James Alan DUNCAN


Jim Duncan (Big Jim) passed away peacefully in Vancouver on January

7, 2008 at age 63. Jim was an intellectual, friend, mentor, confi dante,

entrepreneur, adventurer, raconteur, and a free man.

People were drawn to Jim because of his open ear, his wonderful story-

telling, and his deep, hearty laugh. He befriended animals and people

and was a true champion of the underdog. Jim possessed a great hunger

for knowledge; he owned thousands of books on topics ranging from

history and politics to cooking, and he read them all. He delved into

magic tricks, science and philosophy. Conversation and debate were

daily essentials.

Jim loved life and lived it on his terms. He opened the Aspidistra Res-

taurant in 1969 – spearheading the initial redevelopment of Gastown,

he sailed around the world, he became a respected tradesman and

builder in the Lower Mainland, and he worked many summers in Rivers

Inlet constructing and maintaining the Big Spring Fishing Camp.

Jim’s nieces and nephews lit up when Uncle Jim was around, and he

delighted in planning unique treats and gifts for their annual Christmas


Jim is survived by his son Douglas, his wife Laura, mother Maida and

father Morris, all of Vancouver, his brothers John (Mary) of Campbell

River and Ian (Dianne) of St. Louis, his nieces and nephews Adrienne

Edison (Mike), Ian, Natalie, John, Maida, Carolyn, Eleanor, and Eileen,

and by numerous cousins. He was great uncle to Samuel

Beckett James Edison.

Big Jim is sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

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