Noel Frank Lax
Noel Lax was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England on March 24, 1931. He attended the boarding school of Wycliffe College in Gloucestershire and while there joined the scouting movement. The troupe was one of the largest in England and they made regular trips into the Lake District and up Snowdon in Wales. In 1946, his troupe was the first to visit Europe after the war travelling to the French Pyrenee's where they went hiking. His family also went to the Lakes District camping and were one of the last families to ride around the Lakes District in a horse and carriage.
In 1947, when Lax was sixteen, the family moved to Victoria on Vancouver Island. He attended business and construction courses but William (Billy) Foster, who was an Old Wycliffian, found employment for him with the BC Hydro-Electric Power Commission. At the time Foster was the Chairman for the commission. Later he went on to work for the Yorkshire and Canadian Trust Ltd (11 years), a company that in the 1890's saw in British Columbia and Vancouver, a natural field for the investment of 'Old Country' capital. In 1968 he left the Trust company and started a private investment company which he operated until 1978 when he retired. He then travelled up Vancouver Island to Quadra Island, fell in love with it, and has lived there ever since. With his first wife he has three children.
During the years of WWII the local Vancouver Island section of the Alpine Club of Canada went into hibernation but 1947 was the beginning of a new era on the island. Doctor Mark Mitchell was elected as the new Chairperson for the section and people began joining the club, among them Noel Lax soon after arriving in Victoria. Lax was impressed with the leadership of both Mark Mitchell and Rex Gibson and went on many of the club trips led by the two. He also joined the committee as the person to phone members about coming trips. A few of the members wouldn't commit until they heard that Noel was going as it appeared that the trips were blessed with good weather if he was on them. Lax made numerous trips to peaks on the southern half of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Olympic Mountains in Washington, and Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. He attended the ACC Mount Robson Ski Camp in 1953 with Phylis Munday, Rex Gibson and Pat Guilbride, and the Skoki Ski Camp in 1954 with Mark Mitchell and Ted Goodall. In the summer of 1954 Lax joined a party of about twenty from the Vancouver Island section that included Syd Watts, Elizabeth and Pat Guilbride, Sylvia, Mallory and Bill Lash, Jack Gregson, Cyril Jones, Connie Bonner, Karl Ricker and Keith Morton, on a summer camp to the Elk River valley. Very few peaks were climbed, however; on one excursion Lax joined Sylvia Lash and Karl Ricker on a reconnaissance of Mount Colonel Foster. After traversing around the North Tower they had a look at the big snow gully that ascends between the North Tower and the Northwest Summit. At the bottom of the gully a large bergshrund cut off access to the upper gully so they returned unsuccessful to camp. Lax took over as Chairperson of the VI-ACC from 1957 to 1958 and again in 1965 and became a life member of the ACC.
Since living on Quadra Island, Lax has become a leading environmentalist and was one of the founders of the Quadra Island chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada. In 1997 he was instrumental in getting the 3539 hectare Main Lake Provincial Park established and to date this has been Lax's most satisfying accomplishment. Noel Lax has continued his involvement with building trails on the island and is attempting to connect some of the parks up. He was also involved with the forming of The Friends of Strathcona Park and involved in the Price Creek civil disobedience blockade over Cream Lake, at the southern end of Buttle Lake.
fellow called Noel, let's face the facts,