Jenning Dai (MCHS ’63) tragically passed away 50 years ago this month (May 1964)

Jenning Dai was in my class at Malcolm Campbell High School when we graduated in 1963.

He died exactly 50 years ago this month.

Jenning Dai (MCHS ’63 – 11B)

Cheryl (Casino) Houston (MCHS ’63 – 11D) has noted, in a recent email: “He went to the University of Illinois in Urbana to study aeronautical engineering (from what I remember), but he was hit by a car while riding his bike. It was a very sad tragedy.  Wally [Walter Rhead – 11B], Ulrich [Ulrich Laska – 11B], and Kathy Dawson (another 11D student) and I were students in Grade 12 at Montreal High at the time he died and we were all devastated. We all attended his funeral.”

Students and teachers who have passed away

We have several other blog posts devoted to students (and teachers) who have passed away:

Linking a favourite song to each of the MCHS Alumni and Teachers who have passed away

Provisional list of MCHS ’60s (and other decades) students/alumni/teachers who have passed away

Remembering John W. Scott, Gok-Gee Wing, and other MCHS students who have passed away

Memories of Pam Ireland-Mason of Malcolm Campbell High School

At our October 17, 2015 Reunion each attendee received a printout of photos and brief texts, in remembrance of Malcolm Campbell High School students and teachers who have passed away.


8 replies
  1. Charles Tsiang
    Charles Tsiang says:

    I remember Jenning Dai very well. He lived around the corner from me in Roxboro. His mum and dad were good friends of my parents since Dr PL. Dai worked at ICAO in the Aviation Bldg in Montreal with my father. I was in my sophomore year at MIT that Spring and was confined to the infirmary with mono. My parents didn’t tell me about Jenning’s accident until I got home that summer. I recall that he had a younger sister who perhaps went to SUNY Pottsdam or Stony Brook. It was such a tragedy. There weren’t many other high school aged Chinese kids in the area in those days. Just Jenning and Peggy and Linda Chow over in Amabaie.

    • Enid Moore
      Enid Moore says:

      Very pleased to see this tribute to Jenning on the net. The Dais lived just around the corner from me too, in the other direction. I was best friends with his sister Sheila, and she did go to Potsdam after a year at Riverdale. I remember you, and your parents. Sheila called your dad Uncle Charles. And I remember Jenning with fondness, his enthusiasm and his humour and his practical jokes. Good times. Blessings to you, Charles.

      • Jaan Pill
        Jaan Pill says:

        It’s good to read your comment, Enid. Jenning was a classmate of mine. It’s good to think about him again, today, after reading your comment. He was cheerful and perceptive, and had many friends. A special connection that he has, to my own life journey, is that he persuaded me to run for President of the Student Council. I will always remember him.

      • Charles Tsiang
        Charles Tsiang says:

        Enid, So good to hear from someone who also remembered Jenning and Sheila. And what a sweet thing to recall that she referred to my Dad as Uncle Charles. You know that your remark about Jenning’s enthusiasm and humour and practical jokes is a reflection of what I recall of his father, who I always referred to a “Dr. Dai”. I can still hear his laughter and see his big big smile. What a shame that we lost Jenning. Now do you have any idea of how we might get in contact with Sheila?

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Jenning Dai was a highly perceptive individual. I am very pleased that he was a classmate. I remember his sense of humour and his energy and his sociable nature.

  3. Sheila Dai
    Sheila Dai says:

    I searched the internet for a picture of my brother and just happened to come across this blog. I am so touched that a number of my brother’s close friends still remember him to this day and all of your comments brought back a flood of memories. I treasure the short time he was in my life. My parents adored him.
    I would love to hear from all of you and hope this reaches you. We’re living in Rhode Island now but still have NY ties and still close enough to visit Montreal from time to time.
    Please let me know how you are doing.

  4. Peter Sutton
    Peter Sutton says:

    I am so grateful to have this opportunity to offer a comment for my old school pal Jenning Dai and especially I hope his sister Sheila will see this. Sheila, you probably don’t remember me as you were quite small when I knew Jenning but I remember you and all your family from those early days in Roxboro after your family moved up from Washington. It was either grade 5 or 6 at Cartierville School and I can still remember Jenning being introduced to the class by the teacher. At recess in the playground he came over to me for a chat and we were friends right away. Such was his friendly and outgoing nature, and his sense of humour was something else! If I remember right I think your house was on about 12th or 13th Ave. I lived on 10th Ave so we lived quite close by. We would regularly be in each other’s houses after school or ride around the neighbourhood on our bikes exploring and generally getting up to all kinds of boy’s stuff. Often we’d just mess around in his room and your mom would sometimes bring in a snack for us. It was the first time I had ever tasted authentic Chinese food and I loved it. Jenning had set up a tropical fish aquarium in his bedroom which fascinated me so much that I also got into the hobby with some help from Jenning. It was to be a hobby that I have kept up all my life to this day. I had to leave Roxboro and Malcolm Campbell High early and when my parents both died quite suddenly and I returned to England to live with relations, whilst my two older sisters stayed on in Canada. So as it happened it was several years later when I heard of Jenning’s accident through my sister Jennifer. I was deeply shocked at the time and wished I had known earlier. My heart went out to all of you and still does. You and all of us that were lucky enough to have had Jenning in our lives even for too short a time will always remember his great personality and his infectious smile. Take care.

  5. Kathleen Dawson
    Kathleen Dawson says:

    When I turned 16 Jenning held a birthday party for me. It was such a special event . One of my favourite photos in my memory box was taken on this day . Jenning and I were friends and neighbours too . We saw each other every school day and nearly every weekend too as we lived just around the corner. I really liked all the intelligent boys and Jenning was everybody’s favourite. It feels good to remember him with his friends who share their memories of Jenning.


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