My Dad, Gordon Highway, will be celebrating his 100th birthday on Saturday, July 15th at St. Peter’s Parish Hall, 218 Church Street in Comox from 1 – 3:30pm.
A synopsis of his time from the end of WWII to now is:
Gordon served in the RCAF during WWII and had some pretty harrowing experiences. He met my Mom, Ruth Hamilton, in the officer’s mess at CFB Comox while he was stationed there at the end of the war. They fell in love, but duty called and he returned to Montreal…..UNTIL the earthquake of 1948. He had to make sure his “Ruthie” was all right and the rest is history.
Upon making the Comox Valley his home, he volunteered with Air Cadets and made lifelong friends with other instructors. Two of whom became very much a part of the fabric of our families, weaving us all together. He went from working in a large bakery’s accounting office in Montreal to finding work as a carpenter in Cumberland. His tenacity kept him there as when he started he had no carpentry training, but when he got his layoff notice after a week, he asked his employer why the employers inexperienced sons would be allowed to keep working and that he would prove himself if his employer was willing to train him. It worked and eventually landed him a position as a bridge foreman with the Department of Highways. Many of the older bridges and ferry slips up and down the island were built and overseen by Dad.
Dad and Mom planted firm roots and brought up six children, Bruce, Joan, Catherine, Leslie, Elaine & Sid (Sidney). Along the way they gathered in other children and adults that needed a temporary home and love. Always our table hosted a few extra.
After retirement Mom & Dad both volunteered for the Sonshine Lunch Club and Meals on Wheels among other activities as well as being active in St. Peter’s Church. Dad also traveled to Portage LaPrairie to attend his grandson, Jon Phipps’, graduation as a helicopter pilot with the forces and pinned Jon’s wings on. He was the first veteran to do that. He was so proud to be part of Jon’s graduation ceremony.
Dad will often exclaim while out and about that his decision to move to the Comox Valley so many years ago was the right choice. His life has been full and we as a family have benefited from that decision. Mom passed on Christmas morning, 2012 and for him, it is like yesterday. His Ruthie will always be the biggest pull on his heart.Leslie Dojack