posted on 8:59 PM, March 16, 2010
John Mark Powles
John Powles 1948-2010
John Powles passed away at Lions Gate Hospital on March 14. He fought a long battle with cancer with grace and courage and was an inspiration to all.
He leaves behind his wife Michelle, parents Cyril and Marjorie Powles, his brother Peter and sister-in-law Momoko Suzuki-Powles, his step-daughter Marie Anick Brazeau and son-in-law, Marc-Andre Vinson and his beloved grand-children Katherine and Erik Vinson. He will be missed by his family members, friends and colleagues who supported him throughout his illness, for which we are extremely grateful.
The family wishes to further express its gratitude to the treating physicians, especially Dr. Paul Sugar and Dr. Paul Klimo, and the Oncology and Palliative Care Departments’ dedicated staff who treated John with compassion as the valiant man that he was and not only as a patient with a terminal disease.
John was brought up in Japan where he lived and worked half of his life. His career started at Expo ‘70 in Osaka, work which led to a management position with the Canadian government’s Department of Expositions, where he eventually became responsible for all international expositions in which Canada participated. In 1987, he joined the Council of Forest Industries as Director of Asia and Japan Operations, based in Tokyo. He was the first non-Japanese to receive the Ministry of Construction Award. He also served as President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan.
Back in Vancouver, he founded an international trade consulting company, and became the President of the Canada Japan Society for 8 of the past 11 years. In 2005, the Premier of British Columbia appointed John head of the Japan Market Advisory Group under the aegis of the Asia Pacific Trade Council. In 2008, the Japanese Government announced that he would receive the Order of the Rising Sun Golden Rays, in recognition of his lifelong work in improving relations between Canada and Japan.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday March 27, at 2:30pm, at St. Mark’s Church, 1805 Larch Street, in Kitsilano, Vancouver.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Oncology Department or Palliative Care, at Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, 231 East 15th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7L 2L7.
A celebration of John’s life will be held from 5 to 7 pm, on Tuesday, April 13, at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, 1180 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC.
For those wishing to share a memory of John please go to www.hollyburnfunerals.com 604-922-1221. The Members-Only area of the Canada-Japan Society of BC has a "John Powles" link which is also being developed as a more comprehensive web retrospective.