allan ferguson duffus


DUFFUS, Allan Ferguson - of Waverley and formerly Bedford, died October 16th, 1997 in his 83rd year at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax. Born in Halifax, he was the son of the late Colonel Allan W. and Mrs. (Gwen) Duffus. Dr Duffus was a well respected Architect who received many honors such as the Nova Scotia Association of Architects- Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Honorary Doctor of Engineering from TUNS. He was actively involved in a wide variety of architectural commissions over the years since establishing his practice in 1946. As a founding partner of the firm Duffus, Romans, Kundzins and Rounsefell Ltd., he was responsible for a number of projects in the fields of housing, churches, academic facilities, offices and institutional buildings. More specifically he was partner in charge of such design commissions as the School for the Deaf in Amherst, the Nova Scotia Museum and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. He was also responsible for the design and completion of the east front of the Cathedral of All Saints. As a long time member and past president of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia and one of the founding members of the Landmarks Commission of Halifax, Dr. Duffus took an active part in the field of restoration and preservation. He also served as governor of Heritage Canada from 1974-1979. His firm was engaged and prepared the successful development proposal for the restoration of Halifax's old waterfront area, which became known as Historic Properties. He was also partner in charge of restoration of the Robertson Hardware Building which is part of the Maritime Museum complex. Upon his retirement from the firm in 1980, he set up a consulting business in Conservation and worked on such projects as Greenwood Cottage in Sherbrooke and the Windsor Junction Railway Station. From 1984-91 he worked as a special consultant in conservation both for his son on such projects as Province House, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Old Town Clock on the Citadel and independently for St. George's Church. Dr. Duffus had a keen interest in the churches of Nova Scotia and co-authored "Thy Dwellings Fair" and contributed to "More Stately Mansions" published in 1982 & 1983. His keen interest in saving historic buildings engaged his attention and persistence over the last 8 years in saving the Scott Manor House and its historic site, in Bedford.... Dr. Duffus was educated at King's College School in Windsor, N.S.; Dalhousie University in pre-engineering, and McGill University (1933-38) in architecture. He was a fellow and past president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and past president of the Nova Scotia Association of Architects. He was a founding member and past commodore of the Bedford Basin Yacht Club, a life member of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, a Charter member of Gamma Rho Chapter of Sigma Chi and a long time member of the Halifax Club. He was a veteran of the Second World War RCNVR(ret'd). Surviving are his wife Carol Duffus, Waverley; son Graeme Duffus and wife Pamela Piers, Halifax; daughters Sylvia Duffus, Edmonton; Roslyn Duffus, Waverley; Heather Gayler and husband Trevor Gayler, Halifax; grandsons Joshua and Benjamin. He was predeceased by his brother Andrew MacKinlay Duffus and his sister Katherine Duffus. Visitation 2-4, 7-9 p.m. Sunday, October 19th at Snow's Funeral Home, 2666 Windsor St., Halifax. Funeral 2 p.m. Monday October 20th, at Bedford United Church, Rev. David J. H. Hart officiating. Burial following will be in Fairview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to QEII Health Sciences Centre or Bedford United Church.


Our Dad did not want us to make a fuss about him and wanted us to keep his Funeral simple. In accordance with those wishes we offer the following: After much prodding, in 1990 he started writing a Memoir, reluctantly. He only got to the top of the third page, but what he wrote was promising. Dad never talked much about himself and we are sure he was uncomfortable writing about his life. That is too bad as he had a very interesting and productive life. He survived the Halifax Explosion at 2; obtained his early education during the Roaring Twenties and on through the Depression, worked for Andrew Cobb as a student Architect in the Thirties, experienced prewar Europe and the Modern Movement in Architecture; served in the Canadian Navy on Convoy duty during the War; and played a significant role in the development of post War Halifax, beginning his 50 years as an Architect, in 1946.

As a young boy of 11, he was sent to King's College School in Windsor, graduating as Head Boy in 1932. The school Motto was Manhood, Gentleness and Learning, virtues that describe him very well. His life centered around his family, his community and his profession. We are so very grateful that he was able to enjoy a post ... post career retirement; ...travel; ...visit friends, and enjoy his grandsons... before he passed gently away. In his Memoir he refers to his favorite poem by Hood. In his own words then...

I Remember I Remember

by

Allan F. Duffus

"Somewhere back in the dark recesses of my mind reside the first lines of a poem, which I am prone to recite at the most unexpected and uninvited moments. I have no explanation for this being the only verse I can still recite from memory but it does take me back to my school days and to the house where I was born. It goes like this.

I remember, I remember,

The house where I was born,

The little window where the sun

Came peeping in at morn;

It never came a wink too soon,

Nor brought too long a day;

But now, I often wish the night

Had born my breath away.

It is only now in the 77th year of my life that I can fully appreciate the sentiments of the last line of the verse, for now I have a copy of all four verses of the poem by Hood, sent to us by our good friend Margaret Shaw in Winnepeg. In wondering about the significance of the poem, I found it in the last verse, as follows.

I remember, I remember,

The pine trees, dark and high,

I used to think their slender tops

were close against the sky;

It was a childish ignorance,

But now, 'tis little joy,

To know I'm farther off from heaven

Than when I was a boy!"

Not anymore Dad.

Written by Graeme F. Duffus on behalf of the Family.


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