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"LUK" 2007 Obituary


LUKE  LUKIANCHUK 

LUKE o@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2007-01-09 published
MacAINSH, Harold
The family of the late Harold MacAINSH wish to express their sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to our family, Friends and neighbours for their flowers, food, donations and support. Special thanks to Doctor S. LUKE and the nurses and doctors at Parkwood Palliative Care Unit for their compassion and excellent care. A special thanks to Father Phillip UPTGROVE for his many visits and support and for the beautiful service that captured the true essence of Harold's life and sense of humour. Thanks to Dean ARMITAGE for his kind words and our daughter Susan for all her love and help during this difficult time. Special thanks to Shirley ARMITAGE, June and Peter LANGDON for their support and caring during these past months. Also, thanks to Saint_Jude's Women's Guild for the lovely reception after the service. Thanks to Leon GREGORY, the Westview Funeral Chapel staff and the pallbearers.

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LUKIANCHUK o@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2007-06-20 published
An Essay on the Anniversary of my Father's Death
By Gary EDWARDS, Page 6
David Francis EDWARDS (February 7, 1956-June 17, 2006.
Upon my father's death last June, one of the more pressing questions we faced was a matter of two saddles. What to do with them? David was, at best, an aspiring horseman and, from the beginning, his equestrian ambitions were the topic of many (often nasty) arguments in the Edwards household.
I was 15 when he brought, in conspiracy with my sister, the Arabs home. Most might recoil at purchasing livestock without even a few acres of land on which to stable it. My father's hallmark practicality (he trained as a Certified Management Accountant, let's not forget) was, how ever, voiceless against his unbridled desire for a horse - or two We could have lived in a sewer on the moon and would eventually find ourselves owning the beasts.
Of course, our horsies never ended up being more than lawn ornaments. This is not to say David lost interest. He just never quite got around to breaking them. One by one, a number of things accrued around them: a lunge line used once or twice, bridles, a beautiful 30 acre farm, the most oddly painted barn in Grey Co., combs and brushes, fencing books, magazines. And, of course the two saddles. If we'd set them up in the living room and invited guests to sit on them, they'd have seen more use.
I'm sure a lot of people, myself included, laughed at my father for his flight of fancy. But we laugh when we ought meditate. David didn't break the horses because he didn't need to. For all of his account books, number crunching and shrewdness, he was essentially a dreamer who could be just as easily satisfied with what might be as with what is. He was a grasshopper masquerading as an ant.
The memory of my father I put the highest price on is not my own but one I inherited from him. When he was a little boy of about four, still living at Edwards Lake in Singhampton, he was very envious of his brothers and sisters simply because they had the great privilege of attending school. Refusing to miss out, he would head to the orchard to conduct his own mock-school. I doubt Wordsworth could conceive a more beautiful image than that of a little blonde boy making a schoolhouse out of the orchard.
David did make it to a real school where reality proved less appetizing than fantasy. Unaware of the miniature hierarchies that grow free as weeds where people are concerned, the young boy made the great mistake of sitting in a desk regularly occupied by a schoolmate of rather larger proportions. The two boys were quite mystified by one another: the older boy at the nerve of the younger and the younger at being ejected from his chosen place. He quickly shed his orchard-nourished notions about schooling.
Daddy thereafter made a career out of running away from school. Ellen DAVIDSON remembers his daily escapes. He would show up and apparently, when he'd decided he'd learned enough for the day, make for the road Poor Ellen, of course, would be in hot pursuit. It was only after more "persuasive" discipline that he managed to stay in his desk the entire day.
It did, as life often does, get better. In her eulogy - for my father, Rosemary DICKINSON told a story I shall carry to my own death with pride. In those days, Rosemary liked to have her students discuss current topics in formal debate. She would present the topic, designate the "Yea" and "Nay" sides of the room and allow students to choose their preferred positions. Only once did the plan almost falter. While the class would usually sort themselves into piles of "Yes" and "No", one day a topic (long-forgotten) brought them all over to one side of the room. Rosemary looked, probably with some distress, at the empty half and wondered aloud if a debate would be possible. A lone boy emerged, offering to take the opposing side, thus pitting himself against the rest of the class. Other students eventually joined him but it was my father who was willing to "do it" alone. This courage is a quality from which my mother, my sister and I benefited our entire lives.
David grew up in what was, even in the 50's and 60's, a large family. His parents, Lillian (née WINTERS) and Francis, managed a grand total of 9 children: Bonnie, Bill, Jim, Marion, Joyce, David, Paul, Kenny and Brian. To call the Edwards boys boisterous would be putting it lightly. I have heard enough Dukes of Hazzard-esque tales about my uncles to know why eyebrows raise when I inform people I'm an Edwards. Of the boys, my father (along with his younger brother Kenny) was considerably more docile. This is not to say David couldn't be difficult&hellip
