July 27, 1929 – August 19, 2020
Philip Charles McCormack was born in Shoreditch, London, England on July 27th, 1929. Fatherless by the age of four, Philip finished school at 14, in the middle of World War II, and worked as a runner in the London Stock Exchange. Philip later returned to his education, completed four years of school in one year, and entered medical school at University College Hospital in London in the mid-1950s. He married Tessa (nee Williams) in 1958. While driving black cabs by night, and with a young son at home (James, 1959), Philip became a doctor in 1962, fulfilling his childhood dream.
Two more children were soon to join the family, Katie (1962) and Pete (1965). The family immigrated to Canada in May, 1966, finding themselves in the mining town of Bralorne, B.C. The soon-to-be ghost town had a tiny hospital with patients occasionally paying their new doctor in jade. In the fall of ’66, the family moved to Rossland, B.C., where Philip began his medical practice with gusto.
Living in Rossland for thirteen years, Philip will be remembered in the area as a doctor committed to his patients and his profession. He was a General Practitioner, anesthetist and he also did obstetrics. Beyond medicine, Philip was team doctor for the Rossland Junior Warriors. He had an uncanny ability to shout louder than any other human being in hockey arenas across the Kootenays and beyond. Throughout the 1970s, Philip specialized in delivering many babies, putting people to sleep, cutting roof shakes, building rock walls, studying trees and, when he felt like it, wearing an insufficient amount of clothing. He was a true original.
Divorcing in 1972, Philip had a second daughter, Charley, in 1977. Philip moved to the Cowichan Valley in 1979. He moved to Surrey, B.C. in 1981. In Surrey, Philip started a medical practice and ran a highly-independent political campaign behind the legendary slogan: Canadians Are Politically Brain Dead: Ask Me Why.
In 1987, Philip (re)met Daphne Sinclair (nee Bowles)—from Rossland via England—and pursued a relationship with a life-force singular to himself. It would prove to be one of his great decisions. Married in 2002, Philip and Daphne lived in North Vancouver—near Daphne’s daughters Jacqueline (Abbas) and Fiona (Shaun). He worked as a doctor until he was 81. Philip remained an avid reader, gardener and crossword puzzler right up to his death at home on August 19, 2020, at the age of 91.
Philip will be profoundly missed by his wife Daphne, his children James (Hilary), Katie (Bill), Pete (Samantha) and Charley (Tavis) and his grandchildren Madison, Jacob, Kieran, Callia, Bookey, Juno and Elodie, and Daphne’s grandchildren Sophie, James, Madeline and Ben; his devoted sister Marie and his ex-wife Tessa. He left as he arrived, full of fire. In the words of Leonard Cohen, “I have tried in my way to be free.”
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