Founding Member Biographies

csfs 1954 agm a

The birth of the CSFS came about because of these five individuals. Here’s their biographies.

William Wallace Sutherland

William (Bill) was born in Warren, Minnesota, U.S.A. on October 13, 1911. Following completion of his education he joined the RCMP. In 1942, he commenced studies of his chosen discipline – firearms identification. In 1944, he was transferred to the newly opened branch laboratory in Ottawa. In 1957, Bill was placed in charge of the newly established laboratory in Sackville, New Brunswick. He examined exhibits, in many cases involving the identification of firearms by means of impressions and engravings on ammunition components and testified in many such cases in a number of jurisdictions from coast to coast. Staff Sergeant Sutherland was awarded the Coronation Medal in 1952, the RCMP Long Service Medal in 1954 and the Long Service Bronze Clasp and Star in 1959. He retired in May 31, 1959 and joined the Centre of Forensic Sciences staff. He continued to serve as a firearms examiner till the time of his death, January 24, 1964.

Charles George Farmilo

Dr. Formilo was born November 28, 1917, in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1936 he was granted a teacher’s certificate. In 1942 he obtained his B.Sc. and in 1944 his M.Sc. from the University of Alberta. Continuing his studies at McGill University, he graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry in 1948. In 1949 he took a post-doctoral chemical toxicology course at the University of Toronto and during 1949-50 studied under the late Dr. G.H.W. Lucas. In his early days, Dr. Farmilo taught school in Alberta. He later lectured at McGill University and Sir George Williams College. He also taught trainees under United Nations technical aid programs. In 1948 Dr. Farmilo became research chemist with the Food and Drug Directorate, Department of National Health and Welfare, in Ottawa. In 1965, he was seconded to Ghana to assist and advise the Government of Ghana in the development of the Ghana Government Chemical Laboratory. While there, he organized a school for the training of laboratory technicians. Returning to Canada in 1968 he spent a year with the Mental Health Division of the of Department of National Health and Welfare to assist in setting up a drug abuse secretariat. When the Le Dain Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs was formed, the Drug Abuse Secretariat was disbanded and Dr. Farmilo was transferred to the Le Dain Commission as Senior Research Associate. He is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, a former Director of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and a charter member of the International Association of Forensic Toxicology. Dr. Farmilo has published extensively on the chemical analysis of narcotics and psychotropic substances in street samples. His major scientific contributions include the determination of the country of origin of opium by physical chemical methods and the chemical analysis of constituents of marijuana and hashish. Dr. Farmilo retired from the Dept. of National Health and Welfare in 1972.

James Alexander Churchman

James (Jim) was born April 20, 1898, at Costa Belle, on the Côte D’Azure, France, and attended primary and high school in North Berwick and Edinburgh, Scotland. He was on active service with the Grenadier Guards for over two years in World War I. Later, after joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and completing his initial training, he served in Toronto, Saint John, and in Montreal where he participated in Drug Squad and other law enforcement activities. In 1938, after some years of service as N.C.O. in charge of the Drug Squad, and for a time also the Preventive Squad, Sergeant Churchman was chosen to take charge of the ballistics work at the (then) newly established RCMP Crime Detection Laboratory in Regina, Saskatchewan. Preparatory to this posting, arrangements were made for him to observe operations in the Ballistics Bureau of the New York City Police Department. During this four-month course he gained considerable knowledge of forensic laboratory and homicide investigation techniques. In the fall of 1938 he joined Dr. Maurice Powers and his small group of specialists in the Regina laboratory. Specializing in firearms identification by means of impressions and engravings on fire ammunition components and allied studies, he testified in a variety of criminal cases and latterly, an occasional civil action involving firearms. Following the death of Powers, the Laboratory Director, and the retirement of his successor, Dr. C.D.T. Mundell, Jim Churchman, then N.C.O. in charge of the RCMP’s Ottawa laboratory was promoted to Sub-Inspector in 1945 and posted again to Regina to take charge of forensic laboratory operations of the Force. Administrative changes and the opening of our laboratory in Sackville, N.B., necessitated his return to Ottawa. He retired on completion of service in 1958. He launched the Society monthly Newsletter in 1963, and in 1968, the now well established quarterly Journal. He retired as editor in October, 1975. Jim Churchman is a past president of the Society and was elected an honourary life member in 1962. He is a vice-president of the International Association of Forensic Sciences. He was awarded the Military Medal in 1917 and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada by the Governor General, December 17, 1973.

