John Primrose of Iroquois died at the Ottawa Civic Hospital on March 24, 2003, at the age of 89.
He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1913 and lost his mother shortly after birth. He spent much of his early life living with relatives before settling into the Quarrier Home in Bridge of Weir. He often reflected on how his time at the Quarrier Home gave him the guidance and rules that he lived by for the balance of his life, and which he passed on to his children. He had planned to take a trip to Scotland in the coming year, which was to include a visit to the Quarrier homes where he intended to pay his respects in the form of a donation to the establishment.
At 14 years of age, he was given the opportunity to travel to Canada and start a new life, so he left behind everything that was familiar to him and immigrated to Canada. He arrived in Canada in 1928 and settled in the Lanark, White Lake area of Ontario. He spent the early part of his years working for farmers. It was at one of these farms he met his future wife, Cora Helmer. In 1939, at 25 years of age, he and Cora were married and moved to Toronto. It was there they started their family which would eventually grow to include three daughters and three sons.
During the Second World War, he enlisted in the navy to help defend the country he had accepted as his homeland. At the end of the war, with a family then of one daughter and three sons, he moved to a farm on the third concession, just north of Iroquois. This would become the base for the Primrose family over the next 54 years.
Part of growing up on the third concession included an outdoor rink. He contributed a five-acre parcel of land for this purpose, and the rink became a mainstay of the community during the long winter months.
Mr. Primrose was a man who his neighbors on the third concession could always count on to help at harvest time. He was not a highly educated person, but the farm did not seem to offer enough challenge for him, so through on-the-job training and studying in the evenings, he became a stationary engineer. Throughout his professional career, he worked many years at Caldwell Linen Mill, and various plants in Brockville, before settling into Liquid Carbonic in Maitland where he spent his final 20 years of employment.
He retired from work in 1980 and spent the bulk of his time following retirement visiting his many children and grandchildren. After the death of his wife Cora, he moved to the seniors home in Iroquois where he become an active citizen. He became involved in local card games, the church and other activities about town.
He was a loyal Scotsman to the end and he loved to listen to Scottish music. He always kept up to date on current events. He loved political discussion, and he always had a strong opinion. He also had a lighter side and loved a good story. And he looked forward to the teasing he received from his daughters-in-law. He spent the final days for his life surrounded by his six children and many of his grandchildren, a reflection on how he was held in such high esteem by each and every member of his family.
He is survived by children Lottie (Geert) Grootjans of Oakville; John Jr. (Colleen) of Liverpool, Nova Scotia; Jim (Sandra) of Iroquois; Darcy (Marnie) of Prescott; Joan (Gary) Murphy of Burlington; and Helen McIntosh (Paul Judd) of Mississauga. He will be fondly remembered by eight grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Iroquoison March 26. The funeral service was held at the funeral homeon March 27, with Rev. Doug Carnegie officiating. Interment will be held at Iroquois Point Presbyterian Cemetery later in the spring. Donations to the Quarrier Home would be appreciated by the family.