Former Benedictine sportsman Anthony Blake dies at 91
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Author:  LankaLibrary [ Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Former Benedictine sportsman Anthony Blake dies at 91

Former Benedictine Sportsman par excellence Anthony Kingsley Blake dies at 91 in Burnaby, B.C.

May 5, 1915 - April 10, 2006

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Former Benedictine sportsman par excellence, Anthony Kingsley Blake passed away peacefully on April 10, 2006 in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, surrounded by his loving wife and loved ones. He is predeceased by his son of 19 days, Algernon Kingsley and his siblings Irene, Joe, Annesley, Shirley and Terrence.

He will be deeply and lovingly missed by Esme (his wife for 65 years), his son Aubrey, daughter Christine (Dylan) Modder, grandchildren Nadine (Kendall) Hoult, Nigel Blake, Dirk (Tonami) van den Driesen, Adrian (Christi) Blake, Jennine (Chris) Trenholme, and his great grandchildren Jenna and Danielle Hoult, Vanessa Blake, Akari and Colin van den Driesen, Mya Blake, Miliya and Anjuli Trenholme.

Kingsley immigrated to Vancouver from Sri Lanka on September 7, 1965 with his wife and two children. He lived life to its fullest and enjoyed every minute of it. He leaves behind nieces and nephews and many friends and relatives who will miss his presence but will always enjoy the wonderful memories he has left them.

Prayers at St. Theresa's Roman Catholic Church on Monday April 17, at 7 p.m. Viewing after service. A Mass of Thanksgiving for the life of Kingsley will be held at St. Theresa's on Tuesday, April 18, at 1:30 p.m. Interment at Forest Lawn Cemetery at 3 p.m.

Anthony Kingsley Blake (known in Canada as Anthony but to family and friends, Kingsley) was born on May 5, 1915, and celebrated his 90th birthday on May 5, 2005.

An outdoor party was held at his home with about 50 of his close friends in attendance. It was a warm Vancouver spring evening with a beautiful setting of tea-lights around the garden and the man-made waterfall, making for a fabulous event.

After the usual many rounds of drinks and appetizers, everyone moved into the house for a scrumptious dinner at about 10 p.m.

Anthony was a boarder at St. Benedict's through most of his school career. He was a keen and enthusiastic sportsman having figured in almost all the sporting activities of the College.

He was a member of the First Eleven cricket team for three years and showed good form both in bowling and batting. For the same three years he found a place in the College 1st Eleven soccer team. He won his colours in both branches of the game. He played in the College Volleyball "A" team for one year.

"Play the Game" he did throughout his life not only in sports but also in work, and life towards his friends and family. He was always there to lend a helping hand.

After leaving College, Anthony followed in his father's footsteps and became a draughtsman in the Survey Department where he worked for 30 years. He was well known in Ceylon for making cake structures, and many a shape, from Yuri Gagarin's sputnik (when he visited Ceylon) to houses, bridges, poruwas, horseshoes and traditional 3-tier structures were made by him.

Anthony immigrated to Canada with his wife (Esme nee Ebert - an old girl of Good Shepherd Convent) son Aubrey and Christine in 1965. He was 50 years old then.

In Canada after a couple of temporary jobs he settled in Canada Post and worked until he was 65 years of age. Having served in the army voluntary force in Ceylon he was then able to join the Commissioner of Corps where he worked until he was 72 years of age.

Anthony was known for his generosity. Many in Vancouver would remember Christmas starting off with a party Anthony’s around the middle of December. Lampries was the order of the day with no other than Esme cooking it - she is known for her fabulous lampries. She says she gets too tired to cook it now. Anthony would buy gifts for everyone.
He would cut a pack of cards in half and pass out one half of the red to the females with the corresponding half in a box, and similarly he would pass one half of the black to the males. It would then be a lucky dip for your Christmas gifts. A lot of thought went into this and he would start again from early the next year picking up little things. It was a wonderful time had by about 60 people each year.

Anthony was always kept active and besides enjoying gardening he was in a five-pin bowling team and played in league tournaments until the age of 85, winning many "top bowler" awards.

He was a good billiard player and enjoyed a good game of bridge until a couple of years ago. He used to play the occasional game of bridge and billiards with family and friends until recently.

In the 40 years he has been in Canada, his family has grown. Besides his two children he now has five grandchildren and seven great.
2005 was a big year for Esme and Anthony. Not only did Anthony celebrate his 90th birthday, but they also celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on November 18. A grand party was held to mark the occasion.

Anthony and Esme lived independently and it was wonderful to see them work together, especially in cooking.

Later, life became a bit slower and quieter. The early stages of Alzheimer's had made Anthony a little forgetful but that did not stop him from gardening, dancing, reminiscing of old times and playing the occasional game of billiards and bridge with friends and family. "Anthony and Esme were a wonderful set of parents,” says daughter Christine Modder. They have been loving, supportive of all I have done, and most of all they have been a great role model to our whole family.”

(Courtesy: The Sri Lankan Anchorman)

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