Harry Allen Buchanan was born the 12th of 14 children in Vancouver November 21, 1926 and passed away March 16, 2003 in Williams Lake with his family by his side.
During his youth Harry was active in all sports, but lacrosse was his passion. “Wee ‘arry” played professional lacrosse from 1944-55 and was instrumental in two Mann Cup Canadian championship victories by the Vancouver Burrards. In 1949, Harry received the Maitland trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Harry was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (www.lacrosse.ca) in 1976 and was further honoured by the Burrards in 1996 as they retired his #14 jersey. His sons carried on this tradition and wore #14 throughout their hockey careers.
Harry married Peggy May in April 1949 and they had four children. His work with BC Equipment saw the family transfer to Williams Lake in 1957. It was an adjustment for everyone moving from the big city to a village complete with dirt roads and wooden sidewalks.
During the first years in Williams Lake he became active in the men’s soccer league and in later years coached minor soccer. With his sons, Harry also became a member of the Williams Lake Golf Club at what is now Boitanio Park. He assisted in promoting the junior golf program and he himself enjoyed all the holes — one to 19.
Harry and his friends Dick Brookbank and Al Montford came together and started the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association in 1958-59. He went on to coach all levels of minor hockey and in 1988 he received an honourary lifetime membership to WLMHA.
In 1968 the Buchanan’s built their cottage at Big Lake which became a summer retreat for his children and grandchildren.
When Harry became Grampa, he did it with full force. On any given summer evening, Gramps could be seen strolling down the hill with his lawnchair to catch a soccer game. He kept his winters busy at the arena, no longer coaching, but being his grandson’s biggest fan. Having family in Vancouver was no deterrent for such a devoted Grampa. Harry and Peggy made numerous trips a year to the Coast in the old Cadillac, always being there when needed by his children and grandchildren.
Recently one of the greatest joys in Harry’s life was becoming a great-grandfather. It always managed to put a grin on his face and chuckle in his heart. Goodbye Gramps … we love you.
Harry is survived by his wife Peggy, sons Doug and Don, daughters Gail (Don) Stanchfield and Jill Buchanan; five grandchildren, Regan (Kevin) Ernst, Ben Stanchfield, Eric (Megan) Simmons, Wade Simmons, and Jody Buchanan (Bill Logan); three great-grandchilden Emma, Brendan, and Allanah. He is also survived by his brother Elmer (Jean), sister Della, and father-in-law Ernie May.
A memorial tea will be held at the Senior’s Centre at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 28.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association or a charity of your choice.