Arthur David McPhee

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  • "My father served on HMCS Bonaventure as a pilot from..."
    - mark grossmith
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ARTHUR DAVID McPHEE, CAPTAIN (N) RET'D 1919 - 2006 Arthur David McPhee, aged 86, died peacefully in his home in Sechelt on the evening of Friday, January 27th. Arthur is lovingly remembered by his daughter Joy Smith (David) of Regina, his daughter Jane of Saskatoon, his son Walter of Sechelt, his three grandchildren Laura, Mark and Karen Smith of Regina, his sister Grace McPhee of Vancouver, his sister-in-law Ernestine (Mary) Bergsma of Abbotsford and his nephew Kevin (Dianne) Bergsma and family of Grand Prairie. Arthur was predeceased by his beloved wife of 41 years, Lois, in 1992, his brother Walter in March 1944, and his nephew Captain Timothy Bergsma, Royal Canadian Regiment, in June 2002. Arthur was born in Vancouver in 1919. He rose through the ranks of the Royal Navy from Boy Seaman Second Class to Petty Officer before commissioning in 1940. He took his first destroyer command, HMS Belvoir, in combat, in the Mediterranean in 1942. In January 1947 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, serving in HMCS Magnificent before commissioning HMCS Bonaventure as Executive Officer. He was promoted Captain in July 1958, returning to destroyers in 1960 in command of HMCS Algonquin and commanded the First Canadian Escort Squadron during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He sailed and fought all over the world including 3 circumnavigations of the globe during fourteen and a half years of postings at sea during his thirty nine years nine months in Their Majesties Service. Arthur and Lois lived with their family in Ottawa, Halifax, England, Northern Ireland, Victoria, and Norway. Arthur was a sea cadet at age 13 in Vancouver and retired as the Director of Cadets in National Defense Headquarters at 55. Upon retirement, Arthur and Lois moved to Sechelt where he served as the Emergency Program Coordinator for the Sunshine Coast for 16 years and led a Wednesday Evening Prayer and Bible Study for 30 uninterrupted years. A man of great physical and spiritual stature, Arthur lived a life of service to his family, his church, his community, his naval comrades and those seeking to spread the Gospel throughout the world. "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord". A Service Celebrating the Life of Arthur McPhee will be held at St. Hilda's Anglican Church, Sechelt at 1:00 PM Monday February 6th. Remembrances in honour of Arthur may be made to the Gideons Society, or the Sunshine Coast Marine Rescue Society, PO Box 545, Sechelt, BC, V0N 3A0.
Published in Vancouver Sun on Feb. 4, 2006
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