Ross Bertram: Master Magician


After his mother died, Ross took over the family home in Toronto. Next door was a lady named Helen Jaworksy. Ross had known Helen for years. The friendship was renewed and the two started seeing each other on a regular basis.

Ross and Helen were married in a civil ceremony in 1971. Ross had also hoped to return to performing in his retirement years, but a series of health problems dampened his enthusiasm. He suffered a series of heart attacks and then a prostate problem. Except for a close coterie of friends, he withdrew from the magic community. He preferred to be remembered for the skill he displayed at his prime rather than as an older man making the rounds of the conventions.

PreviewRoss Bertram
Ross with his friend Faucett Ross; Ross performing his legendary Cups & Balls routine.

This close coterie of friends often met at the Honeydew Restaurant across the way from the Arcade Magic and Novelty Shop. The group consisted of Toronto stalwarts such as P. Howard Lyons, Jean Menard, Jack Heeren and David Drake.

A recent immigrant to Toronto by the name of Derek Dingle also attended with regularity. It was Ross Bertram’s work that ignited Derek’s interest in pure sleight-of-hand. Between Derek’s frequent meanderings to the Forks Hotel to spend time with Eddie Fetcher and Ross Bertram’s constant example of virtuoso sleight-of-hand, Derek had two wonderful mentors. 

It was at these Saturday afternoon sessions that Ross developed a steadfast friendship with Msgr. Vincent Foy. 

PreviewMsgr. Foy
Left to right: Jack Heeren, Msgr Foy, Norm Houghton, Derek Dingle (March 1966).  

It was this friendship that added a whole new creative chapter to Ross’ life. Msgr. Foy had a lifelong passion for magic since first witnessing Harry Blackstone perform his magic in Toronto in 1928. Msgr. Foy had made his own contribution to the history of magic with a publication called Deceptions With A Short Card10 published by Abbotts in the 1940s. 




10—Msgr. Foy used the pen name Dr. George E. Causabon.