Arnold Emery

EMERY Passed away peacefully on March 5, 2002,

Arnold W. Emery, M.D., aged 67 years, of Richmond, B.C.

Arnie is survived by his loving family: his partner, Robin; daughters, Christine

(Mark), Delta and Jennie (Rob), Richmond; son, Michael (Lorraine),

Delta; their mother, Roberta, Richmond;

Granddaughters: Elizabeth and Alexandra, and other loving family and friends. As

an accomplished trumpet player, Arnie was an active member of the Kitsilano Boys Band, the RCAF Band, BC Lions Band, Delta Band and RCL Branch 5 Band

(Richmond). Dr. Emery was a dedicated family practitioner for many years in

Richmond. Arnie was also an avid race car enthusiast as a driver and member of the Sports Car Club of BC and was the Medical Director of the ICSCC.

Memorial Service: Sunday, March 10, 2002 at 2:00 p.m.

at Unity of Vancouver, 5840 Oak Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Reverend Kathryn Anderson, officiating.

Should friends desire, donations to the BC SPCA, #322-470 Granville St., Vancouver, BC, V6C 1V5, appreciated.

Personal Alternative Funeral Services

Memorial Service for Arnold William Emery 1934-2002

“A Service in Remembrance and Celebration of the Life of

Arnold Emery”

Unity of Vancouver – Sunday, March 10, 2002

Prelude – Arnie”s Tribute Band

Opening Remarks – Rev. Kathryn Anderson

Music: Arnie”s Tribute Band (“Washington Post March”, by John P. Sousa)

Prayer – Rev. Kathryn Anderson

Solo – Jennie Emery (“Amazing Grace”, accompanying herself)

Spiritual Reflections – Rev. Kathryn Anderson

Eulogy – Kennie Douglas and Gordie Brown

Message on behalf of the family: Michael Emery

Solo – Perry Dickison (“My Way”)

Closing Prayer and Remarks – Rev. Kathryn Anderson

Music and Postlude – Arnie”s Tribute Band (“Semper Fidelis” by John P. Sousa)

Postlude: “Fantasy on Onward Christian Soldiers”

Arnie”s Tribute Band is a compilation of musicians from the Kits Boys Band to the Branch 5 Legion Band.

Our family would like to thank you for all your love, prayers and support, and for sharing this special time with us today.

We warmly invite you to join us for a reception downstairs following the Service.

Friends of Arnie also gathering at the Army Navy and Air Force Veterans Unit, #284 – 11900 No. 1 Road, Richmond, between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. today. Please join them for a drink on Arnie and a toast to his life.

“To My Grandad”

Grandad was so sweet and kind,

We”ll lever leave him behind

People leave and people come,

But he was one of those special ones,

He was there when you needed help,

A kind doctor –

who never made his patients yelp.

I will never say goodbye to him,

He was there for me – I”ll will never say good-bye to him,

He was there for me – I”ll be there for him.

With Love, Elizabeth Emery

The important thing about my grandad is-

He loves dilly bars, he like to nap on the couch

He took me to the movies, he took me to the park

He gave me hugs, he gave me kisses

but the most important thing about my Grandad is –

I love him and he loves me.

With love, Alexandra Emery

These were Ken Douglas’ notes for his tribute to Arnold:



I first met Arnold in 1947 – we were kids in the Kitsilano Boys Band – our first overnight trip was to Sechelt aboard the Union steamship The Lady Alexandra. We stayed in private homes that night and played the concert, then came home the next day. This was the beginning of a life-long friendship with a boy who was later to become the man most of us here knew as Arnold Emery – medical doctor, musician, father, husband and friend.

Speaking as a friend, I watched as he worked in his Dad’s drug store and played his trumpet in the Kits Boys Band from 1947 to 1953 – he could also play the piano. Even then he knew he was going to be either a doctor or a musician. In the end, the doctor won out. In his late teens, he worked at Coca Cola during the day, as I did, and played his horn at night with such notables as Dal Richards Bands and Ken Holes groups as Gordie mentioned. At that time he had to make a decision about whether he would intern in Vancouver or Buffalo, New York. He chose Buffalo because it would allow more in depth working opportunities for him. Before going to New York, he was always busy doing as many musical gigs as he could get because he and Roberta had met and were now married and in need of an apartment. Ever the optimist, Arnie was convinced that two could live as cheaply as one. He always looked on the bright side of things – a wonderful trait.

