Bernard “Bernie” Mason, MD died at age 77 after a long struggle with several serious medical conditions.
Bernie was born in Docking, Norfolk, England. He immigrated to Canada in 1954, settling in Winnipeg. Having served in the British Royal Air Force, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a flight navigator upon arriving in Canada. Bernie used his air force discharge money to start a real estate company, which in turn helped finance his medical education at the University of Manitoba.
As the oldest member of the class of 1965 Bernie was admired for his maturity, wit, and elegance—he was an unforgettable character. After his internship at Winnipeg General Hospital, he and fellow classmate, Dr W.L. Grapentine, moved to Biggar, Saskatchewan, where they took over a large general practice.
Bernie was an innately gifted physician—bright, practical, and well trained. Most importantly, he exuded optimism and a confidence in his abilities that enabled him to forge strong therapeutic alliances with his patients. This was his core strength. His clinical experiences in Biggar helped him to become the gifted physician whom the people of Princeton and Sechelt would come to know and respect.
In 1971 Bernie relocated to Princeton, where he served the community as a physician for 28 years with great dedication. He also served as the community’s coroner. He retired to the Sunshine Coast in 1999 intending to fish and play bridge, but was encouraged to return to medicine for another 5 years.
Bernie is survived by his wife, Florence; his children, Richard Mason and Barbara King; the family he shared with Florence, Tim Keogan, Jeff Keogan, Lisa Keogan, and Michael Keogan; his brother, Sir John Mason; his sister, Monica Playford; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his son, Christopher Mason, his daughter, Laurel Mason, and his brothers, Raymond and Neville Mason.
A memorial was held for Bernie on his birthday, 4 August 2011, in Sechelt. Four out of five members of his medical school clinical group attended, a testament to the strength of his friendships and collegial respect.
—William L. Grapentine, MD
Kennebunk, Maine, USA
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