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Former Canadian Vice President J.W. “Wes” Lyster, 1923-2009

CLEVELAND, August 14 — Former Canadian BLE International Vice President J.W. “Wes” Lyster passed away on August 9. He was 86 years old.

Brother Lyster was a member of Division 355 in Calgary, Alberta. He joined the Brotherhood on March 11, 1951, and over the years served his Division as Local Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer.

He was appointed to the office of Special Representative on October 25, 1976. He was well known on the railroads in western Canada where he spent a good deal of time with all divisions. He was also known in the western United States by virtue of his Brotherhood work and by his being chairman of the International Western Convention in Calgary in 1973.

He was elected first Canadian alternate vice president at the BLE’s Third Quinquennial Convention in Cleveland in 1981. He was promoted to the Advisory Board on September 1, 1983, following the retirement of former Canadian Director E.J. Davies.

He retired from service to the Brotherhood on August 30, 1986.

He hired out on the Canadian Pacific Railway as an engine wiper at Empress, Alberta, in 1940 and went firing steam engines in 1942. He won his promotion to locomotive engineer in 1948 and was initiated into Division 355, Calgary, on March 11, 1951.

Outside of his railroad career, Lyster served two years in the Canadian Air Force. He was born April 6, 1923, in Cabri, Sask.

He was a Mason and a member of the Shrine. He is predeceased by his wife, Grace. The couple had two sons, Donald and Dale.

“I extend deepest condolences to the Lyster family on behalf of the BLET National Division,” BLET President Ed Rodzwicz said.

Details of a Celebration of Life will be announced later by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes in Calgary (2720 Centre Street North, Telephone: 403-276-2296).

Friday, August 14, 2009

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