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A Royal Balance: The Life and Times of Hal Wyatt

Available in

Hard Cover


6.5 x 9.5 inches


Hal Wyatt’s career with the Royal Bank of Canada took him from the entry-level position of junior clerk in the tiny Saskatchewan village of Eyebrow to the Vice-Chairmanship of the largest bank in Canada. His increasingly demanding roles brought him into association with John Diefenbaker, Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Joe Clark, Henry Kissinger, Lee Iacocca, Peter Lougheed, Ralph Klein, Al Duerr and other key national and international figures, including members of Britain’s royal family.

Hal served on more than thirty Boards, in many cases as Chairman. Nor were such activities confined to the world of commerce and finance – these also included interests as diverse as the Canadian Light Source Project at the University of Saskatchewan, where he also served as Chairman of the Board (technology); Mount Royal University (higher education); and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary International Organ Festival, and the Cantos National Music Centre (music and the arts).

Unlike so many senior executives who disregard every responsibility except their career, Hal has always given high priority to ensuring the well-being of a growing family. With thanks in huge measure to the indispensable participation of Marnie, his wife of 62 years, Hal can take justifiable pride in his family of three children, ten grandchildren and (to date) three great-grandchildren. With a career that elevated him to the highest levels of business, with service as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, with contributions to church and community acknowledged by prestigious awards, and with a strong, closely knit family – the life of Hal Wyatt has indeed achieved a royal balance.

About the Author

Shirlee Smith Matheson is the author of numerous books on Canadian aviation, including Volumes I, II and III of Flying the Frontiers; Lost: True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies; A Western Welcome to the World – The History of Calgary International Airport; Maverick in the Sky – The Aerial Adventures of WWI Flying Ace Freddie McCall; and, most recently, Amazing Flights and Flyers. She has also written on other non-fiction subjects set in Canada’s north for adult readers, as well as historical and contemporary novels for young people, short stories and stage plays. She is a member of Canadian Women in Aviation International. Her literary awards include The 99s Canadian Award in Aviation; The Emerald Award; Honorary Associate of Arts (Northern Lights College), and Distinguished Alumni 2001-2 (Athabasca University).

Born in Winnipeg, Shirlee has since lived in all four Western Canadian provinces. For many years she resided in the Peace River country of northeastern B.C., and currently makes her home in Calgary, where she is a Life Member of the Aero Space Museum of Calgary.

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