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Born: Apr 18, 1920

Date of Passing: Mar 20, 2006

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JANET MARGARET MALCOLM CAMERON (nee HOPE) (April 18, 1920 - March 20, 2006) Born in Montreal, raised in Ontario, Janet married Ashley Cameron, a dashing cadet from RMC on October 23, 1941. As an army wife she lived in various parts of Canada and in this way made friends across the country, particularly in Ottawa and Edmonton. Following Ash's retirement from the army they lived in Winnipeg, both working for the University of Manitoba, followed by retirement 20 years ago to Victoria. Janet was a pioneering artist, developing new techniques for preserving the images of the petroglyphs in Canada, even as they were threatened by time, erosion and vandalism. Together with Ashley, she spent summers camping in the woods of northern Ontario, Manitoba and Vancouver Island, meticulously recording and documenting this historic rock art. Her work can be found in the Cameron Wax Rubbing Collection of the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, at the University of Manitoba and at Native Counselling Services of Alberta, in Edmonton. Jan found beauty in everything: driftwood, rocks and seaweed became sculpture; she made jewellery and pottery. Her tool kit included her rock hammer, saw and polisher and her home was full of interesting rocks and fossils. She had a keen and deep apreciation for oriental and native art. She also developed letter writing as an art and her many correspondents treasured her funny and informative letters. In Alberta, Janet spent days in the Badlands studying dinosaur bones and fossils. Everywhere she went she took photos - scientific ones to augment her petroglyph research, and wonderful ones of nature. Janet never wanted to be ordinary, or like everyone else and she never was. Jan's husband, Major Herrold Ashley Cameron (Ash), their daughter Janet Ian Cameron, and their son Herrold Malcolm Cameron, all predeceased this valiant woman. Ian is remembered through the Janet Ian Cameron Memorial Bursary fund for art students at the University of Manitoba. Jan's friends and her rich sense of humour helped her through the difficult times, but the loss of Malcolm on August 31, 2005 was too hard. Her legacy will be found in the Scholarshp Fund she has established at the University of Alberta which will enable students to study the Canadian North. Contributions can be made in her memory to the Janet Cameron Scholarship Fund, Canadian Circumpolar Institute, 308 Campus Tower, University of Alberta, 8625 112 Street, Edmonton, AB, T8G 0H1. A celebration of Jan's life was held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 680 Courtney St., March 27, 2006.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 01, 2006

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