White Rock’s Cliff Annable ‘lived a life that mattered’

Hundreds gather to remember affable 71-year-old

It’s been said many times that Cliff Annable had an impact on countless people.

Friday, that impact could be seen in the packed seats at Peace Portal Alliance Church, where hundreds gathered to pay a final tribute to the family man, former politician, astute businessman and tireless community supporter.

Annable died unexpectedly on March 5, after suffering a heart attack.

READ MORE: ‘Incredible friend and supporter’ Cliff Annable remembered

Friday afternoon, however, the focus wasn’t on how Annable died, but on the legacy he left on and around the Semiahmoo Peninsula – from how he treated those around him and his innate business sense, to the efforts he put into various community initiatives and organizations.

Accounts from close friends and business associates, as well as Annable’s sisters and two children, evoked both tears and laughter from attendees – but mostly laughter.

Jeff Richards, who knew the 71-year-old for more than 20 years, recounted how the affable fellow Rotarian would call him early “just to see if I was up yet,” send cute cat videos and tell the same stories three times over.

South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce president Adam Smith recalled meeting Annable about 12 years ago, at the South Surrey Boston Pizza.

His sense of humour was quickly apparent, Smith said.

, noting Annable was looking at him like “the big Cheshire cat looking at the mouse or the small toy.”

James Purcell, a fellow member of Semiahmoo Rotary, said Annable “told it the way he saw it.”

“He was very direct,” Purcell said.

The former owner of the Surrey Eagles and past executive director of the chamber was also big on helping young people succeed, said Purcell, noting Annable was chair of Semiahmoo Rotary’s youth committee this year.

He is to be recognized at the Rotary 5050 District Conference next month, Purcell added.

Longtime friend Gordie Hogg – MP for South Surrey-White Rock – paused to look up at a larger-than-life photo of Annable smiling out at attendees before sharing some of his fondest memories, including a couple of questions from one of the last emails Annable sent, one of which mused over the logic of why buttons on men’s clothing are on the opposite side of those on women’s clothing.

Hogg said Annable had an uncanny memory for dates, was “an encyclopedia of interesting but mostly irrelevant information,” and “wasn’t shy to tell you if you had crossed a line.”

He was extremely loyal, superstitious and a clean freak, but also had a knack not just for business, but for easing uncomfortable situations – including the time an ambulance attendant noted paperwork that accompanied Annable for a hospital procedure indicated the patient was scheduled for a hysterectomy.

“Even in those trying circumstances, he could laugh at the mistake and make them feel comfortable,” Hogg said.

Hogg described Annable’s wife of 49 years, Maureen, as “his edit button… his compass that got him back on track.”

Annable’s daughter Janet said she was “truly honoured and proud to be able to call this amazing man my father.” She was also grateful that her dad got to meet his newest grandchild, born just three weeks ago.

Annable’s son, Shawn, said his dad was a role model who could be stubborn, but “loved us unconditionally.”

Much more was said in the church Friday afternoon, and it was clear that those who spoke could have continued to share memories and anecdotes of their years with Annable for many more hours.

One succinct line from Hogg encapsulated the gamut: “He lived a life that mattered.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Influx of cross-border visitors to Peace Arch Park sparks concern COVID-19 could spike

Police, parks officials say patrols, education and signage have all been increased

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Police asking for help to find 11-year-old last seen in Surrey

Shauntae Joseph has been reported missing two other times since October 2019

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen Monday with new COVID-19 safety measures: spokesperson

June 1 reopening to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Langley Lodge ordered to swab all residents staff, new cases discovered

Four new cases – two residents and two staff – have been confirmed at the long-term care home

Most Read

l -->