Cordova Bay has lost a pillar in the community. Richard McMorran died June 18 at the age of 85.
McMorran is part of one of the community’s pioneer families and was one of the founders of the Cordova Bay 55+ Association.
“He is gone but the legacy he has built will live on and on,” said David Docherty, the association’s current president. “He’s going to be missed and it won’t be the same without his presence.”
McMorran leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Bev, along with children Scott and Michael, grandchildren Chelsea, Brayden and Andrew, and brothers Bruce and David.
McMorran was recently named Volunteer of the Year at the inaugural Cordova Bay Community Leadership Awards.
“It’s recognition I’m not sure I deserve,” said the always humble McMorran, who accepted the award on behalf of all the volunteers at the association.
But Docherty has little doubt that McMorran deserved all of the accolades he received.
“He was the heart and soul of the organization,” he said, adding no task was too small for McMorran to take on, from sweeping floors to carting chars back and forth.
“A lot of the things he did, people were unaware of. Anytime somebody asked you a question it was, “You’d better check with Rich.’ He just did so much, and it wasn’t always visible. People realized he did a lot, but that was only the tip of the iceberg for what he really did over the years.”
Gwen MacPherson, who was one of the Founding Five members of the Cordova Bay 55+ Association along with McMorran, remembers him as a kid on the beaches of Cordova Bay.
“We came out in the summers and they lived here permanently,” she recalled, adding McMorran and his three brothers always seemed to be working.
“The dad had them working around the place all the time.” MacPherson believes that was the origin of the work ethic that McMorran brought to his career and CB55+ after his retirement.
“It was there from the very beginning, because they had no choice. And that was still with him to the end.”
McMorran received a degree in civil engineering at UBC and his work took him to Ontario as well as Quesnel, Salmo and Prince George, before returning to Cordova Bay.
Docherty said McMorran’s sense of humour is something that will stick with him.
“He just loved to make people laugh. He and Bob Waldner, who I refer to as his partner in crime, they loved to put on sketches that were very funny.”
He said McMorran would dress up as Father Christmas, while Waldner would accompany him as his naughty elf.
“He just brought a lot of fun and joy to the organization,” said Docherty. “He is gone but the legacy he has built will live on and on.”
MacPherson said she will miss McMorran’s steady presence. “He was always calm, he never got excited or wound up.”
MacPhershon and McMorran were regulars at the On the Go Again group at CB55+, and she said McMorran would always be the one to pour the second cup of tea for everyone.
“Those ladies will miss Rich’s second cup of tea,” she said. “He will be missed by so many people.”
And that may be the most fitting tribute of all.