Friday, April 22, 2016

No. 158: E. Sydney Jackson—A Memorial Tribute

E. Sydney Jackson
E. Sydney Jackson, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Manulife, died April 10, 2016, at age 93. Syd was born, raised, and educated in Regina, Saskatchewan. He served as an officer in the Canadian Army during World War II. He graduated in 1947 from the University of Manitoba, and joined Manulife's actuarial department in 1948.

I met Syd about 45 years ago during a trip to Toronto to visit Manulife's home office. At that time, as I recall, he was executive vice president of the company. I remember the meeting because of his friendliness and his willingness to discuss openly the issues of the day.

Syd and I kept in touch for many years, but I lost track of him after he retired from the company. His retirement occurred around the same time that I retired from active teaching at Indiana University. I was gratified to learn from the obituary in the Toronto Star that he remained victorious in competitive bridge and cribbage until his final weeks.

What impressed me most about Syd was his integrity and his sincerity. I regret that we did not remain in contact after his retirement.