March 10, 1926 – November 27, 2016
Al was born in East Vancouver, the 2nd of four children born to Joseph Robinson and Thelma Delilah Brown. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife Miriam (Morgan), his sisters Gloria Zwarych and Faye Tait, and by his brother Don. He is survived by his daughter Clarice Perkins (Bob), sons Doug (Audrey), Howard (Kristen), and Bruce (Sharon), and by his 10 grandchildren and 8 greatgrandchildren. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Al and his siblings got a reprieve from poverty and city life every summer, when they went to stay with their Aunt Ida and Uncles Alvin and Gunny Brown on their houseboat on Great Central Lake. Dad often recalled this as the best time in his life. In 1941 (during WW2) the family moved to Port Alberni, where Al went to Redford School, and decided to become a teacher himself. He attended UBC (along with many WW2 vets, including his brother) from 1945 to 1950. After graduating he was determined to accept the first job offer that came along, which turned out to be as a Principal/teacher in a 2 room school in Stewart, B.C., where he met his future wife. He spent 2 years in Stewart, followed by 3 years in Trail, B.C., before finally returning to Port Alberni in 1955. He was principal of first Calgary and then Alberni Elementary schools before moving into senior administration, ending his career in 1986 as Director of Instruction for SD70. During this time he also served as a member of the JayCees, the Parks and Recreation committee, and as a city Alderman. When he wasn’t working, he was outside enjoying the gardening, hiking, fishing, swimming, camping, and boating opportunities offered by the Alberni Valley, especially at the cabin down the canal shared with his fellow members of the Royal Order of Adventurers. He also somehow found the time to personally build two new houses for his family. After retirement, he and his wife, Miriam, moved to acreage near Chemainus, where they cleared and fenced the land and built another new house and barn. Here he joined the Probus club, and served as a lay judge in the Restorative Justice program. Following Miriam’s death in 1990, Al remained on the farm, growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables in his large garden, and reading his many books. He spent many happy hours with his grandchildren who will remember him for his proficient tractor-driving , his interest in his cattle and the numerous other talents that he enjoyed sharing with them, as well as his unflagging interest in their daily activities and life plans. He also enjoyed travelling, and went on many overseas trips, usually with either his sister Gloria, or his daughter. In November 2009, at the age of 83, he decided to return to Port Alberni, and moved in with his daughter and her husband. In his final years, Al was living with dementia. The family would like to thank staff at the Berwick on the Lake Care Unit in Nanaimo, and Nanaimo Senior’s Village residential care unit, for all their kind care of Dad during this challenging time. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Ty Watson house, or the charity of your choice. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 14th, starting at 2 pm in the Jericho Church at the corner of Tebo and Craig St (in the old Klitsa School).