Poppa Gale

By: Nathan McKinlay
Wednesday, June 9, 2021

No two days are ever the same at the Funeral Home. Throughout the course of a year, we engage in numerous conversations with people about their loved ones. We hear countless life stories – the good times, the bad times, and everything in between. Each life is so incredibly unique, and as funeral directors, we have the pleasure of witnessing the special ways their surviving families choose to honour them.

Recently I had the privilege to meet with the family of Fred “Poppa” Gale. Fred was not only a father to his kids, but a father-figure to many people in the community – some of which had no father of their own. He was a motorcycle enthusiast and would often have many in the neighbourhood over to work on bikes and mentor them in his own way.

Fred’s pride and joy was his 1966 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. His sons shared his passion for motorcycles, and to honour their father’s memory, they converted an oil tank from a 1967 Triumph Bonneville into an urn for him. But this labour of love did not stop with his family. The community reached out as well. The bodywork and paint job were generously provided by “Painted by Dave” in Blenheim. The freehand artwork was the handiwork of Dave Willick.

I am witness to many creative tapestries from day to day, memories interwoven with loving acts and stories, binding stronger memories for the future. This urn is a masterpiece and it only felt fitting to share.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Mothers in Funeral Service

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It is a day which can have many meanings for many people. It can be a time of celebration as well as a time of mourning. Above all, it is a time to acknowled...

Normal feels Good

Normal feels good. This seems to have been the ongoing theme over the past couple of weeks. Spring has sprung, the robins are out, and restrictions in most settings have been lifted. While normal f...

Music Therapy

Meeting with families and coordinating celebrations with them allows me to be witness to many special moments that the public does not always get to see. Recently I was able to be witness to anothe...

Kitchen Window

Watching a casket being loaded into a vehicle from my kitchen window is one of my first childhood memories. Living beside the family-owned funeral home in Bothwell gave me the opportunity to learn ...

Light a Star

Sunday night we held the “Light a Star” service in support of Greenwood Cemetery. For a donation to the cemetery, a star is placed on a tree, or in around the gardens outside of our Ridgetown Funer...

What do Funeral Directors do for Families? - Part 3

What do Funeral Directors do for Families? 3) Event Planner Imagine your son or daughter coming to you, barely able to contain their good news. They are getting married! They have a 200 person gu...

What does a Funeral Director do? - Part 2

What do Funeral Directors do for Families? 2) Time Management There are many logistical elements to planning a funeral, and while “Time Management” may not show up on anyone’s Top 5 List, it...

What Does a Funeral Director Do? - Part 1

Throughout the year, our team leads tours and presentations for  numerous Victim Services Groups, PSWs, DSWs and nursing students. We cover a number of subjects, which may&...

Canada Day This Year

People today are wrestling with their sense of patriotism. Our global economy, and social networks have been thrown askew over the last 16 months. Borders have closed and protectionism has taken a ...

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day. It can be seen as a day of brunches and family gatherings as well a day of reflection and loss. It can be a mixed bag of emotions, with many having lost their own mothers now taking t...