Serving as the first president of Tod Mountain ski area was but one of many accomplishments for Don Munro.
Donald Watson Munro, 90, a longtime Kamloops resident who served in a variety of volunteer roles through the years, died on Sunday.
An avid outdoorsman and a registered forester respected for his contribution to the field, Munro leaves his wife Anne, four children and seven grandchildren.
Munro was the son of a railroader and spent his early years in Albert Canyon and Revelstoke. He learned to ski from Swiss and Austrian immigrants.
After the family relocated to Kamloops in the late 1930s, Munro developed a passion for the Interior grasslands and forests while becoming a marksman hunter. He graduated from Kam High and later enlisted with the Canadian Army in the Second World War, during which he trained recruits to shoot.
After the war, Munro studied forestry at UBC and graduated in 1951. The Association of B.C. Forest Professionals honoured Munro with a lifetime membership, in recognition of his many contributions. One of those was initiating the export of surplus chips from Interior mills.
Munro was also an active volunteer, serving Kamloops Golf and Country Club, the Kamoops Trap and Skeet Club, the RIH board and later the RIH Foundation Board.
He loved to duck hunt and ski, which got him involved as one of those who laid the groundwork for what has become Sun Peaks.
"He was a good friend of mine and a co-operator of the first development on Tod Mountain," said Ralph Nelson. "He was a kingpin of early development days."
"All of us up here owe him a big debt of gratitude," said Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks.
Nelson recalled preparations for the Western Canadian slalom championship in the winter of 1963-64, the first major competitive event held on Tod.
"Yes, we dealt with heavy snowfall that year. Don Munro and I were shoulder to shoulder, directing the foot-tramping of the mountain slopes."
In the era before mechanized grooming, race courses were prepared with sweat equity and shovels. Fifty years ago, the volunteers had military backing — a detailed regiment arrived equipped with snowshoes, Nelson said.
The volunteers gave the militia their marching orders — forget the snowshoes, the course had to be as hard as they could make it, stomping with their boots.
A celebration of Munro's life will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 2 p.m. at Kamloops Funeral Home.