Ocean Voice International founder dies
Dr. Don E. McAllister died peacefully, June 17, with his loving wife, Lise Jensen by his side. Don devoted his life to solving global environmental problems, especially those related to marine habitat. He was an exceptional husband, father and grandfather -- with a heart seven sizes too large. He lived with the loving memory of his first wife, Nancy Ann Mahoney. His passing is deeply mourned by all who knew him. Here are the words of a few of his colleagues.

I already miss Don McAllister. He was the first scientist to acknowledge the destruction of our coral forests -- after more than 10 years of searching. for someone with professional knowledge. Don introduced me to other honest scientists and was my biggest financial supporter in Canadian coral conservation. Even though our oceans were really great, it's hard to survive dedicating one's life to trying to conserve Canadian ocean habitats.

Following years of humiliation for my efforts, Don was the first to acknowledge that my work was credible. He made me feel proud of the work I do. He provided expert advice for that work, brilliant advice for those that asked me the tough political questions, and optimism when dealing with our doomsday Canadian policies. By saying the work was important and that corals are a vital foundation species, he, more than anyone, inspired me to continue. Don also supported, even financed, my coral polishing and live coral experiments, helping to add more value to our precious corals.

For two decades I was ridiculed for claiming that draggers were destroying the ocean. At a coral symposium in Halifax last year, Don showed that the dragger doors were so big, they were named, "canyon busters".

See how great Don was and why I admired him so much?

Derek Jones, Director,
Coral Ocean Habitat Protection Society, Newellton, NS

I last spoke with Don by phone a few weeks ago when I called during my hunger strike to thank him for the azaleas he and Ocean Voice had delivered to Parliament Hill. So extraordinarily thoughtful to be thinking of sending me flowers when he was so ill. I kept praying for a liver transplant as, until that call, I had had no sense of how sick he was.

Sierra Club issued its annual Rio Report Card June 19. I opened the conference with a commemoration of Don for his compassion, his rigorous science, his dedication to the planet's biodiversity and dedicated our work to his memory. I have never opened a press conference with a eulogy, but it was not possible for me to proceed without one.

Words will never be adequate to describe the hole his death has left in all our lives.

Elizabeth May, Executive Director
Sierra Club of Canada Ottawa, ON

It saddens me to hear of Don's passing. I only met him a couple of times, but I can add my voice to those who say he was a support and inspiration to the work of preserving the land and life. On numerous occasions, Don provided feedback that made the days go easier and the tasks seem worthwhile. I will miss that and can only hope that we can continue to support each other as Don has supported us.

Mike Nickerson,
Sustainability Project, Merrickville, ON

It is a big loss that we no longer have Dr. Don McAllister amongst us. From coral protection to fish farms and mpas, many of us will recall his thoughtful insights. A true tribute to Don is Derek Jones' wish to see the new coral center in Nova Scotia named in his honour. Perhaps readers will help Derek in this worthwhile endeavour by sending a donation his way.

Howard Breen, Georgia Strait

I, too, am very sad to hear about the loss of Don McAllister. . . I had no idea he was ill. . . he was very compassionate when I was trying to explain how inshore multispecies ground fishermen in Gulf Nova Scotia have been leaders in voluntarily banning rock hopper gear and buying out and eliminating the midshore and inshore rock hoppers. Don recognized the leadership of these fishers and wanted me to write an article for Oceans Voice on it.

With great humility, I will say a prayer that his spirit lives on in us all.

Mary Gorman, NS

This is a very sad day for us and for Ocean Voice International, and a great loss to the scientific community and to the environment, to which he had devoted his life and career.

Let us remember him for his passion and commitment to life and for his devotion to his fellow human beings.

Jaime Baquero, President
Ocean Voice International