On December 12, 2018, QLF Founder The Ven. Robert A. Bryan passed away peacefully in Sherbrooke, Québec at the age of 87. A bush pilot, Anglican Minister and entrepreneur, Bob Bryan founded the Quebec-Labrador Foundation in 1961.

Read a tribute from Larry Morris, President Emeritus, and watch a visual representation of Bob’s life in the slideshow below:

 

This Ipswich Chronicle article, “Rev. Bob Bryan leaves a living legacy,” offers an illuminating look into why Bob founded the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, and how he first discovered community-based conservation.

“He loved people and their stories. People keep telling me he made such difference in their lives, but they also made a difference in his.” – Sandy Bryan Weatherall

~ ~ ~

After sharing the news with a heavy heart that Bob Bryan had passed away, tributes began pouring in on social media, email and phone calls. Below are just a few of the many stories:

In an email from Norman Pinder,

I’m sure you must feel, as I do, somewhat blessed to have been drawn, by accident or fate, to such beacons of humankind as Bob Bryan and Wilfred Grenfell. Our lives and careers have been shaped by them. They have been our reference point. They have set us a challenge to adapt their message for the twenty-first century. I’m sure Bob will have left this world happy in the knowledge that QLF is in such fine hands and doing just that.

Bob Bryan with Quebec-Labrador Foundation Interns
Photograph Courtesy of Quebec-Labrador Foundation Archives

Shared by Jock Conyngham:

As I told his granddaughter Grace, my favorite memory is being seated next to him at some kind of large anniversary celebration at Hotchkiss. Alumni from various disciplines were grouped into panels, and he and I were on the environment panel. If I recall correctly, we each had to speak for a half hour and then be prepared for fifteen minutes of discussion. I had been back in the country from work in Tanzania for less than 24 hours, and, somewhat uncharacteristically, I actually prepared notes for a written talk. As Bob and I visited, I lay out my notes.

He said, “Are we supposed to give a presentation?”

I replied, “Mr. Bryan, I believe so. For thirty minutes.”

Flustered, he asked if he could borrow a pen and some paper. I had none of the latter. He grabbed some napkins and scribbled madly on them. And then proceeded to give one of the best talks.

And so, as Hamlet said in his speech about his dead father in Act 1, Scene 2,                                                        “I shall not look upon his like again.”

The Ven. Robert A. Bryan, Founder, Quebec-Labrador Foundation, 2008
Photograph Courtesy of Dr. Candace Cochrane

 

 

 

 

Bob Bryan with some of the first Quebec-Labrador Foundation Volunteers, Harrington Harbour, Québec, Canada, 1963
Photograph Courtesy of Quebec-Labrador Foundation Archives

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Bryan with Quebec-Labrador Foundation Volunteers
Photograph Courtesy of Quebec-Labrador Foundation Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From many wonderful stories shared by Kirby Nadeau, he also offered these words:

I really liked the quote, “Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” Bob was that special friend for numerous people, and he certainly knew how to fly. In his book, he said he liked to “turn with the sun.” All of us who were touched by his grace or had the privilege to spend any quality time in his circle know that the sun is flying with him now. His warm rays will forever shine through this lifetime and beyond.

N369E graces the windswept skies
Photograph Courtesy of Quebec-Labrador Foundation Archives