Hugh Lambe

Longtime resident of Williams Lake, Hugh Lambe, passed away May 27, 2006.

Hugh was born in Vancouver on February 2, 1921. He was the youngest of five children born to Harriot and Curzon Lambe.

He served four years in the infantry tank battalion during the Second World War with the Lake Superior and Westminster Regiments. He served at the front in England, Belgium and Holland. He finished his military career as lieutenant.

Hugh was shot in the leg in Belgium and spent several months in hospital, but considered himself lucky to have survived the war without a permanent disability. He joined the Williams Lake Legion Branch 139 shortly after moving to town and was an active member for many years including doing a term as president. He just received his 40-year pin last November.

He married Kaye in 1947 and they moved to Burnaby. They had three children, Lorene, Michael and Glenn while residing there. Hugh worked for his father in an import-export business while he lived at the coast.

In 1957 Hugh moved to Williams Lake and bought the Williams Lake Taxi business, which he operated for 12 years. During those years he was somewhat of an entrepreneur.

While running the taxi business, he operated the town “ambulance” from his station wagon taxi and often assisted the Coroner Joe Tull with his transportation duties. He also provided a limousine service to the airport and while waiting for fares, he directed the airplanes in on the runway in front of the terminal. He also initiated the bus service around the town with a Volkswagen van he purchased, but business was too slow.

Potential riders were more interested in calling a taxi instead of “waiting” for the bus. Hugh opened the first travel service in William’s Lake. In 1972, he started work at Gibraltar Mines as an oiler, gradually moving up to a maintenance supervisor until his retirement in 1986. He drove the bus to Gibraltar for years because he claimed it gave him “more leg room.”

Hugh loved fishing and took many vacations with Kaye to Port Angeles to visit with his cousin Ralph. They spent hours out in the ocean fishing for Spring salmon.

After retiring, he and Kaye became museum board members. Hugh spent countless hours with other members converting the old Health Unit building into the new museum. They started the project 1987 and the museum opened in 1991. Hugh loved to putter and could make anything out of old boards, so he was affectionately dubbed Mr. Fixup by the staff there.

He received a lifelong membership on retiring as a board member. Kaye and Hugh also volunteered at the Red Cross equipment loan cupboard for many years, with Kaye managing the public relations and Hugh cleaning and fixing up the equipment.

Hugh and Kaye also loved to travel and made many enjoyable trips over the next few years. They visited many places including Europe, England, the Maritimes and Palm Springs.

They often travelled with their lifelong friends, Bob and Marguerite Court. Hugh and Bob grew up together in Vancouver from young boys and had remained close friends all their lives.

Hugh also loved to garden and was especially proud of his roses.

He kept a beautiful yard at their house down by the lake.

Hugh and Kaye moved from their beloved property last year into the assisted living apartments at the Seniors Village.

Hugh loved life and enjoyed his seven grandchildren: Dallas, Heather, Wade, David, Serena, Stephanie and Devona. He also leaves behind five great-grandchildren: Nick, Kaitlyn, Andy, Evan and Luke. Hugh loved them all.

He was a kind, gentle, quiet man and will be sadly missed by his wife of 58 years, his family and friends.

At his request, a small service was held at the Seniors Village on Wednesday, May 31, attended by all his family and a few close friends.

In Hugh’s memory, any donations may be made to the Cariboo Hospice Society in Williams Lake, or a charity of your choice.

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