Alfonso Vega was born in Santander, Spain on Aug. 29, 1947, but he was one of the best ambassadors Canada ever had. He loved this country, and especially Lake Cowichan.
He came to the Lake in October 1973, following his marriage to Joann Olsson. It was pouring rain, and pitch black the night he arrived. As he said afterward, “I didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into!”
When he came to Canada, he spoke no English, so when he started working at T.W. Mackenzie Logging, they put him with the Italians, hoping that he’d find some way to communicate with them and that he did.
He was a vivid storyteller, with a joke for every occasion and as his English improved, his circle of friends grew ever wider. People were captivated by the stories of his time in the Spanish Foreign Legion and of his time working as a commercial diver in Spain. His real-life captivating stories were told as if it had been taken straight from a Charles Dickens novel.
He truly valued his friends and family and will be missed at his favorite coffee shop in Lake Cowichan, where he was a popular regular and enjoyed sharing his wry views on life’s passing parade. Alfonso was an active and energetic man who really enjoyed the outdoors and all the room to breathe he found in Canada. He enjoyed having projects such as creating homes for his family or simply fixing a deck. Apart from his love of hunting and working outdoors his other passion was unearthing toys and antiques for his collection.
Life was an adventure for him, and his enthusiasm swept everyone along for the ride. People say that after a chat with Alfonso their day seemed brighter. Like actor Jim Carrey says, “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” His untimely death has left his wife Joann, son Carlos, daughter Naiomi (Bruce) and grandson Mateo (Matthew) and his family in Spain feeling like a bright light has gone out.
True to Alfonso’s style, the family would like to invite everyone to an informal get together at the Centennial Hall on Sunday, April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.