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Obituary – Frederick Arthur “Fred” Walsh C.M.

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It is with sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of 1960 Canadian Scholar Frederick Arthur “Fred” Walsh C.M. – age 91, of Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Fred Walsh was one of the stalwarts that helped keep Nuffield Canada alive during its early days and we are pleased to share his obituary with you all.

Fred grew up in Halifax and as a teenager he spent time working on farms in the Annapolis Valley or on his Grandfather’s dairy farm in Coverdale, New Brunswick.

He attended LeMarchant St. School and Rothesay Collegiate in New Brunswick. He entered NSAC and graduated from MacDonald College of McGill University in 1952 with a BSc. in Agriculture with a major in Horticulture. 

Upon graduation Fred moved to the Valley and purchased a farm in Rockland where he grew apples, pears, peaches and plums. He also grew Gladiolis which he shipped all over Atlantic Canada as well as farming hogs, laying hens and beef cattle.

In 1954 he married Mary Mackay and they started their family of six children.

(Blake Vice, 2013 Scholar Chair of Nuffield Canada, spoke to Waldo Walsh, Fred’s son, yesterday. Waldo shared that he was born when his father was away on his Nuffield travels).

Fred had also worked off the farm with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing, first as a Resource Development Officer from 1972-76 and later as an Agricultural Representative, before retiring in 1994.

After his retirement, Fred spent much time working in his gardens, advising his children on their farming operations and volunteering in the community. Fred had been a member of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association since 1952 and had actively served in many capacities, including Director, Chairman of various committees, and President in 1997.

Fred’s lifetime of volunteering culminated when he was recognized nationally with the Order of Canada in 2007.

Fred received many awards including:

Nuffield Farming Scholarship (1960)
Award of Merit-Canadian Parks and Recreation Association
Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International
CNIB Volunteer Awards
Distinguished Life Member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Fred devoted much time to many organizations, often in a major role, some of which are:

Kings County Councillor
Scotian Gold Cooperative, Member from 1957
Scotian Gold Cooperative, Director
ACA Poultry Cooperative, Past Chairman
Canadian National Institute for the Blind – 18 years as a Board Member, Past Chairman of the N.S. – PEI Divisional Board and three years on the National Council
N.S. Farm Health and Safety Committee
N.S. Rural Beautification Program
N.S. Institute of Agrologists, Past President
Kings Mutual Insurance, Board of Directors

Fred’s ornamental gardens were his passion. He believed in planting shrubs, trees and flowers to celebrate marriages, births, and to honour peoples’ lives. He gave trees he had collected and nurtured from seedling to friends and families to celebrate their special events.

His gardens were the backdrop for numerous photographs of family and community events, marriages and reunions for over 50 years. His tireless work became the “Garden of Memories”, inscribed on a bronze plaque mounted on a large granite rock, dedicated to his family. Ending with the phrase “A Gardener by The Grace of God”, Fred was a man of great faith.

He attended the Berwick United Church where he was a member for over 60 years and held various positions. He was often asked to give the sermon, a request he thoroughly enjoyed because of his ability to effectively communicate his positive outlook on life.

In his role as an Agricultural Representative, Fred dealt with farmers on a daily basis and understood the realities of farming. He was able to inform them of new policies or grants and counsel those experiencing challenges in their farm operations.

Later in life Fred visited local nursing homes because he knew that the residents appreciated the company. It was also common for him to deliver freshly cut flowers from his garden to family, friends, and visitors – just to brighten their day!

He was active in the Elder-Hostel program at Acadia University acting as a tour guide. It was not uncommon for a large bus to appear unannounced in the driveway of the family farm.

Fred was very proud that two of his sons and a grandson continue in the tree fruit industry.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, six children and extended family members.

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​