Harry Alfred Guest was the only son of Harry Bruce Guest, a Scottish sea captain, and Frieda Schmidt, a German immigrant. The family lived in Prince George when Harry Alfred was born. In the 1930s, Harry, his parents and his two sisters Dorothy and Shirley, moved to Port Moody where Harry participateed in the King Scouts and the Military Cadets. He attended John Oliver High School and graduated in 1935 with the nickname ‘Crazy Legs’, earned for his skill at hockey and lacrosse.
By 1936 Harry’s father was the proprietor of a Port Moody drugstore, and that year Harry received his Pharmacy Apprenticeship. This enabled him to work in his father’s establishment as well at the Military Pharmacy in Nanaimo. With the outbreak of war in 1939 Harry served as Staff Sargent at the Vernon Military Hospital, and in 1944, he began work at George Campbell Pharmacy in Haney. He soon became a partner in and manager at Lightbody’s Drugstore in Mission, marking the start of a successful commercial career. He met and married Mary Hallam, to whom he was a devoted husband, and continued his managerial career with Cunningham Drugs, Shoppers Drugs and Boots the Chemist.
Harry also gave time and service to his community. He was President of Rotary from 1957 to 1958, and was involved with the drive for a new Centennial Pool and Tennis courts, as well as a Health Clinic and Hospital for Mission. For over 30 years, as an elected member of the Hospital Board, he was unflagging in his advocacy for a new hospital in the face of much opposition and confrontation. He found time to serve as Chairman of the Recreation Commission in 1970, as the Community Volunteer for the Pleasantview Housing Society from 1992 to 1995, and as a member of Lifetime Learning Centre. He was also a valued member of St. Andrews United Church. In 2004 Harry was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The District of Mission and a Volunteer Achievement Award from the Mission Chamber of Commerce.
Harry retired at the age of 72, discovering a new interest in tree farming, and especially the challenge of raising Christmas trees that were free of insecticides and pesticides. In the company of his dog Goldie, he loved to fish, canoe, chop wood, haul water and walk in the bush on Guest Island in Summit Lake. Visitors were inevitably treated to anecdotes about his early years, and Harry’s enthusiasm for nature and the landscape.
He was a loving father to five daughters and lived to enjoy his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he taught the value of education, fitness, and independence, as well as how to live a life in tune with nature.
Source: The Abbotsford Times, Friday July 16, 2010