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.
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
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
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