Over its decades-long history, the Players Guild has lost a number of dedicated individuals. This list is far from complete; we don’t have photos of everyone, and any omissions are completely unintended. If you know of anyone who has passed on who was ever a Guild member, please get in touch with us at communications@playersguild.ca. Even people who were only members for a matter of months have contributed to the fabric of the organization and deserve to be acknowledged here.

Please note: The photos and information on these pages have been provided by family and friends, not by the webmaster. We would be very grateful if you would contact us at communications@playersguild.ca if you have anything to contribute to this page.

Please click on the person’s name for their details, which will appear in the section beneath all the names.

Santo Cervello d. 2023Jo Pronger d. 2022Harold Thorp d. 2021John Blessin d. 2021Jo Wilson d. 2021Irv Wilson d. 2021Barb Murray d. 2021Frank Smith d. 2020Marie Dahl d. 2020Bill Harrison d. 2020Rita Plowman d. 2019Ken Benson d. 2019Alan Legg d. 2019Jack Kouwenhoven d. 2019Darlene Till d. 2019Gail Berger d. 2017Edith Gustafson d. 2017John Plowman d. 2017Joan Dmytryshyn d. 2017Moreen Thorp d. 2016Bernie Proft d. 2016Verna Clarke d. 2016Rolly Fox d. 2016Diane Nosaty d. 2015Keith Clarke d. 2015Hazel Menzies d. 2015Jamie MacDonald d. 2015Kevan Maxwell d. 2014Harry Houghton d. 2013David Glyn-Jones d. 2013Eileen Smith d. 2011Win Gladman d. 2011Betty Unger d. 2013Betty Rannie d. 2010Vera Manuel d. 2010Jack Grieve d.2009Stan Dahl d. 2009Fran Hollins d. 2005Robert (Bob) Forsythe d. 2004Jane Logie d. 2003Dave Menzies d. 2001Mona Mott d. 1998Patrick (Pat) O'Brien d. 1991Terry Mott d. 1990Frank Hollins d. 1998Patti Grieve d. 1993Ray LogiePeter Slack

Santo Cervello
d. August 17, 2023

As has already been said, Santo had an unbelievable gift. His skill and ability on stage were, quite frankly, astounding. He played every role with such intensity and passion that it was close to awe inspiring to share the stage with him. From his early days in the “Pit Theatre” (the name of the high school acting group) and Chilliwack Players Guild to the pinnacle of his achievements performing his one-man shows at Carnegie Hall and the storied Edinburgh Festival, his talent and passion shone bright.

Some interesting highlights. While performing his one-man show “Hemingway” at Carnegie Hall, the lawyers for the Hemingway estate stopped his show.They demanded an opportunity to see the play before it opened to make sure the portrayal was “positive”. The script painted an honest picture (which was, at times, unflattering) but was so compelling, they allowed the show to go on.  The Chilliwack Players Guild has a handbill from the show.

In 1971, Cervello wrote a play called “Truscott”, telling the story of Steven Truscott, who had been wrongly convicted of murder. His play talked about the lack of evidence and suggested Truscott’s innocence. In 2007, 36 years later, Truscott was exonerated for the crime.

With little more than talent and passion, Santo founded and ran Erewhon Theatre, a children’s theatre company that toured Ontario and produced children’s theatre for television. At their peak, they had several touring productions while maintaining a tv studio to produce works for remote locations.

In 1972, he wrote and directed “Pierre LaPorte”, the story of the kidnapping, confinement and death of the Quebec Labour Minister. The production won numerous awards at the regional and provincial level, including Best Production (regional) Best Original Script (Provincial) Best Production of an Original Script (Provincial).

The passion he instilled in the people he worked with is evident, even today, as many members of the Chilliwack Players Guild can trace their origins in theatre to working with Santo in the early 1970’s. For the work he created and the inspiration he provided, the Chilliwack Players Guild awarded him and Honorary Life Membership in the 1980’s. It was a well deserved honour.

On behalf of the Chilliwack Players Guild, I offer my profound thanks for his generosity and the gifts he shared with so many of us. To his surviving family, our most sincere condolences for your loss.

Clint Hames

His published obituary

March 20, 1950 – August 17, 2023
Santo was born in the village of Lupia, in the region of Calabria, Italy. He was the second born, first surviving son of Julio and Maria Cervello. He immigrated to Canada in 1956 and grew up in the town of Hope BC, where his sister Rosina was born.
Santo worked as an actor, director, writer, and producer of Canadian theatre, presenting innovative and transformative drama that reached millions of people in Canada, the US, and Great Britain.
He wrote plays for the CBC and BBC radio, a TV series for Singapore Television, and performed his one man play Hemingway at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City.
Santo was awarded the distinction of being the best actor in BC for his legendary solo performance of Nikolai Gogol’s Diary of a Madman. His two-person play, Steven Truscott questioned the guilt of a convicted murderer, decades before Truscott’s conviction was overturned. In life and in art, his objective was always to make the world a better place for everyone.
In 1972, Santo established Erewhon Theatre which created vibrant trends in Children’s Theatre until 2011. Santo was a consummate artist of his own passionate convictions: never afraid to provoke, think out of the box, or share his point of view.
With first wife Kathryn, he moved to Toronto where their son Julian was born. With second wife Grace, he moved to Solvang California, reinvented himself as a chef, and founded the Actor’s Corner Cafe: a restaurant like no other.
Santo blossomed in his final years as a visual artist, poet, sculptor, philosopher, and was recognized by his friends as a man of unique clairvoyance and other worldly insight.
His final work, Time Gates: published in five volumes, is now available for purchase on Amazon.
Santo is survived by spouse Grace, son Julian (Naomi), sister Rosina (Dan), nephews Justin (Marcy) and Michael (Dayna).
He was a member of the Toronto Theosophical Society, Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E, and was a supportive member of Soka Gakkai International, promoting world peace.

Jo Pronger

Jo Pronger
d. October 19, 2022
Remembering Jo Pronger

The Chilliwack Players Guild lost one of its true matriarchs with the passing of Jo Pronger. Jo joined the Guild in the early 1970’s with her husband John. As much as John was a performer, Jo was the quintessential backstage helper. She was a gifted and talented seamstress and costumed some of the Guild’s most complex shows, including a number requiring fantasy costumes, like Toad of Toad Hall and Alice in Wonderland.

When her mobility became a challenge, she still took on major roles in the Guild’s British Nights productions over the years. By my count, she was involved in over 2 dozen British Nights and countless Guild productions. What stands out about Jo was her unbelievable spirit. Through much of her adult life, she struggled with disease that rendered her less and less mobile. Few knew that the lack of mobility also came with tremendous pain. She was never in poor spirits and was always looking for ways to contribute to the Guild and the community. As a testament to her spirit, up until she went into hospital for what would be the last time, she was working with another Guild member knitting items to benefit an orphanage project in Tanzania.

She was mother to so many of us and although we are filled with sorrow at her passing, we have the joy of so many wonderful memories and the peace in knowing she’s without pain.

Clint Hames
Her published obituary
The Chilliwack Progress, November 3, 2022

Josephine (Jo) Pronger passed away peacefully on October 19, 2022, at the age of 81 in Chilliwack, BC

Jo was born January 25, 1941, in Faulking, England. She married John Pronger in Chichester, England on May 14, 1960. They immigrated to Canada on May 14, 1968, eventually settling in Chilliwack where they raised their family. She is survived by her husband John, son Steve, and daughter Sonja, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend our gratitude to the doctors and staff at Chilliwack General Hospital and Cheam Village. No service or flowers by request. Donations may be made to a charity of choice.

Harold Thorp
d. August 13, 2021

The Chilliwack Progress, August 26, 2021

The world has become a bit more dim, as we say goodbye to a wonderful person, Harold Edward Thorp. His 3 daughters were at his side as he passed peacefully, August 13, 2021 at the age of 98.

He is survived by Sharon (Bill), Debbie (Norm), Mary (Bruce), Howard (Tina), Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and Great Great Grandchild, brother Allan (Gladys), and numerous nieces and nephews.

Predeceased by the two loves of his life, June in 1984, Reen in 2016, his siblings, Eleanor (Don), Tommy, Bernice (Bob), and Earl (Joyce). This World War II Veteran served in Burma (Myanmar) in the 436 Squadron. The 436 “Can Do Attitude” served him well for life. An avid volunteer in a number of diverse areas, he received the Governor General’s Medal for Community Service along with many other awards, medals and accolades. He never met a stranger and was known by many as Mr Fix It.

He was an active member of the Canadian Legion for over 60 years. He laid a wreath on behalf of the 436 Squadron on Remembrance Day.He lived in a number of communities in British Columbia, his last 7 years at Hampton House in Chilliwack, introducing him to his new circle of friends. He was encouraged to be his caring helpful self, and to share his vast knowledge and skills. He remained an intelligent, dignified, giving, caring, humorous gentleman to his last breath.


John Blessin
d. July 24, 2021

The Chilliwack Progress, July 24, 2021
It is with great sadness we announce that John Henry Blessin passed away July 24, 2021. With him passed his encyclopedic mind and his irascible sense of humour.
He is survived by his wife Carol, sons Paul and Mark, daughters-in-law Ann Marie and Trish, grandchildren Jillian and Dane, his two brothers, one sister, two brothers-in-law, three sisters-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
John owned Wagner Appliances from 1980 until he retired and sold the business to his son Mark. He was very involved in the community: the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre, Chilliwack Foundation and Chilliwack Symphony Music and Theatre were a big part of his life.

The Chilliwack Players Guild’s Cotton Patch Gospel, 1991, with Rod Hudson, Greg Pitt, and Randy Chaykowski; and 1995’s Arts & Farces (R),with Paul Blessin and Joanne Hankey.

