Obituary of James McLAUCHLAN

James (Jim) McLauchlan

Born June 23, 1936

Passed away peacefully in the presence of family members, in the evening on Monday, May 7, 2018

”…. For death is a horizon, 
And a horizon is nothing more than the limit of our vision.
When we mourn the passing of loved ones, 
Others are happy to see them again, 
On the other side, 
Of the horizon”

~ Sail on grandad ~


Jim, the son of loving parents, James John and Elizabeth Emily McLauchlan, lead an active and varied life, including 20 years in the British REME, retiring from the Army as a Captain in June 1974. He was a YachtMaster, an engineer, an elite athlete, a pilot, a teacher and mentor, a scholar, and so much more, with a zest and enquiring interest that shone bright throughout his life and career. 


Jim was pre-deceased by his parents and sister, Rita, and is succeeded by three loving children: James (Gina), Joanne (Kev) and Mark (Lisa) who were raised during his first marriage to Shelia Haydon over 30 years. Jim is also succeeded by five grandchildren: James (Barbara), Edward (Martyna), Amy (Johnny), Cian and Nina (Scott), as well as two great-granddaughters, Daisy and Willow. 


Jim later met and married Manette (Anna) nee Howes and they had been together 29 years at his passing. 


Jim and Anna moved to Victoria in 1993 – Anna returning home to her native Canada, Jim going to the University of Victoria to continue his studies. Having completed his Masters degree at UVic and becoming a registered Kinesiology, Jim set up a rehab program for physically challenged adults, working with a number of medical professionals in Victoria. He later established the Oak Bay Sailing School, based out of the Oak Bay Marina, firing up many Victorians’ love for sailing and building their seamanship skills; he was also influential in helping with the start up of the now-thriving Victoria Sailing Coop. Jim completed his varied working career with four years as a Ferry Captain with the Victoria Harbour Ferry Company.


Jim and Anna have met many loving friends during the last 25 years in Canada. Friends will always remember Jim as a friendly, talented and warm person – with an ever-present twinkle in his eye who always had a great story – or twenty! – to tell from his amazing and varied life!


Jim has always been grateful for the love and generosity, exhibited by his family members and blessed for their attitude to – and for – life. He was incredibly proud of the people they have become and the journeys they are making in their lives – he loved them to the moon and back. They, in turn tell many stories of the loving support and teaching their dad/granddad gave them while they grew up, learning and experimenting in the world around them…. driving along a flat sandy beach either sitting on their Dad’s lap steering or standing up through the sunroof ….  learning how to take things apart and put them all back together again …. learning about the science of leverage (and other theories of physics!) through trial and error ….. the countless stories of sailing adventures with him as he taught them how to master the water….. and so many more….. 


As per Jim’s wishes, there will be no funeral. His family and friends will, however, be making arrangements to return his ashes to the open sea, as per his wishes, and to hold a Celebration of Life so that we can all come together to share our many stories of Jim and his amazing life – we know that no one will have as many stories in their bag as Jim seemed to have!


In lieu of flowers, Jim would like his friends and family members to consider donations in his name to any of the organisations and the professionals in them who had made the last years of his life possible to live to his fullest: the BC Cancer Agency, the Victoria Hospital Foundation and Victoria Hospice.

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