and butter pecan. Fortunately D.O.T. scooped him out of the ice cream and gave him a chance to become our Good Fortune Man."
The song was too funny to be the "tear jerker it was billed to be, although the ending came close with:
Ten thousand strong raise their voices in song for you, Dinty
To bid you goodbye and godspeed for we all wish you well
And here with a few of your best friends around you
To speak for the rest: May good fortune abound, you
Remain in our hearts, au revoir, bon voyage and farewell."
Mr. de Niverville was presented with a cheque and a television set ("to watch the hockey games," as he allowed later) from his headquarters staff and with various gifts from field offices.
Mrs. de Niverville received a large bouquet.
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