Photos by Stan Dahl

Jo Wilson
January 16, 1935-June 28, 1921

Remembering Jo Wilson
A short while ago, Dr. Irv passed away and we were all deeply saddened by his passing. We were even sadder to learn that his beloved wife, Jo, had been supporting him while dealing with cancer herself. On June 28, 2021, Jo left this world to join Irv. Jo and Irv lived out their retirement in Campbell River, however they spent much of their working lives in Chilliwack – Irv as an Orthopedic Surgeon and Jo supporting his work.
But there was much more to their lives than work, and the love and support they provided to the The Chilliwack Players Guild over the years helped to shape the group into what it is today. Jo’s innovation, energy and tenacity was demonstrated through her work as a Producer on nearly every Guild production through the 1980’s and her fundraising dinners such as “Evening in Paris”, “Try To Remember”, and “Lullabye of Broadway” raised thousands and thousands of dollars to support the arts. In these endeavours, Jo oversaw everything from ticket sales to the actual cooking of the dinners.
She was a dynamo. Perhaps her greatest legacy was teaching us all about the value of celebration. Everything in her life was a celebration – a simple get together over coffee, a family dinner or a theatre production. All a chance to celebrate – love, life and family. Your legacy will surround us, always.
Clint Hames

Her published obituary

Joan “Jo” Wilson passed away gracefully at the age of 86 on June 28, 2021, in Campbell River, British Columbia, surrounded by her loving family.

Jo was born on Wellington Street in Chilliwack, BC, to Anna and Henry Zacharias on January 16, 1935, the youngest of ten children. Raised in Vancouver, she attended Fairview High School of Commerce before securing a job with BC Electric. She would go on to have a career in medical administration and transcription, working at the MSA Hospital and Abbotsford x-ray clinic for many years.
In 1954, Jo married Stan Falys in Vancouver before moving out to Abbotsford, BC. They had five beautiful children together — Kimberly, Kelly, Gregory (Loreen), Lori (Marvin), and Michael.
In 1977, Jo remarried after being swept off her feet by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Irving William Wilson. His two children, Andrew and Wendy, completed the wonderful mix that is our family.
Jo and Irv spent 44 vibrant years together, remaining blissfully married until Irving passed away on April 27, 2021.
Jo did celebrations like no other. From their self-catered wedding party at the Hole In The Wall in Abbotsford, BC, through legendary family reunions and every single holiday and birthday dinner, she was in her element cooking and entertaining. Her dinner parties were a riot of food and laughter, but her love of entertaining didn’t stop at her table.
After taking to the stage in Abbotsford, Jo developed a passion for community theatre, going on to produce nearly every Chilliwack Players Guild production in the 80s. For over 20 years, she put her soul into heading the Chilliwack Dixieland Jazz Festival. Between her endless lists and fearlessness when facing such trivialities as cooking gourmet dinners for 200, her power to organize and accomplish was an inspiration to the communities she lived in.
Jo and Irving moved to Vancouver Island in 2009, where they lived over a decade by the ocean, often enjoying weekend bonfires on the beach with their family.
Jo is survived by her sister Pauline and by the large family she cherished. She is dearly loved by her grandchildren, Ryan, Sean, Jennie, Matthew, Michael, Andrew, Abby, Violet, and Jacob, and her great-grandchildren, Erika, Curtis, Elliana and Mira, Finn, Alexia, and Marvin. She will forever be in all our hearts.
She always said, “However it turns out is exactly the way I intended it to be!”
She lived this motto unto her very last breath.

Irving William Wilson
July 22, 1934-April 27, 1921

Remembering Irving Wilson
I first met Dr. Wilson in 1973 when I made arrangements to meet for coffee in his Abbotsford office to seek his interest in my opening a private physiotherapy clinic in Chilliwack where he also had an office. He was very helpful in fostering this venture. Katie and I had just graduated from UBC with our PT/OT qualifications. My sister Marcia (then Winger) was a physiotherapist too, working in a clinic in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, and wanting to relocate to BC where our parents lived. We opened the clinic in 1973, and I continued my practice here in Chilliwack until 2013.
Irving, true to his word, offered his professional support and encouragement. Irv introduced me to his new wife, Jo, in 1978 at Supreme Court in New Westminster when he and I were waiting to testify at a mutual patient’s trial. Little did I realize what a significant part of our lives they would become because of Jo’s organizational skills and passions as a CPG producer.
My first production with the Guild was 1980’s Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Clint Hames, with Jo producing and Irv’s ex-wife, Beverley Wilson, as the musical director. Our CPG mementos have for many years been the ceramic ‘show’ plaques, but for that show, Irving made wooden plaques and découpaged the show’s graphic onto each of them — at least five dozen! He and Jo also hosted an Opening Night reception. Imagine my dismay when seeing the lobby display and finding that my picture was captioned “Dough Wickers”! (While I closely resemble a ‘dough boy’ now, in 1980 that wasn’t reality. Clearly it was a portent of things to come.)
Irv and Jo continued to be a vital force in the vitality of the CPG. They produced “Try to Remember” as a dinner theatre fundraising event to support the opening of a Cultural Centre in a repurposed church facility on College Street.
Then Jo and Irv invested their efforts into the “Happy Times Jazz Society” to develop the Dixieland Jazz Festival, which flourished for many years, and also provided parade floats for the city’s spring festival. That led to a magical cruise holiday in 1992 when Holland America used New Orleans as their embarkation site for the first time ever. So our Jazz Cruise gave us three days in the French Quarter of New Orleans with music, cuisine and fun with an intimate group of thirty plus, including folks from far and wide, before sailing the Western Caribbean.
Irving’s neck fracture necessitated his retirement as a surgeon and an important member of Chilliwack’s medical community, but he remained a person of note in the cultural essence of Chilliwack until he and Jo relocated to Campbell River.
“Uncle Irv and Auntie Jo” were treasured friends of our daughters. Each of them relished the opportunity to play in their Bernard Avenue pool. We even decorated the pool with a large floating display for Lori and Marv’s wedding in August, 1982.
RIP, Irving. You’ll always be remembered and cherished. Our condolences to Jo and their large extended family, and many friends.
Doug and Katie Wickers

His published obituary

Irving “Irv” William Wilson passed away at the age of 86 on April 27, 2021, in Campbell River, BC. He was chatty and charming until the very end.
Irv was born July 22, 1934, in Edmonton, Alberta, but was raised in Jasper where his dad, Bill, worked on the railway as a conductor. His mother, Jean, came to Canada from Scotland as a young girl. Everyone in the family fondly remembers Irv’s Jasper stories and the colourful cast of characters he grew up with.
Irv graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in medicine and completed his orthopedic surgical residencies in Alberta and Kentucky. In 1961 he was admitted to the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons. He hung up his own shingle as an orthopedic surgeon in Abbotsford, BC, and Chilliwack, BC. He even practiced for a year in Saudi Arabia.
Irv married Beverley Nygaard in 1960. They had two children, Andrew and Wendy, and lived on a quiet but bustling street in Abbotsford. In 1977, Irv married Joan “Jo” Falys and they shared 44 wonderful years together.
In addition to her love of life, Jo brought with her five children from her previous marriage, Kim, Greg, Kelly, Lori and Michael. Kids from two families became one, and the stories and adventures flowed from there.
Irv was known as “Bapooh” to his grandchildren, Ryan, Sean, Jennie, Michael, Matthew, Andrew, Abby, Violet, Jacob. He loved kids and they loved him, each of them braving life with funny nicknames from their larger than life grandpa.
Renowned for telling (and retelling) his classic jokes, Irv loved to get together with his many friends to talk, sing and laugh. Dinners and parties at the Wilsons’ were legendary. He was loved for his charm, sense of humour and generosity.
Irv is survived by his wife Jo and one big blended family who will miss him.

Barb Murray
June 22, 1931-January 2, 1921

Her published obituary, January 2, 2021:  Barbara Frances Murray was born on June 22nd, 1931 in Manilla, NSW, Australia. She passed away peacefully on January 2nd, 2021 in Chilliwack, BC.
Barbara grew up in Australia, the cherished daughter of Florence and Vivian Young. She had a loving start in life, surrounded by family and community throughout the Great Depression and World War II years.
She went off to teacher’s college to become a kindergarten teacher, and at age 18 Miss Young led her first class of children. This was the beginning of a wonderful career that allowed Barbara to offer her great gifts to the world.
Barbara arrived in Vancouver as a young bride with her husband, fellow Australian John McKibbin, in 1957. She was tragically widowed the following year when John died in the Second Narrows Bridge collapse. Barbara courageously stayed on in Canada, and eventually met the Scotsman Iain Murray. They were married in 1960 and created a highly fulfilling life together in their chosen town of Chilliwack.
As a young mother, Barbara joined the Hospital Service League, serving as President in 1969. When she returned to teaching, her kindergarten classroom was a welcoming and creative place for many Chilliwack children over the years. She loved her job, her young students and being part of the teaching community. While teaching, Barbara also attained her Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia.
After Barbara retired, she embraced volunteering with the same wholehearted enthusiasm she had brought to teaching, helping to cultivate the arts in Chilliwack with the Community Arts Council, the Music Academy, and Friends of the Theatre. She received the Soroptimists’ Chilliwack Woman of the Year award in 2008, and Chilliwack Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellowship in 2010.
Barbara also found joy in entertaining, and travelling with Iain or her friends. She was passionate about classical music, especially early music and opera, and theatre, especially Shakespeare. Barbara was known for her vivacity, generosity, and brightness of spirit; her warm, gracious and wise presence brought out the best in others, and endeared her to all who knew her.
Barbara will be lovingly remembered by her husband Iain, daughters Lynn and Karen, son-in-law Les, grandson Jack, and sister Judy, along with many dear relatives and friends.
The Chilliwack Progress

Frank Smith

His published obituary, December 7, 2020: 
Frank was born in London, England in 1921 to Frank and Winnifred Smith. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Cymay, Sheila and brothers, Ted and Eric. He is survived by his son Michael (Sharon).
Frank joined the Royal Navy (Air) in 1941 until 1945. After training at the Rolls-Royce Factory in Derby he was sent to Trinidad for 2 years during the war. He was then sent to Scotland to end out the war. He met the love of his life, Eileen, in Crail, Scotland where Eileen was a WREN and they married in 1945. Their son, Michael was born in 1947. Their love affair lasted 65 years until Eileen’s death in 2011.
Frank worked for Otis Elevators in London after the war until 1951 when he went to the Canadian Embassy in London and joined the Royal Canadian Navy (Air) where he served from 1951 – 1971.
The “chief” served at Shearwater in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and onboard the HMCS Bonaventure, a Canadian aircraft carrier patrolling the Atlantic during the Cold War. After retirement he moved to North Vancouver and became plant manager for International Hydrodynamics building miniature submersibles.
In 1975 on a visit to Chilliwack, BC they fell in love with the city, and stayed the remainder of their lives. Their love of music had them entertaining at the Chilliwack Cultural Center and at seniors homes doing British Pub Nights. Frank playing his accordion and Eileen singing.
Frank remained in the home they built until the end, December 7, 2020. Michael (Sharon) would like to thank the caregivers at Heroes Home Care and especially his neighbours in Chilliwack who were so supportive of Frank in his final years.
The Chilliwack Progress

