UPDATED: Langley City environmentalist, volunteer passes away

Rhys Griffiths was active for years working to protect Langley’s natural environment.

Rhys Griffiths, longtime Langley environmentalist and Senior Citizen of the Year, has died. He was 92.

Griffiths was a founding member of Pollution Probe in North Bay, Ont., a Canadian environmental group that has been active for the past 40 years in everything from pushing for a DDT ban to recycling programs.

In Langley, he was a past president and highly active member of the Langley Field Naturalists. He was a recipient of numerous awards and honours over his volunteer career, including the Dorothy Walford Memorial, Legacy Stewardship, and BC Nature’s Service award.

He was honoured as a Langley Senior Citizen of the Year, and in 2012 he declared he was “gobsmacked” when he was given a special certificate of appreciation by Langley City for his many years of volunteer service.

“He was very persistent,” said Bob Puls, the current president of the Langley Field Naturalists. It was Griffiths who recruited him into the group, after they met at St. George’s Anglican Church in Fort Langley, Puls recalled.

He also recruited and acted as a mentor to other Langley environmentalists and streamkeepers, including Lisa Dreves of Langley Environmental Partners Society, Puls recalled.

“When he was on an issue, he would keep on it, until he got some satisfaction,” Puls said.

“He was also the guardian of Brydon Lagoon.”

Griffiths lived on a home that backed onto the lagoon, a restored pond in Langley City.

“His loss will be felt more in the City, I think,” said Puls, as Griffiths was a frequent presence at City hall.

Puls said it will be left to those Griffiths mentored through his career as a volunteer to carry on and follow in his footsteps.

A celebration of life will be held at St. George’s Anglican Church in Fort Langley, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10th. The time has been changed from the one which was originally announced.

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