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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Letters Old Friends Are Hard To Come By

June 9, 2017
Old Friends Are Hard To Come By
Joan Tibbs Tanner was a friend of our
village and the chief archivist of the
Big Band Era in this part of Ontario.

Old friends are hard to come by. This month, Port Stanley lost an enthusiastic supporter and long-time witness to the passing parade of events in this community. Joan Tibbs Tanner passed away on June 9th, 2017 in London in her 87th year. She was the daughter of Alf and Jean Tibbs. Her father was the leader of one of the most celebrated big bands of the 1930s and 1940s. He set a record for the number of free concerts he performed for service personnel during World War Two.

Joan was a dedicated fan of her father's orchestra and she seldom missed a performance, acting as ticket taker, chauffer and booking agent. When the Alf Tibbs orchestra was the house band at the Port Stanley Ball Room (later the Stork Club), she slept on a couch at the Kanagio Yacht club house on the beach. Nothing could keep her from the excitement of the big band era in Port Stanley.

Joan was also Rosy the Riverter, making bombs at Kelvinator during the Second World War. She was an avid equestrian and an accomplished fencer but most people remember her for her sense of humour and her infectious laughter.

Joan was a collector of all things musical, particularly items relating to the local music scene and she was widely recognized for her knowledge of the musicians who entertained at various venues in Southwestern Ontario. Many researchers beat a path to her door to review her scrap books and share her memories.

Now there is one less expert, one less person to turn to for first hand information on one of the most important eras in our history. Joan never lost her affection for our village. We would do well to remember her.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2017 10:38:57 AM EST

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