Marie Dahl

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Marie Dahl, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt, who passed away peacefully on the 18th of September, 2020 in Chilliwack BC. Marie will be greatly missed and always remembered and loved by her family, son Ken (Leanne), Sheila Armstrong (Barry), Sharon, Cheryl Fitzsimmons (Rob) and Shannon. She will also be missed by all her grandchildren Stephanie, Christopher, Kiel, Shanda, Mike, Schyler, Cody, Allissa, Caitlynn, Kelly, Dylan, Josh, Breanne and Kayla, as well as her great grandchildren Alexis, Wyatt, Noah, Hunter, Walter, Milo, Aspyn, August and Willa. She was predeceased by her husband, Stanley Dahl, in Feb, 2009.
Marie moved to Vancouver from Sweden with her parents in 1954 where she met many friends that she has kept in contact with all these years. She found her love Stan in her teenage years and they later married in 1959 and started a family. Through Stan’s work they had relocated to several areas, first to Nelson, BC and then to Chilliwack, BC. When the children were all grown they packed up their house, and moved to Surrey, BC before heading south to San Jose, California for a few years and then back to Canada, to Chilliwack which is where they always called home.
Marie was an active volunteer in many activities within the community: The Chilliwack Player’s Guild, The Chilliwack Jazz Society, The Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life and last but not least she had a passion for figure skating started in Nelson with all her kids and herself as members of the Nelson Figure Skating Club. When they landed in Chilliwack in 1975 where she dedicated many years to both The Cheam Figure Skating Club and The Canadian Figure Skating Association. Through these activities Marie had gained many life long friendships and will be missed by many.
Many thanks to those who have helped with the needs of Marie over the past few years; the entire staff at Crystal Ridge Manor and Chilliwack General Hospital. Due to the pandemic, a memorial will be held privately for the family members only.
Submitted by her daughter Sheila

Bill Harrison
November 20, 1934 – September 3, 2020

Big Bill Harrison, the gentle giant of the stage, was a beloved member of the Chilliwack Players Guild, BritsAbroad and dinner theatre groups such as the one at Mr. Sacallis Inn (on Hocking Avenue), Theatre -On-The-Lake (at the Pavilion at Cultus Lake) and also Galley n’Gallery (on Williams Street North). Directors were happy to offer Bill a role, especially if it was a comedic one. Billy had the ability to walk out on stage and the audience would break out laughing, “Just like that” (as the great Tommy Cooper used to say).
Bill came from a Scottish background and loved everything Scottish. However, he was born in New Westminster and he and his family were proud Canadians. Bill was just a young boy when his two older brothers went off to war as so many young Canadians did; fighting for freedom – as Canadians still do. Sadly, one of Bill’s brothers, Bud, died on Juno Beach. There is a photo of Bud next to a letter written by his sister Beatrice at the Juno Beach memorial in Normandy France. A month later Bill’s other brother Ernest died helping to liberate Holland. What a terrible loss for young Bill and the whole Harrison family.
Not to be deterred by adversity, Bill grew up and led an interesting life full of diversity. Bill loved to tell his stories, especially from his time with the Vancouver Police Department. His hugely entertaining tales were no doubt based on facts, even if they were slightly embellished!
Funny man Bill’s ability to delivery a punch line with perfect timing was exceptional. He also had the ability to be a calming influence on other cast members by telling jokes and stories, and generally making people feel at ease. He was a joy to have around the stage, as so many of his co-actors and crew will attest. He was loved.
Through dinner theatre, Chilliwack Players Guild and BritsAbroad, Bill the gentle giant Harrison has left a legacy of laughter, fun, love and friendship. He will be sorely missed.
Goodbye to a gentle and funny man.
Steve Cossins

Rita Plowman
September 4, 1926 – November 30, 2109

It is so hard to say goodbye to my dear friend Rita Plowman. I am one of the many people who would say that Rita was as much a mother as a friend. We met, originally through her daughter Hilary Schultz while we were in high school together. Rita’s (and husband John’s) involvement in local theatre started with Rita selling tickets through her downtown candy store and gradually being roped into sewing costumes for productions. Her skill and involvement grew to a point where there was nothing Rita wouldn’t or couldn’t do for her Chilliwack Players Guild “family’ and no production job was too small. Although she performed in many shows and directed several, including founding the highly successful and enduring “British Nights”, her forte and first love was costumes. She won too many costume design awards to mention and her attention to detail was amazing. Despite living in Kamloops for the the last couple of dozen years, she attended almost every CPG show. Sadly, Rita passed away on November 15 and will be missed dearly by everyone she touched in her wonderful life.
Clint Hames
Her published obituary: Rita Joyce Plowman – September 4, 1926 – November 30, 2109
Our wonderful mum, Rita, passed away peacefully on November 15, 2019 at the age of 93. She was pre-deceased by her husband John, her parents Florence and Cecil Ironmonger, and her sister Ruby. She is survived by her daughters Christine and Hilary, sister-in-law Jean, grandchildren Laura (Ryan), Steven (Megan), Trevor (Christya), Kayleigh (Matt) and great-grandchildren Jaxon, Eloise, Abigail and many loving relatives in England.
Rita was born on September 4, 1926 in Leicester, England. At age eleven, Rita earned a scholarship to the Newarke Girls Grammar School.  Her favourite subjects were English and History. After working for a while she joined the British Army (A. T. S.) in WWII as a driver. In 1946, Rita was discharged and worked delivering new cars to various dealerships. In 1948, she met her soul mate, a policeman named John, and they were married January 8, 1949. They had 68 wonderful, loving years of marriage until John passed away in 2017.
A daughter, Christine, was born in 1950.  Two years later, they immigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver, B.C.  Their second daughter, Hilary, was born in 1953. While the girls were young, Rita sewed curtains for travel trailers, worked as a dental receptionist, and then a retail credit clerk. She volunteered for the school P.T.A. and Elizabeth Fry Society. Rita attended her daughters’ many school and sports activities and also taught Sunday school at their church.
A change of John’s career in 1969 brought the family to Chilliwack.  Rita worked in banking, then as a Provincial Court Recorder and later opened an English “sweetie” shop for a year. She had a passion for all things theatre and in 1971 joined the Chilliwack Players Guild where she spent many years directing, producing, acting and was an award-winning costume designer. Rita was later made an honorary Life-time Member of the Guild for her many years of service. A dedicated volunteer, she joined the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary and became a member of the Hospital Board. Rita and John loved sailing (their “happy place”) and travelling, enjoying many trips to the United Kingdom, two beautiful sailing trips around Greece and a 50th anniversary cruise aboard the Queen Elizabeth II. 
In 1993, Rita and John moved to Kamloops to be closer to their girls and four grandchildren. They became active members of St. Paul’s Cathedral congregation.  Retirement allowed more time to enjoy their family, travelling, community theatre (Kamloops Players) and volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society.
Our family would like to thank Dr. Baker and all the wonderful, caring nurses and volunteers at Kamloops Hospice.  They are very “special” people and made mum’s final journey comfortable and free from pain. We also give a big thank-you to all who have sent messages of condolence through social media and e-mail.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 360 Nicola St, Kamloops.  Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers and if desired, a donation to a charity of your choice would be appreciated.   Condolences may be expressed at www.DrakeCremation.com.
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Ken Benson 
March 27, 1949 – October 12, 2019

Ken’s involvement with the Players Guild was primarily in the 1980s, when he acted in The Elephant Man and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, among others. He was part of a contingent of CHWK radio people who were enthusiastic Guild members at that time. His radio career took him to Courtenay, Campbell River, Langley, and Abbotsford, and he earned awards for his production work. Ken made his home in Parksville since 1992, where he loved being close to the ocean and its fishing opportunities. His great joy was his family, particularly his two-year-old grandson. He is greatly missed by his friends and family.
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Alan Legg

Alan was a constant presence onstage throughout the ’70s and ’80s. His singing voice was glorious, and at the mention of his name, people still remember one or another of his songs — On the Street Where You Live, for instance, even though his performance in May Fair Lady was nearly forty years ago, in 1971. He also appeared in Oliver, Arsenic and Old Lace, Oh What a Lovely War, and several British Pub Night productions, among others. His last acting role was Froggy Lesueur in The Foreigner (1989).
His published obituary: June 13, 1933 – October 1, 2019
It’s with heartfelt sorrow that we announce Alan Legg, born June 13, 1933, passed away peacefully October 1, 2019. Alan loved to sing and whistled many a tune as he walked. He was a devoted teacher and would wish good health and happiness to all his students. On behalf of his family a special thanks to all the Health Professionals, you are all amazing people. If at all possible a donation the Alzheimer Society in honour of his name would be appreciated.
The Chilliwack Progress
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Jack Kouwenhoven
August 15, 1929 – September 29, 2019

Jack was a cheerful, talented, and tireless member of the set construction team for many years, and he made his mark on several of the Players Guild’s most memorable shows. Although he hadn’t been active with the Guild recently, he will be fondly remembered by many of its members.
His published obituary
Jack passed away peacefully, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was predeceased by his parents, Dick and Marie, siblings Pete, Jake, Jane and Aggie and his beloved wife, Velma. He is survived by his sons, Raymond (Linda), Gordon (Janet), and Barry (Lisa), his grandchildren Laurel, Joel, Riley, Connor and Kyle, and fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews, extended family and many good friends.
Jack was born on August 15, 1929 in Maaslius Netherlands, He grew up during the war and spent four years of vocational training to be a ship carpenter. After graduating, the family immigrated to Canada in July 1949. He met Velma after settling in Chilliwack and they were married on October 8, 1955, after which time, the started their family. In 1964 he began working with BC Forest Services. The forest Services transferred the family over the years to Harrison Hot Springs, Echo Bay, Lake Cowichan and then back to Chilliwack. He retired in 1988.
Jack was an avid gardener. He was a member of the Chilliwack Garden Club since 1989. He loved teaching people about gardening. He spent many years working with the Chilliwack School Garden program. He was a member of the Chilliwack Zymurgy Club. His passion for wine making slowly shifted over the years to beer making. He was a five time national beer making champion.
Jack was a lucky man to have been married to Velma for 56 years until she passed in May of 2011. She was the love of his life. Together they raised and instilled in their sons strong values. She is, and he will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
The family would like to extend thanks to Dr. Nagdee and all the staff at Cascade Hospice for kindly caring and keeping him and the family comfortable in his last days. And a special thanks to George Marien for his support to both Jack and the family over the years.
The Chilliwack Progress

Darlene Till
November 8, 1949 – February 4, 2019

Darlene was a beautiful soul who was an active member of the Guild from British Night productions in the early 1980s to her performance as Yenta in 2012’s Fiddler on the Roof. She was a wonderful actress and singer, and she could instantly charm an audience with her unmistakeable grin. She adored her family, who will no doubt miss her terribly, as do her many friends.
Please click thumbnail to see entire image.

