George Tichbourne - Ontario Knifemaker

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This is not an easy post for me to write to fellow knifemakers on Bladeforums.

For those of you that know Canadian knifemaker George Tichbourne and his wife Carol, I have been asked by our friend AJ, on Carol's behalf to post here. I have to say because of pressure of work and other real life commitments, I can't remember the last time I did post on Bladeforums, but it was a long time ago, January in fact. My knifemaker status expired, so I had to renew it last night, so I could post here to Around the Grinder today. Thanks Spark for the quick processing/

George and Carol gave me an unpaid job in November 2006 as I was awaiting my Canadian residency. However the lack of a wage was immaterial as George became my knifemaking mentor and over the following 12 months he taught me everything he knew without reservation. No secrets, everything he knew, but of course, the skill of a true knifemaking artisan with 25 years under his belt was a hard act to follow. I loved the 'job' which was indeed a joyful experience. I even loved and took pride in sweeping the floor and dusting the stock!

About a month ago, Carol phoned me on a Sunday night and left a message to phone her back. George has an agressive form of Leukemia and was expected to last only a few days to a week. The last time I saw him I thought he looked a funny colour, and intended to tell Carol about it, but under a different lamp in the workshop, I thought I had made a mistake. Carol has been very strong and George and her had talked about death, and I already knew that George was pleased he had outlived some of his family. It still came as a great shock to know that my friend and mentor was not expected to live very long.

Hope came with blood transfusions and an experimental form of chemotherapy at the best cancer hospital in Toronto, however George became a guinea pig and I guess the side effects were not balanced by the gains.

George has now left hospital and is at home in familiar surrounding to end his days, which I am led to believe could be as little as a couple of days. He is helped by hospice care via daily visits and a pump to administer pain drugs.

Please keep George in your prayers and thoughts for an easy passing, and in the longer term, your thoughts for Carol who will lose her soulmate and business partner.

Not sure what else to say, but the last few weeks have been so very sad and tearful.

Andrew, on behalf of George's friends of the 'Alternate Tuesday Night Knifemakers Coffee Night Club'. AJ Spyderco, Brian the filer, Peter the teacher, Dave the forger, Frank (CTV), Boris the jeweller, Andrew (Vancouver) and Chris the cop.
 
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I am absolutely shocked and saddened to hear this, even though I am not the praying type, I will say some for him and his family. I will also send smoke his way and all of my best thoughts.

George Mason
 

Danbo

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Prayers sent. While I've never met the man, I've heard nothing but good things about him. Something that is becoming very rare these days.
 
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Prayers sent. I've never met George, but have heard nothing but good about him. It's sad to loose such a man, rest easy.
 

HJK

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Prayers sent. I've never met George, but have heard nothing but good about him. It's sad to loose such a man, rest easy.
George and Carol are wonderful people and my prayers and best wishes are with them.
 

oldrifleman

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Prayers sent, may his passing be easy and his love, compassion and craft remembered!
 
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George passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning.

Our thoughts now pass to Carol for the strength to carry on. As she said in an e-mail, she looses her soulmate, her only husband, and her three businesses, knives, metal polishing and gift shop business. This has all happened so fast.
 
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they are all still in my thoughts and I hope that everything goes smoothly for her. George was part of the BFC family so if she needs anything she can feel free to ask. If I can help in any way I will
 
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Wow...

This news comes as a complete shock. I feel like I just heard Superman died. And I'm not trying to be cute when I say that. I've read nothing but sterling reviews of the man.

My most sincere condolences to Mrs. Tichbourne and anyone that was lucky enough to call George Tichbourne a friend.

We have truly lost one of the great ones, friends...
 
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HJK

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May his memory be for a blessing, may his family be comforted, and may love and peace dwell with them all.
 

Spark

HPIC - Hatas gonna Hate
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Aw hell. This really is terrible. Best wishes to Carol, hopefully George is in a happier place and at peace. :(
 

oldrifleman

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May the family be at peace and he in special place place filled with tools and departed friends. Prayers with Carol T! Steven
 
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May peace be with the family. Hopefully George has found Bob Loveless and Bill Moran. There has to be a special place in Heaven for knifemakers.
 
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So sorry to hear this, I pray the family will find the strength through God to ease their loss.
 
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The funeral was an upbeat affair and a celebration of George's life and companionship. George was piped into the church by a piper to the sounds of Amazing Grace. Carol gave a wonderful eulogy which brought both tears and laughter to the 100 or so assembled congregation. The minister was a friend of George and Carol and gave insight into George's life and his part in the greater good of life and death in general. The most amazing part was George leaving the church to a New Orleans type band playing 'When the Saints come Marching in' played with enthusiasm and gusto right to the kerb for George's last journey. That was followed by food and refreshments and lots of talk of George and knives. We all wore George's knives, or knives we had had made, or knives we could slip into a pocket somewhere. In particular, I showed my huge Tichbourne Military knife to a kindly lady who was facinated by the workmanship. I told her it was the first time I had worn it in public and the first time and probably the last that I had worn it in the 'House of God'!

God speed George, it was a great send off.

On Carol's behalf, thank you for all your kind messages.
 
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