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Miles Phillips seen as green-leaning social visionary and family man
Miles Alexander Phillips was a quiet, smart push behind Cowichan’s emotional, spiritual and economic health.
The Cobble Hill family man earned respect from folks involved with green fuels, men’s issues, alternative farming and building, plus First Nations arts and culture.
His guiding light was extinguished during Thursday morning’s accident along Telegraph Road. He was 48.
“Miles was really intelligent, and very giving and very loving,” valley Coast Salish artist Jane Marston said of her son-in-law. “He helped people, that’s what he did.”
Phillips’ strong helping hand earned him a ceremonial Hul’qumi’num name through Marston’s aunt.
“Miles reached out to people; he never asked for anything in return,” Marston said. “He had a great heart and a great sense of humour. “His death is very harsh; it’s like losing a son.”
The father of two worked with Cowichan’s late master carver Simon Charlie to try and start the Simon Charlie cultural centre south of Duncan.
“Simon said Miles got him further than anyone else, and he was happy with what Miles had done,” Marston added.
Phillips will also be missed by North Cowichan Councillor Kate Marsh.
“He was a bright light in the environmental movement in the Cowichan Valley. My condolences to his family,” she wrote of the Cowichan Energy Alternatives’ president.
Sister-in-law Denise Augustine also remembered Phillips’ playful nature.
“Miles loved to play games — he loved laughter and joy. Family mattered to Miles. It’s a huge loss to our community. He was creative and resourceful, and cared deeply about the future of our planet.”
Phillips’ ecological concerns surfaced in his work with O.U.R. Ecovillage, Cowichan Futures, and penning his book Permeconomy.
“Miles was a guy who got things done,” said Grant Waldman of the West Coast Men’s Support Society for which Phillips was a sparkplug. “He saw something that wasn’t working and wanted to get it working. I stepped up to start the society, and Miles had my back the whole time. He was a visionary man. We were like brothers.”
Phillips’ death came as he was wrapping MBA studies at VIU.
“It’s beyond our comprehension why these things happen; it’s shocking. Miles was always looking for ways to better society; we’ll have to carry on for him,” said Waldman.
Police said Phillips died after losing control of his grey Toyota Corolla that hit a tree on Telegraph Road.
“Miles texted (wife) Angela saying it was really foggy that day,” noted Marston.
Authorities are probing exactly why Phillips’ vehicle left the road Jan. 23.
Dates of services were pending at press time.