• Dr. Geoffrey Harding

    Dr. Geoffrey Harding

    Dr. Geoffrey Harding, resident of Chetwynd, British Columbia, but previously of Gabriola Island, passed away on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 88 years of age.

    A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 2:00pm at the South Peace United Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, with afternoon tea to follow.

    Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Kalamalka Rotary, Box 113, Station Main, Vernon, BC, V1T 6M1 in support of a project in Africa, where Dr. Harding had donated his medical equipment and books.

  • Elizabeth Moffatt

    Elizabeth Moffatt

    Peacefully passed away in hospital at Carleton Place, Ontario, on April 23, 2015, in her 95th year, predeceased by her husband of 60 years John Moffatt. Loving mother of Hope of Fort McMurray, AB, Brenda (Howard) of Nanaimo, BC, Judi, Gord (Sheila) and Cheryl (Gerry). Dear grandmother of David (Tracy), Craig, Erich (Teressa), Jason (Dana), Jesse, Jordon, Joshua (Lauren), Blake (Christa), Brandi, Lainey (Ian), Darwyn, Odessa, Tiah and Judge. Great-grandmother of 14. She will also be remembered by many nieces, nephews and friends. Predeceased by her daughter Doris, sons Bob and Stephen and her sister Gertrude Ferrier. Friends visited with the family at the Alan R. Barker Funeral Home, 19 McArthur Ave. Carleton Place on Sunday April 26, 2015, and a funeral service was held at Zion Memorial United Church, Franklin Street, Carleton Place on Monday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. with Reverend Jim Baldwin officiating. Internment at United Cemeteries. Donations to Zion Memorial United Church or the Carleton Place Hospital Foundation would be greatly appreciated. The family would like to thank all second floor nursing staff at the Carleton Place Hospital and Dr. Janice Gray.

  • Mary Gay Brooks

    Mary Gay Brooks

    March 12, 1943 - April 17, 2015

    Mary Gay passed away peacefully in the Palliative Care Unit at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on April 17, 2015, with close friends by her side.

    Mary Gay was born March 12, 1943, in Sudbury, Ontario. She is predeceased by her parents Esther (Hanna) and Harry Pettibone, her step-sister Aileen (and Jim) Smith. She is survived by Bob (and Sue) Smith of Arnprior, ON, and Joanne Wright of Hamilton. She is also survived by her half-brothers, Wayne (and Nancy) Stobo of Halifax, NS, and Dennis (and Brenda) Stobo of Sudbury, ON, and half-sister Joyce (and Dietmar) Koppisch of North Bay, ON.

    She was educated at the Ontario College of Art and Design, University of Toronto, and completed her Masters of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She enjoyed a 32-year career as a teacher and visual arts consultant with the Toronto District School Board. Her favourite educational opportunities were from worldwide travel experiences.

    She fell in love with the west coast of BC while on holidays and chose Gabriola Island for her home in her retirement years. 

    She has lived here for the past 16 years and enjoyed making her own art. Many on Gabriola will remember her joyful and colourful paintings featuring flowers as seen on greeting cards, on many beautiful sets for Gabriola Players productions and, most recently, in her self-published book called My Colouring Book.

    Oh, how you will be missed! 

     Condolences may be offered at or

    A private cremation ceremony was held for family. A celebration of Mary Gay’s life will be held at a future date.

  • John Hague

    John Hague

    John died March 31, 2015, after a lengthy stay in Victoria General Hospital. He was predeceased by his mother Patricia in 2014. He is survived by his father Louis, his wife Barbara and their children Cameron (Jennifer), Merran (Roy) and Jennica, and three grandchildren (Julia, Nathan and Arianna). He will also be missed by his sister Louise (Grant) and brothers Phillip (Madeleine) and David (Louise), and many nieces and nephews. 

    John was born in Edmonton where he graduated with a BA from the University of Alberta. He became a chartered accountant with, what was then, Clarkson Gordon, and spent the majority of his career with the Public Utilities Commission. It was during these years that he developed a passion for the environment and the drive to be actively involved in the democratic public process. 

    In 2007, John and Barbara moved to Gabriola Island where he remained active in politics both locally and provincially. He was passionate about protecting and preserving what he believed was the paradise around the Salish Sea. 

    He became an active participant in the development of the local Gabriola Radio Society CKGI and was a lifelong learner, regularly attending Vancouver Island University as a senior student. 

    John embraced life with humour and passion. He loved his piece of heaven here on Gabriola. 

    He will be remembered for his articulate defence of his political beliefs, his desire to protect the environment and his love of learning. All who knew John would agree that he lived with the courage of his convictions. He will be greatly missed as a loving father and husband. 

    A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 13 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Gabriola Golf Club on Gabriola Island. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

  • Donald Louis Bickerton

    Donald Louis Bickerton

    Nov. 27, 1933 - Apr. 11, 2015

    Don passed away suddenly at his home on Gabriola. His love of life, family, golf, friends and Gabriola were as large as his family. He will always be remembered for his kindness and fun-loving wit. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. 

    Don will forever be remembered by his loving wife, Beverley, children, Debra, Douglas (Amanda) and Pat (Deb); grandchildren Kyla, Jarrod and Cole; sisters Neta and Shirley and sister-in-law Tierra; brothers Jack (Vi), Keith (Joyce); many nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved friends. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Margaret; in-laws Harry and Hedy; brother Brian and many aunts and uncles. 

    In lieu of flowers, donations “In Memoriam” can be made to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation (

  • Frank Peter John Velsen

    Frank Peter John Velsen

    Aug. 12, 1930 - Mar. 28, 2015

    Frank Peter John Velsen, 84, of Gabriola Island, quietly passed away at the Nanaimo Seniors Village on March 28, 2015.

