Reginald E. Balch - Canadian Photographer & Scientist

Reginald E. Balch (December 29, 1894-1994) was born in Sevenoaks, England to the Rev. Alfred Earnest and Sarah (Hawkes) Balch. Reginald was educated at the Bedford Grammar School, in Bedford, England and the Kingswood School, in Bath, England. Reginald was offered a scholarship, for college, but turned down this chance in order to be a farmer.

In 1913, at the age of nineteen, Reginald left Liverpool, England to start a new life in Canada. Taking a train to Ontario he attempted to find work. Eventually in 1914 he would be hired on to work at the Ontario Reformatory. Later, with the outbreak of World War I, he would enlist in the armed forces of Canada and serve three years in France.

After his military service Reginald would once again return to Ontario, Canada. It was here that he enrolled in the Ontario Agricultural College to pursue an interest in the area of forest biology. Graduating in 1923 he would get a job as a fire ranger and assist an American forest entomologist. Eventually through his efforts here and his attendance at Syracuse University's New York State College of Forestry he was able to attain a Master's degree in 1928.

In 1928 and 1929 Reginald would work as a forest entomologist for the Coeur d’Alene Forest Insect
Laboratory in Idaho. In 1930 he would be appointed to the position of Officer-in-Charge of the Dominion Entomological Laboratory, a Canadian government facility located on the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton, New Brunswick. During his time here he would achieve a certain amount of attention and acclaim for his work.

In the spring of 1965 Reginald would deliver a series of five half-hour radio lectures for CBC's University of the Air series. These lectures were considered essential in the introduction of the word "ecology" to the public. He later served as the honorary president for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, one of the first modern Canadian environmental groups established in 1969.

Reginald had a life long interest and hobby in the area of photography. As part of his hobby he traveled and photographed Europe, especially Ireland. His photos illustrated a book of Alden Nowlan's poems, Early Poems.

In his later years Reginald would be given various awards for his contributions in the area of forestry. Reginald died in 1994 at the age of 100.

Primary Sources/Links:

Wikipedia - Reg Balch

Bedford Grammar School

Kingswood School

A History of Forest Entomology in the Intermountain and Rocky Mountain Areas, 1901 to 1982 - By Malcolm M. Furniss

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