Forty-five years ago I arrived in Grande Prairie, Alberta, with my wife Lois and three young daughters, newly minted immigrants in an amazing new land of different customs and patterns of speech. We’d left our job in the Fiji Islands with money in the bank, enough to get us started. Our nest egg dwindled as Canada devalued its dollar in mid flight, the newspaper I was to work at as a journalist in Prince George BC folded the day after we arrived. Lois fell very ill and our resources were spent on a motel bill until we were rescued and given a place to live till I found work.
That job was with the Daily Herald Tribune in Grande Prairie. We arrived and within a day or so met an amazing family. They loaned us money, they shared their food, they bought us groceries, they embraced us. We weathered many storms together, we enjoyed many highs. We became like one big family, always welcome at their house to feast on toast and cheese. Simple and loving. They were Aunty Kaye and Uncle Grahame to our daughters. We were Aunty Lois and Unkie Graeme to theirs. It’s always been that way.
We went camping together, fishing, built bonfires, cross country skied, enjoyed the thrills of amateur theatre and epic stage productions. Money was always short in both our families but we found wonder living in a small Peace Country city.
Today though Aunty Kaye passed into the arms of Jesus, the place she always wanted to be and to meet up again with her son Harry, tragically killed many years ago in a highway accident.
Kaye has given us her infectious laughter, amazing optimism and love of Jesus Christ and her family. So we grieve and yet rejoice.