Sat | May 27, 2017

Footprints: Donald K. Gordon was a distinguished educator

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Donald Gordon

A distinguished educator

On May 20, Donald K. Gordon, born September 27, 1935, died in the Victoria General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He was the son of T.Z. and Lily Belle Gordon.

'DK', as he was widely known, attended Calabar High School and eventually earned a PhD (1969) in Hispanic studies from the University of Toronto, Canada.

In 1970, he joined the department of French, Spanish, and Italian at the University of Manitoba. He retired in 2001 and was named professor emeritus in 2004. He served on the UMFA Board and senate and was secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Association of Hispanists.

The prolific professor was the author of two books in Spanish, Juan Rulfo and Quince Duncan. His last book is Language and Racism Historicity. He was also writer of chapters in four books, consultant for two, and wrote articles in major scholarly journals and the press.

He was a dedicated member of the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba (ACAM), for which he produced an album of folk music, Sun, Spirit and Soul, by the Afro-Caribbean Singers, and a video, Audio-Pictorial History of ACAM. He was ACAM's president in 1972. He also initiated the Black Historical Calendar.

Gordon served as Jamaica's honorary consul in Winnipeg from 1981 to 1999 and was a much-sought-after public speaker, and in his community, he was a member of a soccer championship team in addition to being an avid lawn and table tennis player.

In 2000, the Government of Jamaica conferred on Gordon membership in the Order of Distinction "in recognition of . . . service to the Jamaican community in Canada". Among other awards are a plaque from the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba (1993), a plaque from the Jamaican Association of Manitoba (1999), and a Hall of Fame award from the Black Educators' Association of Manitoba (2005).

Among the people whom Professor Gordon has predeceased are his treasured wife of 50 years, Lucinda; daughter Lisa, son Kevin, daughter-in-law Natasha, grandson Miles, sister Joyce Townsend, brother-in-law Lloyd, niece Diane, nephew Chris, cousin Yvonne Maitland, and lifelong friend Keith Ellis (Zilpha).

A service of remembrance was held on May 28 at the Neil Bardal Funeral Centre. Gordon's remains will be cremated.