Hugo Barnard Lambrechts

7 mayo , 194021 octubre , 2020

Hugo Barnard Lambrechts, one of Port Alberni’s best-loved veterinarians, died at the time of God's choosing on October 21st, 2020 at the age of 80. After a long goodbye, he died peacefully at home.

Hugo was born in Umtata, Transkei, South Africa. From boyhood he loved nature and when his mother called him to do chores at home, often escaped into the bush. When he was a teen the family moved to Pretoria. The big city was a shock to his psyche: More escapes to the bush, especially during the summer holidays where he would accompany his father, also a veterinarian. After matriculation he followed in his father’s footsteps and studied at Onderstepoort, the veterinary faculty of the University of Pretoria.

He graduated with honours, then joined the government service. His first posting was to South West Africa (now Namibia) and after that to Louis Trichardt in the Northern Transvaal. There he met his wife-to-be, Tershia Meyer when she brought her cat in to be spayed. He was so smitten by her that he had difficulty anaesthetising the cat.

After they got married Hugo first returned to Onderstepoort to do a Masters Degree in Physiology, then returned to Louis Trichardt. There, he worked mainly with large animals and wildlife. This was a time of many bush adventures. For an extended time Hugo and his young family actually lived in the bush, as the government worked to control a foot-and-mouth outbreak. They shot for the pot; meals were cooked in a ‘potjie’ over an open fire. When the time came to leave government service, Hugo joined a Swiss pharmaceutical company as manager of Research and Development. In 1972, Hugo led his family to Canada. It was the end of October and fresh snow had already fallen, when the immigrant family landed in Edmonton. Thus, their first task the next day was to shop for appropriate Canadian winter clothing.

Fourteen months later, the family moved to Port Alberni where in 1978, Hugo opened the Manzini Animal Hospital. In the Zulu language, manzini means place of much water, which he thought was quite appropriate for the valley they had moved to. Hugo took his professional responsibilities seriously and for many years served on the board of the BC Veterinary Medical Association and was a member of the American Animal Hospital Association.

His taste for the great outdoors was undiminished: He knew all the mountains on Vancouver Island and loved hiking and climbing with Hugo Jr., and often led groups and friends who shared his passion. He had many interests, including reading, scuba diving and collecting guns. Always however, he remained in awe of the beauty and intricacies of God’s creation.

Upon retirement in 2003, Hugo and Tershia sought a new venture in moving to Belize in Central America. They travelled with two cats and two dogs in an SUV. Driving through Mexico was an adventure in itself. In Belize, they built a bungalow and created a lovely tropical garden on an acre of cleared jungle. Besides that, there were many other interesting experiences.

After 10 years, humidity and culture fatigue had taken its toll. Hugo and Tershia (and four dogs) decided to return to the more civilised life in Port Alberni, although the journey back through Mexico would be scarier than the first one south.

Returning to Canada was a blessing, however. In Belize, Hugo would neither have been diagnosed with heart disease, nor given the medical care he needed.

Hugo is predeceased by a daughter Tracy and survived by Tershia, his wife of 56 years, sons William and Hugo Jr., daughter-in-law Alison and granddaughters Sophia and Taylor from the USA. As well, a younger brother Marthin, his wife Kathy and their children from Victoria, a sister and many cousins, nieces and nephews in South Africa, in California , England and Australia.

The family Is grateful to Drs. Wendy Johnsen and Marc Lambiotte and the Palliative nurses who compassionately cared for Hugo during this time. A special thank you too to all our family and friends who showed their love and support during a difficult time. Last but not least, thank you to Alice.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation to our local SPCA. Stories, messages and condolences to the family may be offered at



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Hugo Barnard Lambrechts


Terri Stewart-Slater

28 noviembre , 2020

Hugo was our family vet and in 1983 I did a one day work experience while in grade 11. From there a summer job; gaining experience & confidence under Hugo’s mentoring. I graduated as a vet nurse in 1987 & continue to nurse today.
Hugo taught me so much in those early days. Kind, patient, funny. He always put the pet’s welfare in the forefront and was always so gentle and caring with both pets & clients.
My deepest condolences to Tershia & their family. He will be missed.