    Frank was born August 12, 1930, in the Netherlands to Pieter and Margarite (Quast) Velsen, He was raised in Indonesia where he spent most of his early childhood. He came to Canada on one of the immigrant ships, landing in Halifax in 1954.

    Frank was a prolific reader and was continually learning. He was known for his endless sense of humour and love of nature - the songs of the birds and the howl of the wolf were music to his ears. He had the ability to enjoy life wherever it took him. Frank worked at a job he truly loved at the Nanaimo Biological Station for 30 years where, in addition to other accomplishments, he pioneered new photography techniques of salmon egg development. He always looked forward to spending time with his family and friends and he always had time for a chat, a joke and a smile.

    Frank is survived by his wife, Anne Velsen (Brown); his sister and her husband, Jan Roelof & Eveline Branbergen; daughter, Christine Velsen; son; Martin Velsen, son and wife; Adam & Josee Velsen, grandchildren; Keana & Kaleb and brother in-law and wife, Doug and Kathy Brown

    He was a true gentleman, forever in our hearts! 

    At Frank’s request, there will only be a small gathering of family and close friends honoring and celebrating his life.

  • Betty M. Castell  [nee Vallieres]

    Betty M. Castell [nee Vallieres]

    Feb. 11, 1933 – Dec. 18, 2014

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our dear wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She will be dearly missed by all that knew her but especially by her husband and best friend of 61 years, Robert Castell. 

    Robert and Betty were married April 24, 1953 in Vancouver, B. C. They had three daughters’ Debbie, Linda and Kim. They resided in the lower mainland until the late sixties when they relocated to Gabriola Island and remained for the rest of Betty’s life. After a brief, brave battle with cancer she left us on December 18, 2014. 

    Betty’s main focus in life was her family but especially her husband Robert. They spent many happy years together: raising their family, boating and fishing, gardening and later in life RVing. 

    Betty was predeceased by her parents and grandson in 2011. She is survived by her husband Robert, 3 daughters Debbie [Don] Brown, Linda Smith and Kim [Robert] Mitchell, 6 grandchildren, 8 greatgrandchildren and extended family. 

    A life well lived leaves its gentle pattern on the hearts of all and the world is a lovelier place because one person touched it with warmth, goodness and grace. 

    We will love and miss you always. 

    A ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held at a future date. 

  • Ruth Marylynn Clements

    Aug. 31, 1953 – Jan. 28, 2015

    Ruth was born in Chemainus, BC and was the only child of the late Bill Clements and Zillah (Tomlinson) Clements. 

    When she was very young the family moved to Gabriola Island where Ruth was raised. She received her education on Vancouver Island and furthered it in Vancouver. She was an avid reader, a master seamstress and was determined to do everything to perfection. 

    She worked hard and travelled extensively; sailing around the world with her partner Ted Long. Her motto: “-don’t hold back doing whatever you want to do, just go for it – never give up!” She is sadly missed by her friends. 

    A special thanks goes out to the support staff, doctors and nurses at NRGH for their wonderful care. 

    For information about Ruth’s celebration of life please call 250-323-6600.

  • Ruth Elizabeth Munro

    Ruth Elizabeth Munro

    Jan 8, 1024 - Feb. 2, 2015

    Ruth took her inaugural angel flight on the morning of February 2nd, 2015 enveloped in the love of her children and the palliative caregivers who cared for her at her Assisted Living home in Courtenay. She was peaceful and gently made her exit. 

    Some Gabriolans knew Ruth over the last 23 years from her many visits with daughter Zulis Yalte (Joy Olsen) where she revelled in nature, enjoyed friends, the arts and just chillin’ with her family.

    Ruth was a kind, loving, and generous person who learned to get through the horrors of wartime London, England (her birthplace Jan 8, 1024) and other adversity - with courage, a song and dash of humor. 

    She worked hard as a school custodian in Courtenay to raise her 4 children and was devoted to them and her grandchildren/great-grandchildren. Ruth was always up for a spontaneous adventure and fun. She loved to dance, hike, bike, swim, golf, travel and joined several groups that focused on such activities. Through her compassionate and generous nature she quietly assisted many she came into contact with, both financially and emotionally. She was our shining star and we will so miss her.

    Thanks to all Gabriolans who shared life with our mum, you added to her enjoyment of being.

  • Frank Hackwood

    Frank Hackwood

    Mar. 11, 1930 - Jan. 14, 2015

    Frank passed away peacefully on Wednesday January 14, 2015 at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after a brief illness.   Both of his daughters were at his side.

    Frank was born in Nanaimo on March 11, 1930.  He built his first home himself in the 50’s in Nanaimo, then in the early 70’s he purchased half of his brother Allen’s waterfront property on Gabriola and built himself his forever home in Pilot Bay, which was the best place on earth to Frank.

    Frank loved life and saw the bright side to everything and often remarked what a blessed life he had. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and uncle and he treasured his family deeply. 

    He had lots of stories which he loved to share with everyone. Frank was a Fisherman, Meat-Cuter/business man, Journeyman Carpenter and in recent years, a model boat craftsman.

    Frank never touched someone so lightly that he did not leave a mark.  He smiled with his whole being and he will be sorely missed by his loved ones and those whose lives he touched.

    He is survived by Nida, his wife of 59 years, daughters: Cindy Graf (Glen), Sandra Rudischer (Herb), grandson: Lee Dunbrack (Heather), nieces: Barbara Ann Andrew (Donald), Linda Gill (Kristen, David Jr) special friend, Colin Masson

    A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at the Surf Lodge on Gabriola at 2pm Saturday Feb 21st, 2015  

    Special thanks to the Gabriola Firehall first responders, the BC Ambulance attendants, Dr. Carr and to the kind and caring staff at the Emergency and ICU at the NRGH