Through the 1960s, The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals became largely stagnant. But following a harrowing incident in which her husband, George, stepped in a leg-hold trap near their home and school (where they both worked), Lorna “Bunty” Clements became actively involved in the organization.
And, in 1973, Bunty became president and with nothing more than 300 names in a cookie tin, drive and desire, a new age of the Association began.
Bunty grew up in a depression-era home. Cardboard patched holes in shoes were common and rent money was often late. She worked through her final years of school and graduated as a teacher from a Vancouver school. Teaching all subjects to a class of 40 students was boring Bunty, an enthusiastic and adventurous young woman. She learned of a Creative Dance for Children program being taught at some local schools and headed south to California. In San Francisco she learned the basics and graduated with a teaching degree specializing in dance.
Upon her return to Canada, and meeting her husband-to-be George, Bunty developed “physical education for girls” programs, and introduced creative dance to her classrooms.
As president of The Association, Bunty’s passion drove incredible growth, leading to a new age of newsletters, advocacy, action items, and awareness. Bunty also played a major role in getting The Fur-Bearers to the European Union, to present on the cruelty of leg-hold traps, and developing television segments on inherently inhumane traps. She was an honoured recipient of the Canadian Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.
The executive directors who followed her legacy, and under Bunty’s watchful eye, have both been women. Bunty passed on May 20, 2010, surrounded by her loved ones.
The Fur-Bearers would not be here today if it were not for the passionate, compassionate, strong, and intelligent women who have led this organization, and the worked tirelessly for a better place for Canada’s wildlife. Please join us in thanking all those women who have paved the way – and those who continue to innovate new paths into the future.
Top photos of Bunty through the years.