JAMES HERBERT I RWIN
Born August 27, 1959 in Bracebridge, died October 7, 2018 at home in Toronto. James was the son of Dr. H. J. “Luke” Irwin and Alice Joan Western of Orillia. Also known as “Bunt”, James was a born raconteur, writer and adventurer at heart. He was a voracious reader, with a keen interest in history and politics, and gave away as many books as he “borrowed.” Above all he was a man who enjoyed life, knew what made him happy, and loved to laugh. James attended high school at Saint Andrews College, Aurora and CJC in Lausanne Switzerland, where he made many lifelong friends. He graduated with a degree in political science from Queen’s University, and became a reporter in his hometown of Orillia, before moving to Ottawa to become parliamentary assistant to a British Columbia based M.P. In 1991 he set off to Singapore on a brief freelance assignment that led to a 13-year stint in Asia, and a career that spanned public relations and journalism and ultimately a position at the Energy Intelligence Group, reporting on global energy trends from Singapore and Washington D.C., and most recently in Toronto as EIG’s Canada correspondent. He counted himself supremely fortunate to have met his wife Trish (who fell for his wit and charm), while working in Hong Kong. Their sons Mack and Tom were born in Hong Kong and Singapore and were the heart and centre of his life. James seized every opportunity to travel and explore. He sailed, canoed, skied, played tennis (winning a competition in Hong Kong for the fastest serve), softball and hockey, and when there was no ice, ball hockey. In H.K. he joined a winning dragon boat crew. He raced on a four-man team along the 100-km MacLehose Trail, hiked everywhere from the Blue Mountains of Australia, to Nepal and Sri Lanka, to Hadrian’s Wall and finally the entirety of the Bruce Trail. However exotic his travels were, he always reserved as many weeks as possible every year for time at his favourite place, the cottage in Honey Harbour. With the help of his family, Bunt managed to spend his last summer in the place he loved best. Besides Trish, Mack and Tom, James leaves behind a great collection of family and close friends who can’t believe he is gone: His siblings Pamela (Gord Brown), Deborah (Brian Harris), John Jared (Katie Fullerton), and Peter (Jennifer Fenwick); Amy Cody and her sisters; his cousin Mary Elizabeth and family; his nieces and nephews (Sarah, Alice, Olivia, Bridget, Henry, Andrew, Peter and Nicholas), his grand-nieces and nephews (Isaac, Abigale, Oscar, Simone, Loïc and Ella) and the Saywell and DeNure families. We intend to celebrate James’ life as he would have wished - with a party at The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, 141 St. George Street, on November 3rd from 5-7 p.m.