I woke up Sept. 14 to the very sad news about my longtime friend and former colleague, Clive Tanner, passing away in the company of his loving family in his Sidney home.
I first met Clive in 1991 shortly after the BC Liberals won 17 seats in the BC Legislature. It was the beginning of a new era in B.C. politics and in my life, and his life as well.
He will be remembered as a blunt and honest man who just felt the need to say what needed to be said. He often shocked and almost scared people, but I enjoyed both of those traits. I found them challenging and refreshing at the same time.
He was kind, gentle, helpful, dependable and reliable. He was loyal to his wife, family, and friends, and determined in his quest to turn Sidney into a book town.
I will always remember how excited he was to learn that I play billiards. He loved billiards but nobody wanted to play with him. I accepted the challenge and was determined to not go easy on him. He lost game after game after game. He was so surprised and bothered by this, yet never gave up.
One day he met someone in Sidney who was a semi-pro in billiards. He asked the guy for some tips and then for some lessons. For weeks he had no time for a game and I thought he had lost interest. Then, months later, he challenged me to a game. He had a huge smile on his face and ‘let’ me go first. Once he got his turn, there was no stopping him. He sunk ball after ball after ball, and even used some trick shots rebounding off two sides before the sink.
I was speechless and just had to sit down. The transformation was amazing and then he sat beside me to explain. I could only tell him how impressed I was — not only that he played so very well, but that he went out to get help dealing with something he knew he could overcome.
Whether it was giving help or getting help — that was Clive Tanner. A great man, a great friend … a man who got the most out of life boldly and bravely, and with determination and conviction every step of the way.
RIP Clive Tanner — thank you for enjoying our friendship. My sincere condolences to Christine and the rest of the growing family.
Maple Ridge, B.C.