ROBERTSON, Clair Arnold Jr. If the measure of a man is his ability to relate to a child, then the world lost a giant on October 30th. Clair Robertson played many roles - amateur thespian, part-time cowboy, long-haul truck driver - in his 72 years but none as important as the one he valued and cherished to the end, as playmate to his adoring grandsons: Ethan, Gavin, Heath and Hunter. Despite many years of physical pain and discomfort, he always found the time (even from his bed) to be an underdog Storm Trooper, the menacing General Grievous, or - if his boys were feeling generous - the wise Obi-Wan. Clair was born in Bloomfield, ON but lived most of his adult life in Kitimat, BC. He was a proud member of the Kitimat Fire Department for 19 years (the department flag flew at half-mast in his honour on October 31st) and was known in the community for his generosity of spirit and time. At Christmas, he was Santa Claus in the mall, on his days off he was a bus driver for school sports teams and the hospital's long-term care ward, he was the community's Citizen of the Year in 1983, and in 1992 he was awarded a Confederation of Canada medal for his "significant contribution to his fellow citizens, his community, and the country". While flowers are appreciated (and will be thoroughly enjoyed), Clair would have been grateful, instead, for donations made to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, BC ( www.wildlifeshelter.com ). Northern Lights is dedicated to giving injured and/or orphaned wildlife a second chance at survival and was a great source of inspiration for Clair. He spent much time there as a volunteer and even animal re-locator (once driving a rehabilitated bear from Smithers to the Sunshine Coast). Clair is survived by, and leaves a lasting impression on the lives of his brothers Mel (Joy) and Ken (Joan) Robertson, his wife, Rita, his children Tracey (Blaine Moore), Danny (Stephanie), and "his boys", Ethan, Gavin, Heath and Hunter. "I will miss playing Star Wars with Grandpa," Gavin. "Yep, he always let you win," Ethan. A Celebration of Clair's life will be held on November 17th, 2012 in Victoria.
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Published in Victoria Times-Colonist on Nov. 11, 2012