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Walter Charles Koerner - Vancouver

Click image for full-size versionDr. Walter Koerner was born in Czechoslovakia and it was there that, through his family's lumber business, he developed his expertise in the forest industry.

In 1939, Dr. Hoerner and his brothers immigrated to Canada and founded the Alaska Pine and Cellulose Company of which he was President. The company flourished until in 1957, it became Rayonier Canada Limited with Dr. Koerner was President and later Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 1973.

Dr. Koerner's company was instrumental in promoting the use of hemlock, previously considered undesirable. Through expert techniques, his company made the wood fully competitive in Europe and expanded its use until it has become one of the leading wood species used in British Columbia.

Dr. Koerner has always supported the need for good forest management and has greatly contributed to numerous studies and hearings concerned with forest practices.

Following his retirement he has devoted his efforts to improving the quality of life for British Columbians: * in the health care field, as Founding Chairman of the University of British Columbia Hospital; * and in the arts community, as one of the Province's leading benefactors. He is honorary Life President of both the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Symphony Society.

Over a span of more than fifty years, Dr. Koerner has been a most notable philanthropist, donating millions of dollars to educational institutions and other public organizations and endeavors.

Among his many honours, Dr. Koerner is a Companion of the Order of Canada, and holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from U.B.C.


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