Friends of PICA


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Barrie Morrison - former director on our board
May 23, 1930 - April 25, 2013

Barrie working at salmon stream restoration (1)


Here is Barrie planting native species at our recent restoration efforts at Hope Bay Stream.  Barrie was instrumental in supporting the Hope Bay Stream Salmon Restoration Project.  He was the one who contacted me to get the project going again once the local RAR had passed, and had worked to get chum salmon in the stream for many years.  We put in 24,000 eggs this year, on the second year of an eight year PICA project. 

Barrie also started the series of talks and presentations held at the library that eventually morphed into the highly successful PICA-sponsored presentations featuring well-known naturalists. 

Barrie purchased the land beside his property, had a small run-down cottage removed, and placed a covenant on the land.  Through Barrie Morrison and his family's generosity, the fund in Nancy's name was created, in turn assisting other people with the opportunity to put a ecological covenant on their properties to protect the flora and fauna in perpetuity. 

I had the pleasure of assisting the PICA board while Barrie was a director.  He was knowledgeable and generous with his time and energy.  For many years, he looked after Medicine Beach and checked the covenants on the islands for PICA.  I looked for him to come to PICA's presentations, beach clean-ups and events.  He was also an active member of Pender Island Trust and Protection Society. 

Barrie sang with the choir and was taking piano lessons.  Every day he walked to Port Washington for a view of the ocean.  He enjoyed spending time in his garden.  He had an inquiring mind and an impressive library with books on many topics.  He was a gentleman and a scholar. 

Barrie came to a small gathering at my house just last week.  I shall miss his energy and enthusiasm for our Pender community and his vision of a greener, better future for his beloved islands.  

Amanda Griesbach
PICA's Coordinator for Beach Clean Up and the Salmon Stream Restoration project

April 26, 2013


Photos by Davy Rippner, Amanda Griesbach &  Paul Petrie
Barrie and PICA's Brooks Point committee member Jill Ilsley

Jill remembers: "Very chilly at one of Pender's earliest 2012 Farmer's Markets at the onset of an ambitious fundraising effort to raise $150,000 in 150 days.  Barrie's quiet confidence, steady presence and easy smile
 warmed the day for me and made anything seem possible.”


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Islands Trust Stewardship Award


Donation to Islands Trust Fund Honours
Barrie Morrison and Nancy Waxler

Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund encourages land conservation on Pender Islands

North and South Pender Island landowners may now apply to the Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund to pay all or a portion of the costs of a conservation covenant. This fund was established to remember Barrie Morrison and Nancy Waxler, two long-time residents of North Pender Island.

Barrie sitting

Barrie Morrison was born in Toronto in 1930 but was raised in Regina during the Depression – a social crisis that deeply shaped his perspective on life and his academic interests. He taught at a small school in northern Saskatchewan and spent time working on tugboats out of Vancouver, where he learned the moods of the Pacific Ocean.  A lifelong scholar, he earned an honours degree in history in 1954 at the University of Saskatchewan where he met his first wife, Ann Spencer.  He continued his studies at Oxford University with a British Council scholarship, earning a Master’s degree in 1960. During this time, his first two children, Peter and Sara were born.  By 1965 he had earned a PhD at the University of Chicago, studying archaeological remains and property transfer records in a culturally important region in what is now Bangladesh. At that time his third child, Douglas was born.

After a postdoctoral position at the University of Washington he returned to Canada as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), eventually becoming professor emeritus and an honorary research professor with the Institute for Asian Research.

During his academic career, Barrie’s great intellectual curiosity shifted from history to sociology. In 1976, he met fellow scholar Nancy Waxler during a trip to Sri Lanka.  They were married in 1982 and collaborated on several papers until their retirement from UBC when they moved to North Pender Island.

Barrie became an active member of the Pender Islands Conservancy Association (PICA) and was instrumental in supporting the Hope Bay Stream Salmon Restoration Project. He placed a conservation covenant on his land to help ensure protection of its flora and fauna.  After Nancy’s death in 2007, he started a fund in her name to help others register conservation covenants on their Pender Islands properties.

Barrie passed away in 2013.  To honour Barrie and Nancy’s commitment to protecting the natural values of the Penders, the family has donated $20K to the Islands Trust Fund to establish the Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund.  The fund is intended to help other Pender Island landowners protect habitat on their land with covenants, carrying on Barrie and Nancy’s legacy.  The funding is intended to cover costs including survey plans, baseline reports, legal costs, and registration costs.

To be eligible for funding, the covenant must include the Trust Fund Board as one of the covenant holders. Covenants registered as part of the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program are eligible for funding support. Applications for funding may be made at the start of covenant negotiations (accompanying or following the submission of a Conservation Proposal to the Trust Fund Board) or at any time until three months after the registration of the covenant.  Covenants associated with a development application (e.g. rezoning, subdivision) are not eligible for funding.

Grants from the Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund range from $100 - $4,000.  Larger grants may be considered for covenants with larger protected areas or exceptional biodiversity values.  Please contact us to discuss your application with a staff member.

"The man who serves humanity best is he who, rooted in his own nation, develops his spiritual
and moral endowments to their highest capacity, so that growing beyond the limits of his own
nation he is able to give something to the whole of humanity."

- Quote from 1926 Nobel Peace Prize winner Gustav Stresemann important to Barrie Morrison




View Sylvia Pincott’s Pender Post & Naturescape articles