Death of William A. O’Neil, C.M.

Posted: October 21 2020

Sadly, one of the CMLA`s most distinguished Honorary Members, William A. O’Neil, C.M., died at age 93 on October 29, 2020.

A civil engineering graduate from the University of Toronto (1949), Mr. O’Neil worked in different positions at Transport Canada, before becoming Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard in 1975. In 1980, he took office as President and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, a position he held until 1990, when he was first elected as Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, the first Canadian … to occupy that high office. Re-elected three times, he held the position until 2003, the second-longest tenure of any IMO Secretary-General. In 1991, he was made Chancellor of the World Maritime University in Malmö , Sweden, and Chairman of the Governing Board of the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta. Bill O’Neil was widely known and highly respected in the worldwide maritime community and had many friends in the CMLA across Canada.

For further information on his career, major accomplishments and numerous honours and distinctions, see: and

Mr. O’Neil is survived by his wife Olga, as well as by children and grandchildren. Letters of condolence can be sent to them at the address appearing in the CMLA’s membership list: 2 Deanswood Close, Woodcote, Oxfordshire RE8 0PW, United Kingdom. The email address appearing in the CMLA’s membership list is:

Previous Next