DOUGLAS DEANE FINLAYSON
Douglas Deane Finlayson passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 17th, 2005 in the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
Deane, as he was known, was born on August 14, 1919. During his lifetime, he provided exemplary service to his country, his province and his community. Serving Canada as a Flight Lieutenant in the RCAF during the Second World War, he earned the King’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. As Leader of the Conservative Party of British Columbia in the 1960s, he stood for honesty, fairness and equality for all people. This was recognized by the Shuswap First Nations, who bestowed upon him the title of Honourary Chief. After leaving politics, he spent his remaining years helping to make his beloved city of Nanaimo a better place to live, culturally, economically, environmentally and socially. Some of the projects in which he played a key role are: Piper’s Lagoon Park, Cameron Island, the Port Theater, Woodgrove Shopping Centre, the Vancouver Island Natural Gas Pipeline and the Nanaimo Parkway.
Deane Finlayson committed his life to community service. By the time he was 21, he had founded the first Junior Chamber of Commerce on Vancouver Island, was Vice-President of the B.C. Junior Chamber of Commerce and had started the Mt. Benson Outdoor Club. Before he was 30, he had organized the first Tourism Association for North & Central Vancouver Island. Over the years, he served, and in many cases presided over, numerous boards and organizations, among them the Nanaimo & District Chamber of Commerce, the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, the Nanaimo Harbour Commission, the Vancouver Island Gas Pipeline Committee, and the Nanaimo & District Harbourfront Centre Society. Professionally, he also displayed excellence and was instrumental in changing the face of organized real estate in British Columbia.
In recognition of his numerous contributions, Deane was the recipient of a Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from the Malaspina University-College in 2005, as well as Patron of the City from the City of Nanaimo earlier this month.
Deane will be sadly missed by his family and many friends. He is survived by his loving wife, Joan, his daughter, Tiki, and her husband Al Westnedge, his grandchildren, Trina and Finn Wylie, his brother, Bill Finlayson, and sisters-in-law Harriet, Nieta and Maddy, as well as a niece and several nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, John Archibald Finlayson and Elizabeth Finlayson, and his brothers Jock and Archie Finlayson.
Deane will be remembered for his great love of Country and the outdoors, his intense loyalty to family and friends, his keen sense of humour and his service to humanity. A private service is planned for immediate family and closest friends. In addition to this, a gathering to celebrate his life will be held at the Evangelistic Tabernacle, 1300 Princess Royal, Nanaimo on Wednesday, June 1st at 3:00 p.m. The Rev. David Thompson will be officiating both services.
Arrangements are being made by Mt. Benson Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.