His laundry number was #103, his first canoe trip was in 1964 – his last in August of 2014, and he was our friend. On Saturday January 24, 2015 Link Byfield lost his battle with cancer. Link attended St. John’s Cathedral Boy’s School in the 1960’s – from grade 6 through grade 12. He was the friend of many including classmates Keith McKay and Peter Jackson and will be missed by many in the St. John’s community and well beyond. Diagnosed in June with stage 4 esophageal and liver cancer, Link fought the battle of his life. He will be missed.
Link was a strong conservative voice in Alberta politics for decades who wrote for the Calgary Sun and various other publications. Link worked at the now-defunct Alberta Report magazine in Edmonton- founded by his father Ted Byfield – for nearly two decades as editor, publisher and award-winning columnist. Link was awarded an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. He founded the non-partisan Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy in 2003, was elected as an independent senator-in-waiting in 2004, and co-founded the Wildrose Party in 2007. He ran for MLA as a member of the Wildrose in 2008 and 2012, narrowly losing the latter contest in the Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock riding.
But what we will remember about Link is his wonderful sense of humour, that sparkle in his eyes as he told a story (he was a great story teller), his love of the outdoors, his strong Christian faith and love of his family. And his singing. In December, at Ted’s annual Boxing Day event Link sang a solo verse for the carol We Three Kings. He was obviously weak from the cancer, but wanted to participate in this tradition for one last time. When the time came for his verse, Link’s voice was so strong and beautiful it brought tears to listeners eyes. This is how I want to remember Link.
Our condolences go out to his family and all those who have been touched by Link’s life. The funeral will be held on January 31, 2015 at St Emerence Catholic Church in Riviere Qui Barre, Alberta at 11 am.