December 3, 1934 – September 14, 2019
Brian was born in London, England to George & Elvina Welchman. He survived the war years together with his younger brother Robert. In 1946 his father returned from service in the army & the family as the hotel business beckoned. His parents eventually ran the “Old Bell Pub” on Fleet Street until they retired. Brian & Robert spent memorable times serving customers and stocking shelves there.
After graduating from the Technical High School, Brian joined the Royal Navy in 1951, completing 10 years in the Electrical/Radio/Radar branch of the Fleet Air Arm. Serving during the Korean War, Brian travelled extensively including on loan to the Royal Canadian Navy for 3 years, during which he met and married a Canadian lady, Mary. They had 2 children, Kim (son) & Dawn (daughter). He was discharged from the Royal Navy in 1961 and moved to England to work at a “sweet” job at Mars Ltd, as an Instrument Supervisor. He then was hired by Great Canadian Oils Sands in 1967 for start-up of the plant instrumentation & electrical in Fort McMurray. In 1970 he went to work for Standard Oil in Libya as a start-up engineer and then in 1971 he moved to Port Hardy and worked for Utah Mines for the start-up of Island Copper. He progressed over the mine life to mine manager and was seconded to other BHP properties during the 30 years…..Chile, Brazil, PNG, Australia, USA, etc. In 2001 Brian started Gaffer Consulting Mining Services providing contract services for projects around the world.
During the time spent in Port Hardy, Brian was very involved with the community, serving as Alderman, Mayor, Chairman of the Regional District, and Vancouver Island Hospital Board. He was very proud of having a “pet project”, the seawall in Port Hardy which was dedicated as “Welchman’s Way”.
Brian was predeceased by Mary, his loving wife of 55 years, & both of his children Kim & Dawn. He leaves behind grandchildren: Jennifer, Amanda, Christopher & Kevin, four great-grandchildren: Annissa, Arianna, Kaydence, & Kiara, plus family in England.
Brian was fortunate in having had a good life & many loves….family, fishing, traveling, and singing.
He started singing in a choir as young child, pub singing, occasional musicals, Tsquanna singers 25+ years, Campbell River Singers over 10 years, and often got to sing O’Canada.
For the last 5 years Patricia was his devoted partner. They shared their love of travel, music, theatre, friends and just being together.
Brian was an amazing man who touched many hearts. He was loving and kind to all of those who had the privilege of being in his life. He had many very close friends. Brian was highly respected, hard working, witty, generous and a wonderful storyteller. A true English Gentleman.
Brian died peacefully after a short bout with cancer. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Hospice Society or Habitat for Humanity in Campbell River would be appreciated.
We wish to thank all the nurses & staff at the Hospice at Yuculta & palliative care. In addition, kudo’s to Dr. Memnon & Dr. Allen. Special thanks to Dr. Logan & Dr. Jordan.
Brian’s “Celebration of Life” will be held at the Campbell River Community Centre, Saturday Sept 28th 11:30 – 1 pm, then lunch to be served at the Royal Canadian Legion.
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