Alexander (Sandy) Somerville Banks, our beloved husband, Dad and Papa
Sandy was born in Crieff, Scotland the second child of Eleanor (Baillie) and Haig Banks. He was known as “Boy” to his two sisters, Ann and Eveline. He received his education at Morrison’s Academy and Glenalmond Trinity College, where he boarded from the age of thirteen. He later attended the University of Edinburgh Medical School graduating in 1967.
As a young boy growing up, Sandy was fascinated with how things worked – his experiments often ended in disaster, such as the time he blew up part of the stone wall in front of their home. He shared a passion for “O” gauge trains with his father – a hobby he carried with him always. He was always fascinated with the transformer in the attic that ran his father’s train set and carefully set out to create his own version. With a fleeting thought of his safety, he donned his father’s Tommy helmet for the great reveal which resulted in a huge flash that nearly knocked him off the ladder he was crouched on and plunged the entire street into darkness.
Childhood summers spent at Hopeman Beach in northern Scotland provided idyllic family memories and have been a favorite destination for family gatherings and celebrations over the years. Sandy had a love for music and took up the guitar, which he said, always guaranteed an invite to parties in his University days. He and two friends formed the trio, Mike, John, and Sandy, singing throughout coffee houses in Edinburgh. They recorded an album through Polydor in 1966.
In 1970, Sandy answered an ad in the British Medical Journal and accepted a position with The Pas Medical Clinic in The Pas. He immigrated with his young family in April 1970 to northern Manitoba and quickly became entrenched in this northern community, joining various committees and events. He was a member of The Pas Rotary Club and Westminster United Church.
He loved the north, the people and the work. In 1975, he and four colleagues formed The Pas Clinic, covering all the hospital on-call for Obstetrics, Surgery, Anesthetics, and Emergency as well as running family practice clinics.
In 1970, St. Anthony’s Hospital in The Pas provided the largest Pediatric ward outside the city of Winnipeg, with fifty beds. For many years, Sandy served as Chief of Pediatrics as well as serving other terms as Chief of Anesthetics and Chief of Staff.
He was instrumental in advocating for the Provincial Government Air Ambulance Service that came to be known as Life Fight in 1985. Several years later in 1995 He became medical director for the northern air ambulance provider, Beaver Air, later known as Missinippi Air.
Sandy was an advocate and lecturer for the prevention of child abuse, serving on the local committee for many years and receiving the Ian Logan Memorial Award in 1994 at the Manitoba Legislature.
In 1993 he co-authored a book “A Report of the Task Force on Adolescent Health” for the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He served two terms as a northern representative for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba, and was a mentor to 2nd- year medical students from the University of Manitoba as they rotated through family practice rural placement.
His active medical practice career was cut short by a head injury in 1996, but he continued to be involved in physician recruitment and providing contract services to the Opaskwayak Health Authority. He formed many close bonds with the First Nations Community and found great fulfillment in being a part of the team in establishing the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre.
Sandy loved Clearwater Lake and embarked on building a cabin having never used a hammer before. His children, their friends and eventually grandchildren all fondly remember wave jumping in the boat, jeep rides and purple beach excursions. The jeep rides eventually became golf cart rides but still at full speed.
Sandy approached life with enthusiasm, a sense of adventure and great humor. As his dear sister Eveline said, “he could really shake up a room”. He truly loved people, his community and his lake.
His memory will be cherished by his wife, Patti, son Nick and Melissa, daughter Amanda and Michael, son Scott and Erin, daughter Aynsley and Justin; grandchildren, Somerville Banks, Anderson and Olivia Kallos, Blake, Riel and Mats Meyer, Logan and Violet DeRoo. He will also be lovingly remembered by his sisters, Ann (Jim) Dale, Eveline Brinkworth, foster sister Betty (Hildy) Hildebrandt, cousin Joan Lawson, nieces and nephews, and Suzanne (Calvin) Banks, mother of Nick and Amanda.
We will all hold you close in our hearts forever.
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me:
And in God’s house forever more
My dwelling place shall be
(Psalm 23 Crimond)
In lieu of flowers, donations to The Pas Health Complex Foundation, Inc., Memorial Fund, Box 541, The Pas, Manitoba, R9A 1K6, or The Pas Health Complex Hospital Auxiliary, c/o Box 240, The Pas, Manitoba, R9A 1K4, or to a charity of choice, would be appreciated by Dr. Bank’s family
In keeping with family wishes, cremation will take place and a celebration of Sandy’s life will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alexander "Sandy" Banks, please visit our floral store.
The Pas Health Complex Foundation Inc., Memorial Fund
Box 541, The Pas MB R9A 1K6
The Pas Health Complex Hospital Auxiliary
Box 240, The Pas MB R9A 1K4
Charity of Choice