Many people have heard of David Suzuki, David Attenborough, or Greta Thunberg. Richard St. Barbe Baker was the first global conservationist and humanitarian. This is our way to remember his international legacy. International Online Premiere: The Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest Saturday November 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm CST (UTC-6)
So, who is Richard St. Barbe Baker?
He had the longest listing in the “Who’s Who” book which relates facts about notable people – more on this later!
The Times, June 12, 1982 said “Baker deserves to be remembered as one of the very first men to realise that we were destroying our natural resources of the world faster than was prudent that the trees were not only providers of timber, pulp and fuel but were also manufacturers of life-giving oxygen from the waste products of man and his machines; and, perhaps even more importantly, inducers of rain when massed in sufficient numbers.”
“We will also pay tribute to his life of distinguished service to mankind. Hospitality was one of his achievements.” Memorial Service
” He dedicated his life to encouraging tree planting around the world and championing environmental causes.” Saskatoon SP June 10, 1982
“He gave us a vision of a new age…We have been the recipients of an overflowing cupful of his wisdom and vision, but if we, and more particularly the world at large, had been more receptive, how much more could he have given us.” -Alan Grainger
“Always the more beautiful answers, who ask the more difficult questions.” e.e. cummings.
A puzzle was posed on Carve your legacy, Evokes curiosity. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area has as its namesake, Dr. Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, O.B.E., Hon. LL.D. (Sask), F.I.A.L., For.Dip.Cantab., A.C.F.
Carve your legacy, Evokes curiosity resolved many of the honourifics, and postnomial letters. However what did F.I.A.L., and For.Dip.Cantab. mean? That was the curiouser, and curioser poser.
At first glance, and knowing the history of Richard Edward St. Barbe Baker, the founder of the International organization “Men of the Trees” now known as the “International Tree Foundation” it first appeared that it may have something to do with forestry, an honour or a group. However….
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.”– Dr. Seuss
By searching in the 1974 edition of the “Who’s Who” directory, a listing was posted for Baker, Richard St. Barb, FIAL. The abbreviations cited for the “Who’s Who” directory gave the definition that FIAL stands for “Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters.”
Now then, according to The Trustees of the San Luigi Charitable Trust, “The Institute of Arts and Letters, London, is a small and exclusive learned society, based in England’s capital but with an international membership, devoted to the study of the arts and letters in their broadest sense, and to the promotion of humanitarian and philanthropic endeavour.”
Fellows of the Institute are limited to a 50-member honour society, who remain elected for life, and may attach the postnomial letters F.I.A.L. An existing fellow, puts forward an exemplary candidate, and this nomination goes before the society in a peer review.
If one was to speak of an agile mind, the concept of having a quick resourceful and adaptable character would come to the forefront.
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Forest
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Further to this the staff at the Saskatoon Public Library discovered that in regards to the abbreviations ~ “For. Dip. Cantab.” that the abbreviation Cantab. stands for Cambridge University. And then the “Who’s Who” Almanac, again confirmed this abbreviation with the definition “Forestry Diploma, Cantab., 1920”.
According to Ruth Wright Millar, author of Saskatchewan Heroes, and Rogues, Richard St. Barbe Baker enrolled in forestry programmes at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, graduating in 1920. St Barbe set off with these papers in hand, as the Colonial Office assigned to St. Barbe a posting in Kenya as Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF).
The puzzle is solved with a bit of “study and a quick and agile response!
“Yesterday was the happiest day of my life. Every new day that follows the previous day is happier and what better than this I can wish for my friend. “I wish you health and strength of an oak, the long life of a redwood.” Richard St. Barbe Baker
Thank you very kindly. The Saskatoon Public Library provides a most excellent “Ask Us” reference service, indeed. As Gertrude Stein says, “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein
Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)
Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!
“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger
“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker
“In the words of Henry van Dyke, America’s greatest tree poet,
‘He that planteth a tree is a servant of God;
He provideth a kindness for many generations
And faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.’ ”
Richard St. Barbe Baker
“Any success for which I have been given credit has been the result of teamwork.” Richard St. Barbe Baker.