People passionate about nature

Ella Jack

Honorary Life Membership 1984

Ella Jack joined the Society in the early 1960s and has been an enthusiastic and active worker since then.

It was her firm opinion that husband and wife ought not to hold office at the same time, and during John’s tenure as President and on various other committees she served as his secretary.

They were busy years and the Society did not have an office or office assistants, so that much of the work of typing letters and briefs fell on her, for example the Northern Hydro Development and Canadian Nature Federation Organization. This service continued after Jack’s term as President and she did a major part of the typing for the Atikaki Project and the Riding Mountain Planning Submissions by MNS’ Parks Committee.

Arising from a concern that members did not have an opportunity to meet each other, Ella, in company with Betty Kyle, introduced the coffee hour which has continued since that time and is now a very important factor at our Indoor Programs. She also acted on the Membership Committee with greeting people and introducing them.

In more recent years, her great rapport with youngsters, backed by professional training as a teacher, plus her interest in natural history, has led to a successful avocation in the natural history interpretation. Although most of this work has been done outside the Society with the City Parkas Program, the Manitoba Forestry Association and the Girl Guides, without exception, she and John were introduced as members of the Manitoba Naturalists Society. Enquiries from schools and other organizations for programs on nature walks were referred to the Jacks for many years by the MNS office, and handled on behalf of the Society.

Not a photographer herself, she has been very supportive of John’s efforts in this direction which have been of some value to the Society in producing and supplying programs for Extension work.

Ella Jack’s contribution to the community goes far beyond natural history and outdoor activities. She is a “block parent” (in cooperation with the Winnipeg Police Force). For a number of years, she has been a regular canvasser for the Heart and Cancer Foundation. She has played a surprisingly active role in the Girl Guide Association since 1961, serving as District Commissioner and Treasurer.  She has been a volunteer worker for the Children’s Hospital Book Mart, collecting and sorting books and organizing the volunteer workers who handle the sales.

In conclusion, it is significant to note that Ella is the current Honorary President of the Society.

With an outstanding knowledge of plants and animals and their inter-relationships as well as the natural world in general, Ella has shown an extraordinary interest in passing along her knowledge of nature. As well, she has instilled in numerous citizens who have contact with her an enthusiasm for nature that leads to a better understanding of natural systems. She has introduced thousands of people to the natural world so readily available to interested people throughout Manitoba and has given generously of her time and energy to what she has found to be a lifelong interest 0 the wonderful world of nature right at our doorstep.