Monday, October 1, 2012

Dick Bocking, RIP


Dear Saanich South,
Update: there will be a Memorial Service for Dick on Saturday October 13th, at 2pm at the Unitarian Church, 5575 West Saanich Road. All are welcome
Sad news: Richard “Dick” Bocking is gone. He died peacefully of old age on Sept 28, 2012. Many of us admired this long-time Saanich resident. He was kind and generous, creative and passionate – and a great fighter for the environment.

To my mind one of his greatest achievements was “Sustainable BC”. He was the key architect of this non-partisan policy document – adopted by the BC New Democrats in 2007- which aimed to create a ecologically-focused paradigm shift in how we approach governmental decision-making.

His commitment to the principles of sustainability is exactly the change we need to see going forward. In his own words: “unless we are able to make the environment sustainable, we will not have a future for our children and grandchildren. Nothing else will be of importance if we don’t address this crucial issue.”

Long before climate change was a hot button issue he worked with leading climate change scientists to create films about sustainability and global warming. He also made films which focused on the performing arts. In fact more than two decades he wrote, produced and directed documentary films for the CBC, and for television networks in the U.S. and Europe.

Before his career in broadcasting, he served as a district agriculturist in Alberta for seven years, and was embroiled in the debate surrounding the effect of genetic engineering on food safety, the environment, and the future of farming and control of the global food supply.

His book, Mighty River: A Portrait of the Fraser, received the Roderick Haig-Brown Prize and a certificate of merit by the B.C. Historical Federation. Mighty River celebrates the magnificence of the river that is central to the life, economy and identity for British Columbia. In the book, the Fraser provides a focus for analysis of the conflicts and choices that dominate North America’s economic, social and environmental agendas.

Bocking’s first book, Canada’s Water - For Sale? dealt with the issue of water export from Canada. He has contributed chapters and papers to several other books and journals concerned with water resources.

To understand Sustainable BC vision, you can watch this interesting 20 minute movie here: http://www.buildingsustainablebc.ca/movie

Richard leaves behind a loving family. I know many will join me as I offer my sincere condolences to them for their loss.

Lana Popham
MLA, Saanich South