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"MAX" 2003 Obituary


MAXWELL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-03 published
Brian Alexander MAXWELL
By Sandy JENKINS Friday, January 3, 2003, Page A14
Geophysicist, musician, winemaker. Born October 2, 1954, at Miminska Lake, Ontario Died September 1, 2002, in Lagos, Nigeria, of a heart attack, aged 47.
Brian Alexander -- Sam -- MAXWELL was half Scottish, half Aboriginal and the greatest guy you could ever want to meet. He grew up in the beautiful town of Sioux Lookout, Ontario When he wasn't fishing he played bass in the popular local rock band called Core.
In 1974 he graduated with honours from high school, to the delight of his mother and father. Sam then moved to the University of Manitoba, where he received his B.Sc. in 1978. His passion for music brought him to Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he started a band called the Geeks. They developed a cult following but never had enough money to buy food (like his hero Neil Young and the Squires before them). He moved back to Winnipeg to do a master's in geophysics. When Texaco Canada was recruiting for its Calgary office, Sam showed up for the interview in his usual garb -- jeans and a Czech hockey sweater. Texaco hired him and he moved to Cowtown in September, 1982.
There he joined the growing Manitoba ex-pat community, and we became roommates. At a house in St. Andrew's Heights, Sam invented an infamous new way of playing table hockey, dubbed the "Maxwellian Defence." He thought nothing of inviting 40 people for turkey dinner. "No darts after 10 p.m." became his credo, which came to mean late-night antics were deemed not to have occurred. Sam was very quiet and low-key at work, but late-night arguments were his forte. He never took himself too seriously, evidenced by his trademark small smile and little laugh. Even today scientists are divided over Sam's controversial theory that drinking Big Rock beer negates hangovers.
We started jamming in our basement and Sam demonstrated a rare ability to turn complete buffoons into reasonably good guitar players. A prescient Sam insisted on taping the last performance shortly before the band's members followed their separate paths in 1988. These coveted bootleg tapes are known to collectors as "The Last Jam."
Sam was a passionate fan of the Winnipeg Jets and the Blue Bombers. He once walked out of a Bomber game at British Columbia Place during the third quarter, he was so outraged by the team's performance. Later, when the Big Blue won the Grey Cup in 1984, he shook coach Cal Murphy's hand and proclaimed he would never wash it again.
Sam was in a hockey pool with brothers Ron, Gord and Friends back in the Sioux. He was always perusing The Hockey News so he would be prepared for that summer's draft.
Sam absolutely loved his job as a geophysicist, although never enough to get to work on time. He did very well and Texaco rewarded him with overseas assignments.
In 1990 he married Nee in Thailand and was transferred to China, where they got busy raising a family. Ben (15), Angela (11) and Daniel (8), were his proudest achievements.
In China, his seismic mapping led to a significant oil discovery. Sam put another band together and they played regularly. He moved to Lagos, Nigeria, in 1994 and nurtured another group of guitar players until they were good enough to play at Bob's Bar (the best ex-pat bar in town, he said) every Friday night.
He was a devoted son and a proud brother, visiting Sioux Lookout regularly, most recently spending the Millennium New Year there. Nee brought him home for good and he was buried on September 11. The Geeks played Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door at the funeral.
He wasn't the best for keeping in touch, once saying: "I don't worry about that; I know Jenkins will always find me."
Sandy is a friend of Sam MAXWELL.

