Via email from UBC Botanical Gardens:
Bruce Macdonald
With great sadness we announce former Director of UBC Botanical Garden, A. Bruce Macdonald, has passed away following a long illness.
Bruce came to Canada in 1980 to take on the role of Associate Director at the Botanical Garden, with responsibility for horticulture and plant introductions. He became Acting Director in 1985 and Director from 1987 to 2002. Bruce was involved with the International Plant Propagator’s Society (IPPS), both in Britain and after he immigrated to Canada, eventually becoming International President. He was senior lecturer in nursery stock production at Hadlow College in England, and later during his tenure at UBC, taught plant propagation in the Horticulture Program. He was much admired for his encyclopedic knowledge of cultivated plants and plant propagation and production methods and for his enthusiastic, yet easy and relaxed teaching style.
Bruce was well known in the nursery industry around the world through his work with IPPS, and as author of the widely acclaimed “Practical Woody Plant Propagation,” an exhaustive exposition of propagating methods. Throughout his years with UBC, Bruce worked exceptionally hard, bringing together staff, industry and the garden’s volunteer organization, the Friends of the Garden, to make the Botanical Garden a viable, dynamic institution, sometimes, against considerable odds. In 1998 Bruce was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s most prestigious international award, the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal. The award is given for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. Among his many achievements, Macdonald helped develop the Botanical Garden’s innovative Plant Introduction Scheme, which selected and introduced new and improved plants to nurseries. This was the first time the medal had been given to a Canadian since first presented in 1922.
Bruce loved UBC Botanical Garden and saw it through some very difficult times. He always had a smile, and his door was always open.


A memorial service is scheduled for Friday 18 March at 1:00 pm at All Saints Anglican Church in Ladner (4755 Arthur Dr., Delta, BC). At the request of Bruce’s family, UBC Botanical Garden will graciously accept memorial contributions in Bruce’s honour at the service. Alternatively, donations can be made by contacting Marcia Thomson at UBC. 604-822-0623

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