HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO Instructor Dazy Weymer gave a gift to each of the students.

First Fundamentals of Forestry Students Graduate

Woss celebrates the successful first year of the new forestry program

The first class to go through the Fundamentals of Forestry – Harvesting Practices program in Woss has officially graduated.

The 12 students, dressed in their best work gear, attended the special graduation ceremony on July 6 in the Woss Community Centre. The ceremony not only acknowledged the success of the students but also the success of the first year of the program and was attended by MP Rachel Blaney, MLA Claire Trevena, Port McNeill Mayor Shirley Ackland, as well as many councillors from Port McNeill, Port Hardy, and Alert Bay.

MC Paul Mottershead, who is VIU’s Associate Dean of Trades and Technologies, first invited Forester John Markos from the ‘Namgis First Nation to begin the ceremony with a speech and territorial acknowledgment.

“I’m so happy to be here to see the kids go through the course,” said Markos, adding that when he first started logging in 1968, “We didn’t have this, my first day of work I was nearly wiped out – I was lucky I was fast!”

The Fundamentals of Forestry Program, which ran for 16 weeks, is based on competencies identifies by the BC Forestry Safety Council and developed with VIU to teach both employability skills and safe work practices. During the graduation ceremony, Mottershead noted that 10 of the 12 students had found full-time employment before they had even officially graduated. “On Monday, they will be starting very good paying jobs and giving back to these communities,” said Mottershead.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for all of you and this is also a fantastic opportunity for the North Island,” MLA Claire Trevena said during her address to the graduates.

“Most people have jobs, and on Sunday and Monday will be getting to work, which is terrific,” said Trevena, adding, “I hope this is not just a pilot but the start of a commitment from VIU, from our communities, and our government to ensure we can bring training to those communities where the work is.”

Fundamentals of Forestry instructor Dazy Weymar also addressed the graduates with a speech where he gave them advice for the future and a special gift to commemorate their time learning in Woss.

“Something we have talked about is that when you go out in the bush – you learn a lot in this course but there is a whole bunch more to learn – be humble when you go out there,” said Weymar. Student Reggie Mackenzie then took the opportunity to speak on behalf of his class.

“I would just like to say on behalf of the whole class thanks to everyone involved in this. It’s quite the opportunity and all of us have gained a whole bunch out of this,” said Mackenzie, adding, “Give Dazy some more accolades because he was definitely the best teacher we could have got. The guy was very patient with us – We couldn’t have had a better instructor.”

VIU has also received funding from the Ministry of Advanced Skills Education and Training to work with a number of institutions to adapt the program for different areas around the province.

“Woss is really on the map as far as I’m concerned,” said Mottershead, adding, “What you have done here has really opened the eyes of the rest of the province and I think it is a program that has long-term sustainability.”

The Fundamentals of Forestry Program was made possible by a $500,000 grant from the B.C. Rural Dividend Program, financial support from Island Coastal Economic Trust, and partnerships with Western Forest Products (WFP), Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW), Vancouver Island University, BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) and many other local organizations and groups.

 

HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO Fundamentals of Forestry Student Reggie MacKenzie spoke on behalf of his class at the ceremony.

Just Posted

Cafe Guido manager spills the beans on new coffee shop drive-thru

“The core drink menu is the same, but there will be new drinks - new cold drinks and new food”

Arrest made in Port Alice mail bomb incident

A 73 year old resident of Whitehorse, Yukon, was arrested on September 13th and remains in custody.

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Three mayoral races in the North Island

Elections BC has finalized their nomination list for municipal, local elections for… Continue reading

Port Hardy resident furious over smart meter installation

“They came into my house without consent and it wasn’t even a BC Hydro employee.”

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Dozens speak at Vancouver hearing that could see duplexes replace single homes

The city clerk says 73 people signed up to speak at the hearing that began early Tuesday evening and adjourned hours later with 34 speakers still waiting.

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

B.C. cannabis producer Tilray hits at $20-billion high as stock price explodes

This is the first export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the U.S.

Most Read