Edward Telfer of White Rock or “Telfi” as his friends affectionately called him, passed away on April 19, 2004 at the Weatherby Pavilion of Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock B.C. after a stroke left him partially disabled since September of 1998.
Telfer was born on August 1, 1912 in Fernie, AB.C. and attended Fernie Garage and became a Ford/Monarch Delaer, running a successful dealership there for over 40 years.
The same year he acquired a Bulk Plant Agency for Imperial Oil (Esso) and served the area from the south county near Waldo and Jaffray up thru the ELK Valley and Michel/Natal. He resigned the dealership in 1969 and the Oil Agency in 1974. Along the way, in the 1970’s, he built a 17 suite apartment which he operated for 16 years. Telfer married Helen Polak in June of 1937 and, together, they raised a family in Fernie before retiring to Richmond and later to White Rock in 1987.
Before and during retirement, they travelled extensively throughout the world, cultivating friendships where they went.
Mr. Dicks was active in the Masonic Lodge and was a past Master of the Fernie Lodge. He was also a Past District Deputy Grand Master of District #8 of the Grand Lodge of B.C.
He was a 55 year member of the Masonic Shrine and a 65 year member of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. Telfer became a member of the Rotary Club of Fernie in 1938 and was elected its President in 1948, the year the club celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary. He attended several Rotary International conventions, including his first in New York in 1948. He became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1978 and was named Rotarian of the year in 1997 by the White Rock Rotary Club.
Telfer never missed an opportunity to volunteer for community projects. He served 4 years on the Fernie City Council in the 1950’s. In the late 1940’s and 5o’s, he served with a civic group as co-chairman of the building committee and as Chairman of the finance committee to finance and build a hockey and curling rink complete with artificial ice.
He was President of Snow Valley Ski Ltd, the private company that built and developed the ski hill near Fernie from 1960-1967.
In the 1960’s, he was President of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce for two years. Both years, the chamber was awarded the Gavel of the Year and the only time that the same city was given this distinction consecutively by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. Along with some prominent business people in Fernie, he led an unsuccessful bid to put Fernie on the map with the 1968 Winter Olympics and he was just a few years ahead of his time.
While in Fernie, he enjoyed big game hunting, upland bird shooting and fishing He did a good deal of curling and attended many bonspiels. Along with his wife, Helen, he liked to travel and they attended 7 Rotary International Conventions as well as other Rotary meetings in 29 different countries.
Telfer is survived by his two sons, Stewart of Prescott, Arizona and Donald & his wife Merrily of Kirkland, Washington, sister Charlotte Scholey of Vernon, B.C.; five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and a host of friends.
A celebration of his life was held at 1pm Saturday, May 29th, 2004 at St. Johns’ Presbyterian Church, 1480 George Street, White Rock, B.C.
Remembrances may be made to the Rotary Foundation Canada, P.O. Box 9988. Postal Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 2J2 or Gizeh Shriners for Hospitals B.C. & Yukon, 3550 Wayburne Drive, Burnaby, B.C. v5G 3K9