We would like to honour 3 of our founding members who passed in the last year.
Terry Simmons passed away in Vancouver on November 14, 2020 at the age of 74. Terry was a founding member of Sierra Club BC as well as Greenpeace, and his achievements included preventing development of the Cypress Bowl and Wreck Beach in Vancouver. He got himself in trouble with Sierra Club USA at least twice – being summoned to the head offices in San Francisco, first for registering the name Sierra Club with the BC Societies Act and for illegally photocopying their letterhead – officially giving birth to Sierra Club BC.
Then again after a fellow member of the “Don’t Make a Wave Committee” was interviewed on Vancouver talk radio, in which he blurted out that he would visit Amchitka Alaska to witness an American nuclear test.
Sierra Club USA wished to restrict its activities to the Environmental movement, rather than the Peace Movement and they called Simmons again to San Francisco for reprimanding.
Simmons understood the Don’t Make A Wave Committee to be limited three people trying to charter a boat, and that they were not acting on behalf of the Sierra Club, so he was able to assure the Club that all was well.
After a fundraising rock concert at which Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Phil Ochs, and Chilliwack performed, enough money was raised to charter a vessel for the trip to Alaska. The Phyllis Cormack was renamed the “Greenpeace” for the voyage, and the journey is understood to have been the genesis of what is now an International Environmental organization.
This year, Munifa was able to visit Terry in hospice on behalf of Sierra Club BC before he passed away and brought him flowers and a note from the staff. We are honoured to carry out our work today in Terry’s memory.
Rosemary Fox died Jan. 20 in Smithers, B.C. She was 90. Sierra Club BC’s Conservation Achievement Award is named after her. Fox joined the newly formed Sierra Club BC in the early 1970’s, serving as a director and later board chair until the early 1990s.
It’s almost impossible to unravel the many committees and working groups she served on. They included providing input into the province’s wolf management, helping to establish Stikine River Provincial Park and working on land-use plans for the Babine River and Kispiox Valley.
In her later years, she sat on boards for the Bulkley Valley Research Centre, Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board, Environmental Mining Council of BC, Nature Canada and as conservation committee chair for BC Nature. One of her greatest achievements led to a higher standard of wildlife management in British Columbia – one based on eco-system management, rather than management of a specific species solely for the purposes of hunting.
Current Sierra Club BC staff were fortunate to meet Rosemary Fox at SCBC’s 50th Anniversary party in Victoria in 2019 where she was able to present her namesake award to her dear friend and long-time Sierra Club member Ric Careless.
Ken Farquharson passed away suddenly on August 8th at the Vic General, he was 86. Ken remained an active dues-paying member right up until the days before his death; Sierra Club BC’s Manager of Engagement Elisabeth Noble found an unanswered email inquiring about Sierra Club BC’s position on a proposed LNG plant from July 27th just two weeks before his death.
Ken had been planning to attend Fairy Creek, although he did express he felt a bit old to get arrested.
Ken worked with Terry Simmons on the protection of the Cypress Bowl and worked tirelessly for the protection of the Skagit River Valley, including recently where he helped stop logging in the Manning Park donut hole, he was involved with the protection of the Nitinat Triangle, the Stein Valley, Meares Island, Gwaii Haanaas, Kakwa Provincial Park, and he continued to work on the Columbia River Treaty Negotiations in recent years.
Ken expressed to staff last year that he was so impressed with the new direction of Sierra Club BC – he really understood the connection between Indigenous rights, title, and responsibilities, and the protection of ecosystems.
We are very moved by his humility, openness, and loyalty to our work.
All three of these formidable humans will be missed, and we are honoured to follow in their footsteps.