Alastair Bruce Macdonald, a former Director of UBC Botanical Garden, passed away following a long illness on March 11, 2011. Macdonald 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.
Macdonald was involved with the International Plant Propagator’s Society (IPPS), 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.
In 1998 Macdonald was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gold Veitch Memorial Medal. The award is given for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. This was the first time the medal had been given to a Canadian since first presented in 1922.
He is survived by his wife, Liz, children Katie and Jenny and their families.