I worked out of Eddy’s office in Ottawa in the late 80s / early 90s. He was short, profane, belligerent and self-admittedly paranoid. He kept his zippered wallet at the bottom of a deep, buttoned pocket.
The unbarred lawyer operated an obscure labour organization that had it hands all over the railways. He didn’t leave fingerprints. The ink went to others.
Via Rail. Mississauga 1979 rail disaster x-factors. The 40,000-strong Associated Railway Unions. Section 18s. Transport Action. The Caboose. The Staggers Act.
During an all afternoon meeting at the Beacon (Broken) Arms, near the end of the disastrous 1988 “Free Trade” election, he bet $50 against my assertion the NDP would take the majority of BC seats. On election day I was victorious. When I tried to cash in he pled “non compos mentis” and waved a copy of the bar tab, which I’d paid. I never collected. He would have won the case.
Eddy was a CP telegrapher, funny, Scottish and secretly, very kind. Edward Abbot passed away on Jan. 18, 2019 his 83rd birthday.
(Photo: Edward Abbot from the Canadian Railway Labour Association Archives)