W. Bert (Bern) Gayle, BSF’50

W. Bert (Bern) GayleBert (Bern) was born June 21, 1924, in Salmon Arm and passed away on July 23, 2011, at the age of 87 with his family by his side. He grew up in Powell River and on his 18th birthday joined the RCAF. In 1943, after earning his pilot wings and a commission, he became a flying instructor. A year later, just after D-Day, he was transferred overseas. Based in England, he flew Wellington and Lancaster bombers until the end of the war. Upon returning to BC, Bert attended UBC where he earned his forestry degree and later became a Registered Professional Forester.

Bert worked in the forest industry for 43 years. He began with the BC Forest Service and then moved to the Powell River Company (later Macmillan Bloedel Ltd.). Bert’s final 25 working years were spent with Canadian Forest Products Ltd. and he retired in 1989 as vice president and director. Throughout his career he was active in forest related organizations, serving as president of the Northern Interior Lumberman’s Association, vice president of the Junior Forest Wardens of BC, director of the Council of Forest Industries of BC, and a founding director of the BC Forest Alliance. In 1990, he received the Tree of Life Award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry.

Away from the office and into his retirement, he enjoyed swimming and tennis, was an avid boater, gardener, cross-country skier, winemaker and world traveler. He was active with the Gyro Club of Vancouver, The Royal Canadian Legion West Vancouver Branch #60, and was proud of his service with the Air Cadets of West Vancouver.

Bert will be greatly missed by his wife of 63 years, Betty, his son, Warren, daughter Nancy and his many friends and colleagues.

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