Former Alumni Association President
1923 – 2015
Bert Reid passed away peacefully on July 5, 2015, in Duncan, BC, predeceased six months earlier by his wife of nearly 70 years, Edith. He is survived by daughters Elizabeth and Margaret, and sons Doug, David and Dick. Born in Chilco, BC, Bert attended school in Vanderhoof, graduating in 1941. He joined the RCAF and was assigned to the Pathfinder Squadron, leading bombing missions over Europe. In 1945, Bert enrolled in forest engineering at UBC and, after obtaining his degree, started a career in forestry consulting at T&H Engineering and Forestry in Vancouver. Under Bert's guidance, T&H carried out two of the largest industrial forest inventories undertaken in BC – one of which in the Kitimat area pioneered the use of helicopters to transport and re-supply field crews. In 1961, Bert and Jim Collins, BASc'52, RPF, joined up to found Reid, Collins and Associates (RCA). The first years for the fledgling company were tough, with few local projects coming through the doors, so Bert accepted a long-term secondment to a UN Development Programme/Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN, tropical forestry study in Ecuador. Bert uprooted his family for a five-year sojourn in Quito while RCA, under Jim Collins, expanded its domestic consulting capabilities. Returning to RCA in 1969, Bert focused on international business development and project management.
When he retired in 1985, RCA had grown into one of the largest forestry consulting companies in the world. That same year, Bert became president of the UBC Alumni Association after serving as vice-president in 1984/85. Bert continued independently consulting until the mid-1990s. Bert had a courteous and easy-going personality and a fine sense of humour and was not above playing a gentle prank on his colleagues. His business dealings were always honourable and fair; in a word, to those who knew him, he was a gentleman.