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Reginald Ernest  Gillies

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Reginald Ernest Gillies

March 23, 1932 - November 7, 2020


Reginald E. Gillies was born in Croydon, England in 1932 from a family of Scottish roots. He was an only child and so was his best friend John Youe. Together they hung out with a group self-named ‘The Corner Boys’ who became best known for their European style, unofficial, massed-start cycle racing. Reg and John also competed in cycle polo and cross-country running. After leaving Selhurst Grammar School and getting near to conscription age, Reg’s dad suggested that a civil service career should be considered. This advice was accepted and Reg was posted to Southern Rhodesia in Africa where he worked in the Roads Dept and was required to do part-time service with The Queen’s Regiment. Time was still spent in bike racing under scorching heat. On return to England John asked Reg to be his ‘best man’ when he married Dorothy Watson. At this wedding Reg met Dorothy’s sister Stella and it was not long before the pair were married. Reg and John became brothers-inlaw. After baby Jayne arrived Reg and Stella looked westward in 1957 and emigrated to Canada searching for a bright future. Whilst living in Quebec Reg, who was competent in French, worked in a cartridge plant, was an inspector at Long Sault Woodcraft Ltd where his inspection stamp was put upon most of the foam radomes used, to protect radar equipment, at airfields across Canada. He even worked for Rolls Royce. Quebec was in turmoil, jobs were scant so the family, now counting five (Andrew born in 1958, Robert in 1961) made their momentous move to Powell River in 1970. Reg and Stella bought ‘The Owl’s Roost’. Stella’s steak and kidney meals will be remembered by an eclectic clientele from teenagers to professional people. Around this time Reg got hired into the Mill and after a time got his steam engineer ticket. After closing the ‘Roost’ they later bought ‘Kelly’s Specialty Shop’ which became a consuming interest with the wish to promote good and healthy living. Around 1991 Reg’s so called retirement took place but he continued repairing and helping out at Kelly’s. He also volunteered on the Water Council and was actively involved in the Masons. Reg’s interest and familiarity with engineering began with bicycle chains, gears and specifications that no wonder he had a magnificent home workshop where he pursued his enthusiasm for reclaiming most makes of Land Rover and his loved Triumph TR3. During his end days we watched together a beautiful sunrise on the ocean and he said “it just doesn’t get any better than this.” Now after a long redoubtable suffering without complaint and eager to engage in conversation Reg passed on November 7/2020 at home surrounded by family. ‘The no 9 bus came for him finally’. This piece would not be complete without the family thanking all the health professionals who attended Reg so kindly during and until the end of his illness. In lieu of flowers please give to cancer research or plant a tree.


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From: Stubberfield Funeral Home

Stubberfield Funeral Home Ltd. Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Helen G. Evans
Relation: Through Stella and the Health store

So sorry to hear about Reg. you were such a loving couple. He was a fine man and will be greatly missed.

From: John Caldicott
Relation: Friend and workmate

I always liked working with Reg . A good person to be with.

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