George and I had many good chats together
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 chase.....no 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.
Ministry of Education Ontario (Retired)
Executive Director, International Assn. of Jazz Educators (Canada) (reti
Thinking of you at this sad time. RIP
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.
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