Robert ( Bert ) was born in Belfast, N. Ireland, to Alexander and Emily Johnston and was the youngest of six children. Bert began baking at the age of 13 alongside his father, which was the beginning of his baking career. Bert went on to own his own bakery in Newtownards, before moving away from the “troubles” of N. Ireland.
Bert immigrated to Canada in 1972 with his wife and four children and landed in Duncan, B.C. where he owned and operated a bakery for six years. Bert then changed careers and became a manager at Island Farms Dairy. He returned to his true passion of baking years later, when he opened the Irish Griddle in Victoria..
Bert’s other true passion was singing. He was a talented tenor and entertained many people in many venues throughout the Cowichan Valley as a member of the Cowichan Music Society. He loved to gather with friends and sing a few Irish songs. Bert’s beautiful singing voice will continue to resonate with his family each Christmas. Known for the Irish gift of the gab, he would often be heard telling stories to any and all that would listen. Bert also was highly involved in the rugby community where he played for Cowichan then years later with the Ebb Tide in Victoria.
He will be lovingly missed by his former wife, Gladys Johnston, his children; Kenneth Johnston, Brian Johnston (Sandy), Linda Whitley (Jesse) and Aileen van Boven (Ernie), his eight grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and the countless people that were part of his life.