The expression “NOCD” (“Not our class, Darling”) was one to which I was introduced years ago by Frederick aka “Freddie” Innes (or Innis, it doesn’t matter, he continues I am sure to be as preposterous now as he was then). He mentioned the quip while the two of us were sitting, sweating on the upper level of the two-tiered wooden bench in the sauna of the private health club at the Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa.

The hotel is nearby the House of Parliament (separated only by the Rideau Canal with its famous locks) which meant many of the members of the health club were politicians, senators or members of the Privy Council, including the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. This had to have been in the year 1973 or 1974 when I was articling at Macdonald, Affleck, 100 Sparks Street or in 1975 during my first year of law practice at the same firm following my return from Osgoode Hall, Toronto where I triumphed my admission to the Supreme Court of Ontario. Those were the days when I smoked cigarettes (Winston), drank booze and cycled vast distances along the Ottawa River Parkway which was easily accessible from my downtown residence at the very respectable Mayfair apartment building on Metcalfe Street (its larger apartments noted for having back doors through the pantry). By utter serendipity about that same time Freddie became well acquainted with Henry Davis who I recall was a member of the Privy Council and who on occasion visited the Château Laurier health club (when he wasn’t otherwise engaged at the YMCA or the Carleton University athletic department).

Mr. Henry F. Davis
Rockliffe Park, Ontario, Canada

Member of the Order of Canada
Awarded on: December 23, 1985
Invested on: April 09, 1986

Creator and former head of the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat and twice Canadian Secretary to Her Majesty during royal visits to this country, his record as a public servant and volunteer worker is outstanding. Author of the Manual of Official Procedure of the Government of Canada he served as an expert to Prime Ministers, Premiers and senior state officials on legal, constitutional and protocol matters.

More significantly for me at the time was that Henry was the father of Martha Davis whom years before (prior to law school) I had befriended during undergraduate studies at Glendon Hall, Toronto; and whom I had visited frequently at their home on Acacia Avenue in Rockcliffe Park preceding their removal to smaller digs nearby where Henry routinely conducted luncheons characterized by Pimm’s on the patio (a mixture to which I never favourably adjusted).

Recipe Intro From Belleannee
Cocktail, Summer

You can’t ring in summer in the UK without a bucket of fresh fruit and a thirst for Pimm’s.

RECIPE: There are variations on the cocktail but the basic recipe is 1 part Pimm’s to 2 parts mixer (which can be lemonade, Sprite, soda water, tonic water or a combination of those) + a handful of fruits and some fresh mint and cucumber. It just tastes like summer!

The quip NOCD is naturally never used as anything other than a pleasantry and in specified circles as a moderate admonishment of some patent grammatical error such as I overheard while lounging by the pool today (“He informed John and I…” or some other such common abuse). As insupportable as I consider those indiscretions I am however spirited by the unwitting knowledge that there are those who manifest a contradictory dedication (and for whom I have no doubt Pimm’s on the patio would be perfectly tolerable).

Died at home on Sunday, August 13, 2000 after a long and unkind illness. He was 86 and is survived by his wife, Susan (O’Reilly) and his four children, Ann, Martha, Tom and Jane and his grandchildren Tara, Kate, Jamie, Sarah, John, Willy and Chris all of whom will miss him immeasurably. A private family funeral is to be held at St. Joseph’s Church. In lieu of flowers, Henry would have like donations to the YMCA or the Victorian Order of Nurses

I mention the serendipity of my acquaintance with Henry Davis partly because he and my former friend Louis de la Chesnaye Audette QC OC were also friends. I had met Louis at a dinner party at his house around 1975 through Dr. Douglas Peterson, a chap whom I had met casually at the lobby bar of the Lord Elgin Hotel.  Coincidentally l afterwards discovered that Douglas had once (during my father’s absence) escorted my mother to a dinner party at the home of our neighbours and Douglas’ colleague Dr. (and Mrs.) Edward Laroux.

Louis de la Chesnaye Audette, OC (April 7, 1907 – April 2, 1995]) was a Canadian lawyer, naval officer and civil servant.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, the son of Louis-Arthur Audette and Mary-Grace Stuart, the tenth child of Andrew Stuart, he was educated as a lawyer and practiced in Montreal during the 1930s. During World War II, he served with the Royal Canadian Navy and commanded several ships (HMCS Pictou, Amherst, Coaticook, and St. Catharines) in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. He was mentioned in dispatches and left the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant commander. As a reserve officer, he was later promoted to commander.

After the war, from 1947 to 1959, he a member of the Canadian Maritime Commission and its chairman from 1954 to 1959. From 1959 to 1972, he was Chairman of the Tariff Board of Canada.

In 1974, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. His oral history of his wartime adventures was published in Salty Dips Vol. 2 (1985.)

By even further fortuity Louis was the former commanding officer of Edward Harrington Winslow-Spragge who (together with his wife Isobelle and their daughter Joanne) were erstwhile clients and friends of mine.

Just to complete this circle my friend Grant A. Jameson now owns Louis’ former residence in Sandy Hill, Ottawa.