Comox resident and Canadian war hero embarks on new mission to mark 100th birthday
James “Stocky” Edwards celebrates a century of service by raising funds for wetland conservation
May 3, 2021 – Comox, B.C. – James Edwards, better known as “Stocky,” is always thinking about how to serve his country. The WWII veteran—and soon-to-be centenarian—has a sense of duty that’s engrained in his DNA. From flying over the beaches of Normandy in a fighter plane to fly fishing along the shores of a Comox Valley marsh, he’s keenly aware of the responsibility we all have to protect the things we cherish most. That’s why, to mark his upcoming 100th birthday, he’s teaming up with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to raise funds for conservation efforts that will safeguard wetlands, wildlife and the natural world.
“Stocky is an inspiration to all of us,” says Greg Sawchuck, a member of DUC’s national board of directors and longtime friend to Edwards. “As a veteran, he fought for our freedom. As a conservationist, he’s ensuring future generations have a safe and healthy environment. It’s a privilege to be part of his latest mission, at 99 years young.”
DUC has established the Stocky Edwards Wetland and Wildlife Conservation Fund with a goal of raising $100,000 in Edwards’ honour. British Columbians are encouraged to show their support by donating or engaging in their own personal fundraising.
Edwards’ interest in conservation isn’t new. He and his wife Toni are dedicated members of the DUC community in Comox who’ve been supporting the organization’s efforts for decades. Their motivation comes from a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors. Fishing, hunting and birdwatching account for many hours they’ve spent together. Edwards says DUC and its team of conservationists are “a great bunch.”
“The work they do – you can see it,” Edwards says, referring to the marshes and other wetland areas under DUC’s care. “They’re doing it for the good of the country and the community.”
To date, DUC has conserved more than 450,000 acres of wetlands and other natural habitats across British Columbia. In addition to serving as beautiful backdrops and wildlife havens that the province is known for, these areas are essential to the overall health of the environment. They naturally filter pollutants from water, store carbon and guard against the devastating effects of sea-level rise.
Edwards will turn 100-years-old on June 5. DUC hopes to host a celebration, should COVID health guidelines allow, in a Comox-area marsh to commemorate the occasion—and the valuable contribution made to conservation.
“We hope people across British Columbia, and indeed across Canada, will hear Stocky’s story and be inspired to show their support,” says Sawchuck.
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Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.
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