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.
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.
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.
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.
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.