STEPHEN V.A. BLIZZARD (October 17, 1928 – June 9, 2020)

Dr. Stephen Blizzard was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1928. After studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, he completed a medical degree at the University of Western Ontario.  He created a unique career that combined his love of medicine and aviation. After obtaining his military wings on the Tutor jet, he undertook additional studies at the Royal College of Physicians of London, becoming a specialist in aviation medicine.

Between 1968 and 1976 he and his wife Merle, a trained nurse and midwife, returned to the Caribbean and ran a medical practice in Port of Spain, Trinidad.  While there, he served as Chairman and Flying Instructor at the Light Aeroplane Club.

Dr. Blizzard served in the Canadian military for over 16 years. One of his proudest moments was contributing an international humanitarian mission. He was the first doctor on-site on the first airlift of Vietnamese refugees from Kuala Lampur to Canada.

Later, in the Department of Civil Aviation Medicine, as a member of the Air Transport Licensing Authority and as a Medical Examiner, he helped develop standards for Civil Aviation Medical Examiners.  He served terms as president of the International Civil Aviation Medical Association and the Canadian Society of Aerospace Medicine and was on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Advisory Group on Aerospace Research and Development. He was a member and selector of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine.

Dr. Blizzard received the prestigious Harry Jerome Award in 2008, honouring his work in the field of Health Sciences. His work has also been recognized with the Trinidad Icon Award. He maintained a deep connection to his roots and history and had a great love of calypso and steel pan. He was also an avid collector of jazz and Cuban music.

The Stephen V.A Blizzard Legacy scholarship, in honour of the memory of Dr Blizzard, an outstanding Black Canadian who was a trailblazer in the field of health sciences. He was respected for his commitment to the development of the Black community and loved philanthropy. Reflecting this philosophy, this scholarship is to serve as a discretionary fund to support applicants, 18 years or older, who have demonstrated financial need, academic prowess and his/her involvement in helping those who need, assistance or support in the Black community.


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