CM, MB, ChB, FRCPC, FRCPsych, FCPA
On July 31, 2018, Roger Bland passed away peacefully at home after a brief battle with cancer. He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Frederika. He is survived by his daughters Fiona (Bud) and Amanda (Randy) and four grandchildren, Mathew (Elaine) and Ryan (Nicole) and Tiana (Andrew) and Alisa.
Roger was born in Bradford, UK in 1937. While still a child, he and his parents moved to Barnsley, UK. He studied medicine at the University of Liverpool, on a fully paid scholarship provided by the Barnsley Town Council. Throughout his life he was immensely grateful for this opportunity and strove to repay their gift through generously helping and mentoring students, colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
He met his future wife in the Netherlands while on a Boy Scout exchange program. They made their home in Barnsley where he established a general medical practice. After completing a few years in the practice, he chose to immigrate to Canada in 1966. In 1967 he was accepted into the Psychiatry program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. There he found his lifetime passion. His commitment to the mentally ill, their treatment, outcomes and ways to allow them to live healthy productive lives became his reason to live.
In 1975, he joined the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. In 1990, he became Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, a position he held for 10 years. Roger held numerous other posts in the University of Alberta Hospital, the Government of Alberta (including Assistant Deputy Minister, Mental Health Services), Alberta Hospital Edmonton, Alberta Hospital Ponoka and the Capital Health Authority. His active involvement with various learned societies, included serving as President of the Alberta Psychiatric Association, Vice-President International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Deputy Editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. A dedicated and successful academic psychiatrist and an excellent mentor and teacher, he published over 120 peer reviewed papers, including three papers in 2018. He was frequently invited all over the world as a guest speaker and made over 160 such presentations.
He received many professional honors such as the Medal for Distinguished Service from the Alberta Medical Association, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and the Alex Leighton Award in Epidemiology. In 2012 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his community service.
He was a kind and generous husband, father and grandfather, though a tough but fair taskmaster. He loved to travel to new places, preferably to cooler locales. He was an avid reader. He enjoyed extravagant meals and was an accomplished cook.
Private cremation has already occurred and, in keeping with his wishes there will be no public service.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Edmonton Community Foundation, Roger & Riet Bland & Family Fund. The trust has and will continue to support efforts to help the mentally ill, his passion.