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Philip ROUND

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ROUND, Philip

May 5, 1952 - July 20, 2018


Husband, father, journalist, writer, politician, and good friend to many, Philip Round died on Friday July 20 at the Hospice at The Views, Comox.

His death followed a short but brave battle with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Philip himself never worked with asbestos but his father did in the 1960s, and Philip’s cancer was almost certainly caused by asbestos fibres brought into his childhood home on his father’s overalls.

Philip was the beloved husband of Judith, stepfather of Simon Young (Valentina) of Santa Brigida, Italy, and David Young (Justine) of Wallington, England, and grandfather to Nathan, Lisi, Seb, Lea, Ruby and Emily. He was brother to Jean (Barrie), and son of Joseph and Margaret Round.

Philip was born in his grandmother’s house overlooking the River Hebden in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, England, on May 5 1952. It is his request that Judith and other family members return the ashes to that same river so he can complete the cycle of his life

Philip’s career began when he became a reporter on his local paper, the “Halifax Courier,” and ended with him working as a journalist on another local paper, the “Comox Valley Echo”. This return to his working roots he found both pleasing and satisfying.

But in between those two jobs, Philip did many other things. For a start, both he and Judith were municipal councillors for several years, Philip having the honour at one time of being the youngest elected councillor in England. Each served a term as mayor of Hebden Bridge in the late 70s.

After the “Halifax Courier”, Philip went on to promote tourism in both Hebden Bridge and Haworth, rising to become the County Tourism Officer for West Yorkshire County Council.

From there he moved to the Post Office in Leeds, becoming their press and public relations officer. In that role, he was responsible for all kinds of issues ranging from promoting special stamp issues to acting as a spokesperson during heated industrial disputes.

A spell at the BBC in Leeds came next, again in press and public relations. Given Philip’s love of politics, he delighted in meeting local MPs and ministers to promote the interviews they gave on television and radio.

A new job for Judith saw him move finally from his home town of Hebden Bridge to County Durham where he took up the post of public relations officer with the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, where his more exciting duties included briefing both the then Prime Minister, John Major, and the Governor of the Bank of England.

Despite Philip being happily settled in this job, Judith’s career took them next to the South of England, where he worked first for Portsmouth City Council. While there, he helped write a bid which went on to win $70 million from the UK National Lottery so the City could redevelop part of the old naval dockyard area and build the spectacular Spinnaker Tower. It was then on to Ordnance Survey, Britain’s national map making corporation, and finally to the Automobile Association. It was in this last job that he had his famous run-in with Chef Gordon Ramsay – but that is a story for another time.

Philip and Judith moved to the Comox Valley in 2004, becoming proud Canadian citizens in 2009. Despite his distinguished career, Philip had great problems finding work in the Valley, and was ever grateful to the Comox Valley Echo for taking him on – and for giving him a job which he truly loved. He was gratified to receive recognition for his journalism when he was awarded the Professional Merit Award by the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2011: an endorsement which meant a lot to him.

Philip loved to travel – he was on an adventure holiday in Viet Nam and Cambodia a week before his diagnosis – and spending fun times with both friends and family. He was interested in model railways but – despite moving his engines and rails through six different houses – he was always too busy to build his dream layout. He has left Judith to consider and dispose of more than 20,000 special issue British stamps, painstakingly collected over fifty years. He has also left Judith his darling dog, Daisy, who  encouraged him to do long hikes in Seal Bay Forest and who managed to sneak a visit to him at the hospice the night before he died.

Philip never got angry about his final illness. This is what he wrote at the end of a book which he put together telling the story of his life.

“I feel truly blessed to have lived a great life, and while it would have been good to have another 10 or 15 years, I have no grounds for complaint. All lives have their ups and downs, and mine has been no exception, but in my case the ups have outweighed the downs many times over. Personally, professionally and even politically, I have enjoyed it so much in large part thanks to the outstanding support of parents, family, friends, colleagues and – for the past 40 years – my truly wonderful soulmate and wife, Judith. She opened my eyes to the world and gave me more love than I ever deserved.”

Despite the fact we all knew from the diagnosis onwards that mesothelioma has only one possible ending, we have had tremendous support from the medical profession. Dr. Bakshi has been the most perfect family doctor we could ever have hoped for, and in the latter weeks the work of the palliative care team – Dr Hopwood, Dr Fehlau and nurse Necia Kaechle – went over and beyond what we could have expected. A huge thank you as well to the Community Nursing Team North who brought great professionalism and amazing cheerfulness into our home, and to the staff of The Medicine Shoppe in Comox who helped us so much on our frequent visits and really cared about us. Although Philip was a patient in the hospice for only three days, he was looked after with love by a whole team of nurses, careworkers and counsellors who gave the journey from life to death as much spirituality and compassion as we could have hoped for.

A big thank you too to the the wonderful friends and family members who have loved and supported us over the past five months, and to Toneff Funeral Services for their kindness and helpfulness.

At Philip’s request, a celebration of his life will be held shortly and I hope many of his friends in the Valley will attend. If you would like details, please contact me at judithround2it@shaw.ca.

Arrangements are in the care of Emma Rimell.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Toneff Funeral Services

Toneff Funeral Services Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Dean Stoltz
Relation: Friend

Philip will be missed. He had such a big personality with a hearty laugh and was a really good man. I enjoyed working alongside him for several years and will always remember his big voice, easy going nature and the wonderful conversations we had, even until recently. RIP Philip.

From: Stephen Yeates
Relation: We worked together at ornance Survey, UK

Dear Judith and family,
I was so shocked to hear the news of Philips demise and wanted to write to tell you how much Philip affected my life.
I was lucky enough to meet Philip at his employment interview for the post of Press Officer for Ordnance Survey. I had recently been promoted to the role of Public Relations and Information manager and felt very protective of the role I was leaving. Philip was a breath of fresh air. Positive, humorous, experienced and humble. I couldn’t believe my luck when he accepted the role and went on the build such a responsible media team to protect the reputation of an organisation that I loved.
I was a career civil servant who had wanted to be a journalist, Philip was the real deal and I am so grateful to have known him.
I think we met when Philip invited us to your home. I hope you will accept my condolences and realise what a significant contribution Philip made to so many people.
Steve Yeates Public Relations & Information Manager, Ordnance Survey.

Service Schedule

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