BROCKLEY, Noeline (nee Weigh)
August 22, 1931 – November 9, 2016
Noeline Brockley, 85 years of age of Glade, BC, graduated to directing the heavenly choir on November 9, 2016 at 9:11pm after a 2 year battle with Lewy Body dementia. Although she did not go gently into the good night, her final passing was in her home, in her sleep with her husband and children at her side.
Born in Buckley, Wales to Stephen Weigh and Noeline Weigh (nee Roberts). She was predeceased by her mother Noeline on November 23, 1944 and Stephen in June 1995 . She is survived by her sister Enid Lewis (nee Weigh), loving husband, Peter Brockley, children Susan Starling and Terry (Hirons), Stephanie Brockley and Bob (Brown), and Graham and Stacey Brockley ; foster child Donnie and Marlene Robertson as well as 7 grandchildren, Sarah (Leo) , Charles (Anna), Stephen (Jackie), Robert (Shari), Michael (Tenille), Liam and Julia; 2 step-grandchildren Tobin, Devon and 2 great-grand children Zachary and Reese and 4 step-great-grandchildren, Claudia and Andrew, Gage and Shawn.
She grew up during the war years and vividly remembered an explosion that showered her and Enid with glass in the middle of the night, just moments after covering them both with blankets in a flash of premonition. Those lean years influenced her throughout her life, as it did to many war children, including her husband, Peter.
She started performing on stage at the age of three, singing, dancing and acting in local pantomimes and other productions. She studied drama and music and graduated with a teacher’s certificate from the University of Wales in 1951. She taught in London at both a high school and after a fire there, at a primary school for a year and a half. On February 20, 1954 she married her husband, Peter Brockley, an apprentice mechanical engineer. On their round-the-world honeymoon, after a boat ride across the Atlantic with stops in New York, Montreal and a train ride across Ontario and Manitoba, they settled in Battleford, Sask., where Peter had family. She began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse and Peter started work at a car dealership. Two years later they moved to Edmonton where their family grew to include foster child Donnie Robertson, then Susan, Stephanie and Graham, and she did substitute teaching and later ran Bonnie Doon Day Care and Nursery while Peter earned his teaching certificate at the University of Alberta. In 1969 after 11 years in Edmonton, they moved with their 3 children to Stettler, AB where she began substitute teaching. This eventually gave way to private piano and singing lessons.
The following 30 years were very busy, raising a family, pursuing teaching careers, Peter at Wm E Hay High School and Noeline at home teaching music and musical theatre – and brought drama and music in Stettler to a higher level. Beginning with the Stettler United Church Choir, then the Stettler Men’s Choir as well as girls and boys choirs including The Erskine Girls Choir, The Tadpoles, The Augmenteds, The Diminisheds and many others. This evolved into a 25 year legacy with the Stettler Gilbert and Sullivan Choir. For several years they toured Alberta under the support of Alberta Culture, where a certain standard had to be met. In all she directed and performed in 25 productions, graduating from Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular works like HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado to more modern musicals like Oklahoma, Anne of Green Gables, Oliver, Sound of Music and Wizard of Oz to name some of their other incredible productions. She also organized and ran choir camps at Bar Harbor, Buffalo Lake for six years, averaging 90 students a summer. She had up to 80 students during the year and many advanced from the local music festival to the provincial festival where she had some even take first place. Several students have advanced to careers in music and entertainment due to her excellent tutelage. Music teacher, director, producer, actor, singer, dancer, musician – whichever role she had, she tackled with the same no-holds barred approach. When she began, there was no formal theatre or performing arts centre in Stettler and both Noeline and Peter, as well as several others laboured for years to see the new modern centre built adjacent to William E. Hay Composite High School. Besides her energy and commitment, she will be remembered by any who saw her perform for her beautiful strong singing voice and commanding stage presence. She could sight read anything to accompany her students at lessons, festival or exams, and in any key they required. Her control of the piano keyboard was unmatched and she shared this passion with her many piano students.
In 1973 she received the Citizen of the Year Award in Stettler for her involvement in community arts. In 1988 she received the Certificate of Merit from the Government of Canada for her contribution to music in the community. In 2014 Noeline and Peter celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary with congratulations from the Queen, the Governor General and hundreds of messages from family, friends and students everywhere.
Her family would like to thank Castlegar Home Support care workers, nurses and staff for enabling us to take care of Noeline in her home in Glade. Your nearly 2 years of support has been invaluable and we couldn’t have done it without your help and guidance. Thanks also to her doctor, Dr. Woodward and staff at Nelson and Trail hospitals. Also thank you for the many notes of tribute and support we’ve received already.
There will be a memorial service in Glade, BC and Stettler, AB, date yet to be determined. Please visit Noeline Brockley on Facebook to leave condolences and tributes.