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A.J. Paul LaPrairie

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{{Infobox User
|name = A.J. Paul LaPrairie
|image = aj_paul_laprairie_1948-sm.jpg
|alt = A.J. Paul LaPrairie - Mining Engineering 5T0
|caption = A.J. Paul LaPrairie in 1948
 
|discipline = Mining Engineering
|year = 5T0
|position3 = [[Brute Force Committee|Mario Baker]]
}}
'''A.J. Paul La PrairieLaPrairie''', Mineral [[Min Club|Mining Engineering ]] 5T0, is a historically important alumnus of Skule™. He is most famous for being the founder of the [[Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad]] as well as the infamous University College Gargoyle swap. As the ''Direktor of Kultural Aktivities'' - a combination of the modern day combination of [[VP Student Life]] and [[Blue & Gold Committee]] Chair - he was also responsible as the protector of the [[Skule Cannon ]] and as head of the [[Brute Force Committee]].
==Life before Skule™==
A.J. Paul LaPrairie was born to a family of 6 brothers and 1 sister, whom would all eventually graduate from Mining Engineering or Mining Geology at the University of Toronto. LaPrairie served six years overseas with the Irish Regiment of Canada (part of the Fifth Canadian Armoured Division) during the Second World War. LaPrairie reached the rank of Major during his tour of duty.
Notably, he was the Battle Second in Command with his Regiment, and was chiefly responsible for working out all details of attacks. He participated in several battles in Holland near the end of WWII, and personally negotiated the surrender of a German unit stationed near Weiward, taking 38 German Officers and 1386 others as prisoners.
LaPrairie recounted his war experiences in a letter to his brother, George, in 2001:
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<blockquote>
 {| style="width:75%; background:#fff; margin:0; padding:10px; border:1px solid #DDD; background-color:#F9F9F9;" | style="width:100%; vertical-align:top;" |Dear George...
:You asked me for information on my visits to Holland. I was there, first, during the War. Then, Jean and I made two trips on our own. Later I led about six group trips to Holland, and as many to Italy.
:As a matter of interest, I took the Korvet Kapitan back to Brigade Headquarters. Our Brigade Intelligence Officer spoke german and questioned him. Then, the Korvet Kapitan pointed at me and asked the I.O. what my rank was. I was still in my camouflage coverall. I thought that he was being a bit uppity, wanting to make sure that he, of senior rank, had been captured by a senior Officer. I told the I.O. to tell him that I was a Boy Scout, and left. I was awarded my Distinguished Service Order for this adventure.
:That was the end of the war for us. On the 5th of May, all of the Germans in Holland surrendered."|}
</blockquote>
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==Return to Skule&trade;==
Like many war veterans, LaPrairie returned home to Canada to attend university. He entered the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto in 1946, and attended school at the [[Ajax Campus]] with the class of returning veterans. He spent two years at Ajax with his fellow students, and returned to the St. George Campus in the fall of 1948.
LaPrairie was widely involved in student life at Skule&trade;. He was appointed himself as the "Direktor of Kultural Aktivities", an executive position in the Engineering Society. This position would be has a present day equivalent (in terms of function) of the [[Blue & Gold Committee]] Chair, the Chief of the [[Brute Force Committee]], and the [[Chief Attiliator]] all rolled into one.
==Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad==
''See also: [[Lady Godiva Memorial Bnad]]'' During LaPrairie's time at Ajax, he came to the conclusion that a 'regimental' band was in order. He decided to personally undertake the task as the Direktor of Kultural Aktivities. At the time, he was still active in the Militia, and through his contacts in the Irish Regiment, he acquired the necessary equipment for what would become a world-famous band.
Scrounging through Fort York, the University Avenue and Fleet Street Armouries and the Sally Ann at Church and King Streets, he turned up a collection of Irish regiments' red tunics, some pith helmets, six Dragoon's brass helmets, a set of cymbals, a drummer's leopard skin, two tenor snare drums, a drum major's baton, and most importantly, a bass drum with one head (the open side was used to stockpile beer while "on parade" - a tradition that occasionally re-appears in the present day).
A.J. Paul LaPrairie recounted a particularly humorous episode of the LGMB in 1950. During a big football game at Varsity Stadium, the LGMB marched through the gates and onto the field. All the while, they were wearing great big moustaches. When they approached the fifty yard line, he noticed Sidney Smith, President of the University of Toronto, sitting in the front row. LaPrairie offered him a moustache, which he promptly put on. Thus, the LGMB made President Smith an Honorary Member of the LGMB.
A.J. Paul LaPrairie passed away in the early 2000's. Several members of the LGMB attended the funeral and gave him a suitable send off. ==Skule &trade; Cannonand the UC Gargoyle Swap== LaPrairie was also responsible for the Skule Cannon during his time as an Engineering Society executive. During his term, one notable event happened when the Cannon was stolen by University College.  He recounts this story as follows: <blockquote>{| style="width:75%; background:#fff; margin:0; padding:10px; border:1px solid #DDD; background-color:#F9F9F9;" | style="width:100%; vertical-align:top;" |:Somehow, someone from University College managed to steal the Cannon. This was not the first time that the Cannon had gone missing and it was fair game. However, there were no rules about how to get it back. At a meeting of the Executive of The Engineering Society, the responsibility for its recovery was given to me. :Now, I had been an infantry officer and had commanded an infantry battalion in action on several occasions. So, why not try some infantry tactics? Warning was given to U.C. that the Engineers would attack. We assembled on the Main Campus in front of their main door.
==UC Gargoyle Swap==:In the meantime, Sol Friendly (Mech) and a couple of his helpers were dressed as construction men. They had entered U.C. by a side door and set up proper construction barricades around the main staircase. They carefully removed the wooden gargoyle from the newel post on the stairway. The gargoyle was then spirited away by two Physio Therapy students.
:When word got out that the famous gargoyle was missing I was summoned to Dean Young and then to President Sidney Smith. I assured them that the gargoyle had come to no harm and would be exchanged for the Skule&trade; Cannon.
:So, a truce was arranged and a promise made to exchange the gargoyle for our Skule&trade; Cannon, on the Front Campus. The Cannon was duly handed over. Then I poured out a bag of sawdust, supposedly the remains of the gargoyle. In the meantime, Sol Friendly and his crew had again put up the construction barriers and had replaced the gargoyle.
|}
</blockquote>
This story was also repeated in an interview for the special edition Skule&trade; [[Skule Cannon|Cannon]] DVD, ''Smoke and Thunder''. A version of it can be viewed online on [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8olbA9i-9nI YouTube].
==References==
*La Prairie, Michael. [hhttphttp://www.century21.ca/michael.laprairie/michael.laprairie/Blog/Rememberance_Day_Letter_From_Major_A_J_Paul_La_Prairie_Irish_Regiment_of_Canada "Rememberance Day Letter; From Major A. J. Paul La Prairie Irish Regiment of Canada"].
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