Charity found a ‘true inspiration’

W34771H13 ''Unveiling and Dedication of the Canadian Memorial Worthing Sea Front Sunday Pam Wilson. Lt Colonel Jean Trudel Canagian Army and Chris Vowles ENGSUS00120130819113242

W34771H13 ''Unveiling and Dedication of the Canadian Memorial Worthing Sea Front Sunday Pam Wilson. Lt Colonel Jean Trudel Canagian Army and Chris Vowles ENGSUS00120130819113242

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THE WIFE of a charity founder who reunited more than 100 war children with their Canadian families has posthumously nominated him for a Community Stars award.

Chris Vowles worked tirelessly to reunite 127 families as part of his Canadian Roots charity.

His work continued right up until the end of his life last month, despite battling terminal cancer.

Wife Pam Vowles, in nominating him in the ‘true inspiration’ category, said he inspired everyone he met.

She explained: “In spite of battling terminal cancer, Chris continued to help others find their Canadian Roots.

“He successfully reunited another member with his family only a few months ago, making the total to date 127.

“He inspired everyone he met and either through Canadian Roots, the Canadian Memorial or even the DVDs that we produced showing Worthing at its best, Chris will always be remembered.”

A year ago, Chris and Pam installed the Canadian memorial, which now sits proudly on the seafront, near Grand Avenue.

A special service was held – a popular event which was repeated this year, to mark the first anniversary.

Pam said: “He insisted that the memorial day service took place and subsequently went without hitch, despite just days before being told that time was not on his side.

“Around 300 people attended the service on the seafront and no one dreamed that this would be the last one that he would be personally involved in.

“Because of his attention to detail, the service was another truly memorable event.”

The Herald carried a tribute piece to Chris on October 2, in which close friend Tom Wye paid tribute to him as a ‘true gentleman’.

Mr Wye worked with the couple on the memorial project originally.

He said: “He was a wonderful person and a true gentleman. He was such a nice person and may he rest in peace.”

Pam has vowed to keep the charity going in Chris’s memory, along with the yearly memorial service.

Chris set up Canadian Roots following his own unsuccessful search for his father, who he knew was a Canadian serviceman stationed at the bottom of Grand Avenue in 1945.

He worked with the Project Roots organisation but could not find an answer.

Using a company in America, he traced more information through DNA and traced his family back to the Scottish borders.

He founded his own charity in 2008, helping reunite families in a similar position to him. Outside his charity work, Chris – renowned as a gadget man – along with Pam, were often seen at various Worthing events, filming for their Year in the Life of Worthing DVDs.

The duo also set up a company last year, placing QR codes on memorial stones, linking to biographical information about the deceased.

For more information about Canadian Roots, visit www.canadianrootsuk.org