Maureen DUFFUS

  • "It was an absolute pleasure to have known Maureen. She was..."
    - Niki Neff
  • "Twenty-five years ago Maureen gave freely of her time and..."
  • "So sorry to hear of Maureen's passing. She was a positive,..."
  • "Dear Rob,Nina and Family My deepest condolences to you upon..."
  • "Such a delightful lady. I so enjoyed assisting her when..."
    - Heather West

Maureen Duffus passed away peacefully on August 2nd, 2018 at Mount Saint Mary Hospital at the age of 91.

Maureen was a proud descendant of early Victoria pioneers James and Mary Yates who arrived at Fort Victoria in 1849. She shared her passion for Victoria's history in a series of books including A Most Unusual Colony; Craigflower Country; Beyond the Blue Bridge - Stories from Esquimalt; Old Langford - An Illustrated History; and Battlefront Nurses in World War 1. She was a community leader who volunteered countless hours to preserve and promote local history and was a sought-after speaker on Victoria's early days. She was a founding member of the View Royal town archives. Maureen's community service was recognized in 2012 when she was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

Maureen was a great lover of the arts, music and language. She founded the Vancouver Island Ballet Society and supported many local dance events, and was chair of the studio dance section of the Greater Victoria Music Festival. She was a keen tennis player and gardener.

Maureen attended Victoria College and earned a BA at the UBC. She went on to become an accomplished reporter, feature writer, columnist and editor at the Ottawa Citizen, Victoria Daily Times and the Daily Colonist. Her columns often drew upon her family's life on a small farm in View Royal and her amusement over the challenges of raising horses, sheep, chickens and children.

She spent considerable time abroad with her husband Dr. John Duffus, Dean of Science and Engineering at Royal Roads Military College. While John was studying at Oxford the couple toured England as secretary and van driver for the touring Oxford and Cambridge Players theatrical company, a short-lived but memorable troupe. A later stint in France and England gave her children wanderlust and a love of fancy desserts.

Maureen is survived by her sons Rob (Nina) and James (Amanda), grandchildren Elizabeth (Marc) and Gavin (Justin) and great-granddaughter Nora. There will be a small, private memorial at sea as she joins her husband John. If you are moved to make a tribute she would have appreciated a donation to your favourite local arts foundation, historical society or archive.
Published in The Times Colonist from Aug. 9 to Aug. 10, 2018
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