In Memoriam: WCFC Co-Founder Rick GrangeOctober 29, 2018 | 7822 Views
President’s Message from Brian Legge
With our 30th anniversary season now behind us, we wish to thank all who visited our lodges in 2018. We sincerely hope that your experience lived up to expectations and that you made some lasting memories with friends and family members. I also wish to express gratitude to the lodge staff and guides for over 100 consecutive days of best-in-class service in every aspect of our operations. Our lodges are much more than a collection of buildings, marinas and boats. More importantly, they are collectives of people who embrace a culture of extraordinary service. In this regard, we were extremely fortunate to have had so many skilled and dedicated staff members once again this past season.
RICK GRANGE (1944 – 2018)
It is with profound sadness, however, that I must acknowledge the passing of my business partner and WCFC co-founder, Rick Grange, on October 10 after a short battle with cancer. Just over 30 years ago, Rick ventured for the first time to Haida Gwaii where he immediately discovered salmon in greater numbers and size than anywhere else on the entire Pacific coast. With that as a foundation, we created The West Coast Fishing Club as a place where people from throughout the world could safely experience the exhilaration of salmon fishing by day and relax in an atmosphere of refined service and comfort by night. But beyond our shared vision for elevated standards of service within the sport-fishing industry, we also committed to putting more fish back into the ocean than we took out. It was a commitment that Rick pursued with trademark grit and determination.
His interest in The West Coast Fishing Club will now be transferred to his son Brian, who has been directly involved in The Club’s growth and evolution for many years. Brian and I have agreed that we will waste no time, nor spare any effort to ensure that Rick’s legacy takes the form of an informed and comprehensive strategy to continue the work that he began many years ago when he joined forces with business and community leaders to address various threats to the sustainability of fish stocks.
More specifically, our focus will be upon continuing the leadership role he played to replace an aging and obsolete hatchery on the Yakoun River with a new and larger facility that has the capacity to incubate one million chinook salmon eggs annually. In addition, we will enhance the viability of fry released from the hatchery through ongoing restoration work in areas of the river where habitat degradation has occurred. We have already entered discussions with industry and community partners and representatives of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to establish a board of directors, formalize fundraising activities and design an effective strategy to complete what will be the most comprehensive fisheries conservation project ever undertaken in the north coast region.
We will draw energy for our efforts from the knowledge that during his final days, Rick expressed his very strong wishes that we adhere to the founding principles of The West Coast Fishing Club, with greater emphasis than ever before upon the protection and preservation of salmon stocks. Although we may never equal the passion for which Rick was renowned in all his pursuits, we will not waiver in our efforts to create a legacy that reflects his convictions.
At the same time, Brian and I will also work together to maintain the high standards of service and the preservation of the unique guest experiences for which The Club has long been famous. We look forward to welcoming you back to Haida Gwaii for many years to come. Rick would have too. Of that we can be certain.
In the meantime, I wish to express sincere gratitude to the many who have sent heartfelt condolences to Rick’s family, and to invite one and all to join us in celebrating his life from 4:00-7:30 pm on Saturday, November 17 at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, British Columbia.