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Up the Gatineau! Online Articles

The following article was first published in Up the Gatineau! Volume 26.

Pat Evans, Neighbour and Friend

by Bill Pawley

I first met Pat Evans in 1967, when Cathy and I moved into a little house in Gleneagle almost next door to him. The Dolgins soon joined us as neighbours, and we formed a deep friendship with him that endures to this day.

Pat took great interest in the Pawley and Dolgin children, and they in him, and be became very interested in their growing up. He watched them learn to swim and sail at his beloved yacht, club, and followed their progress in school and university. When our daughter Kim used to scream with colic as an infant and Cathy would be despairing, Pat would appear and ask if he could hold her. Usually Kim would quiet down and fall asleep in his arms.

Patrick Michael Oldfield Evans
Pat Evans in the RCAF, 1943. Photo: HSG Archives, Pawley donation.

For most of those 34 years we had Pat come over for Christmas, and he truly was a member of our family on these festive occasions. He and my mother-in-law would argue over the methodology of genealogical research, and as they both grew older and deafer their shouting matches often drowned out normal conversation at the table!

In the early 1970s Pat followed us to Larrimac and had Jimmy Brown build him a house next to ours. The Dolgins followed a short while later, so once again we were next-door neighbours. My daughter Kim reminded me recently that Pat would always have gingersnaps and milk ready for the kids when they got off the school bus. He entertained them with stories of local history, instilling in them a love of history that has lasted to the present time.

One of Pat's great loves was sailing, and he was instrumental in forming the Gatineau River Yacht Club, along with Al Richens, Gerry Byers, Ivan Herbert and John Winfield, over 35 years ago. "Skipper," as he was nicknamed, served on its executive for many years, and hundreds of local children learned to swim, sail, and socialize on the island site of the club. Pat finally had to give up sailing, but his love of the river and the club remained with him until the very end. Last summer he enjoyed his last trip on Gatineau River, from Gleneagle to Wakefield, thanks to the Club's present commodore, David Maitland.

Another of Pat's great passions was the Scouting movement. Many local boys and young men benefited from his leadership, counseling and dedication as a scoutmaster. His lifelong association with scouting culminated in Governor General Jules Leger presenting him with the Silver Wolf Medallion, Scouting's highest honour.

In some ways, the past year was a very happy one for Pat. He enjoyed living at the Manoir de Wakefield, where Huguette and Jacques Chenier and their staff did a wonderful job of looking after him. He loved racing around Wakefield on his "scooter," he had a rapt audience to listen to his historical ramblings, and he was recognized by the Historical Society of The Gatineau, the Boy Scouts, the Yacht Club and the Genealogical Society for his dedicated service to them all.

He was a good neighbour and a staunch friend to our families, and we will never forget him.


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