January 5, 2019 - Bro. Robert "Bob" Lancelot Danson - Alexandra Lodge #87
September 8, 1915 - January 5, 2019. Life for Bob began on a rug in front of the fireplace in St. John's, N.L. He never was one to wait around for help. He was the second son of John and Sophie (Keeping) Danson. During his early life, the family migrated back and forth between Newfoundland and Canada as his father followed his heart from life as a successful merchant, to farming in New Brunswick, and enterprises in Nova Scotia. Like so many families, they were hard hit by the Depression. Bob took work with a carpenter and partnered with his father in a furniture and upholstery business as he struggled to put himself through Normal School in Truro. By virtue of good friends, diligence and literally counting pennies, he
graduated in 1934 with a license to be unemployed!
War broke out in 1939. He worked in Halifax Harbor degaussing ships against magnetic mines, in Amherst manufacturing aircraft parts, and taught in the Canadian Army Trade School until 1944 when he went overseas with the Corps of Engineers, to England and Holland. He rarely spoke of that time except for those friendships he made and the kindness of the Dutch people. We believe he may have been the last surviving male veteran of the Second World War from Atlantic Canada. The war ended. Life resumed in Amherst and Bob finally realized his dream of teaching Industrial Arts. Not to mention raising three children. His breadth of experience in so many fields and reputation as a highly respected teacher were noticed. In 1961 he was invited to the Nova Scotia Teachers College, with the objective of developing a new comprehensive Industrial Arts curriculum for Nova Scotia schools. The objective was met far beyond expectations. He retired in 1975 and spent many happy days at "Big Oak"with Hazel, his wife, making maple syrup and memories with many friends and grandchildren. Bob was, in every way, an "industrial artist". He was a student of nature and materials - shaping wood and metal using hand tools, machines, electricity and fire. He built from sticks, logs, bricks, tin, copper, steel and brass. He built boats, sheds and houses. He made toys and tools, and fine jewelry from silver, stone and ebony. He designed beautiful furniture of mahogany and cedar and from oak he harvested. And he drew - detailed plans for his projects, and countless illustrations to adorn gifts or stories he wrote. He saved bent nails. At about 80, he decided he needed a computer to write down what he remembered of his life. He remembered a lot. He was still writing at 103. He retained his wit and humour to his last day. When asked by a doctor if he had ever experienced a heart attack, he replied "Only once - on the day I met my wife."In essence, Bob's life was exemplary. His pleasure was in creating, in sharing knowledge, and in helping others. But above all he loved his family.
Bro. Bob Danson became a mason in 1951 when he joined the Keystone Lodge #102. He later Affiliated with Alexandra Lodge #87 in 1959 when he helped in the designing of the new masonic lodge building which was then being constructed on Lawrence Street in Amherst.
Cremation has taken place under the care of T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, Bedford. (902-835-4212) A celebration of his life will be held in Melville Heights, 24 Ramsgate Lane, Halifax, on Saturday, January 26th, 2-4 pm. Donations in memory of Bob and Hazel would be appreciated by either William Black United Church in Glen Margaret or First United Church in Truro. Notes of condolence may be left for the family by visiting: www.tjtracey.com