Remembering Art Hughes

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Byron510
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Remembering Art Hughes

Postby Byron510 » 17 Dec 2012 20:13

It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of Arthur Hughes.

Art has been part of our local club, the 510 Club of BC, nearly since our inception. Member #80 is how Art always signed his letters to me - letters - hand types and signed letters; every one of them and I do have a pile for them, even though Art lives within 40 minutes of me. Art was a man of so many sides. I'd known Art for over 10 years when we sat down in sushi restaurant one day, and he fluently orders in Japanese! Art was also quite skilled in Mandarin, and very fluent in French and Spanish.

With British descent parents (Art actually grew up in China spending summers in Japan which is where those languages came from), Art lived here in Vancouver at the start of the WWII> Art left for Britain just after the war started as he felt the need to help in some way. He did the usual basic training, and was sent to the front lines in Southern Europe. It was there that someone higher ranked realized that Art was fluent in French. Art was pulled out of the front lines immediately. Art spent a number of years finishing WWII in the building that is now the HQ of the United Nations in Geneva. Art was literally part of the group that made this happen. He did clerical work, but just the same was part of the team that made the effort to form the group that was to become the United Nations. After the war, Art's formal schooling happened right here at UBC. Art spent a number of years in and out of UBC, studying lord knows how many topics. Art was a sponge, and absorbed everything he could.

Arts cars didn't count that many, but all were meticulous. His true love for cars came in the form of a ‘69 Mustang, bough near new in ‘70. This became a show car, Art became an accredited judge and this became Art's hobby for many, many years. In the late 80’s Art decided that the Mustang was simply done, he couldn't take it any further, so he sold the car out of town so that he wouldn’t see it again. A few years before this, he re-acquired the 510. The 510 was actually purchased by Art for his aunt new in ‘72, and gifted to her for a dollar at that time. It was given back when his aunt decided to give up driving. So Art without a "Show” car, turned to the 510 and turned our club. So in the 20 plus years of the 510 club’s existence which was formed in 1990, Art always flew the flag with his stock 510. At times it seemed the only stock and original 510 around. But Art didn't keep it under glass. At this time it had less than 10K on the odometer. By the time Art sold the car last year, it has 150K on it. Nearly every one of those miles put on going to and from car shows up and down the west coast.

Arts health has been in and out of his spotlight for years, but he didn’t want anyone to let it on and had me sworn to secrecy. 8 years ago, Art felt something wasn't right, and self diagnosed the very early stages of prostate cancer. Because he was so tuned in, it was caught so early that it was eliminated completely with minor surgery. - Prostate cancer is the one that gets most of us guys, but not Art. A couple years later, Art feels a bit strange when exerting himself on long walks. Now this has to be taken with a grain a salt. Art was the guy who swap a distance in English bay daily unless it was literally snowing until he hit 70! Art was diagnosed with a heart condition and told to take it easy – not likely for Art. A surgery for a triple bypass is scheduled; Art has to surrender his license by law. However undeterred he walks the 15 blocks to the hospital, checks himself in, that’s right walks in to the hospital. When most people end up at the hospital for this surgery, they are on a slab! Art is mandated to stay for one night after the surgery even though he insisted he was fine. Art checks himself out the next day. He’s also mandated to wait one week to re-apply for his driver license. He’s standing at the door of the Motor Vehicle Branch on that day. He’s check passed, goes home and drives his car to the Unitarian Church and the Billy Bishop because he’s ‘fallen behind on work that needs to be done’. Nearly three years ago, Art was diagnosed with Leukemia – not a fixable one at his age. He was given 6 months – tops and told to get his affairs in order. Well like everything else Art did, he excelled. With weekly “oil changes” as he called them, Art continued undeterred. Last summer Art went to Europe to visit with a niece, It had been 30 years since Art was in England –“London sure has changed a lot, nearly couldn’t find my way around” he told me over a dinner one night after he returned.

Well, a couple months ago, Art slowed down quite a bit. I last talked with him a week ago, we were making plans on how I was going to get him to the Club Christmas Party this weekend. That news really cheered him up and he looked forward to this. Now we will be celebrating Art life instead of his attendance. A fruitful life fulfilled to the max, Art never did anything half way and that’s something we can all take from him.

