We miss Bob Hager attendances at our monthly meetings of the Tsolum River Restoration Society. When he and Judy, his life companion, were not travelling elsewhere in the world, he would always fly over from Vancouver to be present at our meetings, to give us encouragement and sage advice and extend his generosity. During the last several months, when he knew was dying, he still made the flights, but accompanied either by his daughter, Shelly, or one of his former business colleagues.
Bob was one of the founders of the Vancouver-based Investment Firms, Philips, Hager & North. On retirement he served on the Vancouver Foundation’s Honorary Governors ‘ Council and on the board of the Canadian Rugby Foundation, among other things. He earned a commerce degree from UBC in l961, and an MBA from Berkeley in l962
Bob was a keen sportsman and had a deep concern for conserving, preserving and protecting our Pacific Wild Salmon. He gave generously of his time and means to this end. Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail wrote: “In 2008, the provincial government, inspired by a personal donation of $30,000 from Bob Hager, approved a plan to cap the Mt. Washington site with a waterproof seal, made of polyester impregnated with bitumen…the seal went on in 2009-2010 with immediate and stunning results…” Upwards of 500 coho returned to spawn. In October of this year a strong return of pink salmon returned to the Tsolum River.
Thomas Berry, considered by many to be the world’s outstanding ecologist, writes about THE GREAT WORK. We all have a work, he writes: teacher scientist, homemaker, laborer, mechanic, biologist, etc. But in addition we are all involved in the GREAT WORK: MAKING A TRANSTION OF A SOCIETY THAT IS HAVING A DISRUTIVE INFLUENCE ON THE EARTH, TO A SOCIETY THAT WILL HAVE A BENIGN PRESENCE, that we make this transition my experiencing creation with a sense of wonder and delight, rather than a commodity for our own personal benefit, that we must fall in love with the earth. We only save what we love, and we only love what we think is sacred. Only the sense of the sacred will save us.
Bob Hager in his life and work moved us a little closer to a society that is having a benign presence to the earth.
Father Charles A.E. Brandt, erm.
Photography by Father Charles Brandt.