Alec G. Henley, CLU, KSG
Passed on: February 21st, 2013
Passed peacefully away at home, on Thursday, February 21, 2013, after a long and productive life, Alec G. Henley, in his 91st year. Leaving to mourn their loss and celebrate his life are his beloved wife, Catherine (Tobin) and his 4 children: Janet, Brian, John (Victoria Crosbie) and Chris (Sheilagh House). Also left with wonderful memories of their devoted "Wishes", are his 11 grandchildren: Kate Andrews Hoult (Ryan), Peter Andrews, Laura Henley, Andrea Henley, Marc Henley, Simon Andrews, Alec Henley, Sarah Henley, Anna Henley, Abbey Henley and Jay Henley and his one great-grandchild Benjamin Hoult. Alec is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Alec is predeceased by his parents, John J. and Catherine (Brennan) Henley and his 12 siblings, Sister Mary Aloysius Gonzaga, RSM, Charles (Rita Hynes), John, James, Leo, Thomas, Isabel Downey (Peter), Francis (Clare Noseworthy), Edward (Margaret Conroy), Patrick (Mary Battcock), Catherine Harris (Richard) and Mary and his daughter-in-law Susan J. Wright. Alec was born on September 30, 1922 in St. John's. Baptized Aloysius Gonzaga Henley, Alec was the ninth of the nine Henley boys to be educated at St. Bonaventure’s College. In 1944 he started his own insurance and employee benefits consulting business in which he was actively involved until age 89. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriters CLU designation in 1953. Over the decades the business evolved into the Alec. G. Henley Group, now under the leadership of his son, Brian. He had many other business interests including being a founding shareholder and founding Chairman & CEO of Avalon Cablevision Ltd. Alec actively contributed to his community and his Church throughout his life. He was a founding member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1948, with which he was active for decades. He was elected to St. John's City Council in 1955, at age 32, and served two terms. He was a founding member of the St. John's Jaycees and a founding member of the Society for the Care of Crippled Children. Alec served as a member and as Chairman of the Board of the St. John's Children's Rehabilitation Centre until it closed. He chaired the Royal Commission on Regional Government for the St. John's Urban Region (the 1976 "Henley Royal Commission"), which first proposed both the Harbour Arterial Road, the Crosstown Arterial Road and the Outer Ring Road. Alec was active in the Royal St. John's Regatta Committee for over 65 years, first as an oarsman and then as a coxswain. He became a member of the Regatta Committee in 1944, at age 22, a position he held until his death as a Honourary Life Member. He was inducted into the Royal St. John's Regatta Hall of Fame in 1997. He donated the Henley Mens’ rings in 1982 for breaking the 9 minute mark and the Womens’ rings for breaking the 4:30 in 1989. The company also donated two racing shells to the Regatta: the "Henley" in and the "Catherine M”. Alec also chaired the organizing committee for the 1972 Men's Brier Curling Championships in St. John's, was Vice Chairman of the 1977 Canada Summer Games Committee, a Past-President of Bally Haly Golf and Country Club and a past director of the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club. Alec’s contribution to his church involved numerous roles including Chairman of the St. John's Roman Catholic School Board. He was very proud to serve as Chairman of the 200th Anniversary Celebrations of the Archdiocese of St. John's through which he chaired the Committee responsible for the 1984 visit of Pope John Paul II, a role which gave him tremendous satisfaction. In 1985 he was honoured by Pope John Paul II and appointed a Knight of the Order of St Gregory (KSG). Alec was active in the St. Bon's Old Boys Association for many years. He helped raise funds for the St. Bon's Forum reconstruction after a fire and was a major contributor to the re-establishment of St. Bonaventure's College in 1999. He contributed to the restoration of the Chapel of the school in 2003 through his research into and funding of replicas of the original stained glass windows. St. Bonaventure's College honoured him in 2009 by appointing him its first Alumnus of the Year. Alec was, however, first and foremost a devoted family man and a devout Roman Catholic. Married for 64 years, his wife Catherine was his greatest love. His greatest joys in life were his children and his grandchildren, of whom he was very proud. He could be demanding of himself and of those around him but he also loved "a bit of fun". He lived life to the fullest whether at home, at work or in the community. He lived his faith, day in and day out. He was generous to those in need both at home and abroad without fanfare. His life is a testament to his belief that "from those who have much, much is expected." The family wishes to acknowledge the love, professional care and compassion provided by all of the caregivers who shared his journey over the last eighteen months, especially Amanda, Kim, Helen, Randy and Joan. You cared for Dad like he was one of your own family. Visitation will take place at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Pius X on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. Flowers are gratefully accepted or please make a donation in Alec’s memory to the St. Bonaventure’s College Bursary Fund. To send a message of condolence or to sign the memorial guest book, please visit www.carnells.com.