1967 was the year the World Wildlife Fund Canada was founded, Toronto ON. It became a member of the worldwide global network of the WWF, which came into being April 1961, in Morges, Switzerland. 2017 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the WWF. In recognition of this and the tremendous effort and work of this organization, its members and contributors and supporters were asked to write a personal story about the year 1967. “Where were you in 1967 ?”

In my case, the year 1967 was very special. In January 1967 I got married to a Dutchman. Living in Holland and working for the European Space Technology Centre (ESA) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. In June that same year we took a vacation of two weeks to Varna, Bulgaria, the Black Sea. Just shortly prior to that, the six day war had broken out in Israel, the conflict between Israel and the Arab countries.

[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War ] Our plan had been to take a boat voyage across the Black Sea to Odessa, at that time still the USSR (Soviet Union). But because of the war, European nationals were not allowed into the USSR, because Russia was pro-Arab, whereas Europe was pro-Israel. Particularly the Netherlands.

Therefore, instead, we took the boat from Varna to Istanbul, Turkey. That crossing was not easy, it was rough. Istanbul in contrast was a wonderful and exciting cultural experience. That same year 1967, late in September my son was born. Making him next year also fifty years old, the same age as the World Wildlife Fund of Canada.

Of course during those years and living in Europe there was no such thing as wildlife. The best we came up with had been house pets. My caring for wildlife and the environment started in North America, when completing my graduate studies at Syracuse University, New York State. My major projects were on environmental information systems, in particular the United Nations Environment Programme. It was also during that period that I became aware of the problems our oceans are facing. The period was 1974. And today ? we hear the same. Nothing much has been accomplished as of yet. Keep up the good work for endangered wildlife species. It may be hard work, but it is worthwhile to never give up the fight.

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