In 2009, as part of a series of interviews about Prince Edward Island’s history of controlling carbon emissions, I recorded an interview with Kirk Brown.
In the blog post I wrote to point to the interview, I wrote:
Kirk was the Director of Research for the Institute of Man and Resources, moving to Prince Edward Island after working with the Ontario Research Foundation and, before that, with Exxon. He knows as much about Prince Edward Island’s energy needs as anyone you’ll ever meet.
And that proved true.
Kirk died last week; his obituary is a loving paean from a granddaughter for a life well-lived. It starts:
Charles Alexander Kirkland Brown, 17 years old, boards a train in Vaudreuil in 1953, going into Montreal. He notices a young woman boarding at the same station. “Who’s that?” He elbows his friend in the ribs, eyes not leaving the girl. “That? That’s J’Nan Bishop!” Kirk, always calm in a crisis, looks around the train car. He has to get her attention, make an impression. What’s going to impress a girl like this? His heart beats too fast, palms sweaty. Time to gamble. He grabs a paper cup and shoves it down the back of her dress. “Hey!” J’Nan, fierce and confident, turns to give him a piece of her mind. She sees a young man, wiry and strong, with dark curly hair, sparkling brown eyes, and a mischievous smile. “Well, hello!” she says. They get off at the same station.
So much of what was good and holy about Prince Edward Island in the 1970s and 1980s as an alternative energy leader is due Kirk’s wisdom and leadership. His words in 2009 remain a wise pointer forward. He will be missed.