The following obituary notice concerns Mr. Herbert Pohl, who died on July 17, 2006. Herb was a long-time member and strong supporter of this Association and a member of the HAALSA Council at the time of his death.

This page includes links to other sites that provide information about Mr. Pohl and were accessible when we last checked, on January 29, 2015. The text of our obituary is as it was when posted to our site on August 5, 2006.

We regret to inform members and friends of the Hamilton Association about the sudden death on July 17 of long-time member Herb Pohl, while on a canoe trip in Lake Superior near the Michipicoten River.

Portrait of Herbert Pohl

Photo courtesy of Michael Root

Herb's colleagues and friends extend our condolences to his wife Maura Pohl, son Oscar and family, who have lost a very special person. Herb was a valued member of the Association Executive, using his scientific expertise and commitment to learning in the judging of Science Fair entries for the Da Vinci award, his skill at negotiation in planning annual dinners and tours and his links to the canoeing and trekking community to find speakers who shared his passion for Canada's surviving wilderness.

Herb loved to explore the North, something he did regularly for about 30 years. He shared his experiences and excellent photography with Hamilton Association audiences on more than one occasion, most recently as the John Rae Memorial Lecturer in January 2004. He was an engaging speaker who combined wit and humour in self-deprecating tales of experiences on numerous solo and group canoe trips to Labrador, northern Quebec and the Northwest Territories. He loved the challenge of planning a trip and carrying it through, trusting in good fortune and his own physical and mental resources to overcome obstacles. He also shared with other explorers the sense of the boundless beauty and awe-inspiring power of Canada's northlands.

In describing the events of one trip he explained some of his intense feelings,

"Being alone in the wilderness, paradoxically, calms the soul and excites the senses. Soon the clouds gave way to blue skies, the sun sparkled on the waves, and as so often in the past, I was overcome by a feeling of undeserved privilege."[1]

Herb retired in 1994 after 25 years as an instructional assistant and supervisor for student labs at the Department of Biology, McMaster University.

A memorial mass was celebrated at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Brant Street, Burlington on Saturday, July 29, 2006.

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 1  Reprinted with permission from Nastawgan: The Quarterly Journal of the Wilderness Canoe Association, vol. 27, no. 1, Spring 2000.

For More Information Visit These Sites

In memory of Herb Pohl  (McMaster Daily News)
Herb Pohl  (Nibi Mocs) The author describes an encounter with Herb the day before he died.