2016 Fredericton Encaenia - Ceremony B

Pottle, Arthur

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)


to be Doctor of Letters

Like many of his generation and background in Saint John, Arthur Pottle had to leave school after the 8th grade to support his family. It was 1933 and the Great Depression was affecting many families like the Pottles. And like many others he enlisted in the Canadian Forces in 1940 but his service was by no means ordinary. Arthur Pottle was selected for the First Special Service Force, a combined Canadian/American commando unit known as the Black Devils or the Devil's Brigade. His unit carried out some extremely important missions during the Second World War, including the assault on the heavily defended fortress at Monte Casino in Italy and the destruction of a heavy water plant in Norway that could have fallen into the hands of Germany which was attempting to build an atomic bomb. The Devil's Brigade was recently honoured with the Congressional Gold medal at the White House.

After the war, with the help of the Department of Veterans? Affairs, he got his high school equivalency and by 1950 he had graduated with a Bachelor of Science from McGill University. Employed as a teacher at Simonds High School in Saint John, he also coached various sports as well as refereeing basketball when no referee showed up. Arthur Pottle spent countless hours on the road in all sorts of weather with his sports teams. In addition he went back to school to upgrade his education spending evenings weekends, and summers working on his UNB Bachelor of Education (1965) and his Master's of Education (1970) while at the same time he and his wife, Connie, brought up their family. Eventually he served as the Co-ordinator of Guidance for the Saint John School District.

His list of voluntary activities ranges from work with the Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club to Basketball NB. He can boast six decades of service and even now still volunteers at the age of 95. Mr. Pottle earned numerous awards over his career: for example, the Saint John Human Development Council Merit Award, the Freedom of the City of Saint John recognizing his outstanding volunteer service with over 30 boards and associations, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour. His most recent honour, mentioned a little earlier (the Congressional Gold Medal) was presented by President Barack Obama in Washington to the Devil's Brigade in 2015, a ceremony that he proudly attended. Described by one of his nominators as a "positive and gentle man" known for his reputation for fairness, Arthur Pottle is a deserving recipient of UNB's Honourary Doctorate.

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