23 February 2011

Clifford Duxbury Collier - RIP

News of the loss of a Toronto-based librarian, archivist and genealogist, who made significant contributions to the Ontario Genealogical Society. Thanks to Brenda Dougall Merriman for the information.
COLLIER, Clifford Duxbury - Cliff died peacefully at Toronto Grace Hospital, February 21, 2011. It is fitting that he passed away on Family Day - he leaves a large and loving family of friends, along with a rich legacy. Born in Toronto in 1929 to Percy and Mary Alice (Duxbury) Collier, Cliff was a passionate Canadian and Torontonian. He played an important role in Canada's dance history. In the 1940's he joined Boris Volkoff's pioneering Canadian Ballet Company, and he later performed with the Ottawa Civic Ballet. Cliff taught at dance schools in Toronto and London, ON; choreographed many high school musicals; published works on Canadian dance resources; and inspired young dancers through his talent, enthusiasm and kindness. In his forties, Cliff fulfilled a dream by enrolling at York University, going on to earn a master's in library science. He established himself as an archivist and records manager, working for two royal commissions. Cliff was a proud member of the Ontario Genealogical Society. He lectured, created the society's library database, and served as education coordinator for the Toronto branch. An enthusiastic Janeite, he was actively involved in the Toronto chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America and was an authority on dance in the Regency period. For many years, Cliff shared his volunteer time between the genealogical society and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Cliff touched countless lives in innumerable ways. He will also be remembered as an avid cat lover. Special thanks to St. Michael's Hospital, whose staff added quality to Cliff's last years; and to Toronto Grace Hospital, which allowed him to leave this world with the same gentle dignity that defined his life. Donations in Cliff's memory may be made to either hospital or to an animal rescue organization. An online guestbook is located at www.thestar.com A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, 34 Isabella Street, Toronto.

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