Graham Leslie Anderson

April 8, 1929November 18, 2012


Born April 8, 1929 at Bradford, England. Died November 18, 2012 at Sunridge Place, Duncan BC.

“Mr. Anderson” was a teacher at Shawnigan Lake School from 1957 until 2010. He was a Fellow of the Canadian Heraldry Society, Cowichan Herald Extraordinary, a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Lazarus, a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal and numerous other honours and awards.

At Shawnigan he served as a Housemaster, Registrar, Senior Master, Deputy Headmaster, Acting Headmaster, bus driver, tour director, firearms instructor, organist’s assistant and finally Senior Master Emeritus.

Graham was one of the fortunate few who found his calling early in life and pursued it to the end. He was a master teacher of history who left an indelible mark on thousands of students.

He was a true renaissance man - an authority on, amongst other things, heraldry, chivalry, pipe organs, Italian art, haiku poetry, astronomy, classical music, egyptology, archery, fine automobiles and all things British. His most remarkable quality was the ability to impart this knowledge to adolescents with colour, enthusiasm and lasting effect.

He maintained a passion for education for 53 years until at the age of 81, a stroke took him from the classroom. He did not go quietly. His focus in the final two years of his life at the Sunridge care facility in Duncan was getting back to the School.

He leaves his nephews, Alexander and Christopher Anderson of Victoria and Lake Cowichan, their spouses Shannon and Sherri and their children.

He will be remembered fondly by his former students who are better citizens of the world because they learned of the wonder and importance of history from Mr. Anderson.

Donations in Graham’s memory can be made to the Graham L. Anderson Scholarship Fund at Shawnigan Lake School.

A celebration of Graham’s life will take place at the Chapel of Shawnigan Lake School on December 8, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., boldly accompanied by music from the pipe organ that he built.


Graham Leslie Anderson

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Neill

December 21, 2012

John Neill

December 21, 2012

John Neill

December 21, 2012

Apart from being an accomplished scholar and teacher, Graham Anderson was also a dedicated heraldist who made a significant contribution to the art and science of Canadian heraldry. A former President of the BC/Yukon Branch of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, he was elected a Fellow of the Society in 1987 and earned his Licentiate in heraldry three years later. He was among those heraldists who worked towards the patriation of the authority to grant arms in Canada and once the Canadian Heraldic Authority was established in 1988, he worked as a consultant on many different commissions for arms which were granted by the CHA. His design flair incorporating elements of West Coast flora and fauna made a significant contribution to the heraldic archive and in 1999, this work was recognized when he was appointed Cowichan Herald Extraordinary by Governor-General Roméo LeBlanc.

Apart from his heraldry interests, Graham was also actively involved in the BC Commandery of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem, later the Grand Bailiwick of British Columbia, where he held the ranks of Knight Commander and Knight Grand Cross of Merit. In his role as Armorist to the Grand Bailiwick, he ensured the correct observance of protocol at investitures and other events and kept careful record of the armigerous members of the Order. Graham was awarded both the Canada 125 Medal and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his involvement in charitable activities. His wise counsel and extensive knowledge of heraldry and chivalry will be greatly missed.

John Walton

December 4, 2012

Graham Anderson was a teacher that inspired, instructed and nurtured generations of SLS boys. His passion for education, civility and dry wit has been indelibly etched in my mind from the times I spent at Shawnigan. While I am sure he is missed in the hallowed halls of SLS, I have no doubt that his spirit will live on within its walls for years and years to come...that and his tweed blazers!

Charles Buchanan

December 3, 2012

Turi and I wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family and to all of his friends. I will always remember Graham whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for forty years. Rest in peace my Brother.

D Gillian Thompson

November 29, 2012

Graham Leslie Anderson was my second cousin; we were great-grandchildren of the English Quaker educator Henry Thompson of Ackworth School in Pontefract, latterly of Kendal and Arnside, where Graham's mother, born Evelyn Thompson, was a child. I am very proud of Graham's achievements as a historian and teacher of history; he was, as the obituary states, a Renaissance man. I ask Alex and Chris, whom I knew when they were children, and their families, to accept this expression of my sympathy. I ask Shawnigan Lake School also to accept this expression of my sympathy. I know the depth of your loss. D Gillian Thompson, Professor Emeritus of History, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB