Peach honoured with beach walkway dedication - July 27, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The late Geoff Peach, a Blyth resident and the late co-founder of the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, was honoured on Sunday with a special plaque and a walkway dedicated in his name.
Peach had made it his life’s work to be a steward of Lake Huron, which is why the Friends of Sauble Beach chose to honour him in this way.
Geoff’s wife Cheryl and their daughters Kathryn and Laura were on hand for the special presentation, as were a number of other family members from as far away as Vancouver and Tennessee.
In an interview with The Citizen, Cheryl said she was surprised when she was first told that Geoff would be honoured in this way. She said that while Geoff had worked for decades on preserving the lake, being honoured was still unexpected.
Cheryl said that Geoff would have been proud to have been honoured by his peers and to have his work regarded as important by colleagues whom he respected.
In addition, she said, he would have been pleased to see exactly how he was honoured: with a cartoon-like image of himself on his plaque. Geoff was known for his always-present sense of humour and as someone who never took himself too seriously.
She said that John Strachan, a member of the Friends of Sauble Beach who created the plaque, truly captured Geoff’s essence in his image. Geoff was always wearing his glasses and hat, and he was always smiling. The plaque, she said, captures all of those aspects of his personality.
Cheryl also added that remembering Geoff as being happy, both in his life and in his work with Lake Huron, is important. When Geoff knew he didn’t have much time left in this world, Cheryl said, he reached a point where he was content with his life and knew he was leaving his family and his work with no regrets.
At the ceremony, which was held Sunday afternoon, colleagues of Geoff’s called him a brilliant man who will be remembered for how much he cared about his work and about the long-term health of Lake Huron.
Cheryl said it was a special time for the dedication ceremony to take place, as a number of far-flung family members were in Blyth for Geoff’s interment ceremony, which took place at the family’s cottage – a location that had a special place in Geoff’s heart.
In addition, Cheryl said it was a special time in the life of projects spearheaded by Peach along the lake. She said that where dunes had been created to preserve the life of the beach, Peach’s ideas were paying off and coming to fruition, which was amazing to see. These results could even be seen at the family’s cottage, she said.
After Geoff passed away on Jan. 28, the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation created the Geoff Peach Coastal Scholarship Fund in his memory.
For more information on the centre, visit lakehuron.ca and for more information on the Friends of Sauble Beach, visit the group’s website, friendsofsaublebeach.org.