It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Alfred John Ellis, a Founding Director of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada who passed away peacefully in Vancouver, British Columbia on January 29, 2020 at the age of 104.
Born in Montreal on May 27, 2015 and educated at Lower Canada College, John began his career with the Bank of Montreal in 1932. A decorated Second World War veteran who served with distinction in the liberation of Holland, John retired from BMO in 1975 as Vice Chair and Director on the Board. He went on to serve as President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Canada Development Corporation, and Chair of the Advisory Board of Marsh & McLennan, finally retiring at 84.
John was an early adopter of the importance of Canada-Asia relations, and was actively involved with APF Canada, the Canada Japan Society, and the Pacific Basin Economic Council. He was recognized for these efforts with the Order of Canada (1983) and Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun (1989). In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
John is survived by his three children, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. His obituary appeared recently in The Globe and Mail and The Vancouver Sun.