Former Colchester man soars to new heights in air force career

Harry Sullivan
Published on July 11, 2014
Truro resident Fred Madower holds up a picture that shows his son John (middle) being promoted to major general by Chief of Defece Staff John Lawson during a recent ceremony in Ottawa. At right is John's son Malcolm.

TRURO – If the image of a proud father could be converted into a military medal, Fred Madower’s face would make a shining example of how it would look.

“Exuberation. Very proud,” the Truro resident says, in reference to his reaction to his son John’s recent promotion to Major-General and Chief of Programme at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa. “He did well.”

John Madower, 52, who spent a portion of his youth in the Stewiacke area and is a former graduate of South Colchester Academy, had previously served as brigadier general and director general of military careers at NDHQ before his most recent promotion.

He began his career with the Royal Canadian Air Force after graduating from military colleges in Victoria and Kingston, Ont where he trained to become an aerospace engineer.

Prior to that, however, John got his military grounding in air cadets in Truro, Manitoba and Barrington Passage before joining up with the militia at the First Battalion of the Nova Scotia Highlanders at the Truro Armouries.

“He grew up all over,” Fred says of his son, given the moving around the family did during his own 25 years in the Canadian Air Force working on air defence systems.

“I imagine he’s blown away by it,” Fred says, of his son’s latest career advancement. “He was always interested in the military and always loved what he was doing.”

Chuckling, Fred proudly adds that John, the eldest of his three children, far exceeded his own military ranking.

“I reached the giddy heights of warrant officer, so this is a little bit beyond. He went through the high route - military college. I went the other route – high school dropout.”

But there were also vast differences between when Fred signed up with the air force in 1954 and his son’s career path.

“Those were the hungry days,” Fred says, of his enlistment. “So, a little different world. I grew up in the military. You had to grow up quick.

John currently lives in Orleans, Ont., with his wife Linda (Gray), daughter Caitlin and Malcolm, who is also attending military college in preparation for a career with the Royal Canadian Navy.

John could not immediately be reached for comment but in a previous Truro Daily News article following his last promotion, he summed up his military career up to that point.

“It's been very, very rewarding for me,” he said, at the time. “I've had the opportunity to travel the world and do things I never dreamed of when I was growing up. It's been a wonderful experience."

Twitter: @tdnharry