This memorial website was created in memory of Rufus Macklin who was loved by so many. Please take a moment to leave a tribute or share a story about Rufus and add photos to the gallery - his family would love to learn more about his life and friendships. Thank you for sharing.
February 14
February 14
Rufus was our chicken mentor. We got several rounds of beautiful, fiesta rainbow layers that he bred. The stormy grey ones were his favourites, but he loved them all. He stopped in regularly in our early years on Denman to say hello. We looked forward to his visits. He shared his knowledge, and his deep love and appreciation of the birds. Soon the wonderful Paul was with him visiting too. We connected over a love of animals.
We miss Rufus. Paul has come to live with us on the farm. He is a joy. We are thankful for his company and the opportunity to remember Rufus through time with Paul and Paul’s many community friends who come to visit.
February 12
February 12

Greg Brown/sheila Simpson published a tribute 16 days ago.

Rufus Lived with us for a while. He taught us many things. He was such a dedicated and charming person.
I just give his name to the Buddhist monk who will pray for Rufus as his soul goes thru the Bardo. May you rest in peace kind soul.
February 10
February 10
I shared time with you during a couple visits to Denman. This last time I saw how sensitive you were with the puppies, especially the little one and how strong and confident you were with the land. Thank you for teaching me how to chop kindling. Lean yet so strong and I loved the way your sweet voice coiled around the stories you told. So sharp and kind, walking the land or riding your bike, always with Paul and the girls at your side. I felt lucky to share time with you and to receive your teachings like how one of the trails lead down to town. Rest in eternal peace Rufus.
February 8
Lama Sydney is praying for you in the next forty nine days as you travel in the Bardo / the valley of death. To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. Sorry I did not make you some more soda bread I was just so busy and overwhelmed with human suffering. Your a free man now, Gone but not forgotten > Deepest love to your sweet family in France. Deepest sympathy of your family in England. I feel their love. Arnold yes it was Arnold the ram who died before you. I bet your snuggled up. I know the next year will be a terrible void for us who are left behind, Thank you for the stories you told of being so at home in France of the sheep bleating from the hills when you arrived home. If we were in Ireland you would have been " waked " I know Arnold is with you. I just know it. Because your presence was so authentic here .....if I do see you. I promise not to be afraid for it is the essence you left behind. I will drink water . Grief is a big hole in the road in front for us. Death is such a great teacher. would we ever know love..? I extend an invitation to your family if they need a place to stay. I have a three bed house. I know Rufus loved "granny house " that is where he stayed.
February 7
Rufus Macklin we need to have a wake before your burial on the 18th Feb.....I hope we get to have a feed after of sandwiches and tea and we can share our grief for the loss of you.....The dog I named is still on the island with a sweet Liz rose woman. Rufus lived here until he got a job caretaking Ella Day 's RIP dream place. I am so happy that his wife and his daughter came to visit from France. Rufus a man you don't meet every day. I named him "Flying Squirrel"
Maybe one of the children will write a famous book about him and his pack of Border Collies. Thank you Rufus for the gift of your sheep the two girls brought so so much peace apart from the horrendous falling out....the fight lasted maybe three minutes......then your hens and roosters they kept away evil the way roosters do. I will never forget the day the big eagle winged one wanted to dine on fresh hen,,,,,live with animals and one learns so much. You brought us a few gifts not the least was making of apple cider vinegar. We have it everyday with meals.
Like "Granny Herbert " you will become the keeper of dreams
February 4
February 4
I enjoyed the talks with him about the world, sheep’s, dog's and his love for the land. We crossed path many times when he was a caretaker down the road. Always good for a little joke and I loved his wonderful and smart dog’s. Fare well Rufus. R.I.P.
February 1
February 1
   1982, the grape harvest on the French Riviera, the sun, the freedom, the ardour of youth, adventurous and travelling souls..... this is how our paths crossed for the first time, just like that ... ephemeral encounter... 
   1983, 1 year later, this time on the farm, in Dordogne, Périgord Vert, at La Coquille (Ruafon), you arrived, accompanying some common friends on a visit... they left, you stayed.
   We were both 23 years old, we were young, our hearts were united, and together we embarked on this great adventure of Life with all the enthusiasm and all the energy of this youth which pushed us forward... yes, it was a great adventure, 50 ha, 100 ewes, then 200... accompanied and supported by our fabulous companions of shepherd, the Colley borders...Nabu, the old one, the best, Vic one of his many "sons", and our beautiful Jessy. We were happy.......
    We shared these great moments of happiness that are the birth of a child.
   1986, January, the snow..., Tilly has coldly pointed the tip of her nose...
   1988 March, soon spring,.... Fany decided that it was the right time to say hello to the Earth Life...
   ....... 2 wonderful gifts that LIFE offered us... source of Joy and Strength .....
   ... and, during all these years, we have grown and walked together, all 4 of us... Joys, sorrows, happiness, sufferings... paths of Life.... we have built a Life... Our Life.....
   You learned French very quickly because you liked "people". You had this need to communicate, to share, to exchange, on any subject whatsoever. Your lively spirit and openness to the world, your joy of living with always that touch of humor that characterized you made that, here, in this country life, very quickly everyone appreciated, loved, and adopted you.
   And then one day, our paths separated... we each went our own way.     It was important, in order to continue building.
   Your adventurous soul went back on a journey, until finally, it found a place to rest in Peace....the island of.Denman....
   I was able to follow your adventures through facebook, and we exchanged from time to time, some words, some pictures....
   ..... Today Rufus, you left us ....
   .... you left for "the" Great journey......
   ..... May your Soul find there the PEACE and the Light that only unconditional LOVE can bring.....
   You have always had your place in my heart Rufus,...yesterday - today - and tomorrow .... forever......
                       Fly in Peace ........
   .............................. with all my heart, and with all my Love. ................

