THOMAS PETER (Pete)
Peter was born March 7, 1915 at the Ramsgate Coast Guard Station which was under his father’s command and was being bombed that night by the Germans. Peter was an only child, born to Thomas Leslie and Blanche (nee Foster) Thorpe-Doubble. They lived in England for the first seven years of his life while his father was on active military duty as a captain in the Royal Navy, before taking up residence in Oak Bay. Blanche was born and raised in the Cariboo and longed to return to her family, who was by then residing on the Island.
Peter was determined not to become a navy man and dropped out of school at an early age. By sixteen he had started his own truck hauling business and for many years contracted hauling logs. He married Ina May Erb on June 8, 1940. At that time Peter was logging in the Ladysmith area and by 1942 they had moved to a little house in Arcady, just south of Ladysmith. Peter and Ina bought their property in Chemainus in the mid-1940’s and built their family home in which they raised their six children.
In 1954 Peter and two partners bought ten acres at Cassidy and built the Cassidy Drive-In Theatre. Peter’s intention was to be a silent partner, but by 1956 he took over the operation of the business. Peter never particularly enjoyed working with the public, but he and Ina worked hard to build the business and sold it in 1969, at which time he turned his full attention to raising horses, which was his life’s passion.
Peter lost Ina in 2000 after sixty years of marriage. He was also predeceased by his grandsons, Terry Young in 1982 and Dustin Thorpe-Doubble in 2002. Pete left us in the evening of November 15, 2012 and is survived by his children: Patricia Ann Lambie, Penny (Ron Evans) Young, Mary (Glen) Hiebert, Joan (Harry) Phillips, Tom (Susan) Thorpe-Doubble, and Steve (Sandy) Thorpe-Doubble; eleven grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. He was weeks away from the births of two more great grandchildren and his very first great-great grandchild. Peter instilled in his children a strong work ethic and taught them the value of a dollar. He never discarded an item unless all avenues of repair or re-purpose had been explored. He was the epitome of the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention”. He invented many time and labour-saving devices over the years. He lived by the philosophy of paying cash on the barrelhead . Pete was never one to mince words and his colourful adjectives left his family alternating between mortification and fits of laughter. He was a great believer in alternative medicines and lived completely independently until a few weeks before he passed.
Special thanks to Nicole who helped Gramps keep his independence a little longer, and to the second floor staff at Cowichan and District Hospital.
Gone, but never forgotten.