Passing of Past Registrar Dr. Finlay Morrison

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Finlay (right) pictured with his wife Dorothy. 

Passing of past Registrar Dr. Finlay Morrison

Dr. Finlay Morrison passed away peacefully on the morning of December 28, 2017 at the age of 100 years- a birthday that he celebrated just two weeks prior on December 15 with family and friends. 

Finlay was born in Stornoway, Saskatchewan, and attended the University of Saskatchewan, graduating in 1942 as a licensed pharmacist.  In May of the same year, Finlay joined the Canadian Army where he received a commission as a Lieutenant. He served overseas with the South Sask Regiment as a platoon commander.  In April of 1944, Finlay was appointed Aide de Camp to the Canadian Army Commander General H.D.G. Crerar.  Finlay served with the General in the Northwest Europe campaign where he was promoted to Captain.  Finlay returned to Canada with the General in August 1945 and was the recipient of the MBE (Member of the British Empire).

Finlay moved to Vancouver when Finlay was appointed to the newly-formed Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Arts & Science (approved by the UBC Senate in 1945) on August 22, 1947.  Finlay achieved the rank of Professor of Pharmaceutics and served under the governance of three Deans during his tenure. He held significant leadership roles, assuming the roles of Acting Dean (January - August 1952) and Associate Dean for Dr. Bernard E. Riedel, Professor and Dean (1967 - 1984) until his retirement in December 1982.  Finlay was also a member of the Canadian Military reserves and was the Commanding Officer 1959 - 1963 of the Canadian Officers Training Corps UBC with a rank of Lt-Cpl (Reserve). 

During his 35-year career with the UBC Faculty, Finlay was the cornerstone of both academic and professional pharmacy in BC.  He was involved in the drafting and presentation of a new BC Pharmacists' Act in 1974 and served as President (1973 - 74) and Registrar (1956 - 57), College of Pharmacists of BC, he also served nationally as President of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada and Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada. 

Finlay's passionate commitment to academic pharmacy is reflected in the statement he prepared for a celebration of the Faculty's 50th anniversary (1946-1996):  "I have also had the distinct privilege of working with hundreds of students now practicing the profession in BC and around the world, and I count that as one of the greatest professional rewards and challenges one could ever have."  Finlay touched the lives of many accomplished individuals who pursued careers within the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy profession.  Everyone who had the privilege of working with him knew him as a gentleman and someone who genuinely cared for others.  He will long be remembered for his distinguished service to his country, The University of British Columbia, and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Finlay’s wife, Dorothy, passed away just 6.5 months before on June 18, 2017.  Finlay and Dorothy were married for 71 years.  Finlay was predeceased by his daughter, Susan, his sisters, Mary MacDonald, Jean Mooney, Isabelle McKinnon, Margaret Tomkow and his brothers, Allan, Peter, and Donald.  He is survived by two grandchildren, Ian and Adrien, and two great- grandchildren, Isabelle and Nathan.  Finlay and Dorothy were blessed to have many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life was held for Finlay and Dorothy Morrison on February 17 and donations were accepted towards the Finlay Angus Morrison and Dorothy Ellen Morrison Scholarship through the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Scholarship.

Feb 28, 2018