Obituary of Trevor J. Hall
Trevor James Hall MA, VetMB, BSc, DPhil, MRCVS September 2, 1945 to November 28, 2023 Trevor was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. He was the only child of his parents Emily (nee Walton) and Frederick Hall (known as Fred). He attended Dame Allan’s Boys School in Newcastle which had a wide intake of pupils from across Tyneside, Durham and Northumberland. He had his trademark hair style, before The Beatles, and was quite tall. He was popular with his schoolmates and was very interested in science and even then wanted to be a veterinary surgeon.
In 1965, Trevor became one of the one hundred founding members of Van Mildert College, a brand new residential college at Durham University in the northeast of England (the thirdoldest university in the country). He read zoology and three years later was the very first graduate to be awarded a first class honours degree. He then went on to the University of Sussex in Brighton and completed a DPhil in brain physiology in 1971.
He was known for his prodigious and photographic memory as well as his liking for multiple cups of coffee; traits that were in evidence throughout his life.
He emigrated to Canada in 1971 and took up a teaching position at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland where he was also proctor of Hatcher House, one of the student residences. He became involved with the emerging local rugby team and with his long legs and running ability played wing on the Newfoundland squad. There were lots of crazy times and fun and games and he was very generous in supporting his impoverished graduate student friends with endless rounds of beer and his homemade stews and spaghetti bolognaise. Always wanting to be a vet and, in seeking this change in career, Trevor was accepted in the mid-1970s at Trinity College, Cambridge to read veterinary medicine and graduated in 1979. His stay at Cambridge was punctuated by various escapades including a crash on a bicycle that injured his shoulder and an infamous evening with the writer and others which nearly resulted in his expulsion. He was proud of his striped college blazer which he wore on many occasions over the years acquiring a patina that never saw the dry cleaners.
Trevor worked at the stud in Newmarket and then took a job at a veterinary practice in Lanchester, County Durham. He then joined a practice in Stanhope, County Durham (just north of the dales of All Creatures Great and Small fame) and practiced there for a number of years becoming a highly respected equine vet and very popular with the local people and small farmers in the dales. He returned to Canada in the early 1990s to a practice in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. Thereafter he moved, via Cape Breton Island, to St. Stephen, New Brunswick in the late 1990s where he worked at a local veterinary clinic before taking a position in 2014 at a clinic in Calais, Maine just across the border, though continuing to live near St Stephen on his somewhat remote, largish, property covered in bush. He was a specialist with horses and a trauma surgeon, passionate in his work with animal health, treating gunshot wounds, bear maulings, road traffic accidents and all kinds of orthopaedic disasters. During this time he worked for the US Department of Agriculture on a program related to the spread of West Nile Virus in horses across the USA which involved travel overseas. He left the Calais practice in 2020 because of his health issues.
Those who knew Trevor, realized that he enjoyed being something of man of mystery and his friends never fully learned what he had been up to or actually was up to. As he would say, “only the Shadow knows”. Trevor liked to do things on impulse, he lived life on his own terms and by his own rules and, in his own words, his life “panned out with entropy always the winner”. Those who knew Trevor also knew him to be kind, generous and a loyal friend, as well as a lifelong and passionate supporter of Newcastle United football team and was much cheered by his team’s recent rejuvenation and successes. Exchanges of team results between Trevor and cousins across three continents (not all of whom supported Newcastle) provided a goodnatured exchange of views.
He was a unique character, a little eccentric some would say, but original and with a brilliant mind full of knowledge – a true polymath - with a dry wit and endless stories, usually beer in hand. Did he really believe in fairies? Trevor had a great sense of humour and loved to surprise. In 1999 he wrote to his aunt Nancy, living in South Africa, “Someday I shall roll up on your doorstep, probably without prior notice.” Trevor did just that, arriving in Johannesburg on her 80th birthday in 2004. He loved his pets, Samoyed dogs especially, with names always beginning with S (Sirius, Shiloh, Shaman, Ssutai, Shabah (a wolf cross), Soolin) and took in stray cats giving them equally unusual names – Schroedinger, ET, and Chat d’enfer for instance. He loved the wildlife around his house and these animals also benefitted from his kindness and generosity. He travelled long distances in his car complete with menagerie of dogs to see the writer and his family many times. Parcels would arrive on special occasions stuffed with all sorts of items and unpacking them was an adventure. Indeed, to have crossed paths with Trevor was serendipity but fortunate, he was one-of-a-kind and to have known him was to have known someone quite extraordinary.
He is survived by his cousins David, Rodney, Geoff and Anne.
Special thanks to Jean Acheson who made Trevor’s courageous last few months a lot more comfortable. Also thanks to the staff of Charlotte County Hospital for taking care of him so well, his oncologists Doctors Grey and Campbell, and to all those who helped and visited him in recent months. A private cremation has been held as Trevor did not want a visitation or funeral. In his memory, donations can be made to the New Brunswick SPCA (https://nbspca.ca/ ) or the UK RSPCA (https://www.rspca.org.uk/
Whether you're seeking the comfort of familiar tradition or an entirely unique celebration we are prepared to help.
Planning ahead usually always makes sense; even for a funeral. Learn why it may make sense for you.
A family business with a proud past but a focus on meeting the needs of the future.