Henri Simard

(1922-73)  Quebec/CFM member; received the Service Award in 1967, served as Society President (1970-72).

HENRI SIMARD (1922-73) grew up in Matane, Quebec, served as a parachutist in World War II, and then worked as a forester, eventually becoming director of measurement for the International Paper Company (CIP) in Montreal. It was a position which he earned through much hard work and many extra courses in mathematics, statistics and computer programming. In the course of his business trips around the province, he often spoke to local astronomy groups and encouraged many to affiliate with the Société d'Astronomie de Montréal and to join the RASC.

Originally he was a member of Quebec Centre, but his work brought him to Montreal where he joined the Centre français in 1960. He served as their President in 1963-65, edited the Annuaire (a French language version of the Handbook), contributed regularly to the monthly Bulletin d'Astronomie and received the RASC Service Award in 1967. Simard's diplomacy and stature within the Centre was important in strengthening the Society's role among francophone members in Quebec. He was elected national Second Vice-President in 1966 which led to a term as President in 1970-72, following which he was re-elected President of the Centre français.

Henri Simard was a highly skilled telescope maker. He designed and made his own unique mirror-tester and one of his products, a 15-cm reflector with tube made of wood, won him first prizes at Stellafane in 1967 in the Newtonian category and for its excellent optics. He shared his talents with others as Director of the Optical Section of the Centre, a group which he established.

His daughter Martine (Normandin) pursued astronomical studies to the post-graduate level, but followed a career at Northern Telecom in Ottawa.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

  • Obituary, JRASC (April 1974)
Simard, Henri