Greg Pond

Nature lover’s memory lives on

Jim Dubois touched so many lives that people he didn’t even know bought him a bench to commemorate his memory.

Avid nature photographer and philanthropist Jim Dubois touched so many lives that people he didn’t even know bought him a bench to commemorate his memory.

Dubois’ new, wooden park bench is just one of 100 that will be resurrected around the province in celebration of BC Parks’ 100-year anniversary. The province is selling the limited-edition benches for $1,500 each to improve park facilities across B.C.

A group of people from around the world, some who had never met Dubois but simply enjoyed looking at his photos on Flickr, banded together to purchase a bench for their friend.

Greg Pond met Dubois on Flickr in 2005 after joining the social media site that allows users to network through photos. “Somehow you gravitate towards certain people,” Pond said. “He was very personable, a real character, smart and witty. He would post pictures, mostly nature pictures and he would often tell an amusing story with the photos. He was really popular on Flickr. Everybody loved him, but it turned out he was sick.”

Dubois had chronic obstructive lung disease and routinely travelled to Vancouver for treatment. It was on one such occasion that Pond finally met his Flickr friend after exchanging e-mails. After that, Pond would often meet up with Dubois and his wife Linda when he came to the city for medical treatment.

Three years ago, Dubois had a lung transplant and fellow nature lover and friend Christine Scott said he didn’t waste a second of those next three years he would live.

“He was an advocate for organ donation and after his transplant he was outdoors all the time,” Scott said.

But in May, Dubois’ disease and pneumonia caught up to him and after his death, Scott – who writes the Island Wild column in the Mirror – suggested everyone on Flickr buy a bench in Dubois’ memory.

“There was a large community of people who were grieving Jim’s loss,” Scott said. “I thought the bench would be a fitting tribute and a lasting tribute to the contribution he made to everything wild out there.”

Pond said 30 people contributed money and of those 30 people, only about four or five personally knew Dubois.

Scott said she was fortunate to know Dubois.She said not only was Dubois a student of the environment, but he was also very generous. Scott said often Dubois would donate his framed photos – to be raffled off – to community non-profit groups to help them with their work.

Dubois’ bench has yet to be installed by BC Parks and there is no timeline as to when that will happen.

The bench is expected to be installed along the Canyon View Trail near the John Hart Dam, overlooking the Campbell River. Right where Dubois would want it to be.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’ by authorities in Campbell River

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

UPDATE: Fire in abandoned Campbell River house deemed suspicious

Reports of homeless people using vacant home at 666 8th Ave.

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Jury now weighs genetic-genealogy case of 1987 double murder of Vancouver Island couple

William Talbot’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Delta cat severely injured in animal trap was likely stuck for days, owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read