Roy Athelston Bertram


Roy was born at Lula Junction, Georgia, USA December 12 1907. His father was a Mining engineer who moved the family frequently. When Roy was 2 yrs old, the Bertrams moved to Walhachin, where father “Bert” was hired to survey the new settlement. In the early 20s they homesteaded at Black Pines , north of Kamloops. Roy took his limited schooling in Vernon and later joined a B.C Light Horse unit with his brother John and trained in Vernon. From here he travelled to the coast and became a faller in the logging industry at Mission B.C. In 1935 he started to work on tug boats and to continue to educate himself getting his diesel mechanics ticket and his masters papers . When the 2nd war came he enlisted and became a second officer in the Army Service Corp supplying the coastal defence unit along the B.C. Coast. Before long he was given his own ship and took part in towing a burning ammunition ship (the Greenhill Park) out of Vancouver harbour and on another occasion assisting the U.S. Coast guard in getting the burning C.N.R. Vessel, Prince George, away from the dock in Ketchican Alaska. After the war he bought his own boat and went commercial fishing with his life long friend Bob Breaks. Roy and his wife Olive fished together for a number of years and then started to look for a drier climate and a place where he could have a horse as he loved to ride. In 1964 they, settled in Garnet Valley in Summerland. Roy continued to fish to support the new orchard and Olive stayed home to look after the gardens. Except for a short spell in Parksville Vancouver Island the Bertrams spent the rest of their lives in Summerland where they were very involved with the Sportsmans Club and the Riding Club. Olive passed away in 1998 and Roy continued to live in their home on Thompson road until 2010 when he moved into Parkside Assisted Living on Brown street in Summerland, where he was welcomed and well cared for until this September when he moved to Dr. Andrew Pavillion. He passed away October 22, peacefully, 6 weeks before his 105th birthday. He was an amazing man who led an amazing life and saw this world change in ways we can never imagine. When he was born in 1907, there were only Jules Verne dreams of space travel, wireless communication, and undersea exploration. Today, children have never lived in a world without a microwave and can’t remember what a VCR is. He lived through world wars, the Great Depression, and watched a lot of his friends pass, from old age, twenty to thirty years ago. He had his driver’s licence until 6 years ago, and lived in his house until he was over 100; Up until a few weeks ago he had a lovely private room where he could walk down to breakfast and have his shot of Scotch after dinner. He made every moment count and, really, what more is there? He will be missed by his nieces and nephews: Pat (Gerry) Bowes, Gary (Lucy ) Smythe, John (Julie) Bertram, Janet (Larry ) Burbidge, Tom( Cindy) Patterson, Norm(Judy) Patterson, and David Patterson. His many Great nieces and nephews, as well as great- great nieces and nephews who had the good fortune to know him, and hear him tell some of his stories. Roy specifically asked for no service; he felt his big “Celebration of Life” was at Janet and Larry’s, when we all joined for his 100th birthday. He did say, though, that he hoped his many good friends would “lift a glass” when they met, and remember him then.

—– A Long Life, Well Lived——

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