David Aaron Golden

Winnipeg Tribune September 10, 1946
Times Colonist July 27, 2012

Birth: February 22, 1920 in Sinclair, Manitoba

Death: July 20, 2012 (age 92) in Victoria, B.C.

The Manitoba Historical Society published an article about David in a Memorable Manitobans Article which reads:
David Aaron Golden (1920-2012)
Lawyer, civil servant, telecommunications pioneer.

Born at Sinclair on 22 February 1920, one of four children of Russian immigrants Sholem Wilfrid Golden (1885-1970) and Rose Perlman (1890-1987), he spent his early childhood in Vancouver and Montreal before returning to Winnipeg at the age of 11. He attended public school in Winnipeg and also the I. L. Peretz Folk School. To raise money for university education, he borrowed money from his uncle Sam Perlman and enrolled in the Law School of the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1941.

He was selected a Rhodes Scholar in 1941 but enlisted in the Canadian Army rather than attending Oxford University. He joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers as an intelligence officer, rising to the rank of Captain. He was in Hong Kong when it was invaded by the Japanese army and spent the next three years and eight months in a prisoner-of-war camp. On returning to Winnipeg after the war, he was admitted to the Manitoba Bar and travelled to England to take up his Rhodes scholarship. He spent eight months in England then returned to Winnipeg in 1947. He practiced law with Samuel Freedman and also taught at the University of Manitoba Law School.

In 1951, he accepted an invitation to join the legal branch of the federal Department of Defence Production, which necessitated a move to Ottawa. He rose quickly, to Branch Director, then to General Counsel, then Assistant Deputy Minister. In September 1954, at the age of 34, he became the youngest Deputy Minister in Ottawa. It was during his tenure with the Department that the Avro Arrow project was cancelled.

He resigned from the federal civil service in 1961 and spent a year at the Air Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) before returning to government for a year as Deputy Minister in the newly-created Department of Industry. In July 1962, he became President of the AIAC. In 1969, when the federal government created Telesat Canada consortium with private industry to develop a communications satellite system for the country, Golden became its Founding President. The firm launched its first Anik A1 satellite in November 1972 and he received the first long-distance telephone call carried by satellite in Canada, from Resolute to Ottawa. He stepped down as President in 1981 but remained Chairman and a full-time employee until retirement in 1985.

On 9 September 1946, he married Molly Berger at the Royal Alexandra Hotel and they had three children: Mark Golden (1948-2020), Peter Golden (1952-2018), and Sarah Lynn “Sari” Golden (1954-1983). In recognition of his service to Canada, he was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1977. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (1986), Carleton University (?), and University of Winnipeg (2011). He was inducted into the Canadian Telecommunications Hall of Fame (?) and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

He died at Victoria, British Columbia on 20 July 2012.

Gravesite Details: Row A – Plot 11

In Loving Memory of
David A. Golden
husband and father

Rose Golden
Solomon Golden

Isaac Golden
Esther Golden Carr
David Golden

Molly Berger Golden

Mark Golden (1948-2020)
Peter Golden (1952-2018)
Sarah Lynn “Sari” Golden (1954-1983)

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