"He left behind a lot of people who loved him" are the concluding words of Elizabeth May, head of the Green Party of Canada and a Member of Parliament, in a Greenpeace tribute to the life of Dave Martin, one of Canada's top anti-nuclear activists of the past generation. Dave passed on this morning after a four year battle with prostate cancer. Greenpeace's memorial also pays tribute to the life and work of Irene Kock, Dave's partner in life as well as anti-nuclear activism, who tragically died in a car accident in 2001.
Bruce Cox, the Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada, where Dave has worked since 2004, said "Dave was our Climate and Energy Coordinator and later Energy Policy Analyst until he took his sick leave. He was an extraordinary individual that made our province, and indeed our country, a better place to live. More importantly his good nature, warm laugh and helping hand made many of us step a little lighter and shine a little brighter just for knowing him."
Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility said "Dave was an indomitable campaigner of unquenchable passion, who taught himself how to speak the language of the economist, the politician and the bureaucrat to communicate more effectively his unwavering perception that nuclear energy is a huge mistake. And his effectiveness was second to none. He and Irene Kock did outstanding work at a time when the odds seemed truly impossible; they were an inspiration to all who knew them. Since Irene's passing Dave has been the fountainhead of nuclear activism within Greenpeace and in the heart of the nuclear beast -- Ontario -- along with his tremendous colleague Shawn-Patrick Stensil. He will be sorely missed but joyously remembered."
Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps has many such joyous memories of Dave and Irene. They worked and played together, as friends and colleagues, in a common campaign for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes since the mid-1990s. Dave and Irene's legacy will live on. As but one of countless examples, the "Great Lakes Nuclear Hot Spots" map they created in 1990 is still commonly used by anti-nuclear activists throughout the Great Lakes basin.
A website has been set up for friends and colleagues to share their memories and tributes to Dave at http://rememberingdavemartin.ca/
NOW Magazine in Toronto has published a tribute, entitled "Remembering Dave Martin, Greenpeace icon." Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility has posted a sampling of Dave's (and Irene Kock's) prolific writings at the CCNR website.