Below is the Eulogy presented by Bill's eldest son, Patrick, at the remembrance gathering following his passing.
Thank you all for coming to help celebrate the life of my dear Dad, Bill Moore. If there is one thing I know about Dad, it’s that he would want us to enjoy this occasion, even though it marks the end of his time with us.
It isn’t easy to sum up the life and character of someone who was so much larger than life and whose character was so multi-faceted. Let’s begin by remembering that no-one enjoyed a good laugh, a good party, good music, or the company of good friends more than he did. With Jan by his side Dad’s home was one great entertainment centre for his friends, colleagues, and employees. The music was always jumping and the best free bar north of Vancouver didn’t hurt either. Dad always played as hard as he worked. There’s only 24 hours in a day and Dad used them all.
And he worked hard all his life. Dad wore caulk boots six days a week from the time he got out of high school until he was 45. He put in 55 years of logging contracts with the company that is now Western Forest Products as they went through five changes of ownership. Dad respected people for a lot of reasons but foremost he respected people who worked hard and believed in what they were doing.
If there is an underlying theme to Dad’s life I believe it is "communication". He had a command of and love of the language and all forms of expression. He devoured massive volumes of history and subscribed to countless magazines and journals, and was a formidable Scrabble player, rarely scoring under 300. Dad’s fascination with information and communication expressed itself in many ways.
Among Dad’s closest friends were a few of the salesmen who traveled to Winter Harbour to ply their wares, ranging from Ted Goldbloom’s gold watches and three-piece suits, to Jack Monahan’s wire rope, Jerry Holmes Caterpillar Tractors, and Gordon Wilfert’s haulback blocks. The natural communications skills of these men, their loyalty, honesty and good humour, were very dear to Dad.
And of course there was his first love after his family and friends; music. Even though he couldn’t play a penny whistle (he did have a good singing voice) Dad won the friendship of some of the greatest entertainers and musicians of his time. Barney and Thora Potts were like his second parents, Fraser McPherson and Lance Harrison were his idols, Carl Jefferson of Concord Jazz was one of his closest friends. And today we have the good company and good music of Jake Hannah, Oliver Gannon, Ron Johnson, Donny Clark, Brian Wickjord, Paul Ruhland, and Jack Stafford. Dad was a cool cat and his love and deep knowledge of jazz won him respect among the players whose communication, entertainment, and creativity transcends language.
Dad’s love of music was best expressed by the Winter Harbour Music Festivals he organized and opened to the public in 1967, ’69, and ’71, culminating in an attendance of over 1,000 in a village of less than 100 people. They came by plane, boat, and automobile to hear the best music the North Island had ever heard, and it will be a long time before they hear better. After that he and Jan hosted many a private music fest on what became known as Festival Island, their home on the point by the sea.
Dad loved baseball. As a boy I sat with him by the Hallicrafters short-wave radio, hooked up to a giant battery on the floor, and listened to Jim Robinson announce the Vancouver Mounties games. Dad held seasons tickets at Nat Bailey Stadium for 40 years and we sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on many occasions. He always gave the Monday and Tuesday tickets to Mike, the doorman at the Vancouver Hotel where Dad spent many an evening at the Timber Club and in his later years at Griffin’s for lunch.
Dad’s greatest respect was for the workers in the forest industry. This might have had something to do with the fact that at age 21 he inherited a logging float camp in an isolated, wind-swept inlet with 50 loggers all older than himself. Talk about a challenge. Dad was a strong believer in free enterprise but he also believed in the IWA. He saw how the union had forced companies to give workers better living conditions and he supported that all his life. In 1945 he voluntarily phoned the IWA office and asked them to come in and organize the camp. That’s why our Dad could be close friends with Jack Munro, long-time leader of the IWA, and with Jim Shepherd, former CEO of Finning and Ray Smith, former CEO of MacMillan Bloedel; because he believed in business and he understood that success in business is only possible because of the people who do the hard work every day. Dad's respect for the IWA can be summed up in one statistic. During the 55 years he ran the company only one complaint was filed with the union.
Dad believed that "small is beautiful". He probably could have built a logging empire if that had been his goal. Instead he chose to keep his business at a size that he could manage while at the same time devoting much of his life to serving his community. As a forest industry statesman he was a two-term president of the Truck Loggers Association, president of the Pacific Logging Congress, and a director of Forest Industrial Relations. He founded the Festival of Forestry which sent a couple of generations of forestry students and teachers around the world. He created CanLog which took loggers sports first to the PNE, and then to countries all over the globe.
But his most important project was his work to promote logger’s safety on the job. Dad knocked on CEOs doors, spoke to countless meetings and conferences, and worked to get better safety programs in the camps. He was featured in Workers Compensation Board TV ads for safety and is remembered for his contribution by people throughout the industry. I believe this was, by his old estimation, his proudest accomplishment.
Dad taught me the benefits of humility at an early age. In the early 1950s Winter Harbour was a very isolated community with no road and infrequent access to the outside world, like once a year. But we didn't lack entertainment. Dad ordered Hollywood movies complete with cartoons and shorts, and twice a week nearly everyone in the camp and visitors from the nearby fishing village attended the "Show Hall" to watch the silver screen. The children were seated at the front on wooden benches. I was 6 and one Saturday night while Dad was changing reels, for reasons unknown to myself I stood up on the bench, turned around to face the assembled audience, and said in a loud voice "My Dad is the boss of this whole camp, he’s the boss of everybody here." Against the ensuing backdrop of disbelief and muted laughter, dad strode forward, grabbed me by one arm and hauled me out the door where he administered a bit of discipline on the front steps for all to hear. In retrospect, it was worth the pain.
I have mentioned some of Dad's many friends. I can't acknowledge all of you as you are so many. I will just mention Bruce and Juanita, Barry and Claudia, Don and Thelma, and Del and Cathy among the many here assembled who considered Dad a good friend of theirs.
No tribute to Dad would be complete without mention of his bright pink logging equipment. There are lots of stories about how his trucks and log loaders got to be pink. I know exactly how it happened. Dad had always wanted something different than the standard yellow equipment but for safety reasons it had to stand out against the green of the forest. It was when he took us all to Hawaii for a holiday in 1965 that Dad found the colour he'd been looking for. The open Jeep we rented was bright pink and Dad soon found the General Paint code number and found it was named Bikini Coral. His logging equipment became infamous up and down to coast, earning him the nickname "Pink Willy" among the workers.
As you know, dad was one of that rare breed of logger-poets. I would like to share with you some lines from one of my favorites, "Song of the Gyppo".