I’m going to miss Art; his flair, his spunk and even our fairly regular dinners at the Old Spaghetti Factory here in New Westminster where he’d take the train to meet me as to not get me too far away from my family. We’d both eat fresh loaves of bread and Art seemed to have a little bread with his garlic butter. There would be stacks of those little metal containers all over the table by the time the meal arrived. Of course his beer was there, and he’d always finish his meal – a manager’s special every time. I never understood how than man stayed so skinny – part of the wonder that was Art Hughes.

I'll dig up some photos of Art, as will other members and those who knew Art.

I'd like us all to remember Art this Christmas Season. Officially there will be a celebration of life at the Unitarian Church mid January. I’ll post details as soon as I can get them.

2012-12-18 Update:
A Celebration of Life will be held Jan 18th at 2pm (originally printed in the Globe and Mail in error at 10 am)
Unitarian Church of Vancouver
949 49 Ave W, Vancouver, BC


Byron
Attachments
Art Hughes-Poppy Drive.jpg
Art took everything seriously, including his Annual Poppy Drive effort, raising no less than $14K in the last many years
Art Hughes-Poppy Drive.jpg (86.47 KiB) Viewed 3608 times
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Art at my workshop for a minor "tune up" just prior to selling the car - he was hard to get a photo of - the car was OK, but Art was too modest to usually get in a photo.
DSCN7671 (Small).JPG (47.37 KiB) Viewed 3608 times
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510Freak
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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby 510Freak » 17 Dec 2012 20:27

:cry:

Rest in peace Art
.

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dislexicdime
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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby dislexicdime » 17 Dec 2012 20:42

:-(
L series only have one header!

i need another garage mine is full of part's

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby Byron510 » 17 Dec 2012 20:46

dislexicdime wrote::-(


Seriously, don't be. Art was a very good and honest man, and we got a great many years out of him. For this I know I'm truly grateful and Art will want us to remember him in his great days. Art really enjoyed life, and he was good right to the end, positive to the last. He left us something to strive for.

For that, Art has inspired many of us. It's a celebration of life.

Byron
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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby Byron510 » 17 Dec 2012 20:53

A couple more photos. I caught Art by surprise in this photo, usually it was the only way. The pictures of his decals show's Arts diversity and willingness to support. As a staunch and patriotic Canadian, notice the flag on the windshield. He did this right at the beginning of the Iraq campaign. Art was a worldly man, and it made a great many discussions.
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DSCN7654 (Small).JPG (51.25 KiB) Viewed 3586 times
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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby Byron510 » 17 Dec 2012 21:11

You know, Art's even making me laugh today. the Globe and Mail have a tribute to Art on not one but two pages of todays paper;

LEGACY
‘My God, he was a good fellow’: The life of Arthur Hughes
ANDREA WOO
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 16 2012, 9:29 PM EST
Last updated Monday, Dec. 17 2012, 1:55 PM EST

Every November for the past 14 years, veteran Arthur Hughes stood at the corner of Robson and Hornby streets in downtown Vancouver, always smiling and wearing the uniform he was issued 60 years ago.

Most Vancouverites knew Mr. Hughes, who died Friday morning at the age of 80, as the energetic, elderly man who sold poppies for more than 10 hours a day in the week or so leading up to Remembrance Day, securing each and every pin sold on to the lapels of passersby himself. Mr. Hughes served in the British Army and Canadian Forces.

Those close to him say Mr. Hughes’s convictions extended far beyond his devotion to the poppy campaign.

Steven Epperson, parish minister at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, which Mr. Hughes faithfully attended for decades, remembered the retired veteran as a “deeply principled person” who was very proud of his service – not just in the military, but in everyday life. He served as the church’s auctioneer and frequently volunteered to mow the lawn and take care of the grounds, right up until this past summer.

“He would be out there with his shirt off, mowing away,” Mr. Epperson recalled with a chuckle.

Derek Allen, president of Vancouver’s Billy Bishop legion, of which Mr. Hughes became a member in 1996, said Mr. Hughes served as the legion’s archivist. When smoking was banned at the legion, Mr. Hughes took it upon himself to clean the nicotine stains from every badge and plaque.

“It’s not something you can wash off; you had to scrape it off,” Mr. Allen said. “It took him about half an hour for each plaque. He did this over a number of years and virtually nobody knew about it because he came in when the legion was closed.”