Soon, there was a third member of the family – Christine was born and the pressure was on. Longer work hours, more musical gigs, etc. He ended up playing week nights and weekends with the Lions Band at football games and with Dal Richards at the Roof of the Vancouver Hotel, among other places. By this time you are getting the idea that work, family, and playing music were his lifestyle. He went to New York to complete his internship and when it was over they moved back to Richmond and set up a medical office with Robertson, Cathcart, Campbell and Murray. A short time later he opened his own office and things began to come together. When Michael came along, Roberta and Arnie were busier than ever raising 2 energetic children and Arnie with the busy life of a doctor. Then Jennie made her entrance into the world and things moved up a notch.

All of the Emery children are very active, intelligent individuals. Christine’s in nursing, Michael is with a medical equipment supplies distribution company, and Jenny’s the musician extraordinaire. During all of this growing up time for the kids, Arnie could see he had missed some of this fun when he was a teenager and felt that maybe he had better take some time to do something he always wanted to do. Anyone who ever rode with Arnold knows why he went into racing. SPEED! He loved it – give him some power and wheels and he was happy. At one time he had a mini Cooper – I can attest to the top speed of a mini Cooper – I’ve been there several times. Arnie would ask: how fast are we going now, Ken? Me, being ever so brave, saying in my boldest voice: well, big guy, this thing really does do 105 MPH!!! Yep, we did it, and neither one of us would give those days away.

Recently, he wanted to get another racing car for one more go at the thrill it gave him. He was already acting as the Medical Director for a racing club. So, he rented a race car, passed his racing test, and drove in races at the age of 66 years old!!

A doctor has something special to give to society; they help with birth, they save lives; they give people hope and take them through rough times. The only time Arnold would mention anything in retrospect, would be after a great musical performance he would say “I wonder what would have happened if I’d decided to do music instead of medicine”. He was such a good musician; he had to wonder where it might have taken him if he hadn’t found his calling as a doctor.

Later, when Arnold and Roberta decided to part that of course was a very big thing in the family. However common it’s become, divorce always takes its toll on everyone. This divorce was no exception and the kids, family and friends were all affected. Through all the changes, Arnie always looked at his situation as a lesson in life, as a father whose heart went out to his children, and he became more understanding of his kids because he was now away from them and could look into their lives from more of a distance. He knew he was so proud of each of them and loved them very much.

Arnie always looked at the glass and to him it was half full, not half empty.

Later, Arnold got lucky. Arnold had known Robin for years as a friend, who had even babysat his kids when they were younger. They met again and started seeing each other and have now been life partners for the past 11 years.

Since his operation last year, and before he went up to Tahsis last December, he and I were spending more quality time together – these were probably the closest times in our long friendship. We often talked about Christine and Mark, and Michael, Loraine and his beloved grandchildren Elizabeth and Alexandra, and about Jenny and Rob.

We talked about Robin and what a beautiful woman she is and how deeply he felt about her. She made a big impression on his life and helped him start to smell the roses. He took an interest in cooking and Robin signed him up for a cooking course. He loved it and really enjoyed trying new recipes on unsuspecting family and friends. Sometimes I’d drop by the house – we’d talk for a while – then Arnie would ask me to repair something, or to build something – then we’d have lunch and talk some more. He put out some bird feeders and bird houses and loved to watch the birds eat and enjoy themselves. He defended them from cats and took pictures of some finches that somehow built a nest against the kitchen window in the pirocanthas bush. He was really enjoying life.

That was the father, grandfather, doctor, musician, race car driver, and sweetheart we all knew: The man that always saw the good side of his patients, and his friends alike. He was a real human being.

That’s the man I’ll miss, and I know you will too.

