Wildlife Preservation Canada is saddened to share the news of the passing of a family member. Anson McKim, WPC’s President, 1990 – 1994, pays tribute to Paula Harris, Wildlife Preservation Trust Canada’s (now Wildlife Preservation Canada) second Executive Director, and founder of WPC’s Canada’s New Noah Program.
Paula Harris, WPC’s second Executive Director, passed away in early October at her home in France after bravely fighting cancer for two years.
Paula was executive director of Wildlife Preservation Trust Canada from 1988-1990, bringing with her a deep knowledge of the Durrell family and the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, now the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Paula had a considerable work ethic, an ability to quickly grasp and marshal the facts of a situation, a great amount of common sense and tact together with a great sense of fun. To me as a new and incoming President of WPC at the time, Paula was a huge help.
Her creativity and tenacity were essential in the creation of the Canada’s New Noah program which she masterminded. Paula used her considerable powers of persuasion to ensure a coveted place at Durrell Wildlife Conservation’s International Training Centre. This program initially supported Kirsty Swinnerton’s work with the pink pigeons in Mauritius and was the beginning of WPC growth in saving endangered species here in Canada. The New Noah program was a brilliant creation and vitally necessary in building a pool of Canadians trained in conservation breeding and working with critically endangered species.
Paula left WPTC in 1990 to live in Cornwall, England with her husband Jonathan and to work as a producer on several of the Durrell TV series made in the 1980s in which Jonathan was a director. Paula also worked with the Jersey Trust during a period of change after Gerry Durrell, founder of WPC, passed away in 1995 which she managed gracefully and with a kind but firm hand.
Our sympathies go out to Jonathan and Paula’s family and friends. Rest in peace.
~ Anson McKim, Past President, Wildlife Preservation Canada with contributions from Lee Durrell, Elaine Williams, and Jonathan Harris.