Duncan Leslie Atchison, known to his friends as “Les” or “Lester” passed away suddenly on July 27th, 2016. Les was an avid golfer and loved his home course of Arbutus Ridge. He had gone for an early morning walk up the 12th fairway to meet his pal, fed the ducks along the way and his heart simply stopped. He came to rest in the sunshine, on his favorite golf hole with a peaceful smile on his face.
Les was born in Vancouver, BC on May 23, 1941 and was adopted by James and Margaret Atchison. He was a life-long resident of the Cowichan Valley. As a child he lived in Camp Six (Caycuse) until his parents moved to Duncan after his father’s life threatening injury in the woods as a high rigger. Les received his CA designation in 1966 and became a partner in the CA firm of Hill Atchison Hancock & Co. He left the firm to pursue other business interests which led to the establishment of multiple sales outlets across Western Canada and involved travel to China searching out suppliers.
Les re-established an accounting practice in Duncan in 1984. Alex Palmer joined him as partner in 1997 and the firm became Atchison Palmer Chartered Accountants. In August of 2009, Les sold his interest in the firm and continued to work with his clients at Atchison Palmer Leslie Chartered Accountants until he retired in 2010.
Les had a long and strong history of giving back to the community. He was President of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce (1970), The Duncan Zenith Gyro Club (1972) and Cowichan Golf & Country Club (1985-1990). Les also served on the BC Institute of Chartered Accountants Public Practice Committee and chaired their sub-committee on Indian Band (First Nations) audit procedures for CA’s throughout Canada (1970 – 1973). This was the first committee of its kind established by any of the provincial Chartered Accountant Institutes. He was appointed by the BC Cabinet to serve on the Board of Directors for the BC Pavilion Corp. (1993 – 1998) Chairing the Audit & Finance Committee serving on the corporation’s Executive Committee. Les authored local newspaper articles on taxation “Taxing Matters” and was a strong advocate of income tax reform of the Canadian tax system.
Les is survived by his soul mate, Katheryn. They met in 1996 and she joined him in working in the office. They became (and remained) inseparable and were married in December 1997.
Les is lovingly remembered and will be forever sadly missed by our joined family, son James Atchison, daughter Christine Wouters, her husband Mark, granddaughter Shayla Falconer, grandson Alef Atchison, stepson Ryan Lindsay, his wife Vanita and step grandson Ben. Family was precious to Les and for our family; Les was absolutely everything!
Les had a wonderful sense of humour, enjoyed a good debate of current affairs, and was an ardent baseball fan (the Dodgers). It is difficult to mention Les without combining golf in the same sentence. The day before his passing he shot 37 on the front nine at Arbutus Ridge!
And, he was always a gentleman.
We thank the heroic effort made by Security at Arbutus Ridge and all other emergency services to resuscitate Les and especially for the quiet dignity following his loss.
If you wish to make a memorial donation, please consider the Cowichan District Hospital or the Diabetes Association.
Please join the family in raising a glass or two and sharing “Les” stories at Arbutus Ridge Golf and Country Club on Sunday, August 28th, from 2-5 pm.
Online condolences at www.hwwallacecbc.com
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die.