My sad duty as Chair of SoK includes notifying friends and supporters of the Sources of Knowledge Forum that Ivan Smith passed away on Thursday June 17th, 2021 at age 66.
Ivan was in his first term of the SoK Board. In that time, he contributed greatly and was a regular attendant at meetings even through the difficult Covid-19 period. Ivan was a member of the Bursary Committee and the 2020 Forum Committee. He was also instrumental in delivering SoK/BPEG’s “Essential Businesses Thank You” campaign recognizing workers at Tobermory businesses that continued to serve the community during the first part of the Covid-19 pandemic shut-down.
I first met Ivan when he was General Works Manager for Fathom Five and Bruce Peninsula National Parks and through his time as Park Superintendent. He was a great supporter of SoK and was a prominent, well-known and well-liked citizen of the North Bruce. My best memories of Ivan were during our meetings at the local dog park. Our two dogs – Cody and Bailey – got along great while Ivan would be busy trimming trees and shrubs in the park. Ivan was instrumental in the final construction and on-going maintenance of the park.
Taken way too soon, he will be remembered and missed. Below is the notice of his death provided by Ethan Meleg and testimonials from two of our Board members. These testimonials speak to the man, his character and his actions.
Daryl Cowell, Chair, Sources of Knowledge Board.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that Ivan Smith passed away yesterday.
“Ivan had an illustrious career with Parks Canada. He worked at sites across the country including Kluane National Park, Trent Severn Waterway, Georgian Bay Islands National Park and here at Bruce/Fathom Five where he was General Works Manager before finishing his career as Park Superintendent.
“Ivan was a parks-guy through and through, and an engaged local citizen. Even after retiring he was still actively volunteering in the community and with initiatives connected to these parks.”
Ethan Meleg, General Works Manager (Acting), Parks Canada
“I have great admiration for the contribution that Ivan Smith made to Parks Canada and the Bruce, especially as Superintendent. As a member of the Parks Advisory Committee. I watched him encourage the opening up of the Committee in its work for the community, Canada, and Parks Canada. Previous to his Superintendency, the style and role of the Committee was overwhelmingly to receive information from Parks Canada. He encouraged the Committee and its members, and the Chair, Ed Doadt, to submit ideas and proposals to Parks Canada and Bruce National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park. This revitalized the Committee and led to some significant advances, for example, the establishment of the Sources of Knowledge Forum. He worked gently and effectively with people.”
Gordon Nelson, SoK Board Member (Emeritus)
“Ivan Smith was indeed a special person, but thanks to his quiet demeanor his qualities could easily be missed.
“I have taken the liberty of passing Gordon’s remarks (above) on to our golfing group of the last dozen or so years, many of whom might not have known much of Ivan’s background. Golf has many detractors (waste of time and farmland, good walk spoiled, etc..) but it has the redeeming virtue of allowing one to spend lots of idle time with fellow players. You learn a lot about them, how they win, how they lose, how they support their fellows, how honestly they score, how they recover from that spell of bad play or luck that always comes along. In Ivan’s case we watched him slowly recover from his first battle with cancer, doggedly playing through the fatigue, never complaining and slowly growing stronger over the years. He was always polite, encouraging, enjoying the success of others as well as himself, even going so far as to play the ball where it landed and not where a subtle “foot wedge” put it. But, at the same time, quietly competitive and very determined.
“All this to say that, along with all his many other accomplishments, Ivan was truly a champion golfer. That is how I would like to remember him.”
John Greenhouse, SoK Board Member (Emeritus)
William Douglas Lionel (Bill) Graham (1935-2020) was a founding Director and a driving force of the Sources of Knowledge Forum through its first 10 years. A man of immense charm, his warmth and approachability belied a life of high achievement in many fields. In 1953, right out of high school he followed in his father’s footsteps by making the roster of the Grey Cup winning Hamilton Tiger Cats, and repeated that victory with the 1957 T-Cats. In 1959, now playing ice hockey with the Belleville McFarlands, he helped that team win the Gold Medal at the World Ice Hockey Championships.
Those fields conquered, Bill turned to other endeavours. Bill quickly became a very successful businessman, holding amongst other notable posts the Director of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada. Sport, though, was never far from his mind. He found time to become President of the Canadian Carriage Driving Society, a champion squash player, an avid fisherman, an expert skier, and generally a man who could play any sport well. Along the way he made a host of lifelong friends.
There can be no doubt that for Bill his crowning achievement was marrying Pat in 1959. Pat predeceased Bill by a few months but they were together for 60 years and raised a large and accomplished family. On his retirement The Bruce beckoned. Bill and Pat established Graham Farms west of Ferndale where they raised the sturdy breed known as the Canadian Horse. As always Bill took a keen interest in every aspect of his community. Environmental groups, Chambers of Commerce, hospitals, local government and charities all benefited from his generosity and his interest.
We are grateful that he devoted some of his prodigious energy to the development of SOK, and that we had the opportunity to work and learn with him. In tribute to his many contributions SOK awards the Bill Graham Award of Excellence every year in his memory, to individuals who like Bill undertake extraordinary things.