George FERGUSON
FERGUSON, George What to say about George? Certainly, no one could accuse him of having been a loving son, brother, or father. He'd gladly have stolen the shirt off your back and he was generous to a fault with other people's money. Was he a small-time con-man with grandiose schemes? Probably. But another view of him is that he was the most exciting member of his family and of the families he married into. He was a poor man's rhetorician who beguiled certain woman into buying into his promises and dreams. This latter view is lent some support by the fact that he was a United Church minister who passionately improvised sermons for congregations in Quesnel, Barkerville, Bella Bella, Greenwood, Nipawin, Sask. and Kelowna. It is impossible to say whether or not George was actually religious. Anyway, God's name rarely came up when George was flush.

George eventually became one of Oak Bay's characters. In the 1970's, he was an owner of the Blethering Place, along with his second wife, Janet. They also started the Old Blighty on Oak Bay Ave. They owned an antique store on the corner of Oak Bay and Foul Bay and they even had an auction, at which George was notable for having a parrot on his shoulder. One of his best stories was about being in his car with his new friend Chris in the seat beside him when it was suddenly surrounded by heavily-armed police officers. This was the beginning of the famous Rocancourt arrest scene of 2001. Some of George's favourite watering holes were the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, the Oak Bay Golf Club, and the Marina. Of late, George had to travel to and from these places on his senior's scooter, which he drove as recklessly - and sometimes as drunkenly - as he had driven his cars in earlier years.

George was always an optimist about his future. Right up until the aftermath of his last surgery, he hoped that he could get into sufficiently good shape to charm another woman into supporting him, or perhaps invent something that would make him a billionaire or maybe even win the lottery! He never complained about his later lot in life, living cheerfully in a small apartment that was just barely on the right side of the Tweed Curtain.

While George did not live well by some people's lights, it should be universally accepted that he did die well. In hospital, two days beforehand, he said he'd finished with the medical procedures he had been avidly seeking for the past few years; he said he was 'checking out'. He was completely calm and committed to the decision. The next day, we brought in some beer, toasted his life with him, drank with him, and helped him to make several thoughtful good-bye phone calls. He reminisced a bit and gave us a few unhelpful instructions. He died without pain the next evening, from a slow gastric bleed, with his wits about him and a light heart.

Turns out, his timing was impeccable: the next day we found out that he had been racking up ominous bank and credit card debts. Clearly, those supplemental incomes were about to dry up. In earlier years, George would sometimes slip out of a town after he had accumulated local debts and after the relevant woman's purse had been snapped shut. But of late, he was in no condition to skip town. And women just don't see old men on scooters as the stuff of their dreams - they see them as impending burdens. Perhaps George felt cornered. Perhaps he thought that, under his present circumstances, dying was the only way out. Whatever the story, no one can deny that George made his final exit with style and grace.

Read the story behind the obit and learn more about George Ferguson's life.


Published by Victoria Times Colonist from Jul. 6 to Jul. 8, 2014.
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123 Entries
I worked at Oak Bay Auction with Phil, Ray, and Mark. Lots of fond memories.
Royce
Coworker
June 12, 2021
DEC 1st 2014
RiP George Just learned of Georges passing, I have missing pages to add will retun to tell a few things of interest, he is very much missed by his coffee cluutch guys that met at Chances Are,guess its better now Chances were,he is missed and added to many lifes here. He became ill here and I was his care taker, he was a very unwilling patient for real.
Bre Manning
December 1, 2014
Well George I just heard the news. I worked with George at the auction and the last tour of duty was Ol Blighty Fish and Chips where he was resminiscently thinking of returning to the parsonage. He was a good-hearted soul, and, despite claims to the contrary, he was gernouos with his own money too. Although imperfect like all of us, rest assured I will be praying for the repose of his soul.

Thankyou George, my Father and I are richer for having known you and your great Parrot Paul calling "Too Cheap" from the auction podium!