By Ken Douglas

Music Was His Passion

(By Jennie Emery)

His patients knew him as Doctor Arnold Emery, his musician friends knew him as Arnie and to me, he was Dad. On March 5, 2002, the world lost a great trumpet player. Arnie’s compassion for humanity led him to a career in the medical field, as a dedicated family physician; however, his first love was music. His musical life began at an early age, as a member of the Kitsilano Boys Band, from 1947 to 1953. Under the commanding leadership of Arthur Delamont, this band was the breeding ground for many a great musician. My father felt privileged to have played with the likes of Arnie Chycoski (Boss Brass), Bill Trussell (renowned trombonist), and many other accomplished musicians, some of whom would become life-long friends. In 1950 and 1953, the band made two very memorable trips, playing shows across Canada before travelling to England, where they played a different city each week, two shows a night, six nights a week. The stories they tell about those trips could fill a book, and what a book that would be – parental guidance advised!

Arnie’s career as a professional musician began in Grade nine, with his own dance band. Long-time friend and colleague, Gordie Brown, recalls one of their first jobs, the opening of the Kits Community Centre, which paid $5 a man — things have come a long way since then! Arnie’s band played at the Roof, the Commodore, and for many private functions. Throughout his years in University and Medical School, Arnie played regularly with Doug Kirk’s Band (Commodore Ballroom), and with Ken Hole’s Jazz Band. He was a member of the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Reserve Band. He also worked with Dal Richards at The Roof among other places, and continued playing with Dal on many occasions over the years. Colleague Bob Hales recalls marching with Arnie in the B.C. Lions Band in the PNE parades. “Boy, your Dad could sure blow,” says Hales. My father was also hired for many pit bands, including several recent musical theatre productions.

While ensconced in his career as a family practitioner, Arnie played lead trumpet in the Delta Community Band, directed by Bob Hilton and Bobbie Herriot. Around this time, he began playing his “tilt-bell” trumpet (le Blanc), designed by Herriot, which became Arnie’s trademark. You couldn’t miss him, not only because of the unique horn design, but because he played it with such jubilant finesse!

More recently, my father played in the Royal Canadian Legion Concert Band (Branch 5, Richmond), conducted by Bob Mullett. This involved another trip to England in 1989, and in 1995, the Legion Band was invited to play in the Netherlands, to help celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Holland”s liberation.

My father also led the trumpet section in the “Take 5″ Dance Band, directed by Ward Redditt. As a singer, I am honored to have had the chance to share the stage with my Dad in performing with this 17-piece band. I will continue to sing with the band, and even though my Dad won”t be visible on stage, we will all feel his unifying, dynamic presence in the music.

Arnie’s passion for music was a source of inspiration and encouragement for all those with whom he came in contact. His proficiency and enthusiasm made him a true leader, not only in the trumpet section. An accomplished musician who had great command of his horn, my father strove for perfection in every note, while always maintaining the freedom of artistic expression. Although he is no longer with us, his love of music will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. The world must say goodbye for now to one more great musician, but the angels are rejoicing — Heaven’s band has just gained an exquisite new lead trumpeter in Arnold Emery, the man I am proud to call Dad.

  1. Jennie will be performing with the “Take 5 Band” @ the Burnaby Shrine Hall (3550 Wayburn Drive) from 2:00-4:30pm on April 7th.


Mark Connolly


Eulogy by Gordie Brown “Arnie Emery” March 10, 2002

I have spent the last few days editing our Musical Experiences together. Boy, we had some interesting times.

In 1950 – I met Emery at a Kitsilano boys Band practice just prior to his first trip to England.

In 1953 I joined him on his second trip to England. These were 5 months trips – we lived on two rail cars and played concerts in various cities across Canada.

– boarded a converted troop ship (S. S. Samaria) taking 9 or 10 days to cross the Atlantic.

-In England, we stayed in Billets and played in a Variety Show – twice a night for 6 days. On Sunday we would travel by bus or train to our next destination. Our return was simply the reverse.

– We played in the Kits High School “Mixer” orchestra.

