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Gary Max Conville, VC59, BSc64, died on March 31 in Vancouver General Hospital as a result of chemotherapy for leukæmia. Gary was always very proud of his university and leaves behind his wife, Imelda, and their daughter Helen, who is a registered nurse at VGH.
Dr. Robert Lawrence 1923-1995A Recollection by Olivia Barr (BA65)
Alumni lost a good friend, an excellent teacher and a firm supporter when Bob Lawrence died on May 5, 1995, after a courageous battle with cancer.
The academic outline of Bobs life provides little measure of his personality, his character of his wide ranging interests. He studied at UNB, Wisconsin and Kings College, London. He came to Victoria in 1956; retired in 1985; and was made professor emeritus. A keen scholar of English drama, he was equally interested in Canadian literature and drama and theatre history. His last project was tracing British performers who toured Canada; he was a founding member of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research.
Fortunate students discovered his passion for his subject and learned from his careful assessment of their work. Thoroughly prepared for class, he led us through English 200 and made it less daunting by his wry humour. His enthusiasm for Canadian literature made us proud of being Canadian.
As familiar as his navy beret, his brief case, and his stick were his vintage carsespecially his lovingly preserved 1928 Model A Ford and his Bentley convertible. An active and enthusiastic member of the Vintage Car Club, he was as much an automotive as a literary scholar. He shared his interests and enthusiasm. He was also an avid stamp-collector, gardner, photographer, and traveller. He was one of the most often requested speakers of the UVic Speakers Bureau.
In my minds eye, three clear pictures of Bob remain. Having invited my family and me to drive up Island with him and Joan, we set off in the Bentley. We smelled smoke; finally, we saw smoke. The battery under the back seat had set fire to the horsehair stuffing. Bob calmly stopped the car, dragged out the seat; we extinguished the fire with lemonade and well-shaken ginerale. He borrowed a piece of plywood and we resumed our journey.
Others remember Judge Clearihue vainly digging in the ice at the sod-turning ceremony for the new campus; I remember locking myself out. Ever kind and courteous, Bob drove me home and held my things while I crawled through a window.
At first, I was intimidated by his scholarly approach, but I enjoyed his sense of humour and soon looked forward to his lectures. I remember particularly his comments on Tennyson.
I think perhaps Bob is the reason I chose to continue in English and to teach. As a teacher, I appreciate the time he took to mark my work in helpful and constructive ways. I try to do the same for my students, and I encourage them to read Canadian novels. Bobs influence travels far beyond his own classroom.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch where through
Gleams the untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move. (Tennyson)
Alumni are fortunate that Bob Lawrence is part of all that they have met.
Hilary (Hale) Miller, VC54-56, Victoria Normal School58-59 and 62, BA (UBC)58, died on July 26 at age 59 after a brave struggle following kidney failure in 1987. From 1959 until starting a family in 1968, she taught junior high school in BC and Ontario. She married Bill Miller, an engineer with MacMillan Bloedel in New Westminster. Known as a gracious hostess, tireless canvasser and volunteer, she was gifted in knitting and macrame and devoted much of her time to the Evergreen Garden Club, serving as social chairman and president. She is survived by her husband, her daughter, Jane, and son, David, and is remembered fondly by her mother, Hilda Hale, of Victoria, and her sister, Beryl Elliott, of Clovis, California.
Victor Montaldi (VC24-25) and Isobel Montaldi (VC40-41) passed away earlier this year, Victor on May 5 at age 87, and Isobel on June 9 at age 72. They were married in Victoria in August 1946 and moved to Burns Lake one month later, where they taught school for 30 years. The Montaldis were active in the community, working to establish the first public library in Burns Lake and the Lakes District Credit Union as well as supporting the Lakes District Safe Haven Home Society and the British Columbia Teachers Federation. The Montaldis are survived by their son Doug and their daughter Ruth (BA93), who have established the Montaldi Memorial Trust Fund to provide bursaries and book awards for local high school graduates.
Mamie (Wallace) Gray (VC 24-5, 29-30, UBC 32), Mamie, as she was affectionately known to friends and family, died August 28 in Toronto at the age of 88. She attended Victoria College and UBC at the same time as her brother, Bob Wallace, former acting President of UVic and the Universitys Chancellor from 197378. Between her stints at Vic College, Mamie taught at Tofino Elementary School. She then completed her BA in honours history at UBC. Mamie kept up her connection with children in Toronto, where she read to children in Sunday school and also read at the Easter and Christmas masses at Torontos Kew Beach United Church, where her late husband Bruce Gray was minister. Mamie is survived by her brothers Bob and Lawrie.
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