Jeremy Benjamin Symonds Harrison was born in Alverstoke, Hampshire, England March 23, 1930, to John Harrison, a Royal Air Force pilot, and his wife Joyce. Ben began his travels early. When he was four, he was sent to Egypt on a navy boat to visit his father, accompanied by his 9-year-old brother Bob. From that age, he attended a boarding school in Crewkerne, England. There, he learned early to be stoic, and independent. His parents had split up, and his family basically abandoned him, except for brother Bob. During holidays, he stayed at the homes of other boys, or at the school by himself. On the outbreak of World War 2 he was unofficially adopted by the Thomas family, farmers living near Crewkerne. He lived with them for many years and worked every day on the farm. He met his future wife Alethea at a whist drive, and later took her for a ride on his motorcycle. “Hold On,” he told Alethea, and she did. After they married, he left the farm and soon after was drafted into the British army, based in Plymouth, Malta, and Cyprus. Afterwards, he and Alethea decided the family should leave England for a better life. In 1957, he immigrated to Canada with Alethea and their son Kim. Ben worked as a farmhand in the Duncan area, where son Alan was born, then found work as a milk tester in Salmon Arm, moving there in 1961. His children Teresa and Trevor were the first twins born in Salmon Arm hospital, that same year. Ben worked as a milk tester for 30 years in the Salmon Arm area, well-known to all the farmers as a competent worker with a great sense of humor. His determination in wanting to own a small farm helped him convince the credit union to give him a loan to buy property on Foothill Road, and he built the family house there. The family lived in one part of the house while he built on the other. He was a role model for the value of personal effort and hard work in attaining goals. He coached hockey and baseball for many years. He and Alethea joined the tennis club, where they served on the executive. He was known as a competitive player, again with that sharp sense of humor. In the years before and after retirement, he and Alethea travelled to Australia, England, across Canada, to Alaska, Polynesia and the Caribbean. They strongly supported their grandchildren’s sports events and Ben organized the Harrison Cup, the family golf tournament, which gained many more members over the years. After Alethea passed, Ben moved to Piccadilly Place. He and his good friend Betty enjoyed many good times there. He spent most days out at the family property, where he continued to garden and cut up wood, joined by the family members at campfires and wiener roasts. One of his final wishes was to have a last look at Mt. Ida. He saw the mountain for the last time on Saturday May 7th, and passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Lavender and brother Bob, his beloved wife Alethea, and his daughters-in-law Shannon and Patricia. He is survived by sons Kim, Alan (Debbie), Trevor (Margaret), and daughter Teresa (Kirk), grandchildren Ryan, Mark (Adele) , David (Mallory), Andrew, Nick (Karlene), Tristan (Hailey), Tim, Faith, Kade and Keela, great-grandchildren Amaya and Lennon, and his wonderful friend Betty Brunner. Thanks to Salmon Arm hospital staff for their excellent care during his last weeks. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ben’s name may be given to The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Salmon Arm Tennis Club.
A Memorial and Celebration of Life was held at Bowers’ Funeral Home, 440 10th St SW, Salmon Arm, BC, on Saturday, July 30, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. To watch a recording of the service, please click the link below.