To Cathy Ferguson- drop me a line I would like to extend my condolences directly to you on the loss of your wonderfully colourful Dad. Take care, Philip Jorre de St. Jorre in Ottawa at 343-203-1227.
Philip Jorre de St. Jorre
July 21, 2014
Wow, what can I say. I met George in the hospital the day after my dad was admitted to the Vic General. He was across the room from my father and was a very kind, caring man. He watched out for my dad by buzzing the nurses when he (my dad) tried to get our of bed with delirium, while being hooked up with many needles and tubes. Over the week I got to know George and brought him the paper, gum and some milk chocolate. I would always hug and kiss my dad goodbye and tell him I loved him. I can't forget what George said to my dad, "Your a lucky man Mr. Robert that your daughter shows you love and affection...you are so fortunate". It was so heartfelt the way he said it and the look on is face. I wanted to give him a hug too. My dad ended up in the ICU for a day or so and when he can back to his room George had gone for surgery. We asked the nurse where he went so we could visit him but the nurse said his file from this ward had been archived. George I only briefly new you but you made a big impact on me. I loved that you showed me pictures of your beautiful daughter and her lovely children. Rest in peace dear, charming man.
Kathryn Curry
July 14, 2014
Ironic that Rocancourt should be mentioned in this brilliant Obit.
Don Machan
July 11, 2014
R.I.P George Ferguson. Although I didn't know you personally, I do know your soul is at peace. Say Hello to my baby sister who just recently passed at the age of 35. She'll be the one standing next to my Dad Walter J. Mealey ex. Marine. They both loved your sense of humor.
July 11, 2014
I love how you did this. I wish my family would have allowed me to write an obit like this for my grandpa. It doesn't mean you love them any less.. I think it would have helped me get past the way he treated our family, so I think I know how you feel, and I applaud you.
Jamie
July 11, 2014
R.I.P George
I enjoyed our many conversations at Christie's.
And how you made sure all the girls got chocolate before you retired for the evening.
Arnie Vezza
July 11, 2014
Saw George at the Marina in Oak Bay every Sunday for years. He sat at the bar as well as we did. One Sunday he sat next to us and we finally introduced ourselves to each other. He was specific that he was a man of the cloth. Told him we were in need of a GP and he went on to tell us in detail how to out smart the health system by calling an ambulance to take him to emergency and because of his age everything was covered. Missed him of late. George was an icon at the Marina and was loved by all the staff. Came in and had his double, plus, plus and the staff would bring him a plate of food. He loved his hugs from all the females. Tia always kept us posted as to how George was doing. RIP
Lily and Ed Mitchell
July 10, 2014
robyn
July 10, 2014
I knew George when he lived in Langford. He was my next door neighbor. It was at the time when the area was still developing and I think even before Veteran's Memorial "Speedway" was thought of ;) He was quite the man. He was married and they had a parrot too. He seemed to enjoy watching over things close to the edge of his house looking down on Selwyn Road.Some people do that, but George almost always had a beer going. I remember him also because for a time, I believe that he was a soldier- part of RCEME Corps. That's Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineers. He told me of one tour he was on in some far away country... He showed me the Zippo he had, "Desert Rats" was emblazened on it. Pretty cool. I was envious as I am part of RCEME but although he might have offered it, it didn't change hands. There was this time when he felt he needed to get some Douglas Firs on his property taken care of. There was at least 5 huge mothers, one by one they came down. He said he was worried that someone would get hurt if a branch broke high above. Anyway, as one of the trees was coming down, it smacked the ground so hard a chunk rocketed off, shot across the road into the door of my pick up. *Whack!!* Huge dent- door replaced. Every once in a while I wondered where George was and how he was or what he was doing. Did you know he made water filter devices that worked? and glow in the dark street numbers for residences. These were out ready for the market before any others did. I knew him a little but he was a friend. Crusty sometimes, but a friend.RIP George, now I know how to get in touch with ya.
Cheers!
Les
Les Gardner
July 10, 2014
I met George when he was a partner in the Zeballos Hotel in 1974. (That is the Gold Mining town on a deep water inlet on Vancouver Island) Great Guy
Norman Collins
July 10, 2014
God bless you and your family George. Say Hi to my dad, Jimbo, for me...I think you two will get along great...for good laughs and fun ... while tipping a cold one back. Fly on.
Tammy Shaffer
July 10, 2014
RIP George. You certainly were a character. I remember the auctions in Oak Bay and the parrot... You entertained us all.
July 10, 2014
Yes, Thank You for writing this. It has made so many of us giggle and laugh and think of the many like George who have passed thru our lives. Sure several families have had a George in it. Know mine did and the family was the one who always had to pick up the pieces and carry on. Wishing you lots of love and peace and hopefully one day you will write a book.
Cath
July 10, 2014
Cheers to George....ya gotta love a man who won't compromise his principles!
Shelley Cranley
July 10, 2014
I sat with George at the bar at Christie's Cairrage House and listened to his many stories and watched him play the gambling venues available. George told me many times that he made money at it, but I never observed it. A true character!
Bill Burns
July 10, 2014
Thank you for writing this piece. You captured many aspects and traits of my father and his behavior. He too has passed. I think my father was at the same point, just tired and ready to check out. One thing I do know...that despite the outrageous behavior, he did love his family very much. I think our fathers did the best they knew. May you and your family experience great piece and comfort at this time.
Anna Lucia
July 10, 2014
A charming man. I can't be certain I ever met George, but I don't know that I didn't. He seems similar to the man I married in the 1970's and haven't seen since.

