Another of Squamish’s longtime community builders has died.
Bill Manson, who served on both the town council and the school board, helped establish the Capilano University Squamish campus, helped build the dikes and was active in both the Rotary Club and the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, passed away on Saturday (Dec. 15). He was 90.
The son of Scottish immigrants John and Louise Manson, Bill Manson was born in 1922 in Prince Rupert and attended Sprott Business School in Vancouver before moving to Squamish in 1946, going to work in the forest industry. He met and married his wife June in 1950. The two were married for 60 years until June passed away two years ago. They had three children: Michael, Graham and Jane-Anne.
Bill Manson, whose mother was a teacher, was always a big booster of education. He was a founding member of the Capilano College board of governors and one of those who helped establish the Cap College Squamish campus in 1995.
Last year, he established the June Manson Memorial Award, a $100,000 scholarship to support graduating Squamish students who decide to attend what’s now Capilano University, in honour of his late spouse.
“I am really a crank when it comes to kids getting an education,” he told The Chief at the time.
Jane-Anne Manson on Tuesday (Dec. 18) said she thinks her father’s devotion to community was at least partly motivated by the fact that his parents were immigrants.
“My dad seemed quintessentially Canadian, but his parents were immigrants and I think that motivates people to want to serve the community,” she said. “One parent was Presbyterian and one was Methodist and part of the Methodist philosophy is doing good works. It was not anything he ever theorized about, he just did it, and he took great pleasure in it.”
In addition, “When you’re doing things in the community it also brings you into contact with a lot of people and I think he enjoyed doing that — meeting people.”
June Manson was a registered nurse, which may have been part of the reason Bill Manson also served on the Squamish Hospital and Squamish Health Care Foundation boards for a spell.
“What struck me when I was writing his obit was just the diversity of his interests,” Jane-Anne Manson said. “He obviously was involved in the forest industry and was involved with the school board and Cap College, but he also loved the arts. He loved looking at good paintings or listening to good music.
“Generally he just liked people and he liked interacting with people and helping people, particularly in Squamish. He just had a real passion for the community.”
In addition to those mentioned, Bill Manson is survived by his sister Margaret and granddaughters Sheena and Sarah. A memorial service is planned on Jan. 5 at 1:30 p.m. at Squamish Funeral Chapel. To sign a book of condolences, visit www.squamishfuneralchapel.com.