Translated with (free version)
February 1
February 1

   1982, les vendanges sur la côte d'Azur, le soleil, la liberté, la fougue de la jeunesse, âmes aventurières et voyageuses..... c'est ainsi que nos chemins se sont croisés pour la première fois, juste comme ça … rencontre éphémère... 
   1983, 1 an plus tard, cette fois sur la ferme, en Dordogne, Périgord Vert, à La Coquille ( Ruafon ), tu es arrivé, accompagnant des copains communs en visite … eux sont repartis, toi, tu es resté.
   Nous avions tous les deux 23 ans, nous étions jeunes, nos cœurs se sont unis, et ensemble nous nous sommes lancés dans cette grande aventure de Vie avec tout l’enthousiasme et toute l'énergie de cette jeunesse qui nous poussait de l'avant... oui, c'était une grande aventure, 50 ha, 100 brebis, puis 200... accompagnés et soutenus par nos fabuleux compagnons de berger, les borders Colley ...Nabu, l'ancien, le meilleur, Vic l'un de ses nombreux « fils », et notre belle Jessie.. Nous étions heureux.......
    Nous avons partagé ces grands moments de bonheur que sont la naissance d'un enfant.
   1986, Janvier, la neige..., Tilly a frileusement pointé le petit bout de son nez ….
   1988 Mars, bientôt le printemps,.... Fany a décidé que c'était le bon moment pour faire un petit coucou à la Vie terrestre...
   ….... 2 merveilleux cadeaux que la VIE nous offrait... source de Joie et de Force …..
   … et, durant toutes ces années, nous avons grandi et cheminé ensemble, tous les 4 … Joies, peines, bonheurs, souffrances … chemins de Vie....  nous avons construit une Vie... Notre Vie.....
   Tu as très vite appris le français parce que tu aimais « les gens ». Tu avais ce besoin de communiquer, de partager, d'échanger, sur quelque sujet que ce soit. Ton esprit vif et ouvert au monde, ta joie de vivre avec toujours cette pointe d'humour qui te caractérisait ont fait que, ici, dans cette vie de campagne, très vite tout le monde t'a apprécié, aimé, et adopté.
   Et puis un jour, nos chemins se sont séparés... nous avons pris chacun notre direction.     C'était important, afin de continuer à construire.
   Ton âme aventuriére est repartie en voyage, jusqu'à ce que enfin, elle trouve où se poser en Paix....l'île de.Denman....
   J'ai pu suivre tes aventures à travers facebook, et nous échangions de temps en temps, quelques mots, quelques photos....
   ….. Aujourd'hui Rufus, tu nous a quitté ....
   …. tu es parti pour « le » Grand voyage......
   …..Puisses ton Ame y trouver la PAIX et la Lumière que seul peut apporter l'AMOUR Inconditionnel.....
   Tu as toujours eu ta place dans mon cœur Rufus,...hier – aujourd'hui – et demain …. pour toujours......
                       Envole toi en Paix.....…
   …........................... de tout cœur, et avec tout mon Amour. ….............
January 31
January 31
I remember your kindness. May your spirit soar, Rufus.
January 30
January 30
Rufus , I remember you as such a caring man with a big personality . I knew you because I worked at Haven for 34 years as the Reflexologist and when we open again in March I will be back again doing the same thing !

