Robert Abraham Bams
June 24, 1930 ~ February 26, 2015
Rob, Dad, Opa, PappaBear – husband, father, granddad and friend, has left the building but not our hearts. He was a gifted artist, renowned scientist and patient father, well truth be told, as long as he wasn’t behind the wheel. Mom would give him a quota of only ten “bad words” he could use on any driving trip. He was usually done by the time we hit the end of the driveway. Rob had a wry twisted sense of humour, an eye for beautiful things (he found our mom), had an incredible ear for music, and more than a passing interest in good Scotch. He had a profound love of nature and spent his life devoted to learning and preserving it, as well as teaching its beauty to others.
Rob taught us all the incredible beauty and diversity of nature. This is his legacy to all of us who have been influenced by his knowledge and love. There was many a trip to collect mushrooms, flowers, butterflies, and weird and wonderful creatures to be found at low tide. All to be carefully viewed and catalogued, and to be photographed….again and again and….as the children waited (patiently). He also taught us to provide for ourselves from nature, discovering excellent victuals such as mushrooms and fiddleheads, and all manner of seafood. He taught us how to catch our supper in lakes, river and ocean which led to a lifelong fishing addiction for his son and grandchildren.
Born in Holland in 1930 he survived the bombings of his home town Rotterdam and the occupation by the German Army. He studied biology at Leiden University and received a Doctorate in Natural Philosophy. He met and fell in love with Johanna Teeuwen, married in 1956 and moved to Canada forthwith (good move mom and dad). After a short stint in London, Ontario where he was involved with lamprey control, they moved to coastal BC and settled in Nanaimo for good (better move mom and dad). Rob spent the rest of his working career at the Pacific Biological Station until his retirement. His time working was devoted to saving salmon. Most of his research went into developing salmon hatchery systems. He is world famous for developing the, wait for it…..Bams Box, still the standard rearing system used today. OK, so maybe famous in the Salmon rearing world.
Survived by Johanna his loving spouse and best friend, daughter Deborah (Wayne) and grandkids Arlen and Alex, son Doug (Troy) and grandkids Rhiana, Dylan and Madelyn.
There was a small, family Celebration of Life on the 7th of March. Please hoist a glass of premium Scotch in Rob’s honoir and to a life well lived. We – his fry, are blessed to have been in his life.
“Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.” Wordsworth