Above: Les McCann on a Nature Manitoba trip (photo by Louise Carpenter)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of one our longtime and well-known members, Les McCann. Nature Manitoba would like to offer our deepest sympathies to his friends and family, as well as to all those who are mourning this loss.
Les was a member of Nature Manitoba since 1983 and served on many of the organization’s committees, including the Board of Directors where he served a term as President.
One of Les’ most significant and active contributions to Nature Manitoba was in his role as a trip leader. For several decades, Les provided many opportunities for members to experience the wonders of nature, be it on day hikes, ski trips, winter camping, or extended backcountry canoe excursions. On these trips, Les truly personified and embraced the love of Nature.
Those fortunate enough to join Les on one of his trips will recall a feature known as “Les breaks”, which was a time to stop and appreciate the beauty of a particular plant, bird, sound, view, or other feature that happened to occur along the way. It can happen so easily during a hike or paddle that one can become fixated on the goal of putting distance behind us, that we become oblivious to the beauty around us. With Les, he was always able to bring the group back to reality and to enjoy this wonderful world that surrounds us.
In this way, Les touched and impacted on the lives of many people around him, as his passion for Nature was truly sincere and contagious. Also as a companion and friend, Les was a most generous, positive and empathetic individual, where he had an innate sense of when to offer a reassuring comment, supporting praise, and even a comforting hug. Les will truly be missed.
Les was a very important and very well loved volunteer with Bridging The Gap's field trip programming.
Les had a special way of teaching the students, not only with his obvious love and knowledge of nature but also through his calming and nurturing demeanor. Never did his field trips end without most of the students wanting to hold his hand or climbing over each other to be the one to walk beside him. He was always complimented by teachers on the way he kept the students interested and calm.
Les was adored by the staff, volunteers, teachers, and students and inspired everyone with his love of nature.
His passing is not only a loss to everyone he worked with, but is a loss to all future generations that would have benefitted from their time with him.
My heart goes out to everyone that has had the pleasure of meeting him. Les, you will be truly missed.