Lloyd Rees second from right. 2004
Lloyd was a very special person to me, the first people whom I met "on-line", and eventually met in person.
It was through his Lance Cove research on Bell Island, that we first connected, helping me discover my own Pitts family roots in Newfoundland. His publication of a history of Lance Cove which included pictures of the Pitts family homes, opened an interest in my own roots there. When in St. John's with my family in 2004 we arranged to meet Lloyd at the Bell Island ferry terminal as he guided on our first visit to Lance Cove.
His concern for the state of the graves of James Pitts Sr., and others in Lance Cove led to more regular contact as Lloyd led a campaign to have the grave restored. With his leadership I opened a bank account and we started soliciting support from others. Reaching our financial goal Lloyd oversaw the creation and placement of the replica stone. Eventually with visitors from Ireland, and several Canadian provinces as well as a grand Newfoundland contingent on July 27, 2005 the new memorial was dedicated in a well planned community ceremony at which Lloyd's role was recognized.
I continued to stay in touch with Lloyd and as my research progressed his encouragement and support was vital. Our friendship had became more personal and he had revealed to me his ongoing battle with Prostate Cancer. In 2007, he was one of the first persons I contacted when I received my own diagnosis. My decisions on treatment (which has been 100% successful) were assisted by his sage advice.
Fearing that his research could be lost - I contact him when I learned of the closure of Geocities where his work was hosted, and was pleased to know that a migration of his work was already prepared.
Lloyd was a leading light - and inspiration to many.
I feel a better person for having known him and will continue to cherish his role in caring for, and conveying a great love of both the natural world as well as the rich field of local history in Newfoundland.
A history of Lance Cove.
As well his two blogs:
Lloyd was a man of great depth and simply put - he was a good man. I will miss our contact and continue to treasure the friendship that we have shared. I want to extend my sincere condolences to all of Lloyd's family.
Lloyd's memorial site, with his obituary is available through InMemoriam.ca
Tony Francis, Lloyd Rees, Ian Scott - July 27, 2005