Manitoba Music Museum

The Manitoba Music Museum is a website dedicated to the Musicians of Manitoba.

GEORGE DOUGLAS - St.JOHNS MUSIC

GEORGE DOUGLAS Born in 1947, I was followed two years later by my brother Wes. After the usual sibling rivalries, Wes became much more than a brother, serving as a close friend, confidante and sometime business associate. During and after high school I flirted with a career in flying, proudly telling everyone that I was flying airplanes five years before I got a drivers licence. In 1973, I married my wonderful wife Joanne and immediately acquired four new brothers and four new sisters. The Potter family immediately welcomed me into that extended family and I have been a close part of it ever since. My father passed away in 1975 and I assumed control of the family business - St. Johns Music. With an outstanding group of business associates assisted by myself, we were able to grow the business from a small 1700 square foot store front to seven stores in seven cities across Canada, a distribution centre and became the second largest retailer of musical instruments in Canada. In 1977 I joined the Assiniboia Optimist Club and this put me in contact with many great community minded men and women, with many of those friendships enduring to this day. That same year I co-chaired and co-ordinated the Optimist Band Festival, a position I held for over twenty-five years and saw the Festival grow from a handful of bands to become Canada's largest concert and jazz band festival. In 1993, I was honoured to receive the Award of Distinction for outstanding contributions to music education by the Manitoba Band Association. This award furthered my belief that, while those in the music community were my customers, I really regarded them as partners in our shared goals to improve music and music education in Manitoba and across Canada. In order to meet my goal of an early retirement at fifty-five, we made the difficult decision to sell St. Johns Music in 2003. This allowed me the opportunity to travel all over the world, setting foot on all seven continents, further my reading, my music (classical, of course), expand my fishing and hunting opportunities and of course to spend time in my favourite place of all, our cottage at Muriel Lake. To all of my friends who have been so supportive over these last difficult weeks and months, you have all enriched my life beyond words. To my wife Joanne, who I love so dearly, who has put up with my mistakes, my foolishness and my verbal indiscretions, no man could have ever asked for anyone better. While in Thailand a few years ago, I spent some time in the River Kwai area and visited a POW cemetery. On a modest headstone of a young British soldier was inscribed It's always springtime in the garden of memory. For many of my friends, I hope your remembrance of me will hold many springtimes in the garden of your memories. Please accept a fond farewell to you all. A reception to celebrate George's life will be held Tuesday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m. at Canad Inns, Club Regent, 1415 Regent Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Rainbow Stage (1993) Inc., 200-180 Market Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B OP7. THOMSON IN THE PARK 925-1120 Condolences may be sent to www.thomsoninthepark.com

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on March 24, 2012