Sunday, November 02, 2008


On Wednesday last week I took a trip to Vulcan to seek out my grandparent's burial plots. I arrived at the Town Office in the morning to fetch a map of the cemetery. I was surprised to note that the names of those buried there were actually all listed on the map. I must have given the clerk a look of bewilderment when I looked down to see not two, but four plots for "Hoskyn". For a split second I thought,

"Was Dad supposed to be buried here?"

It would appear that Grandpa Charles must have purchased a 'family plot'.

Knowing full well that Dad had made his burial request years ago, there should be no need to panic.

So, off to the cemetery I went.

Relatively in the centre of the yard is the Field of Honour, dedicated to the soldiers of the First and Second World War. I decided to use it as a reference point against the map. I was very quickly lost because this section sits 90 degrees out from the drawing on the map. Once I discovered this, however, Grandma and Grandpa Hoskyn's plots were easily visible from the dirt road that runs around the perimeter of the cemetery yard.

I took this journey (a little over two months after having taken Dad down for his birthday in August) mostly for me, but in a way for him too. I placed Dad's urn by the stones that stand for his parents, Laura and Charles. Regardless of what you may believe, I think it was something of a family reunion, on a spiritual level anyway.

I spent some time reflecting about Dad and the stories he used to tell about his folks. He'd lost his Mom when he was three or four and his Dad when he was twenty-five. I'm thankful that I was blessed with him for much longer, especially since my parents didn't start a family until they were in their fourties.

Charles, Frank and Connie Hoskyn c. 1929 (?)

Connie, Frank and Bill the Cat

Frank and Connie c. 1928

I took a tour of Vulcan including a drive by the Hoskyn house. If you look at the railing and lattice in the above photo, you'll see that not much has changed. I did notice that the house has received a coat of paint since our trip in August.

For Dad's birthday on August 19th., we road tripped to Vulcan to visit Dad's high school friend, Henry Hansen, who spoke about their 69-year friendship at Dad's service in September.

Dad with Henry Hansen c. 2004 ?

We attended the 50th. Anniversary celebration dinner and dance for St. Andrew's Anglican Church on Friday, September 12. Dad got in on a photo of the founding members of the parish. He looks positively happy.

The founding members of St. Andrew's Anglican Church - Calgary September 12, 2008
Frank stands second from the left, back row ; Margery is on the right hand side, front row

Dad's interment service was held on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at Mountain View Memorial Gardens. I had the honour of placing Dad's urn in the niche and although it provided for much closure for all of us, I have to admit it will likely be some time before life, for me, returns to normal.

HOSKYN _ Frank William
August 19, 1924 - September 14, 2008

Frank William Hoskyn, beloved husband of Margery of Calgary, passed away on Sunday, September 14, 2008 at the age of 84 years. Frank was born and grew up in Vulcan, AB. After attending Normal School, he began his teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse in Dorothy at age nineteen. He trained as a navigator/bomber in the Royal Canadian Air Force and then earned a B.Ed. from the University of Alberta. Frank continued his teaching career in Calgary where, over the years, he was teacher, Reading Consultant, Elementary School Principal and Resource Teacher. He was also active in the Canadian Teachers' Federation and the Alberta Teachers' Association. He was President of the Provincial Alberta Teachers' Association in 1966/1967. Frank retired in 1986. As an active Anglican, Frank was a member of the Cathedral choir and played an important role in establishing St. Andrew's parish where he participated as a member of the Choir, Treasurer and Vestry member. He also cared for the gardens and grounds at the church. After retirement, Frank continued to be active in the community. He was Chairman of the Calgary branch of Save the Children Canada and was involved in the establishment of the Nose Hill Branch of the Calgary Public Library. He also enjoyed the personal pursuits of gardening, reading, classical music and travelling. Frank was predeceased by his father, Charles, and mother, Laura, of Vulcan and sister, Connie, of Calgary. He is survived by his wife of forty-two years, Margery, children Laura May (Doug), David and three grandchildren. Funeral Services will be held at St. Andrew's Anglican Church (1611 St. Andrew's Place N.W.) today, September 19, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. Forward condolences through . If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Save the Children Canada, 4141 Yonge Street, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario M2P 2A8 (Toll Free 1-800-668-5036. Email or St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Calgary, 1611 St. Andrew's Place N.W. (Telephone 403-282-3234). In living memory of Frank Hoskyn, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: 403-241-0044. Published in the Calgary Herald from 9/17/2008 - 9/19/2008

Fern Hill

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honored among wagons I was prince of the appletowns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, and lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying stable
On the fields of praise.

And honored among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house-high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky-blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace.

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow-thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.



Anvilcloud said...

I think it's important to take time for these moments of reflection.

cathouse teri said...

A beautiful tribute. Thanks for sharing your journey of closure.

ipm said...

lovely memories, great pictures and yes, life won't be the same.

but it never is. keeps changing...

take care...

Janice said...

That's a very nice tribute to your father, you are very lucky to have him as long as you did.


About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.