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MOELAERT, John

MOELAERT, John

Former Kelowna environmentalist and social activist John Moelaert passed away peacefully in Courtenay, B.C. at the age of 87.

John arrived in Kelowna, B.C. in 1977 and joined the fight against the dumping of 2,4-D in Okanagan Lake and the threat of uranium mines in B.C. He was the founder of the Kelowna Branch of the Canadian Coalition of Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR), the Kelowna Peace Group and the Kelowna branch of Tools for Peace, which helped people in Nicaragua.

Born in Holland in 1930, John came to Canada in 1951 and following several jobs as a lab technician started his writing career in 1958 as a news analyst and feature writer for the Columbian, a newspaper in New Westminster. He subsequently worked for the Kamloops Sentinel, the Vancouver Sun, the Province and United Press International. He was the editor of two national magazines, Canadian Conservationist and Insight from 1971 to 1974. He later taught journalism at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. His writing, which won him several prizes, was published in newspapers and magazines across Canada, in the USA, Japan and Costa Rica.

In 1965 John founded the Wildlife Park Society of B.C. and served as director of the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops from 1966 till 1971. Other organizations he founded include: the Calgary branch of Amnesty International, Planned Action by Concerned Electors in Kamloops and the Southwest Mission Residents Association in Kelowna.

As chairman of the CCNR and spokesperson for the United Church he actively campaigned across B.C. against uranium mining for three years until the B.C. government announced a seven-year uranium mining moratorium early in 1980. He subsequently was hired by the Canadian Quakers to speak out against the nuclear arms race and again crisscrossed B.C. on several speaking tours.

John is survived by his sons Trevor (Nancy) and Lorne (Dana) Moelaert


Condolence Messages
  • Feb 22, 2018
    Take care John. I knew you for a short time while in Victoria. You lived a fantastic life. I remember your stories fondly.
    Michael Raven
  • Feb 08, 2018
    Dad, may you rest in peace.
    Memories bring us close, we are never far apart.
    You will never be forgotten, you are always in our hearts.
    Love,
    Nancy Moelaert
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