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Melville Ives.
Melville Ives.
Patient Care

Melville E. Ives: A citizen of the world


Melville Edward Ives was born in Bristol, England but for him, Bristol was simply the starting point. It would not be unfair to describe this gentleman as a citizen of the world – in terms of both his travels and his interests.

As a young man, Melville volunteered with the British Army in the early days of World War II. He completed training as an Army Royal Engineer before serving in India throughout the years of the war. At the conclusion of the conflict, Melville returned to England where he studied law at the University of London. Following graduation in 1952, positions in British law firms were in short supply and Melville decided to try his luck in Hong Kong. After a few years working in the firm of a senior solicitor, Melville decided to start his own law firm with a colleague. The endeavour proved successful!

Melville met Joan at a dance in Hong Kong and so began a rather lengthy courtship. Serendipitously, Joan turned out to be the daughter of Melville’s first employer in Hong Kong – who remembered Melville as a hardworking and serious young man. Blessings were given and marriage was embarked upon! Joan’s social skills and ebullient sense of humour made for a happy and harmonious life in Hong Kong, where the couple lived for more than 30 years.

Joan and Melville relocated to a small town near Wimbledon, England following Melville’s retirement but English village life proved not to be entirely to their taste. While on a cruise, the couple stopped off in Vancouver for a visit. After some investigation, Melville and Joan decided a further move was in order and so they immigrated to Canada.

Eventually, Joan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and came to live in a long-term care home. Coincidentally, Melville met Maria, who was caring for her own spouse at the same home, in a room a few doors down from Joan’s room. The two became friends during their daily visits to their respective spouses. Joan and Maria’s husband each passed away within a month of the other. Melville and Maria found themselves companions in grief as they learned to cope with the passing of a beloved spouse.

Over time, their friendship blossomed. Melville and Maria became close companions and spent 19 years exploring the world together. Throughout his life, Melville was interested in the history and culture of other peoples. Melville and Maria’s interests encompassed the entire globe and together they enjoyed more than one “round the world” cruise.

In arranging his affairs, Melville was a generous benefactor to health care in the Vancouver area. Portions of his estate came to both St. Paul’s Foundation and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. These gifts were given in gratitude for the care Melville and Joan received over the years, and to help provide support for future generations in the Vancouver area.

We extend our deep thanks to Melville for his legacy of kindness and compassion.