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The Victoria Folk Music Society, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Dear Friends

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• Beloved • Departed • Not Forgotten

George H. Smith (of Mill Bay) 1926–June 01, 2010

The folk community — indeed, the world — has lost another good man. George Smith, longtime member of both the Victoria Folk Music Society and the Cowichan Folk Guild passed away in the early hours of Tuesday, June 1st, 2010, at the age of 83.

George was an honourable man who had great respect for humanity and for nature. He fought to correct injustices where he saw them and was always helping others. Active in union organizing, both in England and later in Canada, George was particularly passionate about occupational health and safety issues, and his efforts were instrumental in the establishment of Medicare in Saskatchewan.

After retiring to Vancouver Island, George and Jean, his wife of 60 years, continued in their service to community, volunteering often in Cowichan, especially at the Islands Folk Festival each summer, and providing constant support and encouragement at the VFMS. Although his health had been failing for some time, George still came by the Folk every Sunday night he could to enjoy the music and the company.

Donations may be made in George’s memory to the Cowichan Folk Guild or the Victoria Folk Music Society. His hearty voice, his good sense, and his warm heart will be dearly missed!

Jim Selk July 05, 1949–August 02, 2009

James Leo SelkJim Selk, longtime member and president of the Victoria Folk Music Society, passed away on Sunday, August 2nd, 2009, taken quickly by stomach cancer. He died as he had lived, peacefully and with dignity, and will be sorely missed by his beloved partner, Carol Aileen, his devoted family, his countless friends, and by the entire Folk community.

It’s hard to imagine the Folk Club without Jim. Only a few can remember a time before he was here, before Colleen O’Brien first brought him by, well over 20 years ago. In true folk fashion, he immediately found his home and was quickly pressed into service, first as volunteer coordinator and then, almost as quickly, as president. He even served as newsletter editor for many years, gently easing us from hand-drawn, handmade into the computer age of desktop publishing, and he continued to oversee memberships and mailing until his last days.

Jim was the constant at the Folk; a friendly face there every Sunday night to greet you, hand you your new newsletter, offer an encouraging word, share a laugh. And he always knew what to do — if you were working the door, he could tell you whatever you needed to know; if you were working the kitchen, he could show you how to make the coffee; when it was time to get the show started he knew when and how to dim the lights; and when the night was over, he was there to the end, doing that last check in case someone forgot a hat, a coat, or, on more than one occasion, a treasured instrument! He, himself, was a gifted musician although he rarely played his guitar outside of the comfort of his own home, preferring instead to support the performing of others.

His title was president, but really Jim was the caretaker — taking care of Folk business, taking care of his community. We are all better for having known him. We will be hard-pressed to carry on without him.


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