Gail Berger
Mar 16, 1942–Dec 9, 2017

Gail was involved with several shows and was a always a strong Players Guild supporter. She warmed the stage as hardworking, sarcastic Betty Meeks in 1989’s The Foreigner
Her published Obituary
Our family is extremely saddened to share that Gail Berger died on Saturday, December 9, at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC. The cause of death was a complication from a brain aneurysm and stroke. She was 75
Gail Marguerite, the youngest of three girls, was born on March 16, 1942 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan to Marguerite and Orval Maywood. After growing up in North Battleford with older sisters Dawn and Pat, Gail graduated from NBCI and then entered Teacher’s College in Saskatoon from which she graduated in 1961
While enjoying a summer at their family cabin at Jackfish Lake in 1960, she met Klaus Berger. Love bloomed when she volunteered to drive him to the hospital after a minor boating accident. The two were married in 1961 and shortly after moved to Regina. Their first child, Heather, was born in 1962, followed by their son, Michael, in 1964
The family moved to a small home in Yarrow, BC in 1966. Shortly after, Gail began working as a part-time secretary at Diamond Construction. In 1971, Gail and her family moved to a 10-acre farm just three houses down the road from their previous home
While raising their family, Klaus and Gail tried their hands at growing raspberries and corn before settling on raising beef cattle for breeding and to show. It was during this time that Gail began work at the Yarrow library, where she served as the Community Librarian for nearly three decades. She also spent several years as a Children’s Librarian in Chilliwack. Through this job, she instilled her love of reading and learning to her family, something that continues to this day with Gail’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Over the years, she met thousands of Yarrow and Chilliwack families and one of her biggest thrills was to see the children of the children she first introduced to the library, come in for story time
Along with Klaus, in 1986, they transformed their farm into The Apple Farm – a speciality high-density orchard with over 10,000 trees and more than 20 varieties of apples. It was here that Gail’s creative side really shone. On the farm, they built a country store with a bakery, a processing plant, and a picnic garden. In just a few short years, the farm became known locally, nationally, and internationally as busloads of local and foreign tourists would regularly arrive for a warm welcome, a tour of the orchard, some samples while there, and perhaps a quick story or laugh. Children from school districts throughout the Lower Mainland made annual treks to the farm and were entertained with stories told with great engagement by Gail
After 29 years on the farm, Gail and Klaus made the difficult decision to sell the farm, followed shortly by her retirement from the library. These decisions were made easier by the fact that they would now be able to travel more frequently. In addition to numerous trips to Germany to visit with Klaus’ family (where she also learned to speak German), they travelled throughout Europe
They also frequently travelled by RV throughout Western North America and Mexico. A particular highlight was their 2004 trip across Canada, down the east coast and through the American south before returning home after 10 months. One of her favourite places on this trip was the time spent in Newfoundland
Gail had a lifelong interest in the arts – whether it was watching classic musicals and interesting movies, listening to music by Max Raabe, classics by James Last, opera from the New York Met, along with many other artists, attending shows and events, or acting in plays with the Chilliwack Players Guild. She loved to share the stories of Stuart McLean and Garrison Keillor with her grandchildren; it was a family tradition to listen to recordings in the RV while travelling
Gail was celebrated for her curious and loving spirit, as well as her warmth, sensitivity and sense of humour. She was a superb cook, master storyteller, passionate reader, swimming devotee, inveterate list maker, Scrabble champion, lover of charades, and wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Gail was a long-time member of Beta Sigma Phi, and after retirement, became a member of Probus. She made friends easily, and stories of her travels with Klaus are filled with experiences with people that they had just met, but somehow had become friends with for the rest of her life. Her family dinners were always full of fun, flavour, and friends
Gail cared deeply for her family, and was proud of their many and varied accomplishments. She loved and supported everyone in the family wholeheartedly – attending sporting events, cheering on graduations, enjoying musical and theatre productions, learning about university studies, and staying up-to-date on everyone’s love life, school, and work
Gail will be greatly missed by her loving husband of 57 years Klaus Berger, her daughter and son-in-law Heather and Russ Bailie, her son and daughter-in-law Michael and Gillian Berger, her five grandchildren Krista Bailie (Sean Sturm), Corbin Bailie, Caitlin Bailie (Matt Monosky), Patrick Berger, David Berger, her three great-grandchildren Isabella Sturm, Grayson Sturm, and Kayden Monosky, the families of Gail’s sisters Dawn Kellock and Pat Shivak, and many cousins. She lives on in the hearts of all she touched
In Gail’s memory, donations may be made to the Fraser Valley Regional Library at www.fvrl.bc.ca/donate.php or 45860 First Avenue, Chilliwack, BC V2P 7K1.

Edith Gustafson
December 7, 1923-October 11, 2017

Edith was in several British Night productions, and she loved nothing better than a comic song — especially when teamed with her good friend Eileen Smith. Edith’s rendition of “Walter”, and her hilarious monologue, “I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth” brought down the house every time. She was also a talented actress in non-musical roles
Her published obituary
On October 11, 2017 Edith Violet {Allchorne} Gustafson, left this world to join her loving husband Jack Axel Gustafson. Edith was born in Bromley Kent, England on Dec. 7, 1923. She married her handsome Canadian Army boy on Sept. 22, 1941 . They were blessed with their first child Dec. 1, 1942. With a kiss and a promise that he would return from the war, Jack put Edith and their son on a ship to Canada in 1943 to live with his parents. This was a very lonely time for Edith, so far from her family and home in England. What seemed to be a life time alone ended in1945 when the love of her life kept his promise, returning from the war. Jack and Edith built a home in Edmonton and in the next four years they added two daughters to the family. Two weeks after the birth of their second daughter found Edith, Jack and family headed north to Athabasca where they took over the homestead from Jack’s parents. Edith had 2 more children a boy and a girl. They continued farming for the next 21 years. In 1969 they moved to Chilliwack BC and took up working in a lumber mill. The muscles Edith gained from farming came in handy to pile the lumber as it came off the saw. When they retired they became snow birds for a few years traveling to the States. By 1992 the air quality in Chilliwack had dropped significantly and they moved back to the old homestead in Athabasca that now belonged to their youngest son. They enjoyed life on the farm again for another 16 years. Edith was always proud of her family, never dreaming that it would grow to 12 Grand children, 28 Great Grand children and 6 Great Great Grand children. Edith was overwhelmed with joy this past August seeing nearly all of her family at a reunion held in her honour.

Edith Gustafson, Christine Newsome in Slap & Tickle, 1983

John Plowman
August 1, 1925 – August 30, 2017

John was deeply involved in the Guild for almost 50 years. In the 70’s and 80’s John served on the Executive in almost every capacity and appeared in countless productions. His rendition of “The Miner” in several British Nights was legendary. In the 90’s, John and his lovely wife Rita moved to Kamloops to be closer to their family. Despite the distance, they maintained close ties to the Guild (both were awarded life memberships for their tireless work) and attended many, many productions. ~ Clint Hames
His published obituary
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Plowman. He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years Rita, daughters Christine and Hilary, sister Jean and grandchildren Laura (Ryan), Steve (Megan), Trevor (Christya), Kayleigh (Matt) and great-grandchildren Jaxon, Eloise, Abigail and many loving relatives in England.
John was born on August 1, 1925 in Leicester, England. John’s education started at Wyggeston Boys’ School, Leicester and later at Pangborne Nautical College. In 1939, he became a King’s Scout. During World War II he served in the Merchant Navy as an apprentice officer, sailing to many countries around the world. After the war he joined Leicester City Police. It was during this time that John met his soul-mate Rita and they were married on January 8, 1949
In 1952, John, Rita and their two year old daughter Christine emigrated to Canada where John joined the Vancouver City Police. Another daughter Hilary, was born in 1953. John enjoyed playing soccer and curling with the Police teams. As the children grew up, the family enjoyed many happy holidays around BC and down to California. Being a dedicated father, John attended many of his daughters school and sports activities. A change of career came in 1969 when the family moved to Chilliwack and John became an Official Court Reporter for the BC Government, retiring in 1988. John and Rita loved to travel to the United Kingdom and Europe. John was a life member of Chilliwack Player’s Guild where he enjoyed many facets of theatre. In 1993, John and Rita moved to Kamloops and became active members of St. Paul’s Cathedral congregation. Retirement allowed John more time to enjoy his many interests such as sailing, tennis, travelling and community theatre. He spent many cherished hours with his family.
John was a charter member of Valley Squadron (Canadian Power and Sail Squadron) where he taught safe boating for many years and became a life member. Tireless hours were spent volunteering with Canadian Cancer Society, Thompson Valley Orchestra Board, Canadian Red Cross and B.C.G.R.E.U. Executive.

