Homage to Moralea Milne

By Chris Pratt, President of Metchosin Foundation

Many years ago when Moralea and her husband John chose to make their home in Metchosin, attracted by the quiet lifestyle of the people and the rich endowment of forests, fields, and streams bordered by the sea, they saw that measures were needed to preserve that balance while living on the verges of a growing city.

They literally spent the rest of their lives bending to that task. John was first elected to Council while he was professionally engaged in providing internet service to First Nations communities throughout the Province including our neighbours at Scia’new (Beecher Bay).  In parallel, Moralea reached out through her friendship with Pakki Chipps to the young people of Scia’new.

Moralea seized upon the suggestion that some agency was needed to voice the value of preserving our way of living, and in particular our green spaces; and so the idea of a Foundation was born. Moralea, (and here Jo Mitchell too must be named, for they were “cut out of the same cloth”), recruited lawyer Dan MacIsaac to draw up a legal constitution for  the Metchosin Foundation, and then guide it through the labyrinth of legal verbiage to have it approved. That process took more than a couple of years; meanwhile a board was chosen and planning continued.

John died from cancer when he was far too young, and after a time it became Moralea’s turn to join Council, where she served as Treasurer, and Council adviser to the Environmental Committee.

And so, today stories have been pouring in about how Moralea helped someone with this problem or that, how she organized the monthly “Talk and Walk” series that have just now numbered a hundred! The BioBlitzes that have brought naturalists from near and far to recognize the flora and fauna that inhabit Metchosin, and her frequent articles in “The Muse” on natural history, to mention just some of her work. And to quote from just one such email, “Moralea had an indomitable spirit and an indefatigable commitment to making this community the best it could be.”

May she rest in Peace, while the Foundation takes up the Torch.

Remembering Moralea

The Board of Directors of the Metchosin Foundation mourns the tragic loss of one of its founding members, Moralea Milne. She died suddenly in a car crash on July 28th in Surrey.

The guiding principles of the Metchosin Foundation, “Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters, and a Healthy Caring Community” were present in all that Moralea contributed to the work of the Foundation.  Her dedication to a sustainable and healthy environment was formidable. “The environment is the lens through which I view every decision” she once said.  She certainly lived by that commitment.

Moralea’s many years of support and involvement in Metchosin Foundation and other initiatives such as the Biodiversity Project, the BioBlitz, the MycoBlitz, and the Talk and Walk series, contributed greatly to Metchosin becoming a beacon in environmental stewardship.

She served on the Metchosin Council for 10 years and among other contributions, facilitated the building of warm relationships between Council and the Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation.

She was an avid and exquisite photographer with a special interest in butterflies and moths. She had a conservation covenant placed on her Metchosin property to ensure that all life forms will be preserved in perpetuity.

In living a life congruent with her principles and conviction, Moralea also wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty; she actively volunteered to pull scotch broom and to remove other invasive species from local parks.

Moralea was a model leader who encouraged those around her, and she wasn’t afraid to stand strong by her convictions.  Moralea will be an enduring and deeply missed role model in the Metchosin Foundation and in the broader community.  Moralea was the embodiment of the principle that one person can make a difference.

A celebration of life is being planned by the family and community.