Jim Spilsbury – Canada’s Radio Man and Aviation Pioneer

SPILSBURY _ Jim, painter, writer, pioneer and legend on the B.C. Coast has passed away on April 20, 2003, at the age of 97. Jim, although born in England in 1905, lived his life on the coast of B.C. His parents started out in Whonnock, moving to Savary Island by 1912. At the age of 17 Jim made his first Crystal set, which led to a career in marine radio telecommunications. He travelled up and down the coast, first on the “Mary”, later on the “Five B.R.” and finally on the “Blithe Spirit”, visiting logging and fishing camps to install and maintain radios, and open up communications to the outside world. The evolution of the accidental airline, Queen Charlotte Airlines, during the period 1944-1955 opened up the transportation links along the B.C. coast from Vancouver to Kitimat. His wonderful story telling abilities and life experiences were documented in “Spilsbury’s Coast”, “The Accidental Airline”, and “Spilsbury’s Album”. Jim’s books were interspersed with his pastel paintings, which displayed his love and reflection of the westcoast. His lifetime of achievements have been recognized with numerous transportation and communications awards, the Order of B.C., and most recently, the 50th Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He leaves an unparalleled legacy to his very proud and loving family, Ron (Candace) Spilsbury, Dave (Gloria) Spilsbury, Marie Langton, Lauren Spilsbury, Natalie Killough; his grandchildren, Terri (Andrew) Ileander, Tracy (Todd) Wynes, Dawn (Dave) Pucci, Joanne (Roger) Gissen, Shayne (Kim) Langton, Chad Langton, Cheryl (Rob) Kwaksistala, Wendy Nielsen; his great-grandchildren, Mackenzie, Joshua, and Chloe Kwaksistala, and Cameron Wynes. Jim will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered, by his friends and family. Out of respect for Jims wishes, there will be no memorial service.

 

 

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