DOWNEY, Robert John “Bobby”, SGT (Ret’d), RCASC (Food Services)
Bobby, 78 of Halifax, Nova Scotia passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 9th, 2015. Born in Halifax, NS, he was the son of the late George Alexander Downey Sr. and Leotra Geneva (Tomlinson) Downey of Halifax, NS. He was a relative of William Hall (VC).
Bobby served in the Canadian Forces (Army) for 29 years from 1957-1986 where he obtained the rank of sergeant. He served in Camp Aldershot, NS; CFB Gagetown, NB; Fort St. Louis, Werl, Germany; Cyprus; CFB Cornwallis, NS; CFS Alert, NWT; and CFB Halifax, NS. He was a member of the “Fighting Downeys” and a member of the famed (and feared) Black Watch 2nd Battalion R.H.C. Army Boxing team. He was Eastern Command Lightweight Champion, and Canadian Army Champion on several occasions; and Canadian Amateur Lightweight Champion (1960).
He was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame on June 30, 1996 at Oromocto, NB. After the Black Watch was disbanded on June 30, 1970, he remustered to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (Food Services). As a military chef he prepared banquet meals for Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and numerous other dignitaries. Following his retirement from the CF, he was employed in the Dietary/ Food Service Department at the V.G Hospital. He was a member of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada – Citadel Unit 373 where he held the position of Sergeant – At- Arms.
He was a member of Cornwallis Street Baptist Church and served on the Board of Trustees and Usher Board. He was very active in the Men’s Brotherhood and was the go-to chef for major catering services for church events. He was a member of Equity Lodge # 106 where he served as Worshipful Master (2003). He was appointed Grand Standard Bearer- Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia (2004).
He was a member of Royal Union Chapter No. 1 (R.A.M.) and held the position of High Priest. He is survived by his wife Catherine (Trenholm) Downey. He is also survived by his children from his first marriage, Robert Jr. (Lois) of Ottawa, Terry of Toronto, Sheridan of Toronto, and Paula of Atlanta, GA, five grandchildren, and one great grandson. He was predeceased by his first wife, Carol (Collins) Downey, second wife Owida (Bruce) Downey.