Long-time Kelowna environmental activist, Bob Purdy died this week after a battle with cancer.
Purdy was best known locally for his one-man quest to bring public awareness to the world’s environmental problems. His goal was to paddle every day for 1,000 days in an effort to bring awareness. And starting in 2011, regardless of rain or shine and in good conditions and bad, Purdy dusted off his Stand Up Paddle board every day and hit the water, mostly in Okanagan Lake but also in a variety of other places, depending where he was.
When he passed the 1,000 day milestone there was no stopping him.
“Back on day 1,000 when asked how long I would continue to paddle everyday, I said ‘as long as my health holds or until we actually change the way we live on the planet,’” Purdy said, to the Capital News at the time. “The hernia has entered the danger zone and it is time for me to take care of my health.”
His passing earned attention from SUP publications as well as Mayor Colin Basran who acknowledged Purdy for his contribution for environmental awareness and called him a “great man.”
Sad to hear former #Kelowna resident @paddlesurfer365 has passed away after battling cancer. Bob paddled 2100 straight days to draw attention to the importance of protecting our waterways and looking after the planet. He was a great man & will be missed!https://t.co/jEqyqZxbjY
— Colin Basran (@Basran) February 1, 2018
During his incredible paddling streak, a movement began called Paddle for the Planet, where a series of simultaneous paddles take place around the world, uniting paddlers in an environmental movement. Events have been organized around the world since 2011 with countries joining in for World Paddle for the Planet Day.
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