RIP
Janie Frazier
July 10, 2014
Good bye dear friend. May the life you dreamed be yours as you travel through Eternity.
steve flowers
July 10, 2014
Funny .. Your life made me smile. RIP. Well done on the obituary.
The Gammel's
July 9, 2014
George was neighbour ( across the hall ) for the past few years. We chatted as our paths crossed. I wish I had taken the time to really get to know you. I remember when you told me about your father being in the RCMP which caught my attention as he and I shared the share uniform. Rest In Peace George, you will always be in my thoughts as I come and go from home.
Mike G Winchester Court
July 9, 2014
Love this obit . I think I re-read this to about 4 or 5 people. Never met George but he sounds like a fun guy :) Awesome job to the person that wrote this !
Jackie
July 9, 2014
I would defiantly say that God broke the mold when he made George. Very well spoken obituary. RIP George Ferguson!
Jeremiah Reeves
July 9, 2014
I met George during construction of condos across the street where George lived about ten years ago,what a genuine person a real straight up kinda of guy,don,t know if I will meet another person like you.You will be missed,and surely never forgotten.
Ed Ribeiro
July 9, 2014
Great Obit true and loving at the same time.
karen
July 9, 2014
Having read your obituary, I really would have liked to have tipped a few pints with you...we could have compared notes, ahhhhh life, better to have loved and lost, then...well you know the rest. Prayers to those you left behind...I know the movie rights to your story will make your daughter quite happy. Can't wait to see that in the theatres. R I P Brother G.
Mick Kingston
July 9, 2014
Speechless! RIP GEORGE
Crystal
July 9, 2014
George....I know it probably slipped your mind but....have you got that $20 you borrowed from me?
Rob Cleveland
July 9, 2014
George was always a good friend to me.
I never new him to lie, or try to take advantage of any of his long term friends. He truly could warm a room.
John Pilling
July 9, 2014
I like this obit. It is very honest!!!! More should be written like this!
Mandi
July 9, 2014
Best ever...RIP George, A life lived well. Thanks to his daughter for writing the obituary..you knew and loved him well.[I would like you to write mine please] Condolences to all who loved George.
Johanna Hubacek
July 9, 2014
George
You're just upstairs telling God to lighten up.
Jennie Hoffleith
July 9, 2014
Well done George!
M Core
July 9, 2014
i was always happy listening to your stories and serving you up the CC's and water. In a pint glass with lots of ice.

Glad to have met you.

