It is with great sadness and many fond memories that we at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Fredericton Peace Coalition attended the memorial service for long-time member, Robert “Bob” Young, of Fredericton on January 13, 2011.
Bob was a familiar face at CCNB. He visited with staff often, lifting our spirits, putting a smile on our faces and more often than not, leaving a poem he wrote in our hands. We would converse about the world’s latest events and he would always tell us how his wife Marie was doing.
He inspired not only people in Fredericton but people across the province and country in the environmental and peace movements. Bob was a fixture at peace rallies in Fredericton. A World War II Veteran and a member of Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, he would entertain the crowd with his lively poetry and constantly remind us of a greater humanity. He graciously shared his gift of poetry on numerous occasions over the years, making days of action against climate change and peace rallies in Fredericton extra special.
A defender of nature and sustainable forestry, Bob worked as a forester for the NB Department of Natural Resources for over thirty years. He loved to fish, and was an avid walker and cyclist well into his eighties. Bob was a prolific writer of letters to the editors, stories and poems, many of which drew attention to and demanded action on the world’s greatest injustices.
Bob’s daily contributions to the community are too many to name. An active member of numerous organizations, he also volunteered with Meals on Wheels, the Fredericton Men’s Shelter and the Community Kitchen. In 1997, Bob and Marie were awarded the YMCA Canada Peace Medal.
Bob’s presence at gatherings in Fredericton will be sorely missed. Bob’s friends will continue to read his poems and in this way, Bob will remain a constant defender of nature and peace, reminding the young and old that another world, a world without war where we live at peace with all people and species, is indeed possible.
Tracy Glynn is a forest campaigner with CCNB and a board member of the NB Media Co-op.