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Obituary

JOHN HAIG KNIGHT (published on April 17, 2006)



JOHN HAIG KNIGHT With family at his side, and ultimately, peacefully following a courageous battle with renal failure and cancer, John Haig Knight passed away on April 14, 2006 at the age of 89 years. Dad was predeceased by his parents John Henry Knight and Rose Stefanowich, sisters Lillian, Pauline, and Violet; daughter Rose-Marie and son Paul Gerald; and first grandson Paul Jeffrey. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years Alvina; and their sons Jeffery (Elaine), Robert (Brenda), and Michael (Cheryl) of Winnipeg, and Joseph (Paula) of Vancouver; brothers Fred and Gerald; and sisters Josephine, Catherine, May, Pat, Francis, Theresa, Rose-Marie, and Trudy; grandchildren Tara (Jeff), Trina, Lauren, Craig, Erin, Jonathon, and Caitlin; and great-grandchild Kate. John was born in Winnipeg, September 14, 1916. John and Vina were married in Vancouver June 5, 1940. John enlisted in military service, served in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was stationed in various locations in Canada, until sent overseas in 1943. On return from a dangerous submarine reconnaissance mission over the North Atlantic on July 29, 1944, the crew of RCAF Canso A11062 crashed on Foula Island off Scotland in inclement weather. Of eight crew members, Dad was the lone survivor. He sustained grievous and life threatening injuries which hospitalized him for almost 2 years before he was well enough to return to his wife in Canada. Although he rarely spoke of the tragic incident until late in his lifetime, Dad kept in regular contact with the parents and family of his fallen comrades. When his health began to fail, Dad returned to Scotland to pay his final respects to his crew members at their common gravesite in Lerwick. Following his military service, John and Vina re-settled in Winnipeg where John began a 26 year career with the federal Department of Veterans' Affairs. Dad then moved his family to Charleswood in 1951, where the family resided for the next 15 years. During these years, John was an active leader in the early development of the Municipality of Charleswood, where he held elected office serving as Ward Councilor for many years, and finally Deputy Mayor. Also, during this period, Dad was President of Roblin Park Community Club, as well as an active supporter of his church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the Sisters of the Precious Blood Monastery. In 1966, Dad traded on his in depth experience in municipal affairs and took his family on a new adventure to northern Manitoba to take on the duties of Resident Administrator of the Local Government District of Gillam, MB. His responsibilities were to oversee and coordinate the establishment of a full town-site infrastructure (new housing development; sewer, water and treatment plant; municipal building; a hotel and shopping centre) to support new hydroelectric construction efforts in the region. Dad also took on the duties of Police Magistrate, School Trustee, Hospital and Recreation Administrator and Volunteer Fireman, directing the local government district affairs until 1974. These years were the pinnacle of Dad's long and exemplary career in civic administration. He later undertook consulting work for various organizations, including Teshmont Consultants, working in St. John's Newfoundland on the proposed Churchill Falls project before beginning his retirement in 1978 at the age of 62. It was to his great honour that each of his four surviving sons undertook long term public service careers. Dad's happiest times were always in the time he spent with family, friends and community associates. He was a loving and understanding husband and father. Those who knew him well knew him as a man of strong faith, humble, and respectful of all people and their nations. He was generous with his time, and in his lifelong support of the Church and many charitable causes. Viewing will take place at 12:30 p.m., Thursday April 20 at St. Emile's Church, 556 St. Anne's Road, followed by funeral services. Internment to follow at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery at 4000 Portage Avenue. Special thanks to the staff of St. Boniface Hospital who cared for our father through his last, and difficult, months. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cancer Care Manitoba, 675 McDermot, or a charity of choice.


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