AOKI, Hirowo Harry
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August 22, 1921- January 24, 2013
Harry passed away peacefully on January 24, 2013 at the age of 91. Harry experienced a varied career well into the 80's. He was a logger, timber cruiser, ski instructor, B.C. Electric systems analyst, teacher, musician, conductor, arranger and composer, recording artist, musicologist, band leader, impresario, advocate for social justice, traveller, and pioneer in the field of world music. During the 1960's, together with good friend James Johnson, Harry operated a family oriented "folk" coffee house in Qualicum Beach. The duo hosted the CBC TV show "Moods of Man" that featured folk, jazz, blues, and classical music. This was followed by tours of the U.S.A. college circuit with their menu of multi-cultural folk music. In 1978, he was musical director for the opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. Later in life, Harry was honoured by the Asia Pacific Foundation with the "Living Heritage" award in recognition of his contribution towards preserving traditional Asian culture for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations of Canadians. His vision of intercultural harmony through the arts survives in the countless lives he touched and the loyal friends and communities that he brought together. His passing is a deep loss, but his work and legacy will live on. Harry leaves this world in accordance with his own vision of being true to oneself. No service will be held by his request, but there will be a private family gathering at a later date. In addition Harry's friends are invited to attend a brief gathering at the Vancouver Crematorium chapel, 5505 Fraser Street, Vancouver, on Saturday, February 9 at 9:30 AM. Harry was predeceased by brother Dr. Ted Aoki. He is survived by brother Tats Aoki and sisters Mary Malcolm and Judy Matsuba. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Aoki Legacy Fund established through the Friends of Harry Aoki in partnership with St. John's College at UBC (http:/ /stjohns.ubc.ca/), or to a cause of your choice will be deeply appreciated. Share memories of Harry at www.dignitymemorial.com.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Feb. 4, 2013