John Bell was born in Toronto where he received his primary education. He spent his high school years in Montreal followed by four years at Queen’s University in Kingston completing an Honors BA Politics and Economics.
John Bell’s full career was with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). It began in 1961 when he joined Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in RCSCC BONAVENTURE in Cartierville, Quebec. After four years in Cadets he joined the RCNR as an Able Seaman and then a year later the RCN as an Officer Cadet at Queen’s University. Commissioned as A Sub Lieutenant in 1970 he retired as a Commander in 2003 after serving in eleven different ships and on sea going and shore based staffs in Halifax, Esquimalt, the United Kingdom and finally Ottawa. His final appointment was as the Senior Naval Officer on the Directorate of Cadets Staff.
John is a past member of the boards for the Navy League of Canada and the Ottawa Branch of the Naval Association of Canada and is currently Vice Chairman of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education Foundation and on the board of Ottawa Alternative Trade, which operates a Ten Thousand Villages store in Ottawa. John and his wife of 42 years, Janet (nee Ferguson) live in Ottawa. They have three children who now have families of their own.