ARNOLD JENNER FELIX BLANSHARD   (February 8th,1965 - February 5th,2024)

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men”   Proverbs 22:29

​ As we reflect on the passing of a stalwart member of the Prince of Wales Alumni Association of California (POWAAC,) we are reminded of the above quotation from Proverbs 22:29. While Arnold Blanshard was a simple gentleman, he was also a very special person. Once you got to know him, you will always remember some of his outstanding attributes, including, his audaciousness, his resilience and doggedness, his competence and level headedness, and his love for his community.

 Arnold was audacious, in the most positive sense of the word. He was undaunted by any task, person or mission, even one that he might be considered ill-equipped to handle. During his membership of our organization (POWAAC) there were many occasions when he demonstrated this attribute in the face of calls for a more measured approach, a more cautious handling of a project, a deferment of some conference. And in every one of those occasions, Arnold maintained a can-do stance, and led the group to quite successful outcomes. I clearly recall when he first joined the group of about 5 alumni in Southern California. He was unknown to most members of the group, but that did not deter him. He did not hold back or offer tentative suggestions of fundraising activities. No. Rather, he boldly advocated for having a thanksgiving service and a dinner/dance for that year. And, to boot, he took up the responsibility of doing a huge part of the tough tasks required to achieve a successful outcome for those events. To date, the association has continued with those annual fund raisers. A couple of years later, he advocated for our branch hosting the Global Conference of the Prince of Wales Alumni Associations, in Southern California. And we had a resoundingly successful event.

Our fundraisers were not always the sweeping success that we hoped for, and some members were a bit disappointed, questioning whether the reward was worth the effort and financial outlay. In such cases, Arnold’s other attribute would be fully manifested. He was resilient and dedicated to whatever cause he got involved in. He would not only refuse to see our low outcomes as disappointing, he wanted us to view them mainly as an asset. His view was that we got it done, and next year will be better. He was never cast down by less than perfect outcomes; rather such outcomes motivated him to continue, work harder and do better, next time. His dedication to the over-arching goals of the alumni association was so strong, that he virtually willed some of our projects to successful results.

A significant reason for some of our successful achievements is Arnold’s competence and level-headedness. The man was extremely particular about details, especially concerning the association's activities (although I believe it was just his nature). Little wonder then that he was either Treasurer or Financial Secretary or President every year since he joined the association. On request, he would provide specific details about the organization’s finances, legal commitments, relationship with other branches, and even which member’s dues were in arrears. Of course, you could always ‘ask Arnold’ when you were in doubt about the association’s……anything. Quite likely, he would have an answer for you, and quite probably that answer would be correct. Although, being human, he was sometimes incorrect, and that was occasion for humor at his expense.

His involvement in activities and events in his community, depicted a man who was imbued with a love and appreciation of the members of his community. He was equally active at his home church, Saint James Episcopal, his school, and with other groups in Southern California, even attending meetings during the period of his illness and a few weeks before his passing. In all his interactions with people, he was respectful, considerate, thoughtful and kind. His love was most clearly demonstrated in his thoughtfulness for his family. He was a very dedicated husband to Mrs. Jarata Blanshard, and their children, Jada and Janold. You only had to meet them together anytime to be struck by the love and cohesion of their family.

Yes, Arnold Jenner Blanshard was a friend, a true gentleman, and a veritable Princewalean.

He will be sorely missed.

Requiescat in pace, our friend.