August 6, 1929 – December 5, 2020
Ken Phillips, long-time pillar of business in CR, dies at 91.
Long-time Campbell River resident and pillar and support of business in the community Ken Phillips, former owner of the Royal Coachman Neighbourhood Pub, died within hours of being admitted to CR Hospital on Saturday, Dec. 5.
The previous member of the RCMP and one-time branch manager for the Federal Business Development Bank (FBDB) had been bed-ridden in poor health at his home on South Alder Street for several years, and had taken a sudden turn for the worse.
He leaves an extensive family and a lengthy legacy of substantial contributions to local charities and sports-team sponsorships. He took special pride in his sponsorship of the Royal Coachman Wave, Junior Wave and Strikers soccer teams and of the RC men’s rugby team.
He leaves sons Ian and Michael (Alana), five grandchildren: Taylor (Jacey), Samantha (Jesse), Bryanne, Kieran (Olivia) and Liam; as well as great-grandsons Knox, Jack and Nash, and great granddaughter Aven.
Born in Vancouver Aug. 6, 1929 and raised there, Ken went into the logging industry in his teens prior to graduating from grade school. By then, he and buddy had already applied to join the RCMP.
Ken had been turned down at that time as being under-age. In 1948, however, after he turned 19, he was informed he had been accepted for training at the RCMP’s centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. That led to five years in the Force, which he greatly enjoyed, but he couldn’t get a posting outside Manitoba, which he did not. So he resigned to come back to his beloved BC, and for a time worked in northern BC for General Motors Acceptance, as a vehicle-repossession representative, until joining the FBDB.
In 1972, Ken was appointed CR branch manager for the Development Bank and moved here with wife Sylvia, whom she had met in 1956 and married in 1957. The couple quickly build and set up the family home on South Alder. They opened and operated the first Royal Coachman pub, the first neighbourhood pub in CR, in 1978, across the street from the current location. Ken designed and opened the current pub’s iconic Tudor-style building, which included a highly-regarded catering business in 1986.
A close friend of numerous prominent business people and community leaders in CR, Ken was a strong and active member of both CR Rotary Club and a 32nd Degree Mason, and extremely supportive of the local museum and numerous cultural events and programs, with a love of music and reading, having a background in playing in the pipe band for the 48th and 72nd Highlanders pipe bands in Toronto during the early 1970s.
A one-time leader of the Boy Scouts in Vancouver in 1960, he also took pride in being a representative of CR in a honoured delegation flown to the Netherlands in May one year to mark the anniversary of that country’s liberation by Canadian troops during World War II.
Ken was predeceased by his parents and all of his siblings except for one brother. At his wish, there will be no services. He is to be cremated and the ashes scattered by the family at a local waterfall in order to be as close as possible to the forest and BC nature which he loved so much.
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