Joan Dmytryshyn
May 2, 1933-June 30, 2017

Her published obituary
Joan Dmytryshyn of Chilliwack, BC, passed away peacefully at the age of 84 on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Waverly Seniors Village, Chilliwack. Joan was born in Winchester, England, on May 2, 1933.
Following high school, Joan held a variety of secretarial positions at companies in central London.
At one company, a recording studio – exciting for a young woman – she met and socialized with Edith Piaf and Les Compagnons de la Chanson. On one occasion, elegantly dressed and on her way to work, she was approached by a photographer. A photograph was taken and the next day Joan was the “page 3 girl” in a major London Newspaper.
Joan lived happily in a variety of South London locations, but a favourite home was in Little Faringdon, a remote community in tranquil secluded English countryside in the upper reaches of the River Thames. Joan and her sons, Michael and David, relocated to Canada in the late ’60s. Joan’s first home in BC was at Cultus Lake. From there she developed a connection with Chilliwack, where she met and married Gordie. Joan was always a gregarious person and she embraced and joined community events. Her involvement with the Players Guild and the Dixieland Jazz events gave her much pleasure.
Joan and Gordie traveled to many exotic locations, such as Russia and Korea. They loved their RV trips, in which they circumnavigated all of North America. Joan talked of her adventures often and the wonderful people that she met along the way. Joan never met a stranger, and those of you who had the good fortune to meet her know that Joan too was unforgettable.
I first met Joan way back in 1972. We were both in the hospital. Being English, it didn’t take much for us to become friends. When her boys were young, Joan and Gordon had a small holding where they grew grapes and raised her two boys Michael and David, and they always had dogs. Joan worked as a copywriter for the CHWK radio station and then became a secretary for a local doctor. When her mother moved back to the UK, Joan and Gordy moved into her house in Lynn Valley. While there, she did some stints as an extra at the movie studio. When they retired it was off to see many places, having bought a gif 5th wheel. They traveled all over the American continent loving every single minute of their travels.
Joan loved her boys, but sadly lost both of them within one year. That was very hard on her. Joan always dressed and looked very nice, smart, and she was intelligent. Joan joined our local Players Guild, always working backstage. She loved it and all the friendships that came with it. Joan loved to volunteer and worked many times at the Jazz Festival. Joan would help with cooking when we were doing a fundraiser. There was much laughter while cutting and sorting vegetables. We often went out for a girls’ lunch and chatted about what we had been doing since we last met. Joan loved Canada but always enjoyed trips back to UK, visiting family and friends.

Thorp, Moreen passportMoreen Thorp
April 27th, 1929 – July 3rd, 2016[su_spacerLongtime Guild member Moreen Thorp passed away on July 3 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She leaves behind her husband, Harold Thorp, and her daughter, Mary Spani, as well as many others who have sadly watched her slip away over the past few years. But prior to the sadness was a life filled with a passion for theatre so fierce that it inspired three subsequent generations of theatre-loving women. Moreen was a member of Vagabond Theatre for many years before joining the Guild when she and Harold moved to Chilliwack in 1995. She was a gifted costumer with a strong feel for fabric and its movement. As a costumer she obviously had an eye for colour, but she also had a knack for finding the telling detail that elevates a good costume. Our sincerest sympathy goes out to to Harold and Mary.

Her published obituary
]Moreen M. Thorp (nee Hamar) died in Chilliwack on July 3, 2016, athe age of 87, following a long decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by her husband, Harold Thorp, children Mary & Howard Spani, grandchildren Moreen Brooks & Daniel Goodrich, great-grandchildren Jonathon & Marissa Brooks, stepchildren Wendy Smith & Cindy Evans, Sharon Giesbrecht & Debbie Wooffinden, and their families. She was also a favourite aunt – “Auntie Reeny” – to many nieces & nephews. A courageous traveller, Mom has left us with many stories and memories of her adventures. She was a very active supporter & participant in community theatre where ever she resided: in New Westminster with Vagabond Players, in Roslyn (Washington), in Hixon B.C. with Canyon Creek Players & in Chilliwack with the Chilliwack Players Guild. The family wishes to express deep thanks to the nursing and care-giving staff at Eden Care Centre, and especially to Dr. Ralph Jones. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish to honour Moreen, the family asks that you support your local community theatre, however you can.

Proft_BernieBernie Proft
March 26, 1933 – June 14, 2016

Bernie and Dalle joined the Guild in the late 1970’s and were involved in every aspect of work possible. Bernie’s time was a little more restricted as he was the General Manager of the (then) East Chilliwack Credit Union, which under his leadership, became one of the largest Credit Union organizations in Canada – Envision Financial.
Bernie was happiest building sets, having worked on nearly every production from the 70’s until he moved from Chilliwack to Langley as the Credit Union expanded in the late 1980s. He was always providing innovative solutions to the growing complexity of putting shows together in a variety of challenging venues. Despite his time commitments which limited his physical role, he always pledged the resources of the Credit Union to help in the success of productions. Photocopying was almost always donated by Bernie and the Credit Union was a constant sponsor of CPG shows. Even today, we maintain our bank accounts at Envision Financial as a result of a promise of free services in the early days.
Bernie’s one and only stage role came in the Guild’s first production of “Never Too Late” directed by Mel Stewart and featuring Dave Menzies and Dalle Proft in the leading roles. Bernie played a contractor helping Dalle’s character decide on home renovations – a role I am sure he duplicated many times in real life.
Bernie is survived by his wife Dalle, who continues as an active CPG member, and three children: Joanne, Roland and Norman
His published obituary
Bernhard Heinz (Bernie) passed away peacefully Tuesday June 14, 2016 in the company of his loving wife Dalle and daughter Joanne. Bernie is also survived by his sons, Roland and Norman, granddaughter Emmanuelle, daughter-in-law Julie, sister Suse and extended family in Germany. Bernie was born March 26, 1933 in Schoenbach, Germany, emigrated to Canada in 1953 and became a Canadian citizen in 1959. Bernie loved his new country and enjoyed all it had to offer – developing a career in finance and a passion for rally driving, camping and skiing. After marrying in 1962, and many moves, Bernie and family settled in Chilliwack when he became General Manager of East Chilliwack Credit Union, and then Chief Executive Officer of what is now Envision Credit Union, until retirement in 1998. During his time with the Credit Union, Bernie was very active at the board level of the Credit Union Members Insurance Societies group of companies including time as Chair. Bernie was a great supporter of education, community arts and sport and gave his time to many organizations in and around Chilliwack. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the Chilliwack Players Guild and was a volunteer board member and past-President of the Cheam Figure Skating Club. The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to staff at Menno Place in Abbotsford whose care and compassion during Bernie’s final days will always be remembered. Donations to the Alzhiemer’s Society of Canada would be an appreciated way of showing remembrance for Bernie.

VernaVerna Clarke

Verna passed away just months after her husband, Keith. She had been a member for twenty years. She often did make-up and helped with set painting, and she rarely missed a meeting or social event. Verna had a lifelong love of live theatre, and she was always an enthusiastic ambassador for the Guild.

Rolly Fox
March 22, 1935-2016

We regret to announce the passing of Rolly Fox. He is, of course, well known to Canadians for his life in the public eye as the father of Terry Fox. But on the private side, he was also Guild member Janet Fox’s husband, and her biggest fan. Our deepest sympathy to Janet, and to the rest of the Fox family.
His published obituary
Rolland (Rolly) Murray Fox was born March 22, 1935 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rolly was the third of nine children born to Rodney Fox and Bertha (Shale) Fox. The early years were difficult financially for the large Fox family resulting in Rolly, at the youthful age of 9, calling Saint Michael and All Angels Church his home for 2 years. He would get a taste of the west coast when he attended a cadet camp in Abbotsford, B.C. Rolly would meet Betty Lou Wark on Winnipeg’s busiest and coldest intersection, Portage and Main, and they would marry in 1956. The following year their first child Fred was born, Terry would arrive in 1958, Darrell would follow 4 years later and finally Judith, the daughter Betty wanted, completed the Fox family in 1965. Rolly would begin a 36 year career with CN Rail in 1954. Working outside in the harsh Manitoba winters prompted Rolly to consider raising his family in a warmer climate. The Fox family would make the move to Surrey, B.C. in 1966 where they rented a house. With the move Rolly would lose 12 years seniority at CN and would have to start fresh in his new role as switchman on Vancouver’s north shore. In 1968 they would purchase 3337 Morrill St in Port Coquitlam which would be the family home for the next 16 years. Rolly and Betty insisted on good behaviour, good manners, that their children should respect their elders and to speak only when spoken to. Rolly was a competitor, he despised losing, whether it was a simple card game or rough wrestling in the living room – he was determined to win at all costs a trait successfully passed on to his children. In early 1977 son Terry would be diagnosed with osteo sarcoma. Rolly was devastated and bitter thinking that life had delivered an unfair and cruel turn – Rolly would say he wished he could change places with his son and he meant it. It is well known that Betty reacted negatively when Terry delivered the news that he was going to run across the country – knowing the will of his son Rolly simply said “when?”. When Terry died in 1981, Rolly and Betty were forced into roles neither were expecting or educated for but they had an endless passion for their son and inherently understood his values and vision. Betty was the public figure sharing Terry’s story – Rolly was the pillar of strength and support who was always close behind. He had a serious side but place him in front of a room full of friends and family and get ready to be entertained by an unscripted performance. He would evolve over the years from someone who was scrupulous with his money to a man who wanted to give to others regardless of the financial implications. Loneliness arrived in Rolly’s life with the passing of his wife Betty in 2011 after 54 years of marriage. Rolly went almost overnight from a homebody to a man never at home. He would meet Janet Shields during this time who was also experiencing loss with the passing of her husband. They would marry in the spring of 2013 – there was no denying Rolly’s happiness the last few years. Rolly was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 4, in January. He was not devastated or bitter, accepted it quickly, fulfilling a promise to Terry of being strong and positive. It may have been his plan to give those around him these last few weeks a legion of memories to last a lifetime. Rolly is survived by his loving wife Janet, three children Fred(Theresa), Darrell(Bonnie), and Judith(Paul), step children Gary, Stephen and Joanne, nine grandchildren, Terrance(Melissa), Kirsten, Erin(Matthew), Jessica, Sarah, DJ, Tianna, Alexandra, and Connor and Dale Alder, brothers, Rod, Terry and Doug, sisters, Nancy, Barbara and Jeanine.

Diane Nosaty

Diane passed away on December 4, 2016, after fighting cancer for some time. She was a very active member of the Guild for several years. Some of her onstage credits include Steel Magnolias (1993), Lend Me a Tenor, California Suite, Do Not Go Gentle, Seduced by Moonlight, Friends and Neighbours, and British Nights. She also worked behind the scenes, and was assistant director for Talking Heads. The Guild extends its sympathy to her son Ryland, her husband Greg Davis, as well as to her family and friends.
Her published obituary:
The World lost a shining light on December 4th when Diane Davis passed away after a courageous fight with cancer.
So many positive adjectives could be applied to Diane: artistic; humble; sensual; strong; fun; compassionate; dedicated; determined; hilarious; adventurous. She filled her life with beautiful music, books, art and living things, and while she was very comfortable in solitude she was also a loving and fiercely loyal friend and partner. Those who knew Diane will remember her radiant smile, so natural and genuine, and the laughter that came so easily to her lips.
Diane spent most of her professional career in educational media, working for over two decades at what would eventually become the University of the Fraser Valley, where she retired as a graphic designer, producer and photographer in 2012.
Late in her life she was able to indulge her spirit of adventure and love of travel with journeys in Cuba, Mexico, England, Scotland, America and Western Canada. When she learned that she had late-stage cancer in 2013, she faced her disease with optimism and bravery that both comforted and awed those who loved and supported her.
She is cherished and sadly missed by her best friend and husband Greg; son Ryland Sweeney; Mother Olive Nosaty; Sister Loretta Latta; brothers Henry, Randy and Terry Nosaty; and devoted dog Chloe.

