Ranch Musings: Bruce Mack, a citizen/leader to be thankful for

David Zirnhelt celebrates the life of his friend, Bruce Mack

David Zirnhelt

Observer Contributor

Earlier this month, hundreds celebrated Bruce Mack’s life and mourned his passing. The event was an outpouring of love and respect for a life well-lived.

He was a model husband, father, grandfather and friend. Above all, he was a model citizen.

His sense of public duty was founded in his upbringing and in the era in which he entered the world of work.

The people who came out to honour his life were from all walks of life, people he touched in his work life and his play life. Always the good sport, he knew that recreational sports could build personal strength and community strength.

The world in which he was a citizen was showing signs of struggle in the three decades after the Second World War.

Being a student in the 1960s meant dealing with the impacts of an unjust war.

It meant grappling with a strong tendency in the third world for advanced literacy for citizens whose democracy was only emerging after years of colonialism had denied rights to much of the population.

Some of his first work was supporting communities in advancing their place.

His path of work never varied from that noble ideal.

In retirement, he helped promote justice and fairness in elections, basic literacy and environmental justice.

Bruce knew the value of team sports for community well-being, and what he wanted for himself, he wanted for others.

For me, his biggest contribution was working for social and political justice.

We need to celebrate those citizens who work selflessly to make the world a better place.

His family knew the value of his work and supported it. That work comes from valuing what communities, often of quite varied citizenry, have to contend with when traumatic histories disable generations.

Here, in B.C. and Canada, injustice associated with the imposition of political rule by the Crown and the mission of some of the churches left us a legacy of misfortune and suffering, which took so much of the energy of the leadership in many communities.

Bruce’s life was a tireless effort of bettering that situation, so today we can look back on some early efforts at reconciliation, before various commissions of government could popularize the “reconciliation” word and phenomenon.

Bruce was a man who, through his sense of world citizenship, played and worked with us all to make this a better place.

So long, Friend of us all.

David Zirnhelt is a rancher and member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association. He is also chair of the Advisory Committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake.

READ MORE: B.C. Cattlemen’s Annual Meeting and Education Day



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quesnel Waveriders win 77 medals at home meet

Twenty Quesnel swimmers won medals during the Feb. 8-9 event

Forestry Hockey League: BCS reclaims top spot

BCS rolls over Bear 5-1, while Serenity snaps losing streak with a 4-3 win over Fraser River

Letter to the editor: Quesnel Good Cheer program helped 638 families in 2019

Volunteers thank the community and vow to keep looking for a solution to keep Good Cheer going

Forestry Ink: Using salts to capture and store solar thermal energy?

Regular columnist Jim Hilton shares more information about solar energy

Community contributions recognized during Quesnel Gallery of Honour presentation

The Quesnel & District Community Arts Council recognized Bert deVink, Jack Nelson and Destinee Boyd

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read