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"INF" 2005 Obituary


INFANTRY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-05-03 published
'Eco-hero' HUNTER dead at 63
Seminal figure in global environmental movement
Respected author of 13 books had long career in television news
By Joseph HALL, Staff Reporter
The ice was cracking as the sealing boat bore down on Bob HUNTER and the cold green sea was bubbling up around his feet.
"I said, okay, when this ice goes, you jump to the right and I'll jump to the left," his friend and fellow environmental activist Paul WATSON recalls of that David and Goliath confrontation he shared with HUNTER off the Labrador coast back in 1976.
"But Bob said ' I'm not going anywhere.' And the damned boat stopped."
HUNTER, the Greenpeace co-founder who came into countless Toronto living rooms in his housecoat as a quirky commentator on Citytv's Breakfast Television, died yesterday after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 63.
Described by Friends and colleagues as a congenial, funny, kind and fiercely brave rebel, HUNTER was a seminal figure in the global environmental movement. His Greenpeace work in the 1970s and 1980s helped achieve moratoriums on whaling and the Newfoundland seal hunt (since lifted) and a ban on nuclear testing in the Pacific.
It also ushered in a general global concern for the environment that had been largely absent before he and his "eco-warrior" comrades took the stage.
HUNTER was Citytv's environment reporter for 15 years, and also was also a founding contributor to the Toronto weekly eye and the author of 13 books.
Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, October 13, 1941, HUNTER became "a child of the '60s" and dropped out of school for a career in writing.
He ended up at The Vancouver Sun, ultimately becoming the country's first counter-culture columnist before sailing aboard the Phyllis Cormack in late 1971 to demonstrate against U.S. nuclear tests on Amchitka Island off the coast of Alaska.
That trip precipitated the formation of the group that would become Greenpeace. He was the organization's original president and chairman and held the first membership card.
In the mid-'70s as the organization's president he didn't hesitate to take on those he deemed irresponsible.
In 1976, he took Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to task for Canada's continuing export of nuclear technology to developing countries. He called the leader "one of the greatest living threats to the survival of the planet."
But by 1982 he had returned to his first love as a writer for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's The Beachcombers series and as a columnist for The North Shore News in Vancouver
"I was the right person in the right place," said HUNTER of his pivotal role in Greenpeace's dissident activities to halt the slaughter of whales.
"But when it's done, I think you can get into a habit of just clinging to it because you don't know what to do next, whereas I knew all along I wanted to get back to what I was doing already."
WATSON, however, says HUNTER's role in the success of Greenpeace cannot be overstated.
"There are a lot of us who could be called (Greenpeace) co-founders, but I would describe Bob as the founding father," he says.
"He was the one who picked it up when it was faltering in the early 1970s and made it what it is today. If not for Bob HUNTER, there would not be a Greenpeace Foundation today."
"Bob was one of a critical mass of environmental people with a media focus," says long-time friend Dan McDERMOTT, director of the Sierra Club of Canada's Ontario chapter.
"He had the vision to look across cultures and to use the media to move the message."
Confrontational stunts at sea became his Greenpeace trademark even as they literally put HUNTER's life on the line.
Indeed, many say it was the televised image of a harpoon flying over WATSON's head and into a whale he was trying to protect in the mid-'70s that brought environmentalism into the public eye.
Premier Dalton McGUINTY paid tribute to HUNTER, who ran for the Liberals in a 2001 by-election, finishing second to New Democrat Michael PRUE.
"Ontario and Canada have lost a very important citizen. Bob HUNTER was larger than life," McGUINTY said yesterday.
"Some people talk about saving the world. Bob HUNTER devoted his life to saving the world," he said.
In 2000, HUNTER was named one of Time magazine's eco-heroes of the century.
HUNTER died surrounded by his wife, Bobbi and his children Will, Emily, Conan and Justine, according to Citytv.
A memorial service will be announced shortly.
With files from Ashante INFANTRY and Robert BENZIE

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INFUSINO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-04-01 published
Peacefully, on March 31, 2005, surrounded by her family, at the age of 47. Franca, beloved wife of Carlo, and loving mother of Elisa and Claudia. Family and Friends will be received at the Ward Funeral Home, 4671 Highway 7, Woodbridge (just west of Pine Valley Drive), 905-851-9100, on Saturday from 6-9 p.m. and Sunday from 6-9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Peter's Catholic Church on Monday, April 4, 2005 at 11 a.m. Entombment to follow. If so desired, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.

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INFUSINO o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-11-19 published
Peacefully, at home, surrounded by his family, on Friday, November 18, 2005, at the age of 72. Loving husband of Ida. Devoted father of Frank and his wife Lisa, Renato and his wife Nora, and Mary and her husband Mark. Cherished Nonno of Mark, Kristen, Dianna, Alessandra, Louie D., and Louie M. Beloved son of Maria and the late Francesco. Dear brother of Atillio, Vicky, Armando, Carlo, Elvira, Aldo, and Rose. He will be dearly missed by many family and Friends. Friends may call at the Ward Funeral Home, 4671 Highway 7, Woodbridge (just west of Pine Valley Drive), 905-851-9100, on Saturday and Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, November 21, 2005 at St. Clare of Assisi Church, 150 St. Frances Ave., at 11 a.m. Entombment to follow at Glendale Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Princess Margaret Foundation would be appreciated by the family. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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