In Celebration of

Rev. George A. C. Dunkley

October 24, 1938 -  November 10, 2018

Rev. George A. C. Dunkley
Mus.Bac., M.Mus., A.R.C.T., F.T.C.L.
of Mississauga, Ontario, passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord in the early morning of Saturday 10 November 2018, after a difficult struggle with pancreatic cancer, which, even in the last few months of his life, did not diminish his zeal for helping others in their times of need.
He was born in Toronto and lived in his early years on Oakwood Avenue, not far from where his father, Albert Wesley Dunkley had been a vice principal and a teacher at Oakwood Collegiate, and where his mother, Gladys Elizabeth Comba, encouraged his budding interest as a musician.

He was happily married for 57 years to Dr. Colleen Rose Dunstan, who was able to care for him during his last few weeks in their new residence in Mississauga, near St. Peter's Erindale Anglican Church, where he was an associate priest, with a particular ministry visiting the sick and the dying.
They were the proud parents of three marvelous sons: George Gregory (grand-daughter Codi-Lyn and grand-son Christian); Derek John (wife Wendy Pak and grand-daughters Adela and Sierra); and David Michael (wife Caminee Blake and grand-daughters Sahana and Sitara).

George's interest and talents in music, especially the pipe organ, were in early evidence. He even performed during a tour of well-known organ sites, under the aegis of his teacher, Gordon Langlois, when only 16 years old. He documented these talents with a Mus. Bac. from the University of Toronto, and later a Master in Music from the Rochester Eastman School of Music. He added later studies in Divinity, as he was preparing to be ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada.

He taught Music at Etobicoke Collegiate for two years, and then was Head of Music (and a teacher of mathematics) at Vincent Massey Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke from 1961 to 1980, and then, from 1980 to 1993, he was Director of Music at Ridley College in St. Catherines, Ontario.
All this while, from 1962 -1980, he was organist and director of music at the Church of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields in west Toronto.
It was while he was teaching at Ridley College that he firmed up his early desire to become a priest in the Anglican Church (following on a family tradition).
He was ordained deacon and then a while later he became a priest, in the Anglican Church, all the while busily studying and being involved in working in the Diocese of Caledonia, including work among the Indigenous communities in northwestern B.C., working in Kitimat, Greenville, Prince Rupert, and other parts of the Diocese of Caledonia.
Among his other interests were the family cottages near and in Kincardine, which provided great enjoyment for both Colleen and him, and where he was a regular summer-time musician and priest. They were also able to make several trips overseas in Europe, traveling to some of the musical sites which they loved so much.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that persons wishing to remember George in a special way do so by donating to the refugee family fund at St Peter's Erindale Anglican Church and/or to a charity of their choice, in George's memory.


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Bill Higgins 

Entered November 15, 2018 from Mississauga

George and I had many good chats together

Bernard Turcotte (Former colleague)

Entered November 17, 2018 from Mississauga, Port Credit

I have a great remembrance of George that I would like to share. I knew George when he was a student at U of T working on his Mus Bac degree. Several years later George and I along with 6 other educators were hired by the teacher's federation in Ontario to prepare a Teaching Guideline for new teachers of this new subject in the schools called Instrumental Music. This was back in the mid to late 1960s. We were a writing team of 8 educators drawn from across the province and we had to have the job done and wrapped up in 6 weeks during the summer vacation.
The assignment was not going well........we had a lot of philosophers and talkers who wouldn't get down to work and start writing text ......on top of that we had a project leader of the same mentality. Things were not happening.. Deadlines were approaching and we had no firm and evolving draft format.....Myself, another colleague from London, Bob Head, and George were troubled by all of this inaction and wasteful energy so we decided that enough is enough and we are going to get this job done and on time and it is going to be good. The three of us realized why we were hired so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work..... It was time .....
George as a member of our party of three rebels was an amazing resource.... no nonsense....cut to the BS kind of guy.....with a respected track record as a professional teacher. He was a real person and a worker. He was a solid contributor of ideas and texts. Once the three of us started doing the work that had to be done within two weeks we had a final draft to offer our employers......two of our nuisance members were cajoled into doing extended research on subjects we would never use....but they loved it and the others agreed to help us edit texts.....we got our book published and it remained a functioning document in Ontario Schools for a at least a good 20 years or so.....All of us were very proud of our document and so was our employer.
George was such a joy to work with. He had knowledge. He had skills. He had believable and excellent credentials as an Instrumental Music professional in Secondary School. He was a consummate professional not only as a musician but as an educational professional as well. But more important he was a real and a nice guy who was sincere, trustworthy and who cared deeply for his craft and his art. We were all very proud to have George as a colleague. He was in a way a role model for all of us. Because he cared and he believed the way he did our rebel group of three rallied around that energy to produce the document that we did. When we finished all of the members of the committee were proud of the work that was done and they all supported our initiatives. Our employer the OSSTF was especially delighted because the document stayed in circulation for a long time and was used in teacher training institutions all over the province as well as in other provinces of Canada as well.
George, thanks for the memories. RIP old friend.

Bernard Turcotte
Ministry of Education Ontario (Retired)
Executive Director, International Assn. of Jazz Educators (Canada) (reti

Mary McGrath (friend of Colleen)

Entered November 23, 2018 from Toronto

Thinking of you at this sad time. RIP

Cathy Paxton (former student)

Entered November 26, 2018 from Etobicoke

When I think about George and how he has influenced my life and the lives of my husband and I as a couple, I am astounded at the depth of influence he had.
I first met George in September of 1964 as a grade nine music student. He knew my name on the first day of music class. I had no idea what part this kind teacher would have in shaping my life journey. ( I also have no idea how he knew my name so early!).
George was a kind and patient teacher. He encouraged many, including myself and my husband. As a result of George's interest and encouragement, I actually modelled myself after him in my career choice and became a secondary school music teacher after graduating from U of T with my Mus. Bac., A.R.C.T. and B. Ed. degrees.
George cared for my growing faith during my days as a high school student and I can give him credit for me becoming an Anglican at age 20.
I also give George credit for me having known my present husband (Robert Thornley) in high school. Robert and I re-connected 44 years later and who should we ask to officiate at our wedding, but George? We hold him responsible for our very happy union. And for months after our wedding, the first thing that George would ask me was , "How are things?" (I divorced my first husband and George in his caring wanted to make sure that he'd done the right thing! Bless him!)
The world has lot a fine person, a talented musician and a person who put the needs of others before himself. May he rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.

Rev Rob and Sandra Hiscox (Friends)

Entered December 6, 2018 from Kincardine, Ontario

Dear Colleen and family:
Rev George was a wonderful presence and help within our Circle of Faith Parish. His friendliness and joy was evident in all that he did, and he will be missed.
Please accept our condolences and know that we are thinking of you all at this time.
Sincerely, Rob and Sandra Hiscox


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