February 26, 1938 – August 20, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
In the small town of Chipstead, England, south of London, on a winter day in 1938, Timothy Stuart Lander came into the world, destined to be a poet, musician, and a compassionate soul. Tim’s early life was marked by the tumultuous era of World War II, shaping his character and guiding his empathetic nature.
Tim’s father, Edward Digby Lee Lander, served as an officer in the Navy during the war, leaving Tim, his brother William, and sister Charlotte evacuated to the safety of Northern England. The war rendered them homeless, moving from place to place, their lives uncertain.
In the face of adversity, Tim’s family endured. His mother, Rachel Stuart Lander, bore the weight of her brokenness, navigating life as a widow from 1943 onwards after Tim’s father’s ship was sunk off the coast of Greece, leaving young Tim fatherless at 5 years of age. At six years old, Tim, along with his brother, was sent off to boarding school.
In the years that followed, Tim was conscripted into the military at age 18, where he was deployed to Malaysia, a chapter that exposed him to the remnants of World War II. During his time there, Tim spent two years digging up unexploded Japanese bombs, a hazardous duty in the sunsetting of the English empire.
It was during this time that his love for the arts began to blossom, a passion that would shape the rest of his life. Upon his return to England, Tim was accepted into the University of London, studying Zoology, and worked in the laboratory at the London Zoo. Tim was married to a German lady for two years during this period.
Tim’s adventures eventually brought him to Canada in 1964, a country that would become his home. He pursued education, studying English and German at the University of Alberta, resulting in a bachelor’s degree.
Later, he remarried for a second time and became a father to Sara, Marcus, and Serena. After a few years, this marriage dissolved.
A couple years later Tim once again entered a common-law relationship, resulting in two more children, Zebedee and Arthur.
Nanaimo became Tim’s sanctuary, where he settled in 1977, on Irwin Street, a place he would call home for nearly five decades. His experiences during the war and the periods of childhood homelessness opened his heart and doors to anyone in need. Tim had a profound empathy for the homeless and marginalized, dedicating his life to advocating for them through his writings, challenging societal norms, and policies.
Tim was not just a poet but a devoted writer, his words flowing in coffee shops, restaurants, and ferries, capturing the essence of life around him. He was a busker, his melodies echoing through downtown Nanaimo, accompanied by his faithful companion, his little dog “Doggy.”
In 2010, a stroke silenced his speech and temporarily stilled his pen, but his determination prevailed. Through therapy and willpower, he reclaimed his voice, adapting his artistry to the streets, where he continued to touch hearts with his music and presence.
In his poetry, his music, and his everyday acts of kindness, Tim Lander taught us the importance of compassion, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of Nanaimo and beyond. Tim volunteered for several years, dedicating his time to assisting a visually impaired student at VIU, and tutoring mathematics at the Nanaimo Correctional Facility. His commitment to education and rehabilitation touched the lives of many. Tim’s generosity knew no bounds; he opened his house to the homeless, sharing meals, warmth, and kindness.
Tim’s kindness extended beyond his immediate community; he also made significant donations to charities, particularly focusing on less fortunate children through organizations like World Vision.
Tim’s legacy lives on through his surviving family: his children Sara, Marcus, Serena, Zebedee, Arthur, and daughter-in-law Mercede, his grandchildren Cassia and Daxton, his brother William, and sister Charlotte. Tim is predeceased by Jan Lander and Jane Griffith.
Tim Lander is remembered not just as a poet and a busker but as a beacon of kindness and compassion in a world that sometimes forgets the power of empathy. Tim’s passing on August 20, 2023, leaves a void in the hearts of those who knew him, yet his spirit lingers in the stories he shared, his many books of poetry, the music he played, and the lives he touched.
To honor his memory, a service and poetry reading are planned for February, around his birthday, where his words will echo once more. If you wish to share your stories, memories, or tributes, please visit the memory board https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/LEPbCLcF
May his legacy inspire us to be a little more caring, and a bit more understanding.
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