R.I.P. Dan Page August 08, 1930–October 17, 2017
Daniel C. Page lived life on his own terms, taking satisfaction from his bonds with his children and from being productive and useful in his world. In his final weeks, in spite of increasing frailty, he spent many days including Thanksgiving weekend on his '47 Ford 9N tractor, seeding fields at his son's farm, simply because "it needed to be done".
Dan, the oldest of four children was raised during the difficult depression years by artistic parents. Throughout his youth the family's constant search for housing and employment took them to California, England, and the Okanagan, but always returning to Vancouver Island. He spent his 14th year recovering from Typhoid fever. As a result he left school early and ventured into the working world of tugboats, logging, and surveying, all outdoor pursuits which he loved. While working on a survey crew in Manning Park he met his future wife, Marion Dent. They were married the following year in 1952 and settled in Saanich where Dan began work as a carpenter. They then started a family and their son, Chris and daughter, Suzanne were born.
In 1957 they purchased an 1890's farmhouse on 5 acres from the original owners, the Barker family. Their daughter Jeannie soon followed. The Old Barker House was Marion's home for the rest of her life, and Dan's for the rest of his. It formed the heart of their family life. Together they raised their children there. They farmed for their own table and Marion established Watts Costume Shop on the property. Dan worked at Canoe Cove Marina as a mechanic and shipwright for twenty years. During that period Dan taught himself to play many instruments, his favourite being the fiddle. For 25 years he attended Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend.
As his own talent blossomed he nurtured a growing community of 'Old Timey' musicians in Victoria and quietly began composing. The kids grew up and Dan took early retirement. Marion passed away in 1992 and the family moved the house to a new location on the same farm. Dan's second wife, Yvonne Thompson, inspired him to add a dance hall on to the old house. She passed away in 1994 before the completion of the hall. A new period began, and from that time to the present he and Syd welcomed a lively community of dancers and musicians into the home. He self-published three books of tunes and enjoyed hearing them being played by a wide variety of musical friends and regularly watched dancers move to his well-loved music.
Having had the good fortune to retire at 55 allowed him to dive in to hundreds of projects as diverse as restoring vintage vehicles, learning to read music and grafting fruit trees. He generously shared his tools, time and knowledge. He had unwavering focus, determination and a voracious appetite for learning. To the end he was a rough and ready renaissance man with quick wit and a twinkle in his eye.
R.I.P. George H. Smith (of Mill Bay) 1926–June 01, 2010
The folk community — indeed, the world — has lost another good man. George Smith, longtime member of both the Victoria Folk Music Society and the Cowichan Folk Guild passed away in the early hours of Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, at the age of 83.
George was an honourable man with much vitality who had great respect for humanity and for nature. He fought to correct injustices where he saw them and was always helping others. Active in union organizing, both in England and later in Canada, George was particularly passionate about occupational health and safety issues, and his eﬀorts were instrumental in the establishment of Medicare in Saskatchewan.
After retiring to Vancouver Island, George and Jean, his wife of 60 years, continued in their service to community, volunteering often in Cowichan, especially at the Islands Folk Festival each summer, and providing constant support and encouragement at the VFMS. Although his health had been failing for some time, George still came by the Folk every Sunday night he could to enjoy the music and the company.
Donations may be made in George’s memory to the Cowichan Folk Guild or the Victoria Folk Music Society. His hearty voice, his good sense, and his warm heart is missed!
R.I.P. Jim Selk July 05, 1949–August 02, 2009
Jim Selk, longtime member and president of the Victoria Folk Music Society, passed away on Sunday, August 2nd, 2009, taken quickly by stomach cancer. He died as he had lived, peacefully and with dignity, and will be sorely missed by his beloved partner, Carol Aileen, his devoted family, his countless friends, and by the entire Folk community.
It’s hard to imagine the Folk Club without Jim. Only a few can remember a time before he was here, before Colleen O’Brien first brought him by, well over 20 years ago. In true folk fashion, he immediately found his home and was quickly pressed into service, first as volunteer coordinator and then, almost as quickly, as president. He even served as newsletter editor for many years, gently easing us from hand-drawn, handmade into the computer age of desktop publishing, and he continued to oversee memberships and mailing until his last days.
Jim was the constant at the Folk; a friendly face there every Sunday night to greet you, hand you your new newsletter, offer an encouraging word, share a laugh. And he always knew what to do — if you were working the door, he could tell you whatever you needed to know; if you were working the kitchen, he could show you how to make the coffee; when it was time to get the show started he knew when and how to dim the lights; and when the night was over, he was there to the end, doing that last check in case someone forgot a hat, a coat, or, on more than one occasion, a treasured instrument! He, himself, was a gifted musician although he rarely played his guitar outside of the comfort of his own home, preferring instead to support the performing of others.
His title was president, but really Jim was the caretaker — taking care of Folk business, taking care of his community. Our lives have been enriched for having known him.
||RIP Linda Waterfall|
||RIP George Smith|
||RIP Jim Selk|
||RIP John Caspell|
||RIP Rob Castle|
||RIP Becky Bernson|
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