Nov 5, 2017
Patrick Vernon Thomas Ribbins, 95, passed away peacefully in his sleep at The Gardens of Qualicum Beach on Sunday 5th November 2017.
He was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Shirley Mae Ribbins, his daughter, Deirdre Knier, and son, Peter Ribbins.
He is survived by his sister, Theresa Leitch, his daughters Gillian Ribbins and Patricia Ribbins, his six grand children, six great grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.
Born in West Bengal, India to Colonel William and Norah Ribbins, he was the firstborn of five children. In 1941, inspired by his father’s service to the British Empire, Patrick joined the RAF. Flying Avro Lancaster bombers with RAF 100 Squadron his missions took him and his crew over occupied Europe and Germany. After completing his tour of 30 operations, he was discharged from the RAF as Squadron Leader and awarded several medals, among them the Distinguished Flying Cross.
In 1948, Patrick joined the London Metropolitan Police Force and served for a year in London until he was appointed to the Malayan Police Service where he served until 1953. Patrick retired as Chief Police Officer in Malaya in 1953 and emigrated to Canada where he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954 serving until retirement in 1967.
Patrick went on to work in advertising and public relations until 1994. Patrick and his wife then moved to Vancouver Island in British Columbia and spent the twilight years of his life golfing and participating in the community.
In his final years, Patrick was honored to receive in 2013, the newly created Bomber Command Clasp as a long overdue recognition of having flown in active service with Bomber Command in WW2. And in 2014, Patrick was made a Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor conferred by the Government of France, in recognition of the vital role he and his flight crew played in the Invasion of Normandy during the Second World War.
He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. The family would like to especially thank the faculty and staff of the Gardens and Marion Scott, who was a comfort to Patrick in his final months.
They would also like to thank The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 Qualicum Beach for their participation in our celebration of Patrick’s life.
A memorial will be held at Yates Memorial Services at 1000 Allsbrook Road, Parksville BC on November 22, 2017 at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association of Canada (www.ptsdassociation.com)