Blake B. Coldwell

Dr. Coldwell was born in Nova Scotia and educated at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, Nova Scotia, and McGill University, receiving his bachelor’s (1942), master’s (1948) and Ph.D. (1951) in agricultural chemistry. From 1942 to 1944 Dr. Coldwell worked at the National Research Council developing methods of testing and specifications for protective coatings used on war materials. At the war’s end he joined the staff of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. On obtaining his doctorate degree Dr. Coldwell spent the next fourteen years as a forensic scientist in the Ottawa laboratory of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During this period, he became interested in the interaction of alcohol and road traffic, and together with H. Ward Smith, helped to introduce the Breathalyzer into Canada and contributed to the development of the scientific basis for present Canadian legislation relating to blood alcohol levels and driving. Dr. Coldwell became known internationally for his studies in this area and for his researches on physical and cosmetic evidence, principally the identification of inks, adhesives and petroleum products. During this period of his career, Dr. Coldwell was an invited participant in international workshops and conferences concerned with alcohol and car driving. He lectured at police departments and universities on forensic subjects and on many occasions, testified in the courts of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories as an expert witness. In 1965, Dr. Coldwell joined the research laboratories of the Food and Drug Directorate Committee, of the Department of National Health and Welfare. He obtained an M.Sc. degree in pharmacology from Queen’s University in 1967. With the organization of the Drugs Directorate in 1972, Dr. Coldwell was appointed to the position of Chief of the Drug Toxicology Division in the Drug Research Laboratories. While his interest was mainly in research management, he published over eighty papers in the areas of forensic chemistry, metabolism and toxicology. In 1972, he was the recipient of the Society’s H. Ward Smith Travel Award, for a paper titled, “The mechanism of ethanol-barbiturate toxicity”, which was presented at the Sixth International Meeting of Forensic Sciences, held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Coldwell was a member of the Committee on Alcohol and Drugs of the U.S. National Trade Safety Council. For some years he served as a member of the Special Committee on Breath Testing of our Society. He is a past president of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, a fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, past president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and a member of several other scientific societies and organizations.

Leo Levi

Dr. Levi was born August 9, 1911 in Neuhof, Germany. After obtaining the Pre-Medical Diploma in 1933 from the University of Frankfurt/Main he emigrated to Canada, where he was engaged as a pharmaceutical chemist. He attended Sir George Williams College and McGill University where he received the B.Sc. and Ph.D. degree, respectively, and the University of Edmonton, Alberta where he obtained a B. Sc. degree in pharmacology. Following graduation in 1950, Dr. Levi joined the laboratories of the Food and Drug Directorate of the Department of National Health and Welfare in Ottawa. He conducted physico-chemical investigations on alkaloids and barbiturates and initiated a comprehensive research program on essential oils and related products used widely by the food, drug and cosmetic industries. In recognition of his original researches Dr. Levi was made a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada in 1960. From 1963 to 1967 Dr. Levi headed the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Division of the Food and Drug Directorate and in this capacity was a member of the agency’s New Drug Committee, the Divisional Committee on Personnel, and chairman of its Research Directorate Seminar Committee. In 1968 he became its special advisor on imported drugs and a year later was appointed European Representative-Drugs of the Health Protection Branch. Stationed in London, England, he was responsible for the establishment and maintenance of close liaison with European health ministries, trade associations and as of forensic pharmaceutical manufacturers, for the interpretation of Canadian drug laws and Society’s regulations to European drug control authorities and professional organizations, and for advising the Department of National Health and Welfare on programs dealing with drug manufacture, quality control, registration, promotion and distribution pursued by the World Health Organization, the European Economic Communities, the European Free Trade Association and the Council of Europe. Dr. Levi was instrumental in negotiating bilateral agreements with European countries providing for the exchange of drug plant inspection information on an inter-agency basis, thereby enabling the Health Protection Branch to monitor more effectively the safety, efficacy and quality of drugs imported into Canada.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail