David Giffin was born in Gananoque, Ontario, on August 18,1931 and attended public and high school in that town. He graduated from Gananoque High School in June 1950 and was admitted to Paul Smith’s College, New York, for Hotel and Resort Management studies. He successfully completed one year of college with an 89% average in all subjects.
David returned to Canada in June 1951 and after vacation applied for a commission in the Canadian Army during the Korean conflict. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in November 1951 and was assigned to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps for training. After approximately one year training at Camp Borden, Fort Churchill and the Royal Military College, He was posted to Eastern Command Headquarters in Halifax as a Supply and Transport Officer.
In July 1953 David was sent on a Parachute Training Course at Rivers, Manitoba and after successful completion was posted to the 1st Airborne Platoon RCASC as a section Commander with the Mobile Strike Force. He served as an Air Supply Advisor until January 1956. He was then sent on a Primary Flying Training Course at Brandon MB and then on to Advanced Fixed Wing Training at CJATC Rivers MB. In June 1957 David completed his Helicopter training and spent the next year with the Liaison Flight of the Light Aircraft School in Rivers Manitoba.
In August 1959 David was posted to the United States Army Primary Helicopter School at Camp Wolters, Texas, then in January 1960 to the Heavy Helicopter School in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Upon completion of heavy helicopter training he was posted on exchange duty to the 91st Transportation Company at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and transferred with them to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. When the 91st was transferred overseas David was sent to the 101st Airborne Division under General Westmoreland before returning to Canada at the end of his two-year tour in 1961.
David was posted as the Army Supply Officer at RCAF Station Uplands in Ottawa and after two years was posted as Transport Officer and later Administration Officer at 15 Company RCASC at Camp Borden.
In 1964 David joined the United Nations Emergency Force in Gaza, Egypt where he served as the Supply Officer Officer at Port Said. He did his quarterly continuation flying from Beirut, Lebanon.
In 1965 David returned to Canada to join the 1st Transport Helicopter Platoon at Rivers Manitoba. After summer concentration at Camp Gagetown, New Brunswick he took one of their helicopters to the C.N.E. in Toronto.
It was during this visit to Toronto that David decided to leave the service and seek his fortune as a civilian. After serving 14 years in the Canadian Army as a commissioned officer, he joined Mutual Life of Canada in September 1965.
In his first full year in the field he was honoured in Maclean’s magazine as being in the top 5% of an agency force of almost 1000 agents.
The following year he became a supervisor in the Scarborough, Ontario agency and in the next year was appointed Branch Manager of the West Toronto Agency.
After 10 years as Branch Manager, his family now grown and away from home, he and his wife Rhylla decided to move to the West Coast; a dream of theirs for many years.
In May 1983 David resigned from Mutual Life of Canada to become an Independent Broker. He accumulated a solid list of clients whom he looked after for the next 6 years.
In Oct 1989 David and Rhylla finally retired to beautiful Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island where they built their final retirement home.
In 2014 they decided to move to independent living in Berwick Royal Oak retirement community Victoria BC as the best way to complete their retirement. David’s beloved wife Rhylla died 12 Nov 2018 and David has stayed in the Berwick community ever since.
This biography was kindly provided by Air Force Maj Gen David Wightman CMM, CD A neighbor and family friend of the Giffins.
Helicopter Course 21,1957
Maj David Fromow, RCA, Lt Giffin, RCASC, Lt Brubaker, RCASC, Lt Reilly, RCASC
(Instructors) F/L John McGee, RCAF F/L John Barton, RCAF
Officers of 94thTpt Hel Pl, Fort Campbell KY 1957
Capt Jim Grant (Cdn Army) Lt David Giffin (Cdn Army)
David Giffin at the CNE 1965