John Hasek

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John Hasek
Maj. John Hasek (left).png
Maj. John Hasek (left), member of Canadian Forces mission to Ghana, 1965-67
Born (1938-01-28)28 January 1938
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died 1 January 1994(1994-01-01) (aged 55)
Prague, Czech Republic
Allegiance  Canada
Years of service 1957–1981
Rank Major

John Henry George Hasek, CD (January 28, 1938 – January 1, 1994) was a Czechoslovak-born Canadian soldier, journalist and author. After fleeing post-war communist Czechoslovakia, he and his family emigrated to the United Kingdom, South America and eventually Canada where Hasek joined the Canadian armed forces in 1957.[1]

Major Hasek graduated from the University of Ottawa and later the University of New Brunswick with a Master of Arts in Psychology. As a member of the Canadian Forces he studied and worked as an instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.

Hasek served in The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, The Royal Canadian Regiment [2] and later The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

While with the Canadian Forces, Hasek served in Ghana, Vietnam and Cyprus and as the first commander of the SkyHawks Parachute Team, which is the Demonstration Parachute Team of the Canadian Forces. An accomplished skydiver, Hasek had several thousand descents to his credit, and served as a member of the Parachute Testing Wing/Trials and Evaluations centre of the Airborne Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

After retiring in 1981, he worked as a freelance journalist and published The Disarming of Canada (1987). Following the fall of the iron curtain, John founded "Education for Democracy", a non-profit organisation bringing over 1500 volunteer English teachers to Czechoslovakia from Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Australia.[3] Education for Democracy was renamed "John Hasek Society" in 1994 shortly after Hasek's death.[4]

Hasek covered the breakup of Yugoslavia as a freelance reporter for the CBC, Ottawa Citizen, Washington Inquirer and Inter Press Service. He was seriously wounded in June 1993 near Šibenik, Croatia. The causes of his accident were unclear, with some speculating that he had hit a mine in his car, or due to a collision with a Serbian military vehicle. After being operated on in a nearly abandoned hospital in Zadar, Croatia he was transferred in a Czech government flight to the Central Military Hospital in Prague on 30 June and died six months later on 1 January 1994.


  1. ^ Simmonds, Tara (December 2001). "University of New Brunswick Archives & Special Collections-Inventory to the John Hasek fonds-Biographical Sketch". University of New Brunswick, Ca. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ "Regimental Roll of Honor, The Royal Canadian Regiment". Royal Canadian Regiment, Ca. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  3. ^ "The New Generation". Jacy Meyer, Article Database. 2006-01-03. Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  4. ^ Simmonds, Tara (October 2001). "University of New Brunswick Archives & Special Collections-Inventory to the John Hasek Society fonds Sketch". University of New Brunswick, Ca. Retrieved 2013-02-04. 

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