Harry Leslie Monks

My Uncle’s wonderful, free spirit passed on to the Great Spirit, March 23, 2006. Uncle Les would have been 93 on the 30th of May.

He was my special Uncle for 64 years. When I was a little kid, on greeting me, he would say, “Billy, tell me about your adventures,” and we would sit and talk. Often when we went for a walk he would perch me on his shoulders, letting me see the world from on high. I felt like a giant.

My love and respect for Uncle Les grew from what he did, how he acted and from what he shared. He continued to be fascinated by science, science fiction, biology and the cosmos. His science notebooks were detailed and precise, with approving comments by his teachers. His awe and respect of “Mother Nature”, as he referred to the environment, was in the forefront of his being. Whether observing rabbits, or other wildlife around the creeks or harvesting watercress from a clear running brook, he was careful to make his way unobtrusively and patiently. “Move about quietly, don’t scare the animals, and you will see how they live” was one of his mottos. He would show me a praying mantis on a leaf and together we would quietly watch “the little fellow” as it went about its way.

He taught himself to read music and to play the violin and harmonica, and although he was shy about performing in public, he shared his music with me.

I never heard Uncle Les use profanity or angry words. Never. And he did not “put people down” or criticize anyone. He did not have a mean bone in his body. He respected others and himself. He did not smoke or use alcohol or drugs. Skilled in judo, he shared some holds and movements with me, within his framework of “never be a bully” but be able to protect yourself and others.

My Uncle lived according to Hillel’s Golden Rule… look into your own heart, find out what distresses you and do not inflict similar pain on others. “Others” to Uncle Les meant all creation.

I am rich in the blessing of having had him as my Uncle and I will continue to love him as I always have.


Bill Jack of Smithers, B.C.

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