Keith2Keith Clarke
Players Guild members were saddened to hear that Keith Clarke had passed away on Ocotober 27, 2015. He and his wife Verna had been Guild members for nearly twenty years, and there are very few shows in that time that Keith wasn’t involved with behind the scenes. He produced, helped build many sets, served on the executive, and could always be counted on to help wherever it was required. His enthusiasm for theatre and its participants shone in everything he undertook.

Menzies_HazelHazel Menzies[
December 1, 1928 – September 1, 2015

Hazel and her husband Dave were founding members of the Players Guild, with their involvement going back to the Chilliwack Little Theatre days in the 1950s. She played the piano for some early British Nights.
Her published obituary
Hazel Louise Menzies (née Freeman) passed away peacefully in the presence of her family on the evening of September 1, 2015 at Menno Home in Abbotsford. She was able to continue living in her own home until two years ago, thanks to the commitment of her son George, who lived with her since the passing of her beloved husband, David Menzies, in 2001. Hazel lived, worked, raised her family and volunteered extensively in the Fraser Valley for her whole life. Born December 1st, 1928 in her home on Topham Road in Milner (Langley), Hazel was the youngest of seven in a religious farming family. She played the piano in the local Sunday school and received the Citizenship Award at Langley High School in grade 10, 11 and 12. Tragedy struck her family at this time during WWII, when she lost her brother Flight Sergeant William Freeman, December 9, 1944, in a training accident in the Royal Canadian Air force. However, Hazel carried on, enrolling in Normal School to become a teacher, where her future husband David was drawn to her while playing the piano. They married October 16, 1948 and started raising their family in Columbia Valley, Cultus Lake and Sardis, where David taught school and Hazel taught piano lessons at home. Hazel played the organ and sang in the Cultus Lake Church Choir, at Coqualeetza Hospital Chapel services and later at the Carman United Church Services in Sardis, BC for almost 50 years. She accompanied instrumental and vocal soloists at all levels, and played for musicals, choir festivals, and led the Carman Junior choir for a few years. She also played for many years in the recorder group led by Mr. Dale Warr. Hazel and David shared a passion for education, music, community service and social justice. They were avid and well-informed community activists who worked together to protect farmland and foster community well-being in the Fraser Valley. They volunteered with the local school PTA, Meals on Wheels for seniors, and gave many donations to local, national and international aid and human rights organizations. Hazel served as a regional fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society during her service with them for over 20 years, and was present when Terry Fox first proposed his dream for the Marathon of Hope. Hazel also volunteered for over two decades at the Mountain Institution of the Correctional Service of Canada, spending most of her Saturday evenings helping prepare inmates for their release into the community. Hazel and Dave were members of the NDP for 45 years and Hazel supported Dave in running as a candidate in the federal election in 1974. Hazel is survived by her all six of her children: Ray, Bob, Barbara, George, John and Janet, as well as her twelve grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, who live throughout North America, from Santa Barbara to Kitimat. She supported and encouraged her children and grandchildren to excel in music, athletics, academics and outdoor skills such as camping and fishing. Hazel was a true communitarian and will live on in the thoughts and actions of those who knew her.

Jamie MacDonald
Jamie MacDonald
January 22, 1970-August 31, 2015

Jamie was a talented child when he lit up the Guild’s stage in The Music Man, Oliver, and A Christmas Carol in the 1980s.
His published obituary
James (Jamie) Warren MacDonald January 22, 1970 ~ August 31, 2015
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Jamie, after a brief but valiant battle with cancer. He was surrounded by the love of his family and his many, many friends. Jamie was born and raised in Chilliwack, where we attended Bernard Elementary, A.D. Rundle Middle School and graduated from Chilliwack Senior Secondary. He had many interests, which he pursued with extreme vigor and passion. He was an amazing self-taught artist, and also had a fondness for acting. He was part of the Chilliwack Player’s Guild for many years and from a young age he acted in such plays as Oliver, The Music Man and The Christmas Carol. Jamie was always very passionate about BMX racing and over the years he won many trophies. That passion developed into a love of motors and speed, owning a ‘65 Pontiac MR2, street bikes and racing motorcycles. Jamie also loved the many family camping trips down the Oregon coast and up to the Okanagan. As far back as anyone can remember, Jamie had a smile that lit up any room he walked into and his laugh could brighten anyone’s day. He always had an easy time making friends; making and maintaining friendships from every walk of life. For many years he worked at Safeway and came to have many wonderful friends there. He will be greatly missed by his mom and dad, Eileen and Walter, sister Kathy (Barey), brother Rod (Sandy), his niece Mikayla and nephews, Mitchell, Michael, Cris, Jason, Kris, Trevor (Kristalyn) and Jeremy, as well as many cousins.

Maxwell_KevanKevan Maxwell

Kevan was active with the Guild for a short time in the 1980s. He appeared in the 1983 production of Not Now, Darling.
His published obituary: September 5, 2014
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Kevan Maxwell at the age of 90 years. Kevan was surrounded by the love of his family in his final days. Predeceased by his parents Walter and Emily Mullins, brother and sister-in-law Benjamin and Hilda Mullins and younger brother John Mullins. Missed by wife Ella Maxwell of 49 years, daughter Rosemary Brown (Tormay), son Colin Maxwell (Joanne), granddaughters Melissa (Dave), Jennifer (Bryan) and Amanda, great-grandchildren, Julia and Isaiah, sister-in-law Aino Mullins, and many nieces and nephews. Kevan was born in Poole, Dorset, England and was raised in a small modest house in Hinton, Wiltshire. During WWII, he landed in Normandy at Gold Beach. As a young soldier and radio operator for the British Royal Artillery Tank Division, some shrapnel exploded near him and he had a small piece on the top of his head until it was removed in 2001. He moved to Canada in 1951, taking the boat from SouthHampton to New York with his younger brother John; the rest of the family came over the following year. Even in older age, Kevan was an adventurous world traveler and once hiked Machu Picchu in Peru in a pair of dress shoes. He was very active until just before he passed away, and his granddaughters have memories of swimming in the pool and jumping on the trampoline with him. For over 75 years, Kevan loved his work as a landscape gardener. He began his career in England at the young age of 15, working alongside his father and brother. In the late 1970’s Kevan helped to plan and landscape Minter Gardens, building the stone walls with son Colin and building an authentic thatched-roof cottage. In the 1990’s he built a self-sufficient log house in the interior by falling and hauling the logs himself as well as building a stone fireplace. He had incredible work ethic, probably in part due to his extreme athleticism! He was a boxer in his younger years and even won a few trophies. Kevan was very fond of history and liked to learn new things. He was always paying attention to the world around him and looking for different explanations for the mystery of life. He had many opinions that did not match his “generation” and he liked to go against the grain of popular thinking. He was a vegetarian for 50 years. Kevan like memorizing and reciting long poems, such as “If,” “The Man in the Mirror,” and “The Shooting of Dan McGrew.” From 1947 – 1950 he was a member of the Salisbury Amateur Dramatic Society. He belonged to Toastmasters for many years and was even in a few “British Nights” put on by the Chilliwack Players Guild. Kevan performed in several channel 8 TV series. “People in Conflict” and “Magistrates Court” in the 60’s and 70’s. He was also a talented writer and published some of his memories from the war. He enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino with whoever would go with him, as well as playing pool at the Seniors Centre with his son. Kevan was faced with many difficult decisions throughout his life and always tried to do the right thing for his family. We will miss his sparkle and sense of humour. Kevan has chosen to donate his remains to the UBC School of Medicine for scientific research. We are proud of him for making such an important contribution to academic research. The family would like to thank the staff of CGH ICU and to Dr. Alex Bartel for his care and compassion. Private family gathering on September 21, 2014. Papa, we love you very much and will miss you forever. “Right-O.”
Harry Houghton
January 30, 1926 – December 10, 2013
His published Obituary
Henry (Harry) Houghton was born and grew up in New Zealand. After serving in World War II he returned to New Zealand with his war bride, Ellen. There they raised five children and in 1968 the family moved to Chilliwack. Harry had many passions… teacher, mentor, rugby coach, traveler, actor and director. He loved seeing his students learn and succeed. He too had a lifelong zest for learning. An active community giver he was recognized for his contributions as a recipient of the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee Medal. Harry enjoyed his sports none more so than as a coach, administrator and innovator in rugby. He was a devoted follower of his beloved New Zealand Rugby All Blacks. He is survived by his children Ted (Joanne), Elinor (Malcolm), Lynley (Mike), Jennifer (Maria) and Barbara (Ray) along with his grandchildren, Nathan, Adam, Ian, Mathew, Kyle, Nicole and Stacey. He is remembered with love by his extended family in New Zealand and relatives in England.
Some online remembrances:
Jim and Shirley
December 23, 2013  Our dear Harry, we were saddened to hear of your passing but we know the joy will come when you meet with Ellen again. We will always remember the good times and much laughter we shared with you over the years. I’m sure that they play canasta in heaven. Our children, Chris and Kim were also saddened with the news as they too have memories of us all together. We will cherish the memories forever, Harry. Thank you,
Your old friends. Jim and Shirley
Cam Clark
December 21, 2013  On behalf of the Rosedale High School 1974 Band, and also those that participated in his Drama groups, please accept our gratitude for Mr Houghton’s lasting impact on our lives…Harry was my home room teacher for ’73 – ’74 and was in fine cheer to start us off each and every morning.That whole year the Band & Choir worked towards a lofty goal of touring and performing around the north island of New Zealand for 22 days in July… which certainly would never have happened had it not been for the influenced of HH wanting to share his homeland with us. The 60 plus 15 and 16 yearolds who were fortunate enough to experience this trip were forever changed in a monumentally positive way. As for the Drama groups, under his directorship the previous year “Bye Bye Birdie” was presented with future Cabinet Minister Chuck Strahl playing lead role… and I had the great pleasure of being Ebenezer Scrooge in ” A Christmas Carol “… and then participating in ” Half a Six-Pence “. He was a wonderful director with a multitude of patience with all of us budding young actors… and being ahead of his time, was using video-tape replay to help us enhance our performances. Thanks Mister Houghton… you are fondly remembered by us all.
Lance Chetwood
December 20, 2013  Good bye old friend. You will be sadly missed by all your Anavets “building fund” friends. Life’s work well done.   Lance Chetwood — Hugh Beaudoin – and Bill Chambers
Keri Henry
December 19, 2013  RIP my dear friend Harry, you may be gone but never forgotten.

