Gregory YORKE

Obituary
2 entries
  • "I respected and loved Bruce. He was a kind man."
    - Ruth Lowther
  • "A man to be admired. He will be missed for all of his..."
    - Tim Louis
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YORKE, Gregory Bruce
Bruce Yorke died December 5, 2015 after a tragically long illness. He was predeceased by his loving partner Helen O'Shaughnessy, his brother Dennis, and his sister Maureen. He is survived by his first wife Mary Bewick, brother Lorne (Phyllis) and sons David (Pat Sexsmith), Paul (Ingrid Kolsteren), and Michael (Janice Harris) together with six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He also leaves many friends and comrades whose lives were touched by his public and political service over his active decades. Born in Vancouver December 10, 1924 into a comfortable Point Grey family, he quickly distinguished himself in both studies and sports. He was a keen golfer, member of the UBC Thunderbirds basketball team, and lifelong baseball enthusiast. At UBC his studies in economics and his experiences during WWII led him to a full and varied life of social activism. He spoke against the mistreatment of Japanese Canadians in the war, for peace and disarmament in the 1950's long before it was fashionable, for Canada's interests in opposition to the Columbia River Treaty, and for the rights and welfare of workers in his long tenure with the Trade Union Research Bureau. He was unbowed by the dark years of the Cold War; a proud member and supporter of the Communist Party of Canada throughout his adult life. Bruce Yorke, a founding member of the Committee Of Progressive Electors, was elected to City Council five times by the citizens of Vancouver in recognition of his work for tenants, homeowners, and citizens opposed to overdevelopment and freeways in their city. As a city councillor he made a major contribution to restoring order to the city's finances, fought for affordable housing and good public transit, supported the city's participation in the massive peace marches of the 1980's, and spearheaded many of the initiatives in celebration of the city's Centennial in 1986. In 1992 he was obliged to leave city council due to serious health problems, and for much of the time until his death received fine and compassionate care from the excellent staff of his Yaletown House residence, as well as continuous and loving help from Helen O'Shaughnessy until her death. For these people, Bruce's family cannot adequately express their thanks. A Memorial Gathering will be held Sunday, December 20, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. at the Maritime Labour Centre, 111 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. No flowers by request, but contributions to any of the organizations Bruce Yorke supported, or to Yaletown House, would be much appreciated.

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Dec. 10 to Dec. 13, 2015
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