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Gibson, Bob

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Gibson, Bob

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Canadian war veteran, artist, avid reader and book collector, William Robert (Bob) Gibson was born into a farming family in Springbank, Alberta, in 1908. Books and reading seized his imagination from early childhood; Jules Verne was an early favourite. Reading became even more important during a year-long period when scarlet fever kept him largely confined to his bed. Later, as a teenager, Bob would walk from Springbank into Calgary in order to borrow books from the downtown library. Bob served with an artillary unit in the Second World War from 1939-45, in England, Sicily and Italy. On his return to Calgary he found an outlet for his artistic talents through drawing and ceramics. In addition to work as a part-time commissionaire, he taught ceramics classes through the Allied Arts Council and set up an artistic ceramics business in his garage, complete with two electric kilns. A few decades later a bicycle accident forced him to break a contract to deliver ceramic figurines and he never returned to it. Instead, he dedicated his weekdays to reading and collecting books and stayed on as a weekend commissionaire, an occupation that allowed him even more time to indulge his interests. Bob died on January 8, 2001 at the age of 92.

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