1960s

Author and filmmaker Silver Donald Cameron BA’60 (PhD), published his 18th book in the summer of 2016. Warrior Lawyers, which is a companion work to his feature film, GreenRights, also finished in 2016, includes 15 interviews from top environmental lawyers from around the world. Cameron is a lifelong environmentalist, working now to secure “green rights,” or the right to clean air, water and food, for every Canadian citizen. Currently, Canada is one of 13 countries in the United Nations that does not recognize this right. For information on his book, film and environmental initiatives, go to www.greenrights.com


After being diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, John Hemmingsen, BASc’63, had a bone marrow transplant. That was more than two years ago. He has just completed a book detailing his experiences throughout the treatment. The book is dedicated to the cure. Find out more at: www.giftedlife.org


Sandra Smith, BA’64, MA’67, has written a book – Canada’s Water, Yours to Protect: A Primer on Planning Together – celebrating the effect of local collaboration driven by passion for place, and encouraging Canadians to come together to plan for the future of their water.


Louis Druehl, PhD’65, SFU professor emeritus, received a 2015 British Columbia Community Achievement Award for his contributions to the village of Bamfield. He dedicated his academic life to the study of kelp, for which he had the honour of having a kelp genus named after him: Druehlia fistulosa, the dragoon kelp. He has concentrated on writing in his retirement years: the Canadian best seller Pacific Seaweeds (2000, Harbour) and most recently Cedar, Salmon and Weed (2015, Granville Island), a tale of 1970s Bamfield, with its biologists, hippies, fishermen, natives, and end‑of‑the‑roaders, minimal sex and violence, some piracy, dealing, marine science and loitering. Druehl lives in Bamfield, where he produces the local newspaper, the New Bamfielder, and runs a sea vegetable business with his wife, Rae Hopkins.


Colin Levings, BSc(Zoology)’65, MSc(Zoology)’67, (PhD in Oceanography, Dalhousie), has published a new book with UBC Press. Ecology of Salmonids in Estuaries around the World: Adaptations, Habitats and Conservation covers salmon, trout, and char species and has as an extensive reference list and a primer for citizen scientists. Author royalties are being donated to the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Levings is an emeritus scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in West Vancouver and is also an adjunct faculty member at UBC. Levings and his wife, Kay, live in Lions Bay, BC, and also spend time in Pender Harbour, where he teaches their five grandsons to row and fish.


A new hybrid iris has been named for a UBC prank.
A new hybrid iris has been named for a UBC prank.

A newly hybridized iris has been named Prankster in recognition of an audacious 1963 UBC Engineering prank. A recent article in the fall 2015 issue of Trek magazine recalled the hoax as the most creative and technically ambitious stunt of several decades at the university (page 39). Engineering students knocked together some “abstract” sculptures and anonymously placed them around campus. The sculptures’ sudden appearance attracted curiosity, and both supporters and detractors, but they were left in place. Then, a few weeks later, the engineers went round with sledgehammers and smashed the sculptures to pieces. They got the hoped‑for criticism and derision, letting it build until turning the tables and owning up that the statues were their own creations and not works of art. Penny Santosham (née White), BEd’66, the iris hybridizer, was a UBC education student at the time of the hoax. Prankster, an unusual pin stripped clone, is her seventh registered Okanagan iris.


Diana Cruchley, BE’67, has two recent publications: Canadian Scientists and Inventors Rule, a picture book ABC of Canadian inventions/discoveries, and The Power of Extreme Writing, an ASCD publication for educators on a novel approach to journaling.


This July a Festschrift Conference was held at The Burn near the village of Edzell in Angus, Scotland, in honour of Professor Emeritus John M. MacKenzie, PhD’69. MacKenzie held the chair of Imperial History at Lancaster University, UK, where he worked for 34 years (1968‑2002). He is one of Britain’s foremost scholars of imperial history and the British Empire and holds honorary professorships at the universities of St. Andrews and Aberdeen and a Professorial Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh.


Jan Drabek, DipEd’66, recently returned from Prague, where he christened his Czech translation of the Krajina biography called The Two Lives of Vladimir Krajina. In 1939 the botanist Vladimir Krajina joined the Czech Resistance and quickly became one of its leaders. Incredible escapes from the Gestapo followed, while some 20,000 radio messages were sent by his group to London, among them those about the pending invasion of the Balkans and of the Soviet Union. As the strongest anti‑Communist Party’s general secretary he escaped from the country on skis after the Communist takeover. Personally thanked for his wartime effort by Winston Churchill, Krajina came to UBC where, as a professor of botany he battled the forest barons and their practice of clear‑cutting and slash burning. He then turned his attention to saving pristine areas of the province, earning the title of father of the Ecological Reserve Program, since replicated throughout Canada. As a Companion of the Order of Canada, he returned triumphantly to Prague in 1990 to receive the Order of the White Lion, the highest Czechoslovak award, from President Vaclav Havel. Krajina died peacefully in Vancouver in 1993 as one of those happy individuals who had achieved practically everything they had set out to do in life. The book is Vladimir Krajina (published by Ronsdale Press in 2012, Touzimskay a Moravec in Prague in 2016).

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