Some years ago, Doug took over providing content for chapleaupubliclibrary.com the successor to a site established by Hugh Kuttner, taking it to the next level as an incredible resource for all of us interested in the history of Chapleau.
The site itself recognizes Doug's enormous contribution in "meticulously digitizing more than 54,000 pages" about Chapleau.
Since learning that Doug had died on March 6. 2017 in a car accident, I have visited the site often, reflecting on the passion Doug had for the community in ensuring that its story will remain alive for generations to come.
I had my first chat with Doug at the 90th anniversary reunion of Chapleau High School in 2012, when he was a member of the committee, and also sitting on the municipal council. He served several terms on council.
Ever since, Doug has responded to any requests for assistance that I needed as I wrote my columns. I have also accessed information from the web site.
In 2015, when I was home for the launch of "The Chapleau Boys Go To War" which I co-authored with my cousin Michael McMullen, I was chatting with Doug again, and asked if some time he could provide me with digitized copies of The Chapleau Post and Chapleau Sentinel.
Hours later, before I left town, Doug delivered them to me.
Doug was also of great assistance to Michael and I when we were working on our book. We noted that he provided "incredible research support. Doug seemed to be available 24/7 in responding to requests."
He was also a staunch supporter of the Chapleau Centennial Museum.
Another significant contribution he made to Chapleau's history were his very complete histories of J.E. Martel and Sons Lumber Ltd, A and L Lafreniere Lumber Ltd. and Sheppard and Morse Ltd. all available in Chapleau Trails, edited and published by Dr. William R. Pellow.
I extend my most sincere sympathy to his wife Anne, his family and friends, who have lost one of the community's most passionate citizens ever! However, his legacy will assuredy include his efforts to make its history available to future generations.
I asked Ian Macdonald if he would contribute his thoughts about working with Doug, and I extend my thanks to him for responding so quickly. Ian attended Chapleau Public and Chapleau High schools, and has a continuing interest in Chapleau and area. He is Professor Emeritus and retired head of the department of architecture at the University of Manitoba.
Here is Ian:
"Doug Greig recognized the importance of recording the cultural history of the community and the importance of passing those expressions of living from generation to generation.
"Doug’s passion clearly was developing chapleaupubliclibrary.com into the website of choice for anyone seeking any information on the history of Chapleau. This multi layered website provides both information and insight in to the life and times of the community from before the time it was established in 1885 to the present day.
"Doug understood the challenge of posterity and the importance of accuracy. Many of our e-mail exchanges over an article or a photograph were directed at establishing the correct date and proper identification of individuals to make the context of the image as informative as possible.
"Doug also understood that overlaying items of information with personal bias or speculative interpretation of events would ultimately render information useless. He had excellent editorial instincts but, at the same time, resisted the urge to be judgemental and avoided any personal editorials other than “this might be of interest”.
"During the time I was exploring something for publication, he would continually forward items from the archives that he thought might be relevant or of interest. My most recent exchange of information related to an article that Mike McMullen and I did on the hauling of supplies from Chapleau to the crews building the Canadian Northern Railway at Elsas in 1912. I’m afraid that I’ll always associate that particular story as my last collaboration with Doug.
"I only met Doug in person briefly at the Library in Chapleau on three or four occasions when I happened to be in town. We got to know each other over time through the e-mail exchange of images, articles or archiving protocol.
"I felt his loss, however, as deeply as if he were a family member as did many colleagues of mine who still research and write about the community. Chapleau has lost an important citizen and highly respected community advocate."
Thanks Ian... My email is firstname.lastname@example.org