Ann McMillen

7 noviembre , 2020

We were clients of Manzini Hospital for many years with dogs that required care. Hugo always had a kind listening way about him and was always caring about us and our dogs. I have fond memories of our interactions over the years.I enjoyed reading about his early years with an understanding of who he was...a gentleman of faith and kindness. Prayers are with the family.

Brent Ronning

6 noviembre , 2020

Dr Lambrecht's kindness knew no bounds. As a teenager in the early 1980s, my dog ate slug bait and he saved her life very late on a Friday night after we discovered her comatose in our yard. My teenage heart has never forgotten how grateful I was for his dedication, care, and kindness. A life well-lived. Rest in peace, Hugo.

Terry Bouleau

6 noviembre , 2020

Tershia and family,

I am so sorry to hear of Hugo's passing. Somehow I have always felt that he would always be there, steady and consistent.
Of course our main connection was through my animals. I had complete confidence in his skill and his caring. On one of the occasions that our Great Dane was an in-patient at Manzini I found out that Hugo came into town late at night to let her out to pee because he knew she would blow up before messing in the kennel.
He was a unique human being, and he WILL always be there in our hearts, steady and consistent.

Terry Bouleau

Lynn Burnip

5 noviembre , 2020

Dear Tershia
Our deepest sympathy go to you and all the family in the passing of Hugo. Rick and I remember him well of course from the times we had together when the children were young...and of course He cared for our animals so well.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time....may our Lord draw you close to His heart ...and may His comfort bring you peace.
Rick and Lynn Burnip

Sonja Drinkwater

5 noviembre , 2020

I believe that Dr. Lambrechts was the best vet ever. His compassion came out of his eyes, it wasn't lip service. When I had to put my elderly dog down I asked him to choose the date because I couldn't, then I asked him to please put her down at my home as we had a coffin for her and a grave site on the property. He didn't hesitate and said yes. He was a huge comfort. He had a gift for making others feel better and was loved by pets.
May God bless you with comfort at this time.
Sonja Drinkwater

Christine Skucas

4 noviembre , 2020

Many years ago this gentle man encouraged me to get a golden retriever from a litter he had just checked. I had cats and was nervous around dogs. I did get her and a year and a half later one of her new sisters and it was a wonderful journey!! He was so kind and truly cared about the animals he looked after. I have only fond memories of Dr. Lambrechts.
Rest peacefully,
The Skucas family

Kelley Edwards

3 noviembre , 2020

A person never forgets kindness & compassion. I had a budgie, Tino, that was dying in May of 2000; & I brought him to Hugo. I was in tears, because I loved this bird SO much. I think Hugo knew that Tino was going to die, but he handled him gently & kept calling him sweetheart. I remember just watching Hugo handle him, & knew by that how much he truly loved animals. He even gave Tino a dropper of antibiotic into his little beak, & asked me to call the next morning to update him. Well, my sweet little Tino died that evening & when I called the clinic the next morning, I could barely speak through my tears. Soon after, I got a card in the mail from Hugo & everyone at Manzini. I still shed tears over my bird, even 20 years later.... But I will never ever forget the gentle sweet kindness that Hugo showed to me & my bird at that time. I will cherish that forever. So always be kind & compassionate, because you never know who you may be impacting forever. God bless the family. 🐤

Sjoukje Goodman

3 noviembre , 2020

Tershia: What a shock it was to find out that Hugo passed away. Hugo was a very kind man. He helped me take care of my many pets that I had. He even did some things free for me, when I was low on funds. He really bad a great love for his clients and their pets. You have my sincere condolences.

Beth Wallace

27 octubre , 2020

Dear Tershia - I was so saddened to read of Hugo's passing, we met when you first moved to town and was one of his first clients at Manzini, and after he retired it was so nice to see him around town. I will remember him with only fond memories. Take care Sweetie!


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