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Born: Jul 26, 1921

Date of Passing: Feb 11, 2004

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JUNE ALWYN WESTBURY With great sorrow, we announce the death of June Westbury, on February 11, 2004. She died peacefully, with family present, at the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg. She was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, July 26, 1921, daughter to Philip William Cantwell and Doris (Dolly) nee Halcrow. June grew up in Takapuna on the North Shore of Auckland. Upon completing her education, she worked for the Auckland Savings Bank, enjoyed performing in light opera productions, and studied voice under the noted contralto Mina Caldow. She left New Zealand in 1947 on a working holiday, eventually arriving in Winnipeg where she met and married a young lawyer, Peter Westbury, in 1949. June was committed to her community and to her country. While raising her children, June was active in a number of organizations, including the Home and School Association and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Womens Committee, as well as serving as Director of the Epiphany Pageant at St. Albans Anglican Church. As her children grew, she became more active in politics, in particular the Liberal Party, serving as the Secretary of the Party in Manitoba from 1968 to 1970. She was Vice President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1970 to 1973. In 1970, she ran for municipal office and was elected Alderman (and later Councillor) for the City of Winnipeg, serving until 1979. Also, in 1971, she was elected as a Board member of the Municipal Hospitals and became Chair of the Hospitals the same year. She served on many boards: including Via Rail, Manitoba Health Organizations, Childrens Aid Society, Big Sisters, Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, the Age and Opportunity Centres, the National Capital Commission, Task Force on Maternal and Child Health, Advisory Committee on Historical Buildings, Heritage Winnipeg, and the Heritage Canada Foundation. In 1979, she was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly, for the Province of Manitoba, sitting until 1981. She received many awards for her civic contributions, including Life Member of the Liberal Party of Manitoba; YWCA Woman of the Year Award in Politics and Governmental Affairs, the Canada 125 Medal, and the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal. Throughout her career, she was an articulate and thoughtful participant, and particularly enjoyed campaigning and vigorous political debate. June was founder and Chair, for many years, of the Laurier Club of Manitoba. She was also a member of the Twenty Club, the University Womens Club and the Down Under Club of Winnipeg. She loved music and had been a supporter of the Manitoba Opera Association, as well as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Instinctively competitive, she was a keen sports fan and an accomplished bridge player. She researched and wrote an extensive history of her family from the 12th century, expanding her circle of friends and relatives around the world. She continued her original working holiday throughout her life with travel across North America, Europe, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. She loved the cottage that Peter built for her at Victoria Beach, and appreciated especially the time she was able to enjoy with her friends at the Beach. June Westbury was predeceased by her husband Peter and is survived by her three daughters and their families, Sheila Raffey, Ed Matlashewski, Matthew and Tim; Pamela Westbury, Michael Manko and Parrish, Michael and Gabrielle; and Jennifer Westbury, Michael Hawryluk and Meredith. Peter was her cornerstone, and encouraged her in all her adventures. One of Mums great pleasures was travelling back to New Zealand, where she is survived by her sister Nyra Murray and husband John, Susan and Gifford Linder, Ian Murray, Diana and Richard Rax, and their families. She enjoyed having her grandchildren travel to New Zealand with her to meet her relatives and friends there. She loved New Zealand and remained a Kiwi throughout her life. Mum saw in each person she met a new view of the world, and made friends easily. Faced with a challenge, she persevered head on. Her beautiful smile, quick wit, and lively sense of humour were a reflection of her enthusiasm. She adopted our interests as her own, and always believed there wasnt anything we couldnt do. She was loving, smart, gracious and strong, and we loved her. The family wishes to thank all those who offered friendship and support to June throughout her career and her life. We also thank all those who cared for her during her declining health, especially, at the end, those at the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg. Cremation has taken place. A funeral service to celebrate Junes life on earth will take place at St. Georges Crescentwood Anglican Church, Wilton and Grosvenor, on February 23 at 1:00 p.m., the Revd Canon Tony Harwood-Jones officiating. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, 6 Donald St., Winnipeg, R3L 0K6. Pray for me As I shall for thee That we may merrily meet in Heaven. - Joanna Trollope The Coutu family in care of arrangements: EDWARD J. COUTU LTD. 680 Archibald Street 253-5086

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 21, 2004

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