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History of the

 

WEST VANCOUVER FIRE SERVICE

Robert (Bob) Banks

 

BANKS Robert John "Bob," CD Flight Lieutenant RCAF (Ret.) of North Vancouver, B.C. born March 2,1923, passed away peacefully the evening of May 17, 2009. He is predeceased by his parents, sister Peggy, brother Bill, wife Elma, grandson Robbie and special friend Jean Scull. Bob is survived by his sister Dandy, sons Rory (Teri), Jeffrey (Donna), grandchildren Alana, Jennine and Jeremy, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Bob had many good friends, including his Northlands neighbours', his Aircrew Association friends, his fellow volunteers at the Vancouver Naval Museum and Heritage Society at HMCS Discovery, the "Black Gang", his friends from the Seaforth Highlanders Officers' Mess, the UNTD Association, everyone at the Royal Canadian Legion, West Vancouver Branch 60 and the West Vancouver Fire Service Museum as well as his fellow members of the West Vancouver Adult Pops Band. He will also be missed by his friends at the Transitional Care Unit at Evergreen House. A special thanks to the staff there, who helped care for him and brighten his days these last few months. Born on West 6th Avenue in the house his father built, a true Grandview boy, Bob was a Seaforth Highlanders cadet and went on to graduate from Vancouver Tech in 1941. He then attended UBC where he joined the COTC in 1942. In 1943 Bob joined the RCNVR, then the RCAF, serving until discharged as a Pilot Officer, Bomb Aimer in December 1944.Rejoining the RCAF Primary Reserve in 1954, he served until retiring in 1966 as a Flight Lieutenant. After the war, Bob attended the Vancouver School of Art, where he met, then married Elma in 1947. A 62 year career in commercial art followed, where he did work for such firms as Crown Zellerbach, Domtar, Macmillan Bloedel, CANFOR, CP Air, Air Canada, BC Rail and BC Transit, where he achieved some measure of fame with the cartoons he did for the "Buzzer", viewed by thousands of bus commuters from 1955 until 1975. Bob illustrated textbooks for J.M. Dent in the beginning of his career and covers for the Law Society of British Columbia's "Advocate" journal from 1977 until 1999. Bob also worked on three centennials for the provincial government, creating Century Sam and Centennial Sue, well known cartoon figures. He also produced calendars and paintings for the RCMP and art work for Pacific Yachting magazine. In his later years, Bob was bitten by the travel bug, cruising to various world ports and flying to Europe, Las Vegas and L.A. As he started to slow down, he embraced computers. He also loved cars, evident in his many paintings and the 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe he owned until recently.

Banks Painting of BuildingRS

A selection of Bob's paintings

     owned by the museum

Bob Banks

Bob was a great friend of the society and a long standing Honoury member; and we will treasure the wonderful paintings he did for us. Our heartfelt best wishes go to Bob’s family and friends.

Click on image to enlarge