Ron Charles was born in Dominica, an island nation in the West Indies, in 1945 and obtained a BSc (Agr) with a Major in Animal Science in 1970. Subsequent graduate work under the supervision of Dr Marvin Tung led to the award of an MSc in Food Science in 1972, the thesis topic, Some Physical, Chemical and Histological Characteristics of Ripening Bananas, no doubt reflecting Ron’s continuing interest in the agriculture of his homeland.
After completing his MSc, Ron joined Burns Foods in Calgary, Alberta, as a Management Trainee. Three years later, in 1975, he moved back to BC to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as a Financial Analyst in Victoria. In 1982 he was appointed District Agriculturist at Abbotsford and since 1989 he has been a senior agrologist with the Ministry. His current position is Regional Manager – Industry Development for the South Coastal Region. In that position he works with a group of agrologists to encourage and facilitate growth and development of the agri-food sector on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
He is a member of the BC Institute of Agrologists and the Canadian Society of Extension. Ron has a continuing interest in adult literacy and for several years has volunteered as an English tutor at the University College of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.
Among Ron’s reminiscences of his time at UBC are:
“First year at UBC – 40 days of rain, persuading me to buy my very first umbrella; the joys of fresh cinnamon buns; frosh orientation; aggie week; Agriculture 100 lectures with Dean Blythe Eagles; hallway conversations with Professor Jake Biely; representing UBC at the International Agriculture Students Conference at the University of Delaware; being AUS representative on the AMS.”