Emery’s own Dance Band:

– The core of 9 players practiced in his parents’ living room. We played some interesting jobs, i.e. Opening of the Kits Community Centre ($5.00 each).

-Recall heading for a job in North Vancouver. To save a fare one person was put in the trunk. We were late – Emery’s driving – we caught the ferry after it had left the dock. This is a true story – just ask Bill Stonier – he was in the Trunk!

Arnie also played at the Commodore, Roof, and with Ken Hole’s Group at UBC.

We played the B. C. Lions Football Games: – at Half Time we were usually asked to form the Letter “I”. We also mastered eating a bag of peanuts in the shell and still be able to play.

– We played in the Air Force Reserve Band and the Delta Band.

Most recently – Legion #5 Concert Band

I bunked with Arnie during our trip to England in 1989. One day we missed the bus for a concert. Fortunately we were able to ride in the back of the truck with the instruments. This took us back to the Kits Band days.

In 1995 we were invited to the Netherlands to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their Liberation – this was a trip never to be forgotten.

We have also been playing in the “Take 5” – 17 piece Dance Band. Arnie’s daughter Jenny has sung with us on occasion. It was quite a thrill.

Arnie was (without question) one of the best “Legitimate” trumpet players around – an incredible musician.

He was also my Doctor and I will be forever grateful for his dedication to this profession. When presented with a personal problem, he would always say, “That’s interesting” and try to find a solution. That is something most of us will never forget.

Gordie Brown, March 10, 2002.

Ken Sotvedt’s tribute to Arnold Emery 

Gord–It is indeed a sad time for all of us who were fortunate to have known Arnold. I joined the Kits Band in January of 1951, played with Arnie in the band until he left in 1953 or 54, the RCAF reserve band with Don Lastoria and Ozzie McCoomb; the Delta Band with Jimmie Coombs – from the Ted Heath band (and Art Tusvik’s father-in-law), and Bobbie Herriot from the Norad Band, I also played countless gigs with him in various professional concert bands, parades, B.C. Lions games etc.

I have two special memories of his prowess as a lead trumpet player in the Kits band, both from a week-long engagement at the Thames Embankment Gardens during the week of June 21st 1953–We played twice a day–each program different [that’s 14 different programs] We were playing a march by E.F. Goldman called the “Toledo Blade”, in which Mr. D inserted a 16 bar drum solo before the trio–it was the first number on the program and instructions were verbal and somewhat vague- Mr. D probably said to start “at the trio” after the drum solo–there is an 8 bar introduction to the main trio melody which is scribbled out in about half the parts [including the oboe part Mr. D. used as a conductor’s score], and not marked out in other parts. [I have the music in front of me]. Needless to say, half the band started at one place, and the other half at the pick-ups into the trio melody. Chaos was upon us, nobody stopped playing, Mr. D had a look of panic on his face and kept yelling “the trio, the trio” when suddenly the most forceful trumpet player I have ever been associated with over-powered us all with what he was playing, and within a bar or two, everything was back to normal.

Later during this week Mr. D received a letter from some guy who said that his 13
year-old son had much better tone and a nicer style of playing than our solo cornet player {he obviously wasn’t listening when either Doug Holbrooke or Roy Griffiths played alone]. Mr. D, of course, read the letter to the huge audience, said there wasn’t a 13 year- old alive who could handle the task our guys did, and invited the man and his son up onto the stage so we could all meet this phenomenon–he probably even offered to pay the guy– of course the audience went nuts as Mr. D egged them on, and we got even greater applause!

The Kitsilano Boys’ Band was the phenomenon, never to be equaled in its time, and probably never to be equaled in the future–it, and we were unique. Dal Richards told me of a 1934 or 36 newspaper headline that read “CAN THESE BE BOYS?”. We were– we played extremely difficult adult music, not as well as professional adults, but better than most bands did, and we were exciting, dynamic, and smart! —

and one of the greatest and memorable pieces of this very intricate puzzle was Dr. Arnold Emery–we shall all revere him as long as we live.

Ken Sotvedt. 1951-58

Ken Sotvedt Principal Pinewood Elementary


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