Gary Southern during a fishing trip at Amor Lake in 1976. (Photo submitted)

Gary Southern during a fishing trip at Amor Lake in 1976. (Photo submitted)

Commemorating Gary Southern 40 years later

Sense of humour and a love of hunting and fishing trademarks of Saltair youth

Family and friends who knew Gary Southern best will always remember his great smile and sense of humour.

May 2 will mark 40 years since Southern died. He was just 17.

Gary was in an accident on April 16, 1981 when he fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the Trans Canada Highway between Ladysmith and Chemainus, hitting a tree. He died at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria 16 days later.

“It’s always with you,” said mom Nancy. “You think what would he be doing now?”

The son of Walt and Nancy Southern of Saltair always made things interesting with that trademark sense of humour.

“You never knew what to expect on April Fool’s Day,” said Nancy.

“Gary was very loyal to his friends and was loved and respected by them,” added sister Sheila. “He was also very protective of his sister.”

Many summers were spent camping on Tent Island with family, his friend Toby Hinton and Sheila’s friend Wendy Hatcher (Palou).

Touring around Tent Island in an aluminum boat and fishing occupied many hours. The family dog and even the family cat went along on the expeditions.

Sharing a passion with his dad, “he liked to hunt and he liked to fish,” added Nancy.

Gary was also very kind and caring, according to Sheila, and “loved to lend a helping hand wherever he could.”

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Gary Southern landing another fish at Tent Island in 1976. (Photo submitted)

Gary Southern landing another fish at Tent Island in 1976. (Photo submitted)

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