In Memoriam 

Ben Queenan 1920 - 2008

Magnifying glass

Ben Queenan, a talented film producer who headed Concordia’s Audio-Visual Department for 15 years, died on May 13.

Born in County Sligo, Ireland, he grew up in Glasgow, where he was educated at an elite Jesuit high school. After serving in the British Army in India in WWII, he got a degree in modern languages and psychology from the University Glasgow. He was fluent in Spanish, French, German and Hindi.

Immigrating to Canada in the 1950s, he worked at the National Film Board of Canada under the great John Grierson. Among the animated shorts Queenan produced are The Pied Piper of Hamelin, narrated by Peter Ustinov, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, narrated by Richard Burton.

In 1971 he came to work at Sir George Williams University, soon to become Concordia, where he established a solid audio-visual department with invaluable facilities for student filmmakers. He also co-authored a book called 200 Selected Film Classics for Children of All Ages.

As The Gazette’s Alan Hustak noted in an obituary, Queenan was a dapper man who often wore an ascot and was celebrated for his remarkable general and literary knowledge. Hustak added that he never missed the annual march to the Black Stone at the foot of Victoria Bridge that commemorates the 6,000 Irish immigrants who died of typhus in 1848-49.


Concordia University