David Glyn-Jones
October 11, 1922 – September 19, 2013
His published Obituary
David Glyn-Jones died peacefully after a brief illness. He lived life with joy in his heart and a twinkle in his eye. Born in Swansea, Wales, David emigrated to Canada in 1948 after serving in WWII as an RAF bomber pilot. Here, he enjoyed over 50 years as a professional actor and singer, and was among the pioneers of Canada’s radio, television, film and theatre industries. David maintained his sharp wit, keen sense of humour, and regard for those he loved most to the very end. He will be deeply missed by his beloved wife Hanne, his children and grandchildren.
EileenEileen Smith
July 25, 1925-July 9, 2011
Eileen was a fixture for several years in the Chilliwack Players Guild’s British Night productions. She love to perform in comedic numbers, usually with her good friend Eileen Gustafson. Eileen’s husband Frank was one of the British Night pioneers in the 1970s, accompanying all the songs on his accordion.
Her published Obituary
Eileen Smith passed away on July 9th 2011 at the Chilliwack Hospital at age 85 years. She was born on July 25th 1925 in London, England. Eileen worked as a secretary at various doctor’s offices and was also employed with the Royal Navy (WREN Aircraft Mechanic). She graduated high school in 1942 and was enlisted with Royal Navy (Fleet Air ARM (WREN) from 1943-45. Eileen met her husband Frank when attached to sister Aircraft Squadrons (Naval) at Crail, Scotland. They married on October 13th 1945 in London, England. Eileen will be remembered by her husband of 65 years, Frank, and son Michael N. Smith. Also survived by her sisters Rose Pearson and Irene. She was predeceased by her parents Arthur and Elizabeth Keefe.

John Plowman, Graham Archer, Eileen Smith in Pygmalion (1986)

WinGladmanWin Gladman

Win Gladman was one of the pioneers of the Chilliwack Players Guild. She acted, directed, and did just about everything else. Her involvement spanned the years when the Guild was known as Chilliwack Little Theatre, through the early days of the Players Guild, and in the brief period when the Guild had its own theatre: the Charles Laughton Theatre, whose sign hangs in the Guildhall today.
Her published obituary
GLADMAN, Winifred E. (nee Clapton) Passed away peacefully at Vancouver General Hospital on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the age of 94. Wyn will be lovingly missed and remembered by her son Ian (Jane); grandsons Samuel and Caelum; her sister Iris; and many nieces and nephews.

Betty Unger
d. May 14, 2013

Betty is best known for her work with the Sweet Adelines, but in the 1980s, she was also very active with the Chilliwack Players Guild. She was involved in several productions, both onstage in The Music Man and Pearly Parade, and making a difference behind the scenes in publicity and as a producer. She loved to get things done, she loved to sing, and she was never without a smile. She was a wonderful person to work with.


Her published Obituary


Elizabeth (Betty) Unger passed away on May 14,2013 in Chilliwack at the age of eighty. She was born November 22, 1932 in Kimberley B.C.


Betty is survived by her daughter Luanne Yellowfly, her Sons, David, Alan and Pete Unger, her grandson, Dallas Yellowfly and granddaughter, Jade Harmer- Unger, sister, Dorothy Ryan ( Duncan B.C ) brother, Elliot Park Jr ( Westbank B.C ) and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, Elliot Park Sr and her mother, Katherine Park, sisters Fran Bohemier and Katherine Martin.


Betty was the president and longstanding member of the Chilliwack Green Heart Chorus of Sweet Adelines for over 30 years. She was a very active member and key fund raiser for the Chilliwack Arts Council. Betty was a long term employee at Chilliwack General Hospital, where she was the department head and senior technician of the X-Ray department.


Donation can be made to the Alzheimer Society of B.C (People with Dementia) in Betty’s name.


Betty Rannie350 pixelsBetty Rannie
August 19, 1907-March 1, 2010

Her published obituary
Yes, that’s 102 1/2. Betty was born on August 19, 1907 in Liverpool, England. In 1926, she decided to follow her brother Eric Dick and move to Saskatchewan. Three years later she moved to Victoria where she met and married Nathaniel Stevens in 1932. After becoming a widow, Betty trained as a Dental Hygienist, and was posted overseas in 1942. After the war Betty returned to live in Vancouver and began working with the local Girl Guide movement. She eventually became a commissionaire for the organization. In 1952 she moved to Port Alberni where she met and married Tom Rannie, the local radio announcer. They were transferred to Chilliwack when Tom got a job working for the radio, CHWK. Both of them became involved with the local theatre community and helped form the Chilliwack Little Theatre which ran for a few years out of the Charles Laughton Theatre. This group later became known as the current Chilliwack Players Guild. Betty became a life member of the Guild and, until she retired, was one of its eldest members. Betty served on the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary for 35 years, renowned for the many baby outfits she knitted. For a number of years she worked for the Cultus Lake Laboratory of the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission. Betty passed away quietly on March 1, 2010 after spending the last 2 years at the Bradley Centre. She will be missed by her loving family, niece Barbara [Dave] Flewelling and their children, Stephen [Marcie], Susan [Mike] all of Ontario, and her nephew, John [Patsy] Dick and their children, Allan, Matthew and Andrew all living in Nova Scotia. Her cousin, Betty Green and her other ‘family’, David [Hanne] Glyn-Jones and his sons, Eric [Eleanor] and Chris and her dear friend, Lorraine Mullin and her two daughters, Jane and Sarah. Opinionated, sometimes blunt, but never unkind, Betty would sometimes shake her head at the behaviors of these modern days, saying, in the words of her beloved William Shakespeare, “Oh, what fools these mortals be!” We love you Betty, and we will miss you! Forthright as ever, Betty commanded there be no funeral service. For those of us remaining, we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.


Manuel, Vera,400Vera Manuel

Vera first set foot on a stage when she joined the Chilliwack Players Guild in 1965. She was 17 and she was bitten. She was a member of the Junior Guild and even when she wasn’t actively involved in a production, there was always something about being in that space that drew her back – to pitch in wherever she was needed, watch as a play came together in rehearsal or just hang out amongst so much talent. She loved to feel the suspense of waiting for the show to begin and then feel the power and pleasure of reaching out to an audience, and absorb that creative energy that surely only theatre people bleed out of their pores.
She loved every minute. The Guild was a family and she was home. There was friendship, there was mentorship and there was the seed of what she would become: a storyteller with her own production company, a writer, an acclaimed poet, a playwright and a healer. She used her gifts, honed through her theatre experiences with the Guild, to spend over 20 years touring North America with her own special theatrical brand of counseling. She used drama and poetry to help those silenced by trauma to recover their voices, to tell their stories, and to return any “secrets” they had gathered into the common pool of shared knowledge and memory, so that the burdens of history could be shared by the community and the individual’s heart lighter and more free. She touched so many with her humbleness, her joy of life, her love for her family and friends, and her spiritual clarity: her wisdom was there whenever it was needed.She will be missed but Vera (Kulilu Palki – Butterfly Woman) Manuel will be held in the hearts of so many for so long.
Her published obituary: January 22, 2010
Secwepemc-Ktunaxa writer Vera Manuel dies at 61
By Stephen Hui, Georgia Straight
Family and friends of Vera Manuel are mourning the death of the Vancouver-based Secwepemc-Ktunaxa playwright, poet, and storyteller. On January 22, she died in Vancouver General Hospital at the age of 61. Manuel’s many works include The Strength of Indian Women, a play about residential-school life. She was the eldest daughter of Grand Chief George Manuel, the first president of the National Indian Brotherhood.
Her family sent the following statement to the Straight:
Vera Manuel passed away last week, leaving an important legacy as writer, poet, playwright, storyteller and as someone dedicated to using her cultural knowledge in the healing of Aboriginal people.Her play, Strength of Indian Women was staged through-out North American and published as in the anthology Two Plays about Residential Schools (along with Larry Loyie). Her work was honoured with inclusion at the Native American Women Playwrights Program, housed at Maima University, in Oxford, Ohio. Her poetry has appeared in various publications, most recently in ROCKSALT: An Anthology of Contemporary B.C. Poetry. She was given a Life-time Achievement Award by the World Poetry organization here in Vancouver and the Aboriginal Writer’s Collective will be arranging the publication of her work in the near future. She was most recently Poet-in-Resident with the Aboriginal Media Lab.
She was the daughter of cultural leader Marceline Paul and political leader George Manuel Sr. She is survived by her loving dog U’tspo and 4 loving brothers; Arthur, Richard, George Jr., and Ara; her 4 loving sisters; Emaline, Doreen, Martha and Ida; and her numerous loving nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her Mother, Marceline Paul, Father, George Manuel Sr, and Brother Robert (Bobby) Manuel.

