Cairns, Harold Newell (Hal)
CAIRNS, Harold Newell (Hal) – (Sept 29, 1915 – June 21, 2012) Our father, Hal Cairns, was born in Vernon, BC and passed away at Brookhaven Care Centre, West Kelowna. He was truly a native of the Okanagan Valley. Part of his early childhood was spent in Nelson, BC where the family operated a dry goods store. They eventually settled in Vancouver where Hal graduated from King Edward High School and earned his elementary school teaching certificate at the Vancouver Normal School.
He began his long teaching career in the Kettle Valley in 1935, followed by a position in Okanagan Falls and then on to Kaleden. Summers were spent back in Vancouver taking courses towards his BA degree. His teaching career was interrupted by WWII when he joined the RCAF in 1941 and served for 31/2 years in Britain. He took training as a radar chanic/technician. Upon completion of his courses, he had a brief posting as radio instructor at a technical college teaching other recruits. This was followed by postings at radar stations at Dover and then the Faroe Islands.
1944 saw him back in Canada where he eventually ended up at the RCAF radio school in Clinton, Ont. It was here that he met and married Mary Kershaw, of Sarnia, Ont. After his marriage and release from the RCAF, he accepted a temporary teaching position at Sir George Williams College (now Concordia University) in Montreal.
Hal and Mary returned to Vancouver in 1946 where Hal re-entered UBC under the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and completed his BA with majors in math and physics and also up-graded his teaching certificate. Hal, Mary and young daughter, Marilyn, moved to Penticton in 1948 and their second daughter, Gayle, was born 3 years later. Hal resumed his teaching career at Penticton Secondary School where he taught math and physics until his retirement in 1975. He was active in the Retired Teachers Association for many years. Hal placed a high value on education and donated to bursary and scholarship funds.
Hal was predeceased by his sister, Eileen Lister in 1999; his wife, Mary in 2001, and his son-in-law, Grant Ferguson in 2007. He is survived by his daughters, Marilyn Ferguson and Gayle Campbell (Ray); his grandchildren, Colin Ferguson, Kim Turik, Shannon Ferch and Matthew Campbell; and his great grandchildren, Danika, Brooklyn, Jody, Corrie, Levi, Kala, Axel, and Talyea.
No service by request but a family gathering will be organized at a later date. Arrangements in care of Everden Rust Funeral Services, (250) 860-6440. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting everdenrust.com