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Jim McWilliams

$18,420.00 (raised so far)

About Jim McWilliams

Jim McWilliams, (December 9, 1930 – September 7, 2020) was a UBC Faculty of Forestry alumnus, Rhodes Scholar, and retired BC Registered Professional Forester (RPF). Jim had a long and varied career in wood products manufacturing and as a member of the UBC Senate for 8 years was a passionate advocate for forestry education.

Jim graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science, Forestry in 1953, and received a Rhodes Scholarship that allowed him to study at Oxford University for three more years. On his return to British Columbia Jim launched his career at Western Plywood’s mill in 100 Mile House. Jim became an RPF in 1960 and a few years later started working for Canfor, first in Vancouver, then in Chetwynd and finally back in Vancouver as manager of Eburne Sawmill. In 1974, Jim moved to Whonnock Industries (subsequently re-named Interfor) as manager of McDonald Cedar in Fort Langley. To finish off his career Jim worked as a wood products consultant from 1988-98.

Jim served as a member of the UBC Senate from 1976 to 1984 and was a lifelong advocate for education and continued learning. A passion he has passed onto his children and grandchildren.

Jim also played a leading role in the establishment of the Fraser River Debris Trap, a shared government, industry initiative to remove floating debris from the Fraser River during freshet. His children remember many visits to check on the functioning of the debris trap.

In retirement Jim enjoyed spending time at the family cottage at Mahood Lake in the Cariboo, visits with family and friends, following rugby and advocating for improved forest management.

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The impact of your support

To honour three generations of McWilliams foresters, the family has just recently established the McWilliams Family Forest Resource Management Graduate Student Enrichment Fund, which will support graduate students studying silviculture, forest policy, or inventories and growth and yield issues in British Columbia. The McWilliams family has focused this Fund on students doing research in areas where they feel great opportunities exist for improving sustainable forest management.

Jim sums up the family’s motivation for creating this Fund: “We want to support improvement in the foundations of forest management,” he says. “And we hope to make an impact with this gift.”

Messages of Remembrance

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  • Back in the early 1960's my family had the good fortune to be the McWilliams' neighbors. Although my parents are no longer with us, I was told many a time by them how they admired and enjoyed the company of both Jim & Barb. So sorry to hear of Jim's recent passing.

    Kate Neumeyer (nee Sharp), Neighbor...........years ago!!!!
  • I first met Jim in 1957 as he picked me up to go to an event, long-forgotten. I knew immediately he was the man for my sister and, low-and-behold, a year later the wedding, who all there will remember, took place in Regina. From that day forward Jim became my brother. His influence and help in my life has had a profound and ever-lasting effect. His example drove me to success and one of the best lives of anyone I know. He was the best man at my wedding and throughout the rest of his/my life together. As Barbs will, I will miss him horribly. Barbs and I will stick together and hope Jim and my Anna are now having great visits together.

    Joe Brown, Brother-in-law
  • Tuesday Morning Coffee Group was always special when Jim was a regular. He was always calm, thoughtful and humorous even when politics was discussed. Wendy and I also have a great memory of a few days spent with Jim and Barb at Mahood Lake.

    Orrin Webber, friend
  • From when I was a child, my grandfather, Harold McWilliams, and my uncle, Jim McWilliams, each accomplished and prominent professional foresters, generously shared their knowledge and wisdom about BC’s great forest resources. They embraced the economic importance of the forestry industry while also being committed and early advocates of responsible forest management practices. I was a lucky beneficiary of their mentorship in so many aspects of my life. I will always remember my Uncle Jim for his exceptional love and support of our family, his wonderful twinkling smile and his keen curiosity about people and their stories. He and his wife, my Auntie Barb, set the standard for what true commitment to family looks like.

    Laura Donaldson, Niece
  • I always thought when I found out he was a Rhodes Scholar that Jim exemplified what the scholarship wanted to uphold, someone who had ability and of moral character, civic minded in approach and had leadership qualities as well as success in sports. Jim had all of those qualities in excess and more. Admired and a great example to all who knew him. I am honored to have known him.

    Jenny Glenesk, Longtime Friend of Jim and Barb
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Mark Messmer

  • Paul Bavis

  • Andrew Mackay

  • The Cherkezoff's

  • Diane & John Rae

  • Bishop family

  • Bill and Pat Sexsmith

  • Sally and Peter Hatfield

  • Julie Pohoresky and Ed Pajor

  • Herb and Mary Schmidt

  • Margaret Kalaski

  • Eric Gastevich and Catherine Nardi

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