Died peacefully February 23 at the Kiwanis Pavilion, Victoria, BC. George was born February 14 in Antsla, Estonia eldest child to Hermann and Nelli. “I’m Estonian by birth and a proud Canadian; in response to the question, ‘What is the origin of your name?'” The war years were difficult for the family after his Father was taken away by the Russians and sent to Siberia. George was only 10 and required to work and help on the family farm in Estonia at an early age. Following a perilous overland journey from Estonia to Germany, as both the Russian and German armies advanced, the family were temporarily settled in an immigration camp in Germany, where he worked at various odd jobs to help the family income.Read More
Immigration to Canada came in January, 1948 where he was able to establish himself and sponsor his Mother and 3 siblings the following year. He made his pledge to Canada and became a citizen in 1958.
Mining was his forte beginning in 1948 at Campbell Red Lake Mine in Ontario to his retirement in 1998 as Owner, President/CEO of Hillsborough Resources Ltd, operator of Quinsam Coal Corporation in Campbell River, BC. The many stops in between included all of Canada, USA, Ireland, Brazil and Mexico. His life was consumed with work related travel, frequently for weeks at a time. He was a workaholic with an enormous sense of responsibility. Enduring friendships were formed throughout the lengthy career. With half century of service to the Canadian mining industry, he truly became an outstanding and expert miner.
He was a life member of Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Mine Suppliers Association of BC.
George had a passion for fishing. The cold water lakes of northern Ontario and BC drew him, but the lure of the grander left him chasing marlin from Mexico to Hawaii to Madeira Island. Our last boat Goldbar made fishing for salmon and halibut off the west coast of Vancouver Island a pleasurable challenge.
George’s leisure time was filled with gardening, fruit trees, grape vines, and vegetables to supply family, friends and a neighbourhood. His flower gardens of riotous colour were always enjoyed and admired by passersby.
Sailing the oceans of the world aboard a cruise ship also occupied the 19 years of retirement. Still it took 4 years to convince him to go on a cruise. Our first cruise was thru the Panama Canal and he loved it-the food, the entertainment, the new friends, new ports, the engineering marvel of the Canal.
On one of our early cruises, a gift to Lynn was a hand painted shawl purchased in Puerto Vallarta. In return he received what was to become his favourite shirt – worn at first with great reluctance – too loud, not his style, out of his comfort zone-until the compliments each and every time he wore it. George’s shirt and Lynn’s shawl were never left at home as we went off on another adventure.
When the time is right, the shirt, the shawl, George and Lynn will go to sea together one more time, where he will be set free on the ocean he so loved.
Left behind to miss him, Lynn, his wife of 35 years, son Matt, daughter Yvonne (Phil), grandchildren Josh, Lexie and Brandon, great granddaughter Brooklyn. His brothers Matt (Margie), Hans, sister Malle (Vic) will miss their big brother as will his nieces and nephews miss their uncle. His family remaining in Estonia and many friends around the world share our sorrow.
We extend our gratitude to the staff at Kiwanis Pavilion, Dr Tim Troughton and the other doctors of the Torch Team for their compassion, support and understanding while George was in their excellent care.
Life celebration will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation www.kiwanispavilion.ca, CIM Foundation https://www.cim.org or charity of choice.