Posted by: John Munro | November 5, 2010

Remarks by John Munro on Receiving the Tree of Life Award

Remarks by John Munro on Receiving the Tree of Life Award, at the CIF Newfoundland & Labrador Section Annual Meeting at the Humber Valley Resort, on October 19, 2006

I am very pleased to receive this Tree of Life Award. To me it implies one is in a forest stand, supported by other trees and a root system for nourishment and mutual support.

This makes me realize how much I have benefited over the years from being part of the Canadian Institute of Forestry, both the Provincial Section and the National Office.

The 50 th anniversary of the CIF in Newfoundland also coincides with two important 50-year anniversaries for me.

First in 1956, I enrolled in the two-year Pre-Forestry program that had just been started at Memorial University in St. John’s as a result of a recommendation of the Report of the Newfoundland Royal Commission on Forestry of 1955. The first forestry instructor was Finn Frost, a forester from Norway who had just been appointed the first provincial Chief Forester. There were six of us in that class:

  1. Sam Chafe of Whitbourne;
  2. Lloyd Yarn of St. John’s;
  3. Bill Whiffen of St. John’s;
  4. Wilf Tuff of Gander;
  5. me originally from Bishop’s Falls; and
  6. Bob Whitehorne from Millertown.

Our instructor in Dendrology in the second year was Bill Wilton, originally from Bonne Bay, of the Federal Forestry Service in St. John’s.

Second, and most importantly for me, 1956 was the year I started dating my wonderful wife and life partner, Lorraine Parsons, who I am happy and grateful to say is here with me tonight. It makes me think that the Section should consider instituting a ‘spousal award’.

Since Eric Earl called me about getting this award, I have been thinking about the history of the CIF in Newfoundland and the useful and enjoyable role it has played in our forestry community.

  • The CIF provided a forum for the foresters of all agencies and all parts of the province – Companies, Provincial Forest Service, Canadian Forest Service, Educational Instructors and others – to get together and discuss subjects of common interest;
  • It has helped promote understanding, networking and cooperation amongst us all through annual meetings, summer and winter field trips, mini-forums (or is it mini-for a!?) and participation on forestry field projects;
  • It provides a social setting for us to gather and swap stories, jokes and generally have fun – I think fun has been an important part of the CIF role for us all;
  • It has helped improve public understanding and debate of forestry issues;
  • It provides a means for the forestry community to voice concerns on forestry issues to political and business leaders, Royal Commissions, Task Forces, the media, and schools;
  • It provides an interface between our forestry community and the rest of Canada and the world.

I am grateful and proud to be included with the others who have received this award. I’m not sure that I am as worthy as the others, but I will accept it anyway!

Thank You.
John Munro

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