Canadian Medical Association

Vancouver; University of British Columbia (UBC), 1962; public health. Died Sept. 11, 2019, aged 85. Survived by 2 children and 4 grandchildren. “Bill studied chemistry at UBC before graduating in medicine. After obtaining a master’s in public health at the University of Toronto, he forged a distinguished career as a medical health officer in BC, first in Williams Lake and later as director of the Boundary Health Unit in BC’s Lower Mainland. For a period, he simultaneously served the Skeena Health Unit, which covered the area from the Queen Charlotte Islands in the west to halfway to Prince George, and from the Yukon border to south of Kitimat. His career included moments of notoriety, including his decision to order the shutdown of a sawmill on Vancouver Island for polluting a river, closing Wreck Beach due to a lack of sanitary facilities, and prohibiting a bar from serving drinks with a frost-bitten toe in them. That last episode prompted a newspaper to run the headline, ‘Dr. Bill Says Toe Must Go.’ In later years Bill worked as an adviser on clinical trials, including those for the chicken pox vaccine. He was also passionate about affordable housing, and spent many years as a director at the Affordable Housing Societies, based in New Westminster, BC.”

Back to top