Bruce Y, Oak Bay Marina
July 9, 2014
Rest in peace
July 9, 2014
Well George, I wish I could have known ya. Having dreams is what makes life tolerable, and living them makes life grand. Sounds like you had a grand life.
Carl
July 9, 2014
Living life with no worries, Acunamatata Goerge.
A D
July 9, 2014
stacy adetunji
July 9, 2014
A man not afraid of dying. More importantly a man not afraid of living. Cheers!
Chris F
July 9, 2014
Cheers to you George.
July 9, 2014
Way to go George he never said he was a good man. The women that fell for him must have loved him. RIP.
July 9, 2014
Cheers!
July 9, 2014
WOW!! What a way to truely live a life. At the end when God asks George did you use everything that I gave you- he can simply reply I sure did try! For that Sir hats off to you.
Jamie Infinger
July 9, 2014
DID HE HANG AROUND MADERIA BEACH FLORIDA? I THINK HE DATED MY MOM....
DIAMOND GORDON
July 9, 2014
I never met George, but he lived his life best as he saw fit! George did what he had to do to live his best life possible! Never a dull moment! Blessings to his family! Can't wait for the movie!
Davon Lawrence
July 9, 2014
George, reading a bit about your life has placed a smile on "this old man's" face this morning. God Bless you for being "what you are/were"; and "riding out on the same horse you rode in on"! At times, being bored or boring is worse than death; and it sounds like you were a man that clearly understood that most of us feel that way, most of the time. NO doubt you were a man of large dreams and a larger heart full of "good intentions"; however, with a sense of humor about yourself; as you lived being "almost" what you thought you were; while, still knowing the difference. Few of us in the "human race" can or will ever live to "see" the person they actually are; and, still laugh about it and have others that really knew him better than himself laughed with him; or even wanted to be around him. God bless you, George and I feel certain that you will not bore God; and, that most likely bought you a "ticket" to the "brigher side" of the "afterlive"--being interesting while not taking yourself too serious is a rather endearing quality. I never knew you; but,know you anyway. MM
Mike Malaise
July 9, 2014
God bless you and your family. Sounds like he was a very interesting man. May he rest in peace.
Ashley H.
July 9, 2014
George sounds like the kinda guy we sometimes dream of being a i don't give a crap about anything type of guy. Cheers to you George hopefully there is a scheme wherever your going.
V
July 9, 2014
RIP George. Bless you and all who loved you.
Melody Riley
July 9, 2014
Can't say I knew George, but I can say that he was EXACTLY like my grandmother!
K Kotlinski
July 9, 2014
I didn't know George personally but I thought to myself after reading his obituary ... "Never a boring moment with George"
Marisa Whitsell
July 9, 2014
This is the best obit ever written! Congrats to the author, wife, daughter,son or friend. The poetry is deeply kind and overwhelmingly inspiring. I only hope that you are interviewed by Peter Mansbridge so that we come to know your relationship with George. You are an inspiration to us all! Thank you, Rudi and Patty Koniczek
Patty Koniczek
July 8, 2014
Is it possible a writing career has been born from George's passing? Penned an obit that made a man worth knowing!
S Hall
July 8, 2014
Many blessings to you, George, and you family. Aloha!
Linda Rohr
July 8, 2014
I worked for George when he was setting up the Blethering Place and also at the Oak Bay Auction. Despite the critical tone of this obituary, I knew him as generous with sharing his advice and also by giving a teenager some good work experience. He was a character, doubtless imperfect in many ways, but I remember him as a good person. Rest in peace, Rev. George.
Jon Donald
July 8, 2014
Fantastic.
Ann G
July 8, 2014
All the best, George, and to all who knew and loved you.
Brook Robin
July 8, 2014
A toast to you fine sir! I did not know the young george, but after hearing your wonderful stories and reading your obit, i sincerly wish i had. From your firm hand shake, your stiff drink and crunchy exterior, i will always remember you for the man you are in my heart. You brought joy to those at the oaks and will be missed dearly by those who fought to serve you. Rest well sir, and always remember those who loved you.
Eric Ahn
July 8, 2014
George is fast becoming a cult hero--can't wait for the movie!
D E
July 8, 2014
This is great - rest in peace George
July 8, 2014
To walk through life with Goerge in the last 10 years was an honour.

