Reuben (Rube) Aaron Hornstein, CM, MBE, MA, D Litt., born in London, Ont. in 1912, died January 30, 2003 in Halifax, N.S.
Rube was raised on a farm in London, Ontario. He graduated as gold medallist in honours physics from the University of Western Ontario in 1934 and received his MA in physics in 1936. He served as a demonstrator in physics at Western from 1934 to 1937 and in the autumn of 1936 as acting professor of science at Waterloo College. He obtained his MA degree in meteorology from the University of Toronto in 1938.
He joined the meteorological branch of the federal Department of Transport and from 1938 to 1940 he was a forecaster at St. Hubert and Malton Airports. In March 1940, he was transferred to Halifax as officer-in-charge of the meteorological section of Eastern Air Command, administering meteorological services for all three branches of the Armed Forces from 1940 to 1946, with special emphasis on the RCAF Coastal Command and the naval convoy operations. His service was recognized by the granting of membership in the Order of the British Empire by King George VI in 1946. For 26 years, From 1946 to 1972, he was officer-in-charge of the Halifax Atlantic Weather Centre.
He began doing radio reports for the CBC in Halifax in 1946 and hosted a popular show called "Ask the Weatherman". When the CBC launched a TV news program, Gazette, in 1954, Mr. Hornstein did the weather forecasts.
He authored numerous scientific and technical papers including from the experience of his 13 years of radio broadcasting, "Meet Your Weatherman" on the Maritime and Newfoundland networks and "Ask the Weatherman" on the Trans-Canada network of the CBC, three booklets "Weather Facts and Fancies" in 1948, "It's In The Wind" in 1950 and "Weather And Why" in 1954. He also wrote and delivered school broadcast about the weather, on both radio and television. McClelland and Stewart published "The Weather Book" in 1980 and "Après la pluie, le beau temps" in 1981.
Following his retirement from the meteorological service in 1972, after 34 years of service, he became very active in producing talking books--audiotapes for blind and disabled students.
Among the many honours bestowed upon him were the Patterson medal for distinguished service to Canadian meteorology in 1962; Special Merit Award of the Federal Institute of Management in 1977; Honorary Big Brother, Big Brothers of Dartmouth-Halifax 1976-77; Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Mary's University in 1982; Volunteer of the Year for Sir Frederick Fraser School 1983; membership in the Order of Canada 1991; commemorative medal for the 125th anniversary of Canadian Confederation 1992; certificate of merit of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Canadian Council of the Blind 1994; Hourglass Action Award during National Access Awareness Week 1996.
In 1975, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) created the Rube Hornstein Prize in Operational Meteorology to be awarded each year for excellence in operational meteorology . In June 1998, the prize became a medal and was renamed the Rube Hornstein Medal in Operational Meteorology. Rube was the first recipient of that medal.
In 2002, he received the Queens Gold Medal celebrating her Golden Jubilee. In the immediate post-war period he was on the Council of the Halifax Theatre Arts Guild and the Nova Scotian Institute of Science (NSIS). He was a Life Member of CMOS and of NSIS, the Canadian Association of Physicists, ACTRA and the Writers Guild of Canada.
In addition to his volunteer activities he contributed generously to charitable appeals, especially in response to medical and educational appeals, having, with his wife, established substantial bursaries at both St. Mary's University and the University of Western Ontario.
"He was just one of the last great gentlemen," said Don Tremaine, a longtime friend and television colleague. "They don't make those birds anymore."