Farewell, my amazing Big Brother.
My loving condolences to Barbara, Linda, Rhonda, Doug, Richard and the rest of your large and beautiful family.
You were always known as “Bazooke” to me. I didn’t know where the name came from but to me Al was too simple a name for someone of such great character and vision and a man who had so much love and enthusiasm for life and family.
I regret we did not spend more time together during your lifetime. Our ten year age difference and your early move to Northern Alberta prevented us from spending more time together in our younger years. Then my relocation to Australia almost 55 years ago, combined with our deep involvement in family and business, resulted in very few visits together.
I can proudly and fondly claim that I was involved in your earliest entrepreneurial activity when you were a teenager and I was about 9 years old. At the time you came across an idea that would make you a fortune. You developed a plant pot that would gradually release moisture into the soil to reduce watering frequency. My job was to assist in making the pots and was your first employee. Slave labour with no pay but I was proudly involved with my Big Bro.
Sadly, the business turned out to be a financial failure but I am sure you learned plenty from that venture. As only you can, you persevered, and moved on to phenomenal accomplishments in the business world that has made such an impact on so many in the Northern Alberta community.
Hard to believe that your one devoted employee eventually turned into over 600.
You did not possess a university degree but you were wiser and more commercially savvy than most people who had a more privileged education. You made the most of life and accomplished so much – not only in business but in family.
You lived for and cared so much for family. You were always there – not only for your immediate family but also for your nine siblings and their offspring.
Bazooke, your legacy of ethical conduct and passion in business and community generosity is being continued with the same enthusiasm and zeal by Linda and Rhonda and the rest of your family and will do so for many generations to come.
Sadly, age and distance prevent me from being at the memorial. The Australian Sides will get together on the day to celebrate your amazing life at which time our thoughts and love will be with Barbara and the family.