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MAXWELL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-22 published
June 6, 1922 - May 16, 2003.
Grant died peacefully in Victoria on May 16th, 2003 in the presence of loved ones. He is survived by his his loving and supportive family; his devoted wife of 56 years, Vivian (née MITCHENER) five children; Anne, Victoria; Mary (Bill ROBERTSON,) Saskatoon James (Marjory PORTER), Victoria; Kathleen (Darrel ANDERSON), Victoria; and, Gregory (Carrie HOLMQUIST,) Saskatoon, eight grandchildren: Joshua and Katie PENDLETON; Maxwell BRANDEL; Kristin, Melissa, and Adam MAXWELL; and, Emily and Michael MAXWELL; Vivian's surviving siblings Eileen and Cecil; and, numerous Friends across Canada, U.S.A., and Holland. Grant was predeceased by his children Thomas John, Christopher, and Christine, and by his parents Gilmour and Bridgette (ZETTA) MAXWELL of Plenty, Saskatchewan.
Grant had a dignified and distinguished career and life. He was born and raised on a farm near Plenty. After he finished high school in Plenty, he attended Saint Thomas More College, at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. While at university, he met Vivian and many life-long Friends. Grant graduated from the U of S in 1944.
From 1944-45, he served in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve on the Atlantic Seaboard. After completing his national duty, he and Vivian married and he began his media career and family.
A print, radio, and television, journalist for over fifty years, Grant's extensive career reflected his social conscience and ecumenical beliefs. He began his career as a radio news reporter and assistant news director with CFQC Radio (1946-48.) Moving on to newspaper journalism with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix (1949-59), he was a senior reporter and feature writer, and then the chief editorial writer for the newspaper.
Grant's deep religious faith guided him down a path that utilized his journalistic expertise while nurturing his spirit. From 1960-68, he was the Lay Director at the Saskatoon Catholic Centre. He was also a regular columnist with several Catholic newspapers, including the Prairie Messenger, Canadian Register, Western Catholic Reporter, and Our Family, between 1959-69. In the same time period, Grant and Vivian were the Canadian couple on the international writing committee of the Christian Family Movement based in Chicago. In 1967 Grant with Vivian were the Canadian delegates to the International Lay Congress of the Catholic Church. Between 1962-68, Grant was a regular panelist on the CFQC-television show ''In the Public Interest,'' and a Saskatchewan correspondent to the Globe and Mail.
In 1969 Grant and Vivian and family moved from Saskatoon to Ottawa where Grant had accepted a position as Co-Director, and later Director, of the Social Action Office, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. While working at this position from 1969 - 77, Grant researched, advised, and prepared draft policy statements on national, social and religious issues, including Project Feedback, a qualitative ''sounding at the grassroots'' of religious beliefs and church concerns across Canada. Also during this time (1972-75), Grant was a Canadian consultant with the International Pontificial Commission for Justice and Peace, Vatican City: Grant and Vivian met Pope Paul 6th while in Rome.
From 1977-81, Grant worked in Ottawa as a freelance journalist and consultant for numerous and varied clients such as the Department of the Secretary of State, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Conserver Society Project of the Science Council of Canada, the Vanier Institute of the Family, and the Committee of National Voluntary Organizations. During this time, he wrote the book Assignment in Chekiang detailing the 1902 - 54 experience of the Scarborough Foreign Mission Society in China.
In 1981, Grant and Vivian moved from Ottawa to Toronto. From 1981-86, Grant served as founding editor of ''Compass, '' a national magazine published by the Jesuits of English-speaking Canada. During this time, he was also a member of the writing team for ''Living with Christ, '' a monthly missalette of scriptural texts and commentary circulated to most Catholic parishes across Canada.
In 1986, Grant and Vivian left Toronto and semi-retired in Victoria, British Columbia. Grant's faith and desire to write kept him involved in several projects. In 1987 - 88 Grant wrote At Your Service: Stories of Canadians In Missions. From 1989-91, he co-edited Forward in the Spirit, a popular history of the ''People Synod'' published by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria. From 1992 - 94 he co-wrote and edited a book entitled Healing Journeys: The Ka Ka Wis Experience, which described the history of the Aboriginal residential counseling centre for the Ka Ka Wis Family Development Centre, Meares Island, B.C.
Throughout his life, Grant was also actively involved in his communities. He was an executive member of the Saskatchewan Association for Human Rights; the Saskatchewan Association for Adult Education a founding member of the Downtown Churches' Association of Victoria an occasional commentator on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio, Western Region; and a speaker at national, regional, and local events on both civic and religious topics.
Grant spent over twenty happy summers at Emma Lake with Vivian, his family, and many visiting Friends.
A respected journalist and community volunteer, Grant always made time for family and Friends. He was a loving husband, intellectual companion, and graceful dance partner to Vivian; a gentle, fair and compassionate teacher to his children; an affectionate, singing, cartoon-drawing storyteller to his grandchildren; and was warm and accepting of his relatives. He was a stimulating conversationalist and a loyal friend. Grant will be greatly missed by all until we meet his gentle soul again.
There will be a prayer service in Saskatoon at St. Philip's Church at 1902 Munroe Avenue (at Taylor Street) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, 2003.
The funeral and celebration of Grant's life will be held in Saskatoon at St. Philip's Church at 1902 Munroe Avenue at Taylor Street at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 213, 2003. A memorial celebration will be held in Victoria in the fall of 2003, and prior notice will be provided in this paper. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Development and Peace and/or the Friendship Inn, Saskatoon. Arrangements are entrusted to the Saskatoon Funeral (306-244-5577).

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