We met during construction on the Oak Bay Marina condominiums. I was looking after the job, but in time George really believed he was the superintendent. He took me under his wing and cared greatly for all my crew. Any man that can bring a crew of construction workers together daily and make them bow heads for grace is ominous.

George to a few close friends was also known as Dr. Doolittle: squirrels, birds, ducks, etc. would always visit George. His favourite saying was "All creatures great and small, I love them all". Although he did smack a few wasps!

I could go on for a long time. My sons', myself and the crew from Knight Contracting had a very fortunate experience with George.

Not sure if I read the obit wrong, but it didn't portray the George I remembered as a wonderful, kind and loving friend. He was a pleasure to have known and I'll miss his friendship.

Love your brother, Jim McColl
July 8, 2014
Finnaly .. an obituary thats true!!
im a beleiver that whoever ends up owing the most , not owning the most is the one that wins ! Good on him
G, Craven
July 8, 2014
George - hope you're reading this and looking down [or up :) ] and laughing with us all. Thanks for the many stories you shared while sitting at the bar at Christies (some where out there for sure - what a life you lived). We've missed you there the past few years but we'll have one for you this week - cheers George!
Sal Johal
July 8, 2014
Well said...we have visited many of George's favourite spots but did not get to meet him. It is characters like George who add colour to our lives!
Bette & Bernie
July 8, 2014
Cheers to George
Moe Gombos
July 8, 2014
I really believed that obituaries should be funny and I really love this one. RIP George. For us that remains, may I ask, what is next after death?
July 8, 2014
Sounds like a life made for the movies ... Wish I knew him ...a scoundrel and a gentleman.
Nadine Purnell
July 8, 2014
Did not know George but I did have a brother George who died way to young (44)of a similar lifestyle. I am sure your George kept everything and everyone around him lively. Live well, live long, live lively but LIVE!
Rita Gallagher
July 8, 2014
A delight to read, celebrate and recount this man, his "review" tonight, George contributed to one of the most delightful birthday celebrations, no. 55, and funniest moments or greatest belly laughs ever mustered,with long time friend, Judi Brown, myself oh and the banjo player whom was also deeply touched! Thank you George. A ' best storey ever" was recalled tonight RIP
Brigit O'LEARY
July 7, 2014
RIP George, I did not know him but he sounded like a lovely person and loads of fun to be around. Well lived,beautifully written, This obituary made my day!! Condolences to all who loved this interesting man.
Johanna Hubacek
July 7, 2014
Author!Splendid tribute.Nothing became his life as the leaving of it.Is there a movie here?
A.J. Bryant
July 7, 2014
I pray that George will have a positive afterlife. According to the comments, he did help others by offering/preparing food.
Lynnikea Gris
July 7, 2014
Best Obituary I've ever read. Is it all true?
Judy Treloar
July 7, 2014
i didn't know George but I know his daughter Karen who wrote the obit.. and like her father she is worth knowing. good honest obit you can write mine..
Patricia Carvery
July 7, 2014
One of the finest obituary's ever written.
Kenn Burroughs
July 7, 2014
Like many who read this - I didn't know him either. Great story though. Will there be a wake at the pub?
July 7, 2014
George became known to us many years ago while we were doing construction near where he lived. He instantly became our "Sidewalk Superintendent" and an instant friend to many in our crew. George began making elaborate meals for our guys and brought over tasty stews and casseroles to keep them warm and sustained. The story even made the local Oak Bay paper! George was kindhearted, friendly and honest. He will be missed.

Knight Contracting Ltd.
Bonnie Safnuk
July 7, 2014
I feel I've always known you George. Good bye.
matt tom
July 7, 2014
George, was a good friend for twenty years and I wish you a farewell pint George.