The moment I heard of your passing I lit a candle to keep your open heart glowing and warming in this household.  May you take up wings and fly over the many places you have been and helping all of us who knew you, to light a candle and send our heartfelt condolences to your family members that will miss you...
January 30
January 30
For many years Rufas lived right behind my home , spent many an hour talking over the fence and watching him be so excited about those very special sheep he bought. Will miss you , Denman will miss you.
January 30
January 30
May blessings and light surround you, Rufus. Rest In Peace.
January 30
January 30
Man where to start. The beginning? I just went back to the beginning a few days ago. Our first messenger message..interaction. I remember it well.. because I was looking for information on a dog who could run great distances with me. I was given his name. As it turns out it was only March 25,2020. I honestly can’t believe it was such a short time ago.. he very quickly became a member of our family. I loved him fiercely from the first day. I knew he was special. Right away he became a very important person to me and my six kids. Even though we ended up with a heeler and not a border collie. I can’t really explain it.. my heart just knew him.❤️ Right away. We talked almost daily. We joked. The kids and I would get so excited when we just saw him out with the dogs.. or downtown. We talked about hard things. We hugged.. seriously hugged. The kind of hug that makes you feel so safe. We took him Easter dinner, thanksgiving dinner,Christmas dinner. Presents. We loved him. I’m thankful that I am a open person and told him how much we loved him, how much he meant to us. To me. How much we loved and cherished him and his dogs as one of our family. Three years was not enough but feels like a lifetime. I love you my friend.❤️
January 30
January 30
There was a man called Rufus
Intelligent and wild
He was my favourite cousin
My mother’s brother’s child
We’d run along the River Thames
And down to Richmond Park
We’d ride the London Underground
And stay out after dark

Ru and brother Toby
My guides to London town
Would show their country cousin
The sights and smells and sounds
Then off across the ‘Continent’
Through Italy and Spain
Through campsites down to Paris
We forged a binding chain

Then out into the world he walked
Through torment, joy and sun
He trod a twisting pathway
We stood and watched him run
Like millions before him
He chased elusive dreams
To balance love and family
With other worldly schemes

I heard his voice in silence
In Vincent’s ‘Starry Night’
In Jeff Beck’s crying ‘Nadia’
My cousin’s distant plight
And after years of silence
Our beards both grizzly grey
We bridged the trouble waters
We had something to say;
“I love you cousin Rufus”
“I love you”, his reply
Three words that rang so final
My brother’s sweet goodbye

So now you’ve walked into the light
Escaped the cloying dark
Let’s all meet up and ride the swings
Down in Richmond Park
January 30
January 30
I first met Rufus when he was 3 and I had been taken by Ian to meet his brother Don and family in Richmond. After that I spent a lot of time there, sometimes babysitting, and always enjoying their lovely home. Rufus also spent a lot of time staying with his cousins in Herefordshire during the holidays. We visited him several times in France. In more recent times we enjoyed following him on Facebook and did once meet him in Vancouver when we were visiting our son. He will be missed.
January 29
January 29
I didn’t know Rufus well. I do know that from where I sit, he was a progressive fellow.
Though I saw him a couple of times in late 2022, I have a clear image of him with an armada of dogs on a sunny September day as the Denman Writers Group gathered outside the DAC lounge.
After each meeting, we summarize the presentations. Howard Stewart usually handles that responsibility but on this occasion, that task fell to me.
This is how I began that summation:

“On a warm September Sunday afternoon, as motorbikes, other muffler-challenged vehicles, and an excellent choral selection of Denman’s primo cacophonous canines, not to mention a wee flurry of children apparently playing hide and seek, seven of us, Al, Stewart, Claire, Rosa, Graham, Karl, and yours truly, gathered on the patio outside the DAC Lounge to engage in literati-like doings.”

January 29
January 29
Rufus and my daughter shared a friendship and close bond formed from their mutual love of dogs. I'm grateful she was able to walk even a short part of your life's journey with you. You will be missed by both two-legged and four-legged members of the community. Fare thee well, dear Rufus.
January 29
January 29
Thank you Rufus for your gentle heart and deep care for the land. I shall miss you. 

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February 14
February 14
Rufus was our chicken mentor. We got several rounds of beautiful, fiesta rainbow layers that he bred. The stormy grey ones were his favourites, but he loved them all. He stopped in regularly in our early years on Denman to say hello. We looked forward to his visits. He shared his knowledge, and his deep love and appreciation of the birds. Soon the wonderful Paul was with him visiting too. We connected over a love of animals.
We miss Rufus. Paul has come to live with us on the farm. He is a joy. We are thankful for his company and the opportunity to remember Rufus through time with Paul and Paul’s many community friends who come to visit.
His Life

About Rufus...

