December 3, 1924 – October 28, 2017
at the age of 92 years
Celebration of Life: Saturday, December 16, 2017, 1:30 p.m., 5th Avenue Seniors Centre, Salmon Arm
ORDER OF CANADA RECIPIENT, Al Oster passes away at age 92.
Singer / songwriter Al Oster, also known as the Yukon Balladeer, passed away at the Salmon Arm Memorial Hospital on Saturday, October 28th, of natural causes.
Albert Adam Oster was born December 3, 1924 at Vanguard, Saskatchewan the eldest son of John Oster and Mary Stregger. On December 30, 1947, Al was joined in marriage to Mary Ellen Stanbury at the Langley Anglican Church in Langley, British Columbia. Born to this union were three sons and one daughter, Donna, Lorne, James and William.
Al Oster was one of the first since Robert Service to write and publish poetry about Klondike Gold Rush folklore; and one of the first Canadians to compose and sing folk music about historical Canadian folklore legends, and to preserve these compositions on LP Records. He subsequently attained national recognition for his musical works in 1968 by being the first Canadian composer to receive the BMI CANADA Certificate of Honour Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to Canadian music in the country / folk music category. In 1993 he received the Yukon Heritage Award from the Yukon Historical and Museums Association for his contribution to the preservation of Yukon history; and in April, 1999 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his contribution to Canadian heritage. In 2002 he was again awarded recognition by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his musical contribution to Canada history.
Al has left behind his widow Mary, 4 children mentioned above, one half brother and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He will be well remembered for his extreme love of the north which he expressed over and over again in his music and the songs recorded over the years and will live on in everyone’s Book of Yukon Memories.