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  • "... A true gentleman!"
    - David S. Watson
  • "Garde had that rare ability to make us all more aware and..."
  • "Dear Mrs Gardom, our thoughts are with you and your..."
    - Michèle Gagnon
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    - Marc St. Louis
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The Honourable
GARDOM, Garde Basil
K.St.J., O.B.C., Q.C., LL.B., LL.D (Hon.)., B.A.
July 17, 1924 - June 18, 2013
Born on July 17, 1924 in Banff, Alberta, Garde Basil Gardom was named Honorary Chief Okee Mow Snootska (Little White Haired Chief) at the age of two, by the Stony Nation and he continued to make an indelible imprint on everyone he met in the communities in which he lived and served throughout his life. Garde passed away suddenly on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. He was his happy, jolly and exuberant self to the end.
Garde spent his childhood in Lake Louise, Dewdney and Vancouver and graduated from Magee High School. Among several honorary degrees, appointments, and awards, Garde earned a B.A. and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia and in 2012 proudly celebrated his 60th anniversary as a Barrister and Solicitor. He was conferred an honorary doctor of laws from the University of British Columbia in 2002 and from the University of Victoria in 2003.
Garde will be dearly missed by his wife of 57 years, Helen, who was always by his side and was his rock. The Gardom's home was filled with children, all of whom adored their Dad (D.O.D) and Grandfather (Gar-Gar; Pop). Garde is lovingly remembered by Kim Gardom Allen and her daughter Cara; Karen (Max) MacDonald and their children: Mairi, Griff, Kenzie, Garde; Edward Gardom; Brione Gardom (Gord Gouthro) and her children: Haley, Lucy, Cameron, Lachlan, and Chantelle Gouthro, and Brita (Edwin) McLaughlin and their children Tess and Lowell. Garde was very proud of his beautiful grandchildren.
Gardom life was full, big and loud! Dad loved family time en masse; big dinners, huge parties, engaging conversations around a blazing fire, vacations to Maui and the Okanagan; dogs, cats, and rabbits in tow. The house always smelled of cigars, with Dad's booming voice and hearty laugh ringing out above his favourite big band music, Duke Ellington. An avid fisherman, Garde was found most Saturdays aboard the Blithe Spirit in Howe Sound with his friends. Many weekends were spent on the Flats, horseback riding, playing tennis, and socializing in the "Snake Pit" at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club. Dad loved to clip in the garden and chop wood. He enjoyed all racquet sports, skiing, and watching football and rugby. Dad was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 as a member of the UBC Thunderbirds mens basketball team (1945-46) and subsequently was inducted into the UBC Hall of Fame in 1997.
Garde was a great Dad and an amazing Grandfather; he had nicknames for all and made everyone feel important by being genuinely interested in what they had to say. He always took time to engage with people - anywhere, any time. He respected and applauded effort and "a job well done." He wrote countless letters, notes and faxes - recommending, thanking, informing, inquiring and congratulating! - with the help of many devoted secretaries churning out mountains of paper. Garde's charisma and outgoing nature commanded the attention of every room. He truly had a larger than life presence, coupled with a great sense of humour, and a kind and generous heart. He considered there to be no greater purpose than public service, which he performed for over 45 years with unwavering commitment and an affability that endeared him to people of all political stripes and walks of life - a rare feat indeed.
Elected six consecutive times to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the Vancouver-Point Grey constituency, Garde was appointed Attorney General in 1975 and was the province's longest serving Government House Leader and the first Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In 1985, he became responsible for the Official Visits Program for EXPO '86 and hosted dignitaries from all over the world.
From 1987 to 1992, Garde proudly represented British Columbia in the United Kingdom and Europe as British Columbia's Agent-General in London. In this role, Garde was one of B.C.'s greatest salesmen, promoting and opening trade with great gusto!
Garde is remembered most recently as British Columbia's 26th Lieutenant Governor, appointed by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 1995, a position he held through 2001 and carried out with the utmost respect and pride. Garde was named Honorary Colonel of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) and in 2002, was awarded the Order of British Columbia.
Garde was particularly proud of introducing the Ombudsman Act, Family Relations Act, and the Aboriginal Communities Legislation, as well as his initiation of the COUNTERATTACK program against Drinking and Driving in 1978. He spearheaded British Columbia's position during the constitutional negotiations leading up to the patriation of the Canadian Constitution from the United Kingdom in 1982. He was a long time advocate of legal aid, the inception of Hansard, the right to sue the Crown, aid for victims of crime, and the Good Samaritan Legislation, all of which are part of law today.
Garde spent his life focusing on serving the public and making a difference to everyone who crossed his path. His family would like to thank the many people who cared for him in his final years -his personal staff: Cila, Leny, Angel, Esther; his diligent secretaries; Daphne Izard, Suzanne Creighton and Barbara Wallace. We are also grateful to Dr. Grant Ayling for his years of compassionate care and to all the staff at Point Grey Private Hospital, particularly Dr. Grantham, Rose, Josephine, Jojo, and Lemuel.
"Night all - I'm going to bed!"
The funeral service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, on Wednesday, July 17 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army ( or the 4 H Club (
For those wishing to sign a condolence book in advance, you may do so in person at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver or at Government House, 1401 Rockland Avenue, Victoria or online at:
Walkey & Company Funeral Directors 604 738-0006

Funeral Home
Walkey & Company Funeral Directors Ltd.
235 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 4X1
(604) 738-0006
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Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on June 29, 2013
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