December 20, 1941 – July 12, 2023
In loving memory ~
Warrant Officer Colin Blackburn CD2 (ret’d) Canadian Armed Forces.
Passed away on July 12th after a two-year battle with health issues, including cancer.
He is predeceased by his Parents Maurice and Doris, Brother Malcolm, Sister Jennifer, and Brother-in-law Trevor Taylor.
Colin is survived by his beautiful wife Margaret (Ellis), Sister Roberta, Daughter Allison, Grandchildren Chelsea, Brook, and Joshua, Stepson Tom, Nephews Scott, Greg, and Morgan, and Niece Tina.
Colin was born in December 1941 in England and grew up in London for his first ten years. In late 1951 his family emigrated from Britain to Sarnia, Ontario, to join Canadian cousins of the Shaw family line.
From 1952 to 1959, Colin was a ward/foster child of the Ontario Children’s Aid Society and, on reaching the age of 17, was turned over to the Royal Canadian Navy for a five-year term to be trained as a radio communicator. He served a two-year sea duty (with sea sickness) on board the famous WW2 destroyer HMCS Haida. Sailing the oceans blue, however, was not his cup of tea.
In 1964 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force for an indefinite period of service. In the RCAF he was an air radio specialist in the Communications and Electronics Branch, Military Aeronautical Communications (System). He served a four-year NATO posting to CFB Lahr in Germany, and a one-year UN Peacekeeping tour to Egypt and Syria at the very end of the Yom Kippur War. He also served one year with 1 Canadian Signals Regiment at Kingston. Throughout his long career, Colin enjoyed numerous Temporary Duty (TD) assignments in Europe, the Middle East, across Canada, the USA, and from Turkey to Norway, to Hawaii, to mainland US military bases. Canadian Air Ground Air included deployments to Yellowknife, Resolute Bay, Frobisher Bay, Alert NWT and other hot spots.
He attained the rank of Warrant Officer and retired from Regular Force in 1987. His last posting was to Aldergrove, B.C. Later, he served another 7 years as a Reservist Image Technician-Photographer with HQ Land Forces Western Area Public Affairs Office in Vancouver, B.C.
During his seven years with Public Affairs, he was given some of his most productive, “choice” photo assignments. He photographed VIP’s and dignitaries, Governors General, Prime Ministers, American Presidents, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Philip among other VIP’s during their official visits to British Columbia. He also photographed many hundreds of Canadian and European combat soldiers participating in live-action field operations in Europe.
Colin was an award-winning photographer, with a passion for picturing people, and a fashion industry photographer. Dozens of his military images were published by the Department of National Defence for recruiting, and in newspapers and magazines, both civilian and military. While a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Warrant Officer A.C. Blackburn received two “Commander’s Commendations” for his professionalism and dedication to the forces.
For many years he was a volunteer at a seniors’ home, an Air Cadet Instructor at CFB Lahr in Germany, former President of the Vancouver-based Western Canadian Designers and Fashion Association, and former Director of the Abbotsford Matsqui Arts Council in its early years.
Colin was an international traveller to fifty-five countries around the world before illness finally curtailed his passion for travel and photography.
His motto – “been there, done that”.
The Family would like to thank Dr. Sarah Culkin, ARH Cancer Clinic, and the Holmberg House staff for their excellent, compassionate care , and the Saint Matthew’s Anglican community for their support.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to WOUNDED WARRIERS CANADA .
A memorial service is planned for Colin in September at Saint Matthew’s Anglican Church, date and time TBA.Obituary-
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