Kirk Wipper, Canadian camping icon and Godfather of the Canadian Canoe Museum died last Friday. March 18th. Kirk's death was not really a surprise, as he was 88 years old, but the way he died was startling. Kirk choked to death while eating. There is great sadness over his death across the country. I only met the man once. I was introduced to him by my friend, Mike Ormsby, a year or so ago, and the short time I spent in his company was a warm, mind-expanding and unforgettable experience. I will leave eulogizing him to the thousands who are more capable than me. Many already have and by simply typing Kirk Wipper into Google you will learn of the man and his accomplisments in detail. Below, is a photo I took of Kirk (right) and Mike (left) on that memorable day that I met Kirk in his home.
Basil Self was a carver and furniture-maker of some repute many years ago, in King Township, where I live. I am quite familiar with the piece of work pictured here. The design was extremely popular among collectors of Basil's work and he produced many versions of it for appreciative fans. My own brother has a similar version in his Parry Sound home where it serves its intended purpose as a table. I must say that Kirk Wipper's use of the carved table-top is an inspiration. It hung like a huge a coat-of-arms in a baronial mansion, with a uniquely Canadian outdoorsy flavour. My condolences go out to Kirk's wife, Ann, especially. and to the thousands of people who regarded this man as as a teacher, an enviromentalist, an inspiration, a champion and a friend. Please comment if you wish.
BtheB (Photos by BarrytheBirder)