Mary-Claire Ward, a director of the PDAC and chairman of Watts, Griffis and McOuat, has died after a long battle with cancer.
Mary-Claire was a staunch supporter of the PDAC, an esteemed colleague and valued friend. She was a dedicated volunteer with the organization and worked tirelessly to further the cause of geoscience. In speaking about Mary-Claire’s contributions, Tony Andrews, executive director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, said, “Mary-Claire was the kind of director every non-profit organization like the PDAC would hope to attract to its board. She was very active, dependable and most generous with her time, intellectual capacity and leadership. We will all miss her as a champion of geoscience and as a delightful individual who was friendly, supportive and endowed with great wit and an engaging sense of humour.”
Born in Dublin, Mary-Claire was a graduate of University College, Dublin. Arriving in Canada in 1967, she worked first with Kennco Explorations (Canada) and then with Imperial Oil. In 1981, she joined Watts Griffis where she remained until her final illness.
For much of her working life, Mary-Claire was a volunteer in the mining industry, particularly in geoscience. She believed that government-led geoscience should be regarded as an investment that reaped benefits for all, including governments, local people, and the industry.
She began volunteering with the Geological Association of Canada (GAC) in 1978 and served as a councillor with the association, then as vice-president and president, retiring as past president in 1997.
That work led her to the PDAC in 1988 where she served as a director, a member and then chair of the geoscience committee, and in 1994, chair of the PDAC convention planning committee. Mary-Claire was given a Special Achievement Award by the PDAC in March 2004 in recognition of her passionate championing of the geosciences in Canada and her advocacy for the preservation of this country’s geoscience knowledge base.
She was also on the board of the Canadian Association of Mineral Evaluators.
Mary-Claire is survived by her husband, Sandy, children David (Bronwyn) and Robin, and granddaughter, Isabelle.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 30, at 5 p.m. at the Ontario Club, Commerce Court South, Toronto.
Donations may be made to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, 610 University Ave., Toronto, ON, M5G 2M9, Tel. (416) 946-6560, in memory of Mary-Claire, next of kin Sandford Ward.