He had, for example, a tendency to know everything. Whether it was on the matter of how to birth a calf, when to plant or the state of the nation, young David was expert. Of course, he made the mistake of sharing all his knowledge - which irritated his own father to no end. Rare is the Edwards who cannot recall the shouting matches and temper tantrums (approaching fisticuffs) that would unravel between father and son at the kitchen table. Years later, seeing my own infallible knowledge set against my father's, my grandmother would note "just like old times". The continuity pleased her.
Though a bit enraptured with his own intelligence, David was clearly a very smart young man, as former teacher Edna LUKIANCHUK has it, "a silver tongue". Becoming a management accountant, he found an outlet for his combination.
I cannot imagine how difficult life must have been for my father. To be in school with a pretty wife and two young children is unthinkable to me. While most students in their early-to-mid twenties are preoccupied with the flutterings of the heart, making the rent and maybe passing the odd exam, my father had a stay-at-home wife, an infant daughter with an enchanting smile and a toddler son whose favourite game was, "Let's bother Daddy while he's studying." When all of that was finally finished and the diploma was mounted on the wall, David had to figure out just what to do with his family. And so, like all good sons of Osprey, he moved home.
It wasn't long before David and his wife Sandra (née BERRIAULT) were building their house on Inglis Drive just off the 8th Line. For their home, they selected a ravine lot with a spectacular view of the Beaver River behind.
Meanwhile, David served Craigleith Ski Club as Chief Financial Officer. There, he made a number of lasting Friendships, most notably with his dear cousin Lois PARKS. Dad was a kind and capable, though volatile, boss, were there a thermometer measuring emotional temperatures in the office, it would have burst many times. Despite the heated arguments (perhaps because of them), David and his staff retained exceptional solidarity. At Devil's Glen (where David became General Manager in 2003), he began to develop similar bonds.
It was, however, as a community leader that David made his most resounding public success. Those days of community work were tireless. There was the Feversham Fair Board, the Hospital Board (first Markdale and then on to Owen Sound), Municipal politics, Heritage Celebrations, Hall Boards and so forth. All of these civic projects meant little sleep and much stress but also a feeling that he was contributing to the thing he cared about (after his family) most: the community his ancestors built 150 years before. David particularly distinguished himself on Osprey Council where his terrier-like tenacity, know-how with numbers and lathe-like tongue made him darling to some, pest to others. This, I am learning as I grow older, is another family trait. Indeed, when asked why he would vote for David in one election, an older gentleman (perhaps remembering David's grandfather's tenure as Deputy Reeve) said, "Well he's an Edwards and they don't take orders from nobody." Whether or not this quality is a mark of integrity or sheer contrariness only heaven will say.
The more shoes Jennifer and I outgrew, the less involved Daddy became in civic life. His interests slowly turned to more personal passions: his horses, hobby farming and reading. Shortly after the horses, there came a farm near Rob Roy at the end of a blind sideroad. This was, with neighbours almost 1 km away, a lonely place where passing cars provided heart-racing excitement and endless speculation. He and Mother, however, found immense peace here.
For David, if not for me, there was always something to do on the farm. Jennifer, my sister, saw these jobs as a source of amusement that (to me) bordered on the perverse. They performed the tasks joking and chattering away like jaybirds - staging mock executions with the chainsaw, performing elaborate imitations, teasing the dog. For me, each task was a race against time. David, conversely, considered a job worth doing was worth doing thoroughly. My experiments with "time conservation" were not appreciated.
There were also the famous trees. Over the years, hundreds of them - ranging from costly maples and mountain ash to little pine seedlings - made their way into the soil. They were all placed, planted and maintained with a clock-maker's precision.
Reading, however, was a thing over which we could bond. Like many readers, Daddy was greedy with time. "Oh", he would moan and wail, "why can't everyone just leave me alone to finish my book." Only Mother could pry his hands from the covers.
One can't talk about my father without mentioning a tendency to a little innocent gossip. "What's the scoop?" he would ask, hurling himself into conversation. Hearing and telling little stories of minor misdeeds was the lifeblood of our family. This is not to say we're a malicious bunch -curious (I hope) is a better adjective.
Up until the death of David's mother in July, 2005, my father and I would regularly head over to the home farm to hear gossip that was recent, twenty years old or even one hundred years past. Together, they would talk about people I'd never met, sometimes my father had never met and occasionally people my grandmother never met. Yet, these little narratives (these gossips) were so intricately woven as to appear life-like. There are times when my Great-Great-Grandmother (who disappeared in the Huckleberry Marsh in 1915 and may or may not have been murdered) seems more real to me than the people I spend hours with each day. Perhaps this is because many of the most intimate relationships have always formed around gossip and story -- around memory.
On the night my father died, we went for a drive - our habit on summer evenings. The week had been busy: I was in the throes of an essay on Milton and terrorism and recovering from food poisoning; my sister graduated days before; he and Mother had just planted a number of trees; there were lots of things to worry about at work. We went down to Tim Horton's where he (for once) denied his famed sweet tooth and chose a tea biscuit. I had yogurt. We had a quiet drive home.
In the morning, we had a pair of saddles.

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