Never was a man so happy to skin an eel. The joy in that moment carried into every part of Blair’s life. His world was outdoors. Hunting and fishing were an excuse to be in nature. It was where he felt alive. He brought that energy, that understanding with him to his work and friendships.–Weldon Bona

Blair was one of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. He found enjoyment in simple things in life like being outdoors, hunting, fishing, eating. His idea of dressing up for work was to leave his work boots at home. He took a trip to Colorado once and fell in love with the place because of the abundance of mountains and wildlife. He said he’d love to live there someday.–Lisa Young

My favourite story about Blair would have to be the time he was teaching Shelley and I how to skin and gut eels for our research. I was so afraid to pick up or even touch the eel (it wasn’t even alive, by the way) and Blair kept laughing at me. Finally he asked me, “Why are you so afraid of the eel? It’s just food!” This gave me a whole new perspective on looking at eels and I won’t forget this bit of advice. I am still a little bit afraid of eels, especially when they are alive, but I just have to remember, it’s just food! –Angela Denny

We went moose hunting together a few times and after a long day of not seeing anything we would pull over and make hot tea and something to eat. Just that we were out there enjoying the scenery and company made the day fly by and enjoyable despite not seeing any moose. Blair was a jack-of-all-trades.

He could make anything, fix anything, build anything, catch and hunt anything and would share anything or any knowledge he had to help you. He would help with anything he could to anyone that asked.–Hubert Nicholas

Blair and I shared an office for much of his time at UINR. He was a problem solver and never hesitated to jump into a project even if it wasn’t related to what he was working on. If he saw that he could help, he would. We shared a lot of laughs. Blair was famous for his appetite and often had stories about the latest place where he tried the best (usually seafood) dish, or scheduling meetings in Wagmatcook on Wednesdays specifically so they could have corned beef for lunch. Blair’s family and friends were so special to him, especially when Nadine or one of the kids would call the office, you could hear the tone of his voice change. He was always so happy to hear from them. I am so grateful to have the honour to have known him, and will miss and think about him always.–Annie Johnson


When I started working at UINR, I shared an office with Blair for one whole year, and we talked and laughed every day. I don’t remember everything we talked about, but in my mind I still picture him sitting at his desk with his big smile spitting into empty coke bottles because he always had chew in his mouth. Some things we laughed at were foolish and may not have been funny to others, but we found the simplest things to humour ourselves. He found it especially funny when he and Clifford would go out to buy fish for dinner and make the office smell like a fish processing plant. You knew immediately when you walked in what Blair had for lunch. I would start with the air freshener and opening doors. He would say “smells like someone baking a cake.” I’m going to miss that man, his humour, his friendship, but I don’t think I will miss the smell of fish.–Serena Paul

We spent a lot of time just chatting as office mates. He was a jack-of-all-trades. He knew a little bit about everything. He was one of the most honest and sincere men I have ever met and he will be greatly missed.
–Mark MacPhail

I knew Blair all my life, however, we became good friends while working at UINR. Blair was a man of incredible “niceness,” and his dedication to family and friends was surely his most admirable trait. I will truly miss my friend and I still can’t believe that he’s journeyed to the Happy Hunting and Fishing Grounds with his ancestors at such a young age. Someday, the reality will set in. He has left a positive and friendly impact on many peoples’ lives and I know his legacy will live on in his children, family, friends, relatives, and co-workers alike.–Clifford Paul