Homage to Alex Gray


Nov 6, 2016:  During my research for my school papers today I rummaged through piles of books in my collection and one fell on my lap.  There was a page that the corner was folded as a mark, a photo and inscription stared at me which brought tears to my eyes.  It is copied here.


(“A Soldier View” by Blake Heathcote// Alex carried a large format camera, he worked as a RCAF photographer)

Alex was one of a few older friends I had the privilege of knowing.  He passed away many years ago.  An Engineer by trade but also many other accomplished professions, Alex was a professional photographer, wood carver, artist.  He often talked about his photography work in WWII.  I learnt from him so many precious wisdom and through my visits we discussed tirelessly our love for art.  We showed each other’s works and exchanged ideas, all nurturing, all encouraging.  Alex had retired long before and settled back in Toronto after he served in the Army, sailed around the world on the yacht he built himself, he had done so many wonderful things and adventures before I knew him.  I was still working in finance and only dappled in art so I felt completely inadequate but Alex with his generosity and unique ability to inspire, encouraged me to soldier on.  I did.  He’d be tickled to know I gave up finance to become a full time artist.

Alex forbade me to visit when he was too ill to receive visitors and that was the only regret for me.  I asked him to “visit” me in the future, he promised.  I can still hear his voice and feel the seriousness and commitment in that promise.  Today, through this photo and writing he paid me that visit.  My dear Alex, how you are so very much loved and terribly missed!

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