Melda Buchanan passed away suddenly, in the night of Wednesday, April 15th, peacefully after a short illness.
Survived by brother James (Lola) McCulloch living in Kamloops; sister-in-law Joan McCulloch (John McCulloch deceased 1997) currently living in Oliver, BC; nephews: Robert McCulloch (Beryl), Comox, Ian McCulloch (Janet), Kamloops; nieces: Linda Larson (Larry), Oliver, Fiona McCauley (Brian) Toronto; Mary Tien (Erwin), Midland, Michigan; Kim Woodward, Vancouver; great nephews and nieces; and great-great nephews and nieces.
Melda was born in Drumheller, Alberta, but her family moved to the Comox Valley when she was eight years old, and she spent the rest of her childhood in Comox.
After graduating from Victoria College, Melda went to UBC and in 1945 obtained a BA with Honours in mathematics.
She returned home to teach high school for a while, and later went to the University of Toronto where she earned a Master’s Degree in mathematics and physics.
Melda became the first woman meteorological forecaster in Canada, stationed in Moncton, New Brunswick. later she returned to UBC in Vancouver where she taught mathematics.
When Melda returned home to the Comox Valley in the sixties, the environment and political activism became her full-time career. From then on, no environmental project was too small, no task too global for her effective and boundless energy. From saving the lands at Seal Bay, to active participation in environmental protest, to ensuring the survival of every creature she encountered, Melda was there for her beloved Comox Valley, for British Columbia, for the world. This short obituary cannot begin to list all her accomplishments; no words could do justice to her legacy.
But as every creature has lost their best human friend, we humans have lost more: a woman of great wit, intelligence and fierce independence, a loving friend of enormous generosity and warmth.
“….Nature I loved,
and next to Nature, Art.
I warmed both hands
before the fire of life.
It sinks, and I am ready
Donations in her memory can be made to the SPCA, Box 1284, Comox, V9N 7Z8. Cards and messages may be sent to niece Linda Larson, c/o Box 1209, Comox V9N 7Z8.
Wake to take place on May 9th. Time and place to be announced.