A word about the title—Wally (as he was known to most of us) was vitally interested in the English language, including, of course, Old English, which he taught. So it seemed appropriate to use Old English words as attributes to his memory. Perhaps this whole tribute should be in Old English, or, more appropriately, in one of the rarer dialects of Canadian English. But I shall be more realistic. All of you knew Wally personally and/or by reputation. You can fill in gaps from your own remembrance of him.
Gōd Wīs Secg: ‘He wæs gīd’ in all senses of good—a good scholar, a good colleague, a good husband and father, a good friend, a good Canadian, a good citizen of the world. Secg? ‘Secg’ is an interesting word because in the masculine form it means ‘man, warrior, retainer,’ and other things, but in the feminine it means ‘sword.’ Secg is glossed as a poetic word, so I chose it in preference to, say, wer, or man; for Wally had a kind of poetic quality. Formidable in appearance and in scholarship—a fighter, a linguistic swordsman who could be overwhelming—he was essentially a kind and gentle person. Never one for self-praise, he carried his learning lightly and, like a retainer or servant, he was ever ready to share his knowledge and to assist the rest of us.