Rufus Macklin was born on May 7 1960 in London, UK to Don and Elva Macklin. He was the first of their two much loved sons, the younger being Toby.

Rufus led a varied and adventurous life that included working as a trawler fisherman in Cornwall, traveling in Europe where he met Marie-Odile and became a farmer with her at Ruafon in France. They had two beautiful daughters together, Mathilde and Fany. It was in France where his love of border collies began with Nabu and Vic.

Rufus returned to the UK and helped establish a very successful vegetarian cafe beside the river Thames and then moved to Canada in the 1990s where he spent time on Gabriola and in Nanaimo before moving to Denman Island.

Rufus became a much-loved member of the Denman community, always ready to lend a helping hand, enjoying long talks with friends, caring for his sheep, chickens and vegetable gardens and riding his electric bike accompanied by his beloved pack of beautiful Border Collies. 

Although Rufus struggled throughout his life with alcoholism he was proud of his many years of sobriety on Denman. He was predeceased by his parents and leaves family and friends in Canada, England and France and a pack of devoted border collies who, like all of us, will miss him very much. 
Recent stories
February 6
Social connection and a sense of belonging are vital to our health and well-being. We are very fortunate on Denman that we can be as reclusive as we wish and with very little effort have social connection when we need it. I worry however that Rufus may not have had enough social connection over the winter, living as he did on a remote part of the island. I met Rufus when he was living a little closer in, on Lake Road, and he picked me up hitch hiking. With a chuckle he pushed his dog into the back seat to join the others. Said dog kept sticking his head and a lot of his body between our bucket seats in the front, insisting on his right to ride shotgun and slobber all over me. Rufus kept on chuckling as he shoved him back, probably thinking I must be alarmed by the dogs and the state of his car. Actually the state of his car was much like the state of our car, only it smelled like dog whereas ours smells like manure. And I like dogs. And I liked him. Months later I chatted with him when he was staying at Sudasi’s. And then I’d see him every so often outside the store and we’d talk. We also talked on fb messenger about his apple cider vinegar. I appreciated his posts on the DI fb Bulletin Board, and I respected his intelligence, his honesty, his humour, his sensitivity and his sense of irony.  I think a lot of people on this island feel like I do, a sense of loss and sadness that he is no longer with us, even though they may not have spent a lot of time with him. Maybe because we are on an island, we seem to become familiar with one another through some kind of osmosis, shared environment and occasional meaningful interactions that bond us. I can’t speak for everyone, but the community I know, for the most part, feels like one big extended family that I love and feel loved by, warts and all, theirs and mine. For many of usRufus was very much a part of that and I sure hope he knew it. 
January 31
by Livvi .
I remember the first day I met you Rufus back in 2017. The hat, the cigarette, the staff, the dog. Back when it was just you and Paul.  A man and his dog. 

You knew what you liked, what you stood for, and you knew how to get stuff done. No matter the problem or task, you would figure out a way to fix it - in your own time, in your own way, but it would be done.  And done well. 
You were a man of your word, a man I could  trust.

I recall your strength, so evident in your handshake and your hugs.  Skinny and strong, there wasn't much you couldn't do. Moving 100 12 x 8 boards without a break and lifting huge boulders into place was impressive to watch. You seemed to enjoy your own strength, proof that you could rely on yourself, that you didn't need help.

You were fiercely opinionated too, unwavering in your beliefs - I will always remember our long talks over a cuppa tea on the lawn as I got to know you and learned to trust and respect you. You were easy to know but hard to reach.  You said it yourself on your fb page: 

"I want to be cuddled but I also want to be left the hell alone.  Being crazy is hard."

You were deeply kind and sensitive, a fighter for the underdog and the weakling. I remember the little black lamb who wouldn't nurse and couldn't walk and yet you brought it to life with your love and tenderness, fed it every 2 hours day and night and let it sleep with you for warmth. It was you we could trust with the care of a newborn - puppy, lamb, sparrow or human child. Thank you Rufus.

I am sad that you are gone, and yet glad that you no longer have to suffer the depression born of loneliness. Now you are free, and hopefully enjoying unexpected beauty beyond your you posted a few weeks ago on your page: 

"This morning the storm had passed. The power was out and the dogs were restless. So we dressed up warm and rode to the store. The odd bark of excitement, the sound of 16 paws in the snow, the trees groaning a little, the bike pushing though...I'm so grateful for these moments. They were honestly not expected."

RIP Rufus.  

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