Odds & Ends

BC Randonneurs Cycling Club

- Tim Pollock -

Remembering Tim
by Eric Fergusson

Many long-time club members will have been saddened to hear the news that Tim Pollock died last Sunday night (August 6th). He was 81.

Tim's contribution to randonneur cycling in BC in the 1990s was extraordinary. He joined the randonneur committee in 1994 as secretary, then switched to treasurer for the following four years, and finally to membership in 1999 and 2000. He and wife Rita also handled the database responsibilities for a couple of years, and the newsletter in 1999. For six years, from 1996 - 2001, he organized the Fall Flatlander 200km. It was also Tim who researched and drafted our club constitution, and then in 1996 persuaded us all to buy into it and adopt it.

In 1997 Tim donated the "Lungs are for Life" trophy for the Flèche Pacifique, an award which rewards teams with a wide age range. It was one of Tim's proudest moments when his team won the Lungs are for Life trophy in 1998. It was a close call for Tim though - he reached the final 363 km control only moments before the 24 hour cut off.

On a personal note, Tim was particularly encouraging to me when I joined the committee in 1996. His input was indispensable in the effort to resurrect the Pacific Populaire beginning in 1996. Tim was also a big believer in the value of media promotion, and he encouraged my work on the information brochures, and made a special point of praising the articles about randonneuring I wrote for the Cycling BC newsletter in those years, and encouraged me to keep them coming.

Tim's official duties as Secretary, Treasurer, Database, etc were in no way the limit of his involvement - he was always quietly filling the gaps when something needed to be done. This extended to ride day also. It seemed to me that he was on the course manning controls for virtually every Lower Mainland event in the mid 1990s. I'll never forget his cheerful greetings and especially his big friendly smile as we cruised into his controls.

As Tim's involvement with the randonneurs began to wind down, he began to focus on another passion of his - the BC Lung Association. In 2000 at the age of 75 Tim rode his bike across America to raise money for the organization - Rita forwarded regular updates of his progress.

He was a mentor and a friend to me, and the backbone to this club for many years. Those who knew him will miss him greatly and remember him with great fondness.

Tim is survived by his wife Rita. He had seven children over two marriages - details below.

August 11, 2006

After posting the above, Harold Bridge added some additional information about Tim's earlier life that I hadn't known about:

Date of Birth: December 26, 1924. During WW2 he joined the RCNVR & served as an AA gunner on Corvettes escorting convoys across the North Atlantic. The most dangerous part of that was sailing in those awful tin cans across to Britain. Not satisfied with that he joined the army in 1950 to fight in the Korean campaign and was in Korea until 1956. He was a long distance trucker until the railways started the container service & he was one of 4,000 truckers put out of work. Thus he became an auditor for one of the Unions keeping tabs on the pension funds.

August 13, 2006

Harold asked Rita Pollock for more information about Tim's family and we immediately received this lovely response from her, which also contains more details about Tim's earlier life:

Tim's first marriage was to Marjorie in 1955, who brought with her two daughters, Florence Avis and Patricia Joanne. They proceeded to raise four more children of their own, Timothy John Douglas, Patrick Edward, Dorothy Emily Grace and Robert Michael. When his first marriage was severed he met Rita and took on her daughter Cassandra Reddemann as well.

From a farm boy in Grindrod, gentling horses, blacksmithing, knitting, and horse logging with his father, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1942 serving in the North Atlantic. When the Korean War broke out he joined the Canadian Army Horse Artillery as a gunner and technical Assistant in 1950 serving until 1956. He then became a long haul truck driver until the trucking industry downsized and in his forties returned to school to become an accountant. He finally progressed to becoming the Field Auditor for the Operating Engineers Welfare Pension Plan, protecting the wages of the employees. He was the only one in the industry who was successful in recovering large sums of money for the workers from recalcitrant employers. One of the big unions asked him how he was able to be so successful when other unions were not. He said it was because he took only what was due, nothing more, nothing less, right down to the last cent. He would not make "deals" with the members' money. Even his opponents respected him. He retired at age 67 because his expertise was so in demand.

Whatever he put his hand to, he excelled and did all with enthusiasm and great humour. Even to his last day on this earth, he joked with his doctor. Several hours later he passed away with his family surrounding him.

I miss him dearly and will for a very long time, but I treasure our memories and the involvements we have had because of his indomitable spirit and his encouragement for me to step out of my comfort zone.

August 13, 2006

More on Tim:

Two wars and many memories
by Jennifer Saltman
the NOW Coquitlam - Nov 10, 2006
Photo left: uncredited

Tim Pollock: forever #1
from "Your Heath" Volume 85, no 2
Fall, 2006
BC Lung Association publication
(Photos and Article uncredited)

Top photo: Eric Fergusson, other 2 photos: Harold Bridge