We are proud to announce the 2011 Blue Feather Award recipient, Al Finlayson.
Left: Al Finlayson (left) accepting the Blue Feather Award from EBF Board member, Darcy Gabert, while founding EBF Board Member and Union Carbide Rep, Walter Lindley, looks on.
Right: Darcy Gabert, Al Finlayson, Walter Lindley, Don Stiles (1999 Recipient of the Blue Feather Award), Myrna Pearman
Al Finlayson and I have been good friends since grade 2 in school- dare I say that's 65 years , more or less a lifetime. I'm 3 days older than Al so he won't know what I know for another 3 days. As young boys we did many things together in work, play and sporting events, etc. When Al finished high school he attended S.A.I.T. in Calgary and came away from that as a communications technician. Al's parents in Rochester operated the post office- my parents operated a grocery store and machine dealership which burnt to the ground in 1956, I know how the people in Slave Lake felt. Al, better known as ''Fin'' moved to Edmonton, married his high school sweetheart Paula and started a family as well as a career with Edmonton Telephones which later became Telus. We got together again when both our family's lived in Edmonton in the mid to late 60's and Al had increased his family with three sons. He took early retirement and moved back to the Athabasca area with the idea of upgrading his cabin at Baptiste Lake. His family home in Rochester was still owned by the family so he purchased it and he and Annie have been there ever since. My family returned to Rochester in 1969 and twenty years later I was into Blue birding, so now Al and I were back to where we started. After settling in Rochester, Al took an active part in community volunteering and was a natural for what I had in mind. Hello, “Mr. Bluebird Man.” Al has taken a leadership role in the Tawatinaw Valley Mountain Bluebird Society and has certainly lessened the work load for me. When we're gone during the winter for five months, Al keeps things going, repairing nest boxes, G.P.S. locating etc. - the ''go to tech. guy'' who helps everybody out. I can't remember the exact date Al joined up, but it must be around ten years or so, the time goes so fast. As it has been all through life, Al has been a person I could always count on, anytime. The prestigious Blue Feather Award in 2011 is well deserved to be presented to Alastair Finlayson.
Submitted by Arnold Gerlach, Founder of Tawatinaw Valley Mountain Bluebird Society