Ian MacPherson

Obituary
  • "I was deeply shocked to hear of Ian's passing. I was a..."
    - Ray Aboud
  • "My sincere condolences to the MacPherson family. I had..."
    - Deryck Cowling
  • "Ian was a very supportive colleague when he and I worked..."
  • "To the MacPherson family. My sympathy for your loss...."
    - Gisèle Yasmeen
  • "Ian and I shared a love of New Lanark, Robert Owen,..."

MACPHERSON, G.R. Ian, BA, MA, PhD

Emeritus Professor of History,

Specialist in Co-operative Studies Director,

Co-operative Initiative for Peace and Social Inclusion

July 6, 1939 - November 16, 2013

Loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. Generous friend. National Historian. Local, National and International Co-operator. Dog lover, bird watcher. Life-long Blue Jays fan.

Ian grew up on a farm in Spencerville, ON that was ripe with McIntosh apples, and earned his BA in History at the University of Windsor (1960). He taught high school in Streetsville ON where he met his wife Elizabeth.

Ian earned his MA and PhD in History at the University of Western Ontario. In 1976, after teaching at the University of Winnipeg and in London England, Ian moved his young family to Victoria BC, where he started a long and successful career at the University of Victoria. He served as the Chairman of the UVIC Department of History 1981-1989. He was the UVIC Dean of Humanities 1992-1999. Through his national/international presence, creation of new courses, and teaching and learning from his thousands of students, Ian left a huge mark on the UVIC campus. The last of Ian's published books was a rich history of UVIC, celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Co-operatives and Credit Unions were Ian's passion. His book "Each for All" is widely considered as the definitive early history of co-operatives in Canada. He served on numerous Co-operative and Credit Union boards. He was the founding president of the Canadian Co-operative Association; served on the board of the International Co-operative Alliance; and chaired the process and wrote the background documents for the International Co-operative Alliance's Statement of Co-operative Identity. They impact over 800 million Co-operators around the world.

In 2005 he was awarded the International Co-operative Alliance Rochdale Pioneer Prize.

As he started to "slow down" he founded the BC Institute for Co-operative Studies, now known as Center for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy, and was Co-director and Principal Investigator of the National Hub of the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This led him to even more national and international friends and connections. Although some modern technology such as cell phones generally frustrated him, Skype and Gmail allowed him to stay continuously connected with the International Co-operative world.

He travelled enthusiastically in the Co-operative name, having been very recently in Japan and Korea, teaching and learning about co-operators. He was welcomed at over 70 countries around the world - and made a great many friends along the way. His sudden death is a sad loss for Co-operators world-wide.

Ian was the last of four boys, and his compassion and care as uncle to seven MacPherson families was limitless.

His love for his two grandchildren, Gabrielle and Ryan, was the one thing Ian couldn't put into words. His precious time with them was pure joy.

His wife and partner of 47 years Elizabeth, two children Andrew (Vanessa) and Jonathan (Charity), grandchildren Gabrielle, Ryan and the soon to be born 'Baby-Mac' are all grateful for the kind wishes after our loss of this great husband, father, grandfather, dog-patter, chess-player, bad-joke-teller, and role model.

Ian passed away suddenly in his new home while getting ready to go out for a walk on his beloved new-found beach. He joins his three brothers [James, Donald and William] and parents [Amelia and James] in a happy place.

Say not in grief he is no more - but live in thankfulness that he was.

In lieu of flowers please consider any of the following:

Contributing to the UVIC Dr Ian MacPherson Scholarship. cccbe@uvic.ca

Supporting the Ian MacPherson Legacy Fund at the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada. cdfcanada.coop

Donating to a charity of your choice.

Joining a co-op.

A private family ceremony will be held next week, and a celebration of life will be announced in the near future. Condolences may be left at ianmacphersonmemorial.blogspot.ca
Published in The Times Colonist from Nov. 23 to Nov. 24, 2013
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