Born in Preston, Ontario, in 1928, John was a quintessential geographer. His PhD thesis was a classical historical geography of the Mackenzie River Valley. He engaged in fundamental permafrost research. Appointed as professor at UBC in 1957, John was an inspirational undergraduate teacher. His teaching of the Introductory Physical Geography course for 27 consecutive years was one of the foundation stones of the Geography Department’s reputation as a strong teaching department. He also taught a Geography of the Canadian Arctic course for 23 consecutive years, with passion.
John will be most remembered and admired as a consummate university administrator. His six years as assistant dean in Graduate Studies (1969‑75), 15 years as associate dean of Arts (1975‑90), and overlapping period as director of ceremonies (1984‑89) were acknowledged by senior administrators as exceptionally successful. He was a recipient of the President’s Service Award for Excellence. John was an exceptional colleague. He will be greatly missed.