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Last Mac-Pap, Jules Paivio kept memory of sacrifice alive


Jules Paivio photoghaphed by Jorges Cueto

Jules Paivio photographed by
Jorges Cueto



Jules Paivio and family at the Monument to Canadian Veterans of the Spanish Civil War in Ottawa (2011)


Jules Paivio and his family at Ottawa monument to honour Canadian veterans of the Spanish Civil War.


Jules Paivio, a retired architect and educator made his home in Sudbury for many years, died at age of 96 in Aurora in 2013

A life-long activist, he was the last living Canadian veteran of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion that went to Spain to fight fascism during the Spanish Civil War, which is now considered the dress rehearsal for the Second World War.

He spearheaded a campaign to have a national monument to the 1,500 Canadians who served in the Spanish Civil War erected at Green Island Park on Sussex Drive in Ottawa. In 2011. he was given Spanish citizenship for his contributions to that country’s fight for democracy in the late 1930s.

After narrowly escaping a firing squad in Spain, Paivio returned to Canada on the eve of the Second World War and enlisted in the Canadian army.

Later he studied architecture at Ryerson in Toronto and taught at the school for many years. In Sudbury, he was active in the Finnish-Canadian community and lived at Finlandia Village for many years.


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1 Comment

  1. Snatch51 October 1, 2013 at 1:36 am

    About the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion that went to Spain: I have been trying to follow up but the trail seems to go cold at times.
    My second cousin twice-removed George Albert Thomas of Saskatoon was in the Battalion and almost certainly died.
    An internet search a few years ago on “George Albert Thomas Saskatoon” brought up the information, but does not seem to do so anymore. Luckily, I have a record with photo from the National Archives of Canada.
    Could you steer me to any sources who are keeping up with the Battalion history now?
    One thing I obviously would like is any corroboration of the basic story which I have incorporated into my family tree: that George Albert died somewhere around 1937 in Spain.
    [email protected]

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