Born at Cold Lake, Alberta, in 1926, Ralph Shaw of Courtenay started fishing six years later — catching shiners with a piece of string and a bent pin. This progressed to catching trout when he and his brother began dangling flies from willow poles.
Ralph Shaw then specialized in fishing trout with artificial flies, and more recently to taking salmon and bottom fish in saltwater. A lifelong crusader for sane fish and wildlife conservation practices, he retired as a school principal in 1983 after 35 years in education, but continued his conservation activities. He received the Order of Canada in 1984 for his work in these endeavours, and is a recipient of the Canada 125 Medal. His weekly outdoors column in the Comox Valley Record has won several writing awards, and he contributed regularly to The Outdoor Edge, BC Outdoors, Outdoor Canada, Island Fisherman and Island Angler. He was a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada, the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association.
In 1984 Ralph Shaw was appointed to the Order of Canada for his work in conservation and outdoor education at the McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre in Kamloops. Recently Ralph was nominated as Citizen of the Year by the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce for the upcoming awards on January 30, 2016.
Ralph Shaw is survived by wife Elaine, sister Alice Clarke, daughter Melanie, daughter Lynnea and husband Cliff, daughter Leanne and husband Dave, 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 16 at 2:00 pm at the Courtenay Fish & Game Club, 3780 Lake Trail Road, Courtenay.
In lieu of flowers donations in Ralph’s name to The Nature Trust of B.C.
260 1000 Roosevelt Crescent, North Vancouver, B.C., V7P 3R4, would be greatly appreciated.