October 15, 1925 – January 13, 2021
We are saddened to announce the passing of our mother, mother in law, Grandma, GG and friend Joan Banner, Joan passed away on January 13, 2021 with her children nearby. She lived a long life and was much loved by her family and her community in Sooke.
Joan Millicent Poole was born on October 15, 1925 in the tiny village of Callow End near Malvern, England. She was the youngest of five children born to Henry and Annie Poole. After the early death of her parents, Joan and three of her siblings entered the Royal Albert Orphanage in Worcester. Joan lived there from 1931 until 1941 when she left to go into service in a large private home.
At age 17, she joined the Army as a cook’s helper. In Farnborough, Joan met a handsome Canadian soldier, Walter Banner, and the rest is history! Walt and Joan married and moved to Canada in 1946. Walt was sent home in April and Joan followed in August. She sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Halifax on a war bride ship called the Aquitania.
In Halifax, she purchased her first banana, a Star Weekly magazine and a pair of nylon stockings – items not available in wartime England. Joan travelled by train across Canada for five days. She had many interesting stories to tell about this trip.
The young couple first stayed in Shirley with Walt’s parents and then rented several houses until they settled on acreage on Grant Road. Tragically, Walt died of cancer in 1962 and Joan was left to raise their six children on her own. Joan had many difficult times in her life but was able to face them with her drive and determination to make things better for her family. She said that she appreciated the support from family and friends in Sooke during these years.
She loved to laugh and had a quick wit that endeared her to friends and strangers alike. Her cheeky sense of humour was admired and encouraged by her family. When her children were young, Joan was an active member of the Mothers’ Union at the Sooke Anglican Church and she and Walt ensured that their children were all active in sports, especially softball.
She learned to drive when Walt was ill and after his death, she drove the kids all around in a packed four seater Hillman Husky car.
Joan was so pleased when her relatives from England would come to visit her in Sooke – her cousin Muriel, her beloved brother Ray and his wife Iris and her nephew John and wife Judy and their children David and Sarah.
Over the years, Joan enjoyed several trips back to England where she had so much fun seeing all of her family and observing the rebuilt Coventry. She loved to write letters to England and was thrilled when she went to the mailbox and received their letters. Until a couple of years ago, Joan exchanged Christmas cards with two sisters, that were her friends in the orphanage!
Joan loved animals of all kinds. Her own dog and cats had distinct personalities and she enjoyed telling stories about their antics. She also fed many deer, birds, “spare” cats, neighbourhood dogs and raccoons that came into her yard. She often had biscuits in her jacket pocket to treat random dogs.
Joan was predeceased by her husband Walt, her partner Richard Arden and recently her daughter Julie Mann. She is survived by her children Mike (Margaret), Gail (Walt) Cook, Rick (Diane), Len (Lori), Jill (Rod) Cook, son in law Greg Mann and 3 nephews and their wives and families in England. She was the proud grandma and GG to 13 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Joan is survived by many generations of the Banner family.
The family and friends will gather together to celebrate and honour our much loved mom when circumstances allow. Please enjoy a glass of good rye in Joan’s honour! Obituary
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