Jack Grieve
December 11, 1915-July 10, 2009
His published obituary
John Lawrence (Jack) Grieve passed away peacefully on July 10, 2009 at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, surrounded by family and friends. Born December 11, 1915 in Rivers, Manitoba, first son of Thomas and Margaret Grieve, Jack will be remembered as a most sweet, kind, warm-hearted and wonderfully good-humoured man, who touched the hearts of and shone his light on all who knew and loved him. Married to Lillian Patricia Flaherty (Pattie), the love of his life, in 1941, they celebrated their 50th anniversary a few years before Pattie’s death in 1993. Jack was a Flying Officer and pilot in the Second World War and for 30 years managed branches of IAC across B.C., moving to Chilliwack 1964. He retired from IAC in 1971 only to take up a new career as co-owner of Fraser Valley Coal and Feeds.
Never a stranger to hard work, he left retirement for a time to lend his book-keeping and business expertise to several local enterprises. Jack was an ardent curler, duck-hunter, wine-maker and golfer (he was President of Chilliwack Golf and Country Club in 1969). He was an active member of the United Church and a committed Rotarian (serving as President of Chilliwack Rotary in 1971-1972 and being named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2004).He loved to read, to play bridge and crib, to travel, to make people laugh, to spend time with his family, to sing (he was a long-time member of the Rainbow Men of Harmony Barbershop Chorus) and even, with Pattie’s prodding, to act in Chilliwack Players Guild productions. Jack is survived by his elder sister, Doris Mark, and her children, his younger brothers Bob (Sybil) and Lin (Ruth) and their children; his children, Gillian, Tom, Vicki, John (Marcia) and Kerry (Rob); his grandchildren, Matt and Kelly, Jack and Meg, Gabby and Lena, Colin, Clark and Stella, and Iam; and his great-grandchildren: Max, Harry and Romeo, and Layla and Valentino.


Stan Dahl

On Feb 3rd, 2009, we were sad to note the passing of valued, long-time Guild member, Stan Dahl.Stan joined the Guild in 1977, and provided us with some incredible photos. He had such a sense of just the right moment to snap the picture – not just because of his intuitive timing, but because he sat there for rehearsal after rehearsal, getting the essence of the scenes and then finally at dress rehearsal preserving the moments perfectly. (For some wonderful examples of both comedy & drama shots, check out the web pages for Fiddler on the Roof, with the immortal shot of Bob Forsythe as Tevye; Agnes of God; zany comedy like Not Now, Darling, Noises Off; and so on.)
Stan’s 100% commitment to whatever he was involved with is well known, particularly in the Arts community. He was on the Chilliwack Cultural Strategy Committee in its initial research into the current Cultural Centre, & above all, he was passionate about the Players Guild. He helped with sets, painting, PR, etc., whenever possible, and finally appeared onstage in 2005’s You Can’t Take it With You.

Fran Hollins
June 25, 1917-March 16, 2005
Her published Obituary
Frances R. Hollins (nee Wood) died March 16, 2005 at Surrey Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. Fran was born in Calgary, June 25, 1917 and was the first Canadian baby successfully treated for rH incompatibility with a complete blood exchange. Her family later moved to Esquimalt where her father ran a grocery store and where she met Frank Hollins. They were married in 1942. When Frank returned from service in the RCAF, he continued his career as a teacher in Nanaimo and then Chilliwack. Together they raised two sons, Robert [1944] and Richard [1948]. Fran and Frank loved Shakespeare. And were both involved with the local theatre at the Charles Laughton Theatre of which the Chilliwack Players Guild was the owner. Fran did a lot of the organizing, makeup and stage managing, while Frank did a lot of the acting and some directing. Her skills as an office assistant were shared generously with the guild, the Chilliwack NDP and the Condominium Council. Frank died in February 1998 and so Fran moved to be closer to her sons and their families. Fran was predeceased by two brothers, Don [1970] and Robin [2004].{su_spacer]Fran is lovingly remembered by Robert [Maureen] and Richard [Vicki]; granddaughters Erin [Greg] and Sydney; great grandson Alexander.

BobInTuxBob Forsythe
April 18, 1924-September 14, 2004

On Sunday, September 26, the Arts Centre theatre was filled to capacity for a celebration of the life of one of the Guild’s most beloved and talented members. Few have touched the hearts and imaginations of so many people. Anyone who knew Bob Forsythe has a story to tell — of his stagecraft, his sense of humour, his kindness, his generosity. Our hearts go out to Audrey Neufeld, his wife of twenty years.
From his first involvement with the Guild in the mid-1970’s he was a driving force and inspirational influence for all of us. Chilliwack audiences will never forget his Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Fagin in Oliver, and his A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square was the high point of many British Night productions. His legendary scene-stealing was hilarious, but it was never at the expense of a fellow actor. He sometimes quoted Claude Jutra (one of the directors he worked with professionally), who said, “Don’t just do something – stand there.” He welcomed and appreciated the creativity of others, and his discipline was uncompromising. He never gave less than everything he had, whether onstage or behind the scenes.
On opening nights at the Arts Centre when he wasn’t performing, he could be found charming theatre-goers at the door — hoisting an umbrella if it was raining, and making each audience member feel just a little bit special. That was one of his greatest gifts: he made everyone feel that way.

JaneJane Logie
August 8, 1934 to June 24, 2003

A name many Theatre BC veterans will be familiar with has made her final exit. Jane Logie passed away on June 24, 2003 at the age of 68 in Chilliwack after a long, courageous battle with a painful arthritic condition. Jane was well known throughout British Columbia for her involvement in community and professional theatre as a director, actor, singer, choreographer and drama teacher.
Born on August 8, 1934 in Leeds, England, Jane emigrated to Courtenay with her family when she was in her early teens. As an adult, Jane’s adventurous spirit saw her live New Zealand, Australia, and Rhodesia, but always coming back to Canada. She spent a number of years teaching in various schools in Courtenay, Kelowna, and Chilliwack. She also became heavily involved in theatre, initially in Courtenay where she honed her acting, singing and dancing abilities
In the mid 70’s Jane decided to pursue a lifelong dream: to become a professional actor. To achieve this goal, she obtained more formal theatre education at the University of Victoria. As a professional actor, she worked in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and even New Zealand, and it was in this period she became known in the community theatre world in BC, leading workshops and adjudicating for Theatre BC.
She retired to Chilliwack in 1994. In her later years she continued to give of herself and her talent, volunteering with a local senior citizen’s program. She will always be remembered for her energy, her talent, and her creative ways of loving her family and friends. Jane is survived by her brother, Michael Parrish, sister-in-law, Cathy Parrish, son, Kevin Ault, daughter-in-law, Carol Ault, daughter, Kerry Cooper, granddaughter, Jennifer Ault and grandson, Trevor Cooper and a host of loving friends and family. A memorial service for Jane Logie was held July 2, 2003 in Chilliwack. As a last request, Jane asked that instead of flowers, donations could be made to The Actor’s Fund of Canada, 260 Richmond Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 1P4.
Dave Menzies
May 6, 1924-September 9, 2001
His published Obituary
Friends of David Carstairs Menzies will be sorry to hear of his death, which took place on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001 at the Royal Columbian Hospital. The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at that hospital for their loving care, both of Dave in his illness and the family in their grief.
Dave was born in Vancouver on May 6, 1924. He played rugby for Britannia High School and Ex-Britannia. Following his graduation he trained as a pilot in the Canadian Air Force. He taught school in Columbia Valley, and Sardis Elementary and Secondary Schools. He was active for many years in Carman United Church (in the Sunday school and choir), the Chilliwack Players Guild, and more recently in Chilliwack Kiwanis. He was a longtime NDP supporter and had been a candidate federally. He had skills and interests too numerous to detail, and was a lifetime supporter, with both time and money, of many charities.
He is survived by his loving wife Hazel (Freeman); sister Mrs. Sheila Davidson of Princeton; sons Raymond, Robert, George, and John; daughters Barbara (Mrs. L. Gagnon), and Janet (Mrs. Robert Plunkie); nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Mott, MonaMona Mott
January 4, 1921-October 15, 1998

On October 15, 1998, Mona died peacefully at home after fighting cancer for two years. She joined the Players Guild shortly after moving to Chilliwack in 1983, to live near her daughter, Judy Hill. Although Mona was basically a shy person, she was lively and vivacious once she got to know people. She liked nothing better than to have a good time, if that could be combined with music in some way, so much the better. She greatly enjoyed British Night rehearsals — sometimes attending every one. She was a great laugher, and her smile lit up the room.
When Mona had been in Chilliwack for a couple of years, she and her husband Terry organized the food for several British Nights, making sure it was well presented, tasty, and economical.
After Terry’s death, Mona became the “chip lady” for several more British Night productions, and she enjoyed watching performance after performance. Her humour and sparkle were cherished, and she will always be missed by anyone who knew her.

Pat O’Brien
Pat, born in Texas, came to Toronto in 1968 and met Virginia O’Brien. They married in 1969 and moved to Chilliwack in 1975, where they opened O’Brien’s Bookshop on Wellington Ave. (A few years later Pat worked as the Program Manager of the local cable TV station.) There was a bulletin board by the front door of the bookstore and it wasn’t long before a CPG member (Clint?) came by asking to hang a poster. Pat had been involved backstage in theatre with Virginia when she was the President of her College Drama Club at the University of Toronto. So in 1976 Pat and Virginia became official CPG members. Pat was involved in set building, as backstage crew, and as a lighting/sound operator.
Always interested in politics,he was elected twice to City Council in the late 70’s/early 80’s and was a strong voice for arts and culture. He was also President of the Community Arts Council.
Pat died suddenly of a heart attack on Mar 6, 1991. He had just celebrated his 46th birthday on Feb. 7th.
Mott, TerryTerry Mott
Terry was an amazing individual who had led a very distinguished and fascinating life before coming to Chilliwack from Montreal in 1983 to be with the love of his love, Mona Beaton. He had been Chief of Protocol for Via Rail, and brought his expertise and organizational skills to the kitchens of Evergreen Hall.
He and Mona provided food for the masses for several British Nights, and Terry was meticulous about every detail. He made sure the food was on time and on budget.
He spoke and read English, French, and German. He loved Chilliwack, music, literature, lively political discussion, and above all, family. His quiet generosity was immeasurable, and many instances of his kindness came to light only after he had passed away. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 1990.
Mona and Terry Mott Mona and Terry Mott, March 1987


Frank Hollins
August 13, 1914-February 18, 1998

His published Obituary
Frank Edward Hollins, born August 13, 1914, died February 18, 1998 after struggling with cancer.
He will be forever loved by his lifetime partner and best friend, Frances; sons Robert (Maureen), and Richard (Vicki); granddaughters Erin and Sydney; sister Delia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Frank lived in Chilliwack for over forty years. He taught school at the Sapper Apprentice School and Sardis Secondary. He was active in local theatre and the NDP. Fran’s generosity of time and spirit will be remembered by many whose lives have been touched by his.
Patti Grieve
We hope to receive some Information about Patti in the near future.

Ray Logie

We hope to receive some Information about Ray in the near future.

Peter Slack

We hope to receive some Information about Peter in the near future.