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Alumnus Russell Brown named to Canada's Supreme Court
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Justice Russell Brown to the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Justice Brown brings to the Court wide experience as a law professor and legal scholar, a barrister, and a judge at both the trial court and appellate levels. His appointment is the result of broad consultations with prominent members of the legal community and we are confident he will be a strong addition to Canada’s highest court.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
The Obituary for Alumnus O'CONNOR-PARSONS, Shaun
It is with heavy hearts that the family of Shaun O'Connor-Parsons announces his passing on September 9, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Shaun is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Penny; daughters Leslie-Lou, Robin, Anthea (Sandy), Tansy (Adam) and son Smith. He was also the beloved grandfather ("Papa") to Imogen, Lila and Max. Shaun was born in Dore, Sheffield, England on June 15, 1939 to parents Joan and Eric O'Connor-Parsons and is survived by his adored sister Sue (Morvin).
An alumnus of Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, Shaun lived and worked in India and Africa prior to settling in Canada in 1966. He embraced the Canadian winters by cultivating a lifelong passion for skiing in the majestic Rocky Mountains, a passion that he instilled in his children and grandchildren. During the summer months, Shaun could be found on the rugby field. A founding member of the Clansmen Rugby Club, Shaun loved everything about the sport – the camaraderie, the teamwork, the sportsmanship and the excitement - both on and off the field.
In addition to being a wonderful husband and a doting father, Shaun was a great friend and business associate to many who will miss his loyalty, charm and cheeky wit. May he rest in peace and may his joie de vivre live on in all of us.
Shaun's family thanks the medical staff at the University of Alberta Hospital for their compassionate care and kindness during his illness. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Cross Cancer Institute.
There will be a celebration of Shaun's life on Friday, September 18 (4-7 p.m.) at Ellerslie Rugby Park.
Alumnus Darren Cunningham Named Top 40 Under 40 Edmonton!
Why He’s Top 40: He’s making cool furniture out of reclaimed wood for high-profile clients while also raising money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
If you could change one thing about Edmonton, what would it be? “Our confidence in ourselves. We get beat up a little bit by the rest of Canada, and I think that we have some of the most inspirational people in the country in this city. That, or build a biodome.”
Wood carries memories in its grains. Darren Cunningham enjoys seeing a well-worn plank live beyond its last incarnation; often, his work ends up an everyday part of a family home.
“Honestly, there’s nothing better in my job — no matter how many obstacles we’ve had building the furniture — than when we bring a dining room table to a family on delivery day. That still gives me goosebumps.”
Cunningham and his father started working with reclaimed wood as a hobby in 2010. Soon after their first tables appeared on social media, they were inundated with custom requests. Cunningham decided to leave the day-to-day operations of his first company, Hydra Chem, to focus on carpentry full-time. Urban Timber was born, and now the company sees wood come in from unique and storied places; recently, planks from the original 1844 Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee came Cunningham's way.
Around town, you could be leaning on Urban Timber’s work in eateries like Ampersand 27, Cured Wine Bar or the Black Pearl Seafood Bar. Soon, folks in Victoria, B.C., and Calgary will get Urban Timber storefronts of their own.
Growing up in Regina, Sask., carpentry was a constant in the Cunningham home. “Our house was a full-time job for me,” he says. There were projects constantly being built inside and out. His mom, May, was an expert finisher until she began suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. After years of decline, she had to be placed in a full-time care facility in 2014. The experience was taxing on Cunningham and his father, but it inspired the Wood to Remember fund, which raises money for the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories.
“It was important to us to set it up with the furniture, because my dad and I both have a stamp on it.” To date, they have raised over $20,000 for Alzheimer’s research in the province.
Reclaimed wood can be a frustrating medium, too, he admits. “If they wanted to do a reality show around this business, they wouldn’t have to add any drama in. They wouldn’t have to throw in a raccoon on the roof,” he laughs. “When we build a table, we never know what we’re going to get into.
It is with a heavy heart that I bring you the sad news of the passing of Dan Williams a much valued and early member of The Clan. Dan passed away at the Nanaimo Hospital March 31st 2016. We have passed on the well wishes of our membership to Dan’s family.