Theron "the sheriff" Watson
victoria
July 7, 2014
George Wins ! I can only wish I had friends like George to remember me by. 'Golf clap'
Mark Burgerheister
July 7, 2014
Good old Uncle George. Married me to mine many many years ago . Wouldn't say he was the most exciting member of the Ferguson family but I guess you would have to meet the rest and judge for yourself. - rmd.
July 7, 2014
I still don't know who George was, but he sounds like he lived life to it's fullest with charm and vigor!! What a charismatic individual....R.I.P. George
July 7, 2014
George, George, George. You went to a lot of trouble to get out of repaying that small amount I loaned to you. Installments would have been fine.
July 7, 2014
I met George on a visit to the Blethering place he was in a very good mood and entertained us with his hi jinks mad us very happy Short and sweet but fun made our visit worth while
Barbara Hillier
July 7, 2014
"Reverend" George as he would introduce himself to us - his neighbours on Selwyn Road (going back well over a decade now). George was bigger than life. With stiff drink in hand (yes, even on Sunday mornings) he would look out his livingroom window high on his hill assessing the world. George took great kindness on us when my husband was without work briefly. He decided to invent something and had Tim make a wooden prototype. Said he needed that to get the item patented. He liked to pop over to "chat". Moreso onesided but always entertaining! And he'd offer you a drink because you were working so hard washing your car or simple yard work. His wife was so sweet. What a stunning obituary. Won't every forget you George!!
Barb & Tim DeBaie
July 7, 2014
I never knew you. Sounds like you played your part so well; look everybody is talking about you. It takes a star power to get them accolades. Fare thee well.
Kwabena Nkansah
July 7, 2014
What a wonderfully humorous and well-written obituary :) There must be something about the name George as my own uncle George sounded incredibly similar, right down to the grifting of his lady friends and being generous with other people's money.

My sincerest condolences to the family and to those Mr. George has left behind. He sounded like quite a character and like he was probably the life of any party! He sounds like he will genuinely be missed and I just hope that the family is dealing with their loss as peacefully and lovingly as possible. From the looks of it, you folks are not lacking in humor and what a difference that can make, not just while dealing with the loss of a loved one, but for life in general.

My prayers go out to you, George, and to your obviously loving family :) Celebrate the life that was lived and God bless you all for having such humorous and loving memories to keep in your hearts!
Wesley Lucas
July 7, 2014
You could always count on George for a wink, a smile and unsolicited advice. He certainly added character and flair to whatever bar he was saddled up to. Ol' George was a rare bird who will be remembered by many.
Tara Z
July 7, 2014
R.I.P. George. You were certainly "0ne of a kind" who lived life on your own terms. Most unusual obituary that I have ever read but it is true to who you were and the life you lived. I missed talking to you when I retired, you were certainly never dull .
MaryAnn MacGillivary
July 7, 2014
George was indeed a character. He was always generous with my kids and they affectionately called him uncle George.
Milo Brucks
July 7, 2014
"Yes he was an interesting man :)"Met him many years ago at the Hampshire House,always had great stories!RIP George! John and Shelley Graham :)
July 7, 2014
I knew George well. We had lunch together almost everyday. Yes, he was a character who was full of life and adventure, but he was also kind and intelligent. He loved speaking on matters of politics, philosophy, religion and literature. I have so many great memories of this man, and so many nutty memories as well. RIP George! You will be missed.
Deirdre Syms
July 7, 2014
When you leave this Earth, do it with a drink in your hand, your hair on fire, and a long list of the befuddled and amazed in your wake.

This fellow did it right.
July 7, 2014
Brilliant obituary!! Truly saddened I never met George. What a character! R.I.P. you ole dog you!
Jessica
July 7, 2014
I remember going to an auction that George held and seeing his parrot on his shoulder! He marched to a different drummer for sure. That's what characters do and without them life would be boring eh! R.I.P George.
Ron Battiston
July 7, 2014
Almighty God is a comfort, a refuge and strength for us, a help that is readily to be found during difficult times (Psalm 46:1). As you endure the days ahead, may God give you peace and comfort.
Allen Johnson Jr
July 7, 2014
I am thinking that George wrote this obit before he passed away, with possibly the final entry completed by a good friend. He was a rascal with a great sense of humor, RIP George!
Avis Moffatt
July 7, 2014
Made my morning! Would like to have known George.
Truly original! J. Tille
July 7, 2014
Now THERE is an obit....RIP old George....even if your list of creditors aren't...:-)
July 7, 2014
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