John Parkinson Bulcock

John Parkinson Bulcock

John Parkinson Bulcock was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire England on August 27, 1918. He and his family first came to Duncan BC in 1924 and returned to England in 1930. During that time, Jack apprenticed and excelled at the trade of carpentry, and after much begging from Jack and his 6 siblings, the family returned to Canada in 1936 for good.

Returning to Duncan at 18, Jack obtained his Canadian citizenship, enlisted in the Canadian military and served as a Dispatch Rider during WWII. His job was dangerous and harrowing; his troop was the first wave of soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy, touching down on Juno Beach. As their journey continued, they were part of the contingent that liberated Holland; later decorated by the government of Holland, it was a proud accomplishment. Jack would be recognized for his service and was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the France & Germany Star, the Defence Metal, Canadian Volunteer Service metal with emblem and finally, the 1939-1947 War Metal. Upon returning from war in 1945, he met the love of his life for 71 years, Iola Matheson.

It was love at first sight in his mother’s kitchen where lola was the nurse at Fairbridge Farm School in Duncan. Jack and lola would be married in 1947 and they would welcome Susan (Peter), Betty (Doug), John (Dorothy) and Rosemary (Stan) into their lives. As a young family they enjoyed camping, fishing and spending time outdoors. Jack was employed as the first civilian stationed at the Comox airbase, and he worked for over 32 years in the C.E. Section retiring as shop foreman. Living in the Forty Houses in Courtenay, their house was a hub of friends, family, children, food and lots of love. The Bulcock’s had an open door policy then, and up until recently when they left their house that Jack built some 60 years ago on Piercy Avenue, the door was still open.

The love in that house raised their 4 children, fostered other children, cousins came for summers, and that place would go onto to do the same nurturing 9 grandchildren (Brooke, Brigh, Brett, John, Chris, Kayley, Nolan, Kim and Mike) and 12 great grandchildren (Avery, Adrien, Austin, Sammy, Jack, Ella, Noah, Niall, Gracie, Blake, Jacob and Mathew). Family dinners, visitors from overseas, dress up clothes, Grampa’s workshop, Concord grapes, the hazelnut tree, kiwis and Birds of Paradise, and lots and lots of apples are some of our family’s fondest memories there.

It’s hard to say succinctly what made Jack an amazing man, husband, dad, Grampa, colleague, and friend. Always quick with a joke or a trick, you could count on him to make you laugh. A diligent, skilled, and hardworking carpenter that any perfectionist would envy. A man with opinions but only if you asked. A caring and selfless man who would pick up a hitch hiker in his Frontier motor home, take him home, feed him, then send him on his way with a 20. A man who risked his life to ensure our freedom today.

A person, who despite the pain caused by war, could offer so much love, laughter, loyalty, and kindness. A man our entire family will continue to respect and tell stories about, a man our children will talk about.

Dying one month short of his 1OOth birthday, we will celebrate Jack, on what would have been his birthday, with a “You Almost Made It!” family party. You were loved Grampa and we will miss you deeply. No public funeral at Jack’s request. Tootle pip Grampa Jack.

Comox Valley Record

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