Sidney Flavelle, BA’46

Sidney was born on December 12, 1924, and passed away on May 9, 2011. She grew up in Vancouver and had her early education at Prince of Wales High School before going on to gain her bachelor’s degree, majoring in chemistry.

She found time to become active in UBC affairs having been elected as secretary of the Alma Mater Society in her final year. Social life was not neglected – she joined the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and gained many lifelong friends from her activities on campus as well as from her earlier school years.

Her degree gave her the requirement needed to become a technician at the Atomic Energy Establishment at Chalk River, ON, in 1947.

Sidney met her future husband, William H. Hardwick, an English scientist seconded to the Chalk River Establishment. They married in 1949 before moving on to England in 1950, where Bill carried on his work at The Atomic Energy Establishment, Harwell.

While the three children were growing, Sidney’s interest in chemistry took another turn; she had become interested in pottery. This led to teaching pottery in the local high school, while developing her own unique style. Her granddaughter, Anna, summed up her grandmother’s work during the service in the lovely 12th century church in nearby Blewbury:

“When I was a lot younger, I remember my whole class from primary school trudging across the fields to learn about pottery. As she showed us round I remember feeling rather smug that it was my gran we were visiting. After all there were not many grans who were worth a school trip!”

And as her son, Gordon, put it:

“On the afternoon of May 8 she was welcoming visitors to her pottery at Cedarwood as part of Arts Week. Her Alzheimer’s was developing, but there she was, talking lucidly and enthusiastically to complete strangers about different aspects of glazing pots, and selling them.”

On the evening of May 8, Sidney had her two children, daughter-in-law and her youngest two grandchildren for supper. Upon their leaving, she went to bed, from which she did not awake.

Hers was a long and happy life, marred by the death of her daughter, Katie, at age nine in 1966, and her husband, Bill, in 1988. She leaves son Gordon, daughter Sarah and seven grandchildren.

Man passes and pottery remains

It remains to evoke, to bear witness,

To recall those who are no longer here,

At times to reveal some jealously

Guarded secrets, that man’s face,

His gaze, his voice were tenaciously hiding.

Alberto Savinio, of Andres di Chirico,
Tutta la vita, 1945