Mr. Hughes’s principles also drew him to larger causes: In 1965, he participated in a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama, Mr. Epperson remembered.

“He was living in Ontario at the time and he heard from the Unitarian Church pulpit in Toronto ... that they needed people down there to help drive,” he said. “He met all the major characters: Martin Luther King Jr. and others. He drove people around and was involved in that big march. He said it was the high point of his life.”

As a poppy fund volunteer, Mr. Hughes collected $125,000 in donations in the last six years alone, Mr. Allen said. He is estimated to have brought in around $200,000 altogether – a figure believed to be the most by any one person in Canada.

“It was funny: He built up sort of a clientele,” Mr. Allen said, laughing. “He had a number of people who put $100 bills into his tray. He was chatty and he would strike up conversations with people and they wouldn’t brush him off the way they might brush off a cadet or something.”

Mr. Hughes, who received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2008, told The Globe and Mail in 2009 he found meeting new people to be the most rewarding aspect of the task.

“One of the interesting things about volunteering is the range of people that you meet,” he said at the time. “Last year, I totalled 27 countries. You name any country and they come by.”

Photographer Tom Weibe has bought his poppies from Mr. Hughes for as long as he can remember.

“He was just always so happy,” said Mr. Weibe, who snapped a photo of the veteran in 2010. “He was always the first one you saw out there with poppies.”

“He was just a remarkable human being,” Mr. Allen said. “You don’t always get a lot of day-to-day credit for that, but on his passing, you think of Arthur: ‘My God, he was a good fellow.’ ”

The Billy Bishop legion is hoping to maintain a presence at Mr. Hughes’s corner at Robson and Hornby.

A celebration of Mr. Hughes’s life is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.
Attachments
arthur-hughes16nw2.JPG
Arthur Hughes from the Billy Bishop Legion or Royal Canadian Legion 176 gives the thumbs up to those wearing a poppy while he sells poppies in downtown Vancouver, BC, November 5, 2007.
arthur-hughes16nw2.JPG (26.41 KiB) Viewed 3573 times
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DeRuX
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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby DeRuX » 17 Dec 2012 21:13

I remember him at Shasta. Just sitting there next to his car. He was very proud of it.

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby 510rob » 17 Dec 2012 21:29

I will miss Art, his wisdom, and his sage advice.

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby tycot1 » 17 Dec 2012 21:44

i never got the opportunity to have more than a few conversations with Art but it was very apparent that he was quite an upstanding guy. it is tough to look at the post about him without having a positive smile. he was a rightfully very proud man.tyson
http://bigtimemotors.ca 1972 datsun 510 220 hp ka "couped", 1971 510 westwood champ gt4 '81& "83, 1979 550 hp trans am, 1962 cadillac hrdtp, 2005 subaru sti, 1999 triumph daytona 955i.

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby StrutlessWonder » 17 Dec 2012 22:25

Art was kinda like our 510s--a lot more beneath the surface than one would expect, and a supremely upright, reliable guy.
He certainly was a Shasta Meet institution.

Hopefully Art is now in a place where he can continue forever to do he wants without having to ever slow down.
I think that's how he'd like it.
Kurt Hafer
'70 2dr VG30et "Strutless Wonder"

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby RONSLYCHUK » 17 Dec 2012 22:26

Art was a great man,and I consider myself lucky to have known him. May you rest in peace Art.

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby jason » 17 Dec 2012 23:11

I called him too late Byron, didn't manage to call until Friday afternoon .... Rest in peace Art ...
Jason

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby McShagger510 » 18 Dec 2012 00:25

Art was a busy guy for sure. It was like he had five lifetimes in one! I'll miss chatting with Art at our Datsun shows and other random car shows. A great club member and had a real zest for life!

May Art rest in peace.

James

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby okayfine » 18 Dec 2012 06:57

Very glad I was able to work with Byron to get a Reader's Dime profile of Art in DQ. His trips to Shasta with his stocker made him bigger than the 510 Club of B.C., or Canada.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson

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Re: Remembering Art Hughes

Postby 510wizard » 18 Dec 2012 07:02

God speed Art Hughes, such a gentle soul. Fond memories of Art doing the raffles at Shasta, his abilities to source lots of merchandise for the raffles. You will be missed.


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