Dr. Glen Craig Tapping
May 4, 1948 – Oct. 3, 2023
Craig Tapping passed away peacefully following a short illness at Nanaimo Regional Hospital. He passed away with friends at his side, whom before he drew his last breath, were sharing a funny story regarding Craig. As the laughter abated, he took his last breath. He left in peace, surrounded with love and laughter.
Craig is predeceased by his loving partner of 30 years, Fergus Foley. They shared many happy years together on Gabriola Island, and created a beautiful home together. Craig taught at Vancouver Island University for many years until his retirement. He was an accomplished, irreverent and wholly fascinating and funny man who knew people from all over the world from his many travels. As to his life prior to Gabriola, and a testament to his activism and diverse life, a dear old friend Terry writes:
“Craig told me his family came from Northern Co. Antrim. He was particularly proud of that fact and of his antecedents and heritage.
Having gained a degree in his native Canada he decided to do his doctorate in Queens University Belfast, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. He arrived in Belfast in the early 70’s. He was already ‘Out’ as a gay man. This made him unique in Queens as ‘the closet’ was the refuge of gay folk in Queens in that era.
Northern Ireland was also erupting in civil strife and sectarian warfare at this time. Within a matter of days after his arrival he was ‘summoned in’ by the university authorities who told him that Queens in general and Belfast in particular were NOT places for him, that they would beconcerned for his safety and that they had made arrangements with Trinity College, Dublin to enrol him. They told him that Dublin would be more to his ‘taste’ and safer.
Before the day was out Craig was on the train rolling down to that old city by the Liffey which would have such a long term effect on him and conversely a city on which he would leave a lasting impression.
Within a short time of his arrival he had found lodgings in a house in Dun Laoghaire, an elegant seaside suburb of Dublin. The house was owned by George Potter a USA born painter who was also a lecturer in the College of Art in Dublin.
While pursuing his studies in Trinity, he threw himself into the cultural life of Dublin, particularly its music and art worlds. He was also becoming familiar with Gay Dublin and was in the forefront of the early gay liberation organizations.
Towards the late 70’s he met Fergus Foley, from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford who was to become the love of his life and his long term partner. They were living in a cottage behind the Dropping Well Pub on the banks of The Dodder River, so close to the city but for all the world like a rural retreat.
By this time Craig was working as a lecturer in the College of Art and Fergus was working in The Central Telephone exchange. By 1981 Craig had published his critique of Irish poet and all around man of letters Austin Clark namely ‘Austin Clarke ‘a study of his writings’ (The Academy Press ISBN 0 906187 49 4).
Around 1984-5 they decided to go to Nigeria where Craig had secured a lectureship.
Their little cottage by the banks of The Dodder was cleared out, their bits and pieces and Knick knacks put up for sale and they were gone from Dublin, apart from holidays never to return.”
I and many others are glad that his travels and adventures eventually led him to the peaceful Island of Gabriola. While his final few years were in Nanaimo, I know Gabriola had a very special place in his heart.
Craig is survived by his brother, Ross Tapping and his family, and innumerable friends both near and far. May he rest forever in peace.
Condolences may be left and information found at www.evergreencremationcentre.com