Hal’s sudden passing on July 23, 2021 at the age of 88 from a rare brain infection has shocked his friends and family. Hal will be greatly missed by his wife, Garnet and his 5 children Drew (Laurie), of Sidney, Heather-Anne (Scott) in Toronto, Caitlyn (Caius) in Victoria, Jonathan in Victoria and Christine in Edmonton, his 7 grandchildren, and his two Chiweenies, Monty and Lola, who don’t understand why Hal hasn’t come home.
With an affinity for numbers Hal began his accounting career in Toronto becoming Partner at Deliotte in 1968. He moved to Kitchener, Ontario where he was tasked with opening the local office specializing in small business. After 8 years there he made his way west to Edmonton as Managing Partner till his retirement in 1992. Knowing his retirement was coming Hal looked into his next career and found the boating oasis around Vancouver Island.
The day before he showed no symptoms, it was like any other day for him; he went to work at the Boatyard, driving his 1968 Morgan. Philbrook’s Boatyard in Sidney, BC is a ‘going concern’ he and son Drew acquired in 1987 and have run ever since. Hal was the youngest of 2 boys born to Dunning and Viola Irwin in Toronto. Hal was a natural athlete, starting horseback riding at 6, learning to ski with his young family, playing tennis into his 70’s and golf into his 80’s, playing better than an occasional player deserved.
He had a love for craftsmanship, especially in cars and boats. His first wooden boat was an outboard runabout on Kahshe Lake in 1962, eventually followed by a beloved Gravette on Lake Joseph. It was craftsmanship that drew him to musical instruments, art, Morgans and to Philbrook’s. He loved everything about boats and owned many over the last 30 years. Hal was happiest with family around him exploring the waters around the Gulf Islands on a summer’s day.
Hal was a renaissance man with a sharp mind, he was involved in politics, the arts, sports and was concerned about the legacy his generation was leaving behind. He had a way with words and no one was better with a spreadsheet. Hal will be truly missed, but his legacy lives on.
In lieu of flowers donations to Beacon Community Services can be made online at www.beacons.ca
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday August 12, 2021, at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive, Victoria, BC, please RSVP for the celebration at 1-250-656-1157 (Philbrook’s Boatyard).
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Harold Hal Dunning Irwin 1933 2021..
Décès pour la Ville: Victoria, Province: Colombie britanique