Photo Hike Leader Bob Fanning

Picture This with Bob Fanning

 In 1969 I was fortunate to be working with a number of the people who came up with the idea of creating a hiking trail to connect Guelph with the recently opened Bruce Trail. I was able to get involved with helping to create the Radial Line Trail and then the Arkell/Starkey Hill side trails and later the Speed River Trail. At the same time, I joined the board of the Guelph Trail Club, serving in various capacities including Hike Co-ordinator, Vice-President, and President.

 While I was on the board of the Trail Club, Henry Graupner came up with the idea of creating a federation of the hiking trail organizations in Ontario. Henry was successful and the Federation of Ontario Hiking Trail Organizations (FOHTA) was born. Prior to the first provincial hiking conference in Peterborough in 1980 the federation decided to change the name of the organization to Hike Ontario. I served as one of the two GHTC directors on the board of FOHTA/Hike Ontario for many years. That included time as Secretary and President.

For about 7 years I spent a lot of time working for a client in North Georgia. I found a great group of friends in the Chattanooga Hiking Club and with them was able to explore many of the more than 5,000 miles of interconnected hiking trails in the American southeast. The Appalachian Trail is the best known but there are many other terrific trails, especially in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 My work as an Industrial Research Chemist led to a move to the Metro Toronto area for 26 years. After returning to Guelph in 2006 I completed the Hike Ontario Hike Leader certification program and have been an HO Certified Hike Leader ever since. I also became involved again in trail maintenance and took on the responsibility for section 6 of the Radial Line Trail. Because this is a double section there are always two co-captains for this section. I have had the pleasure of sharing this responsibility with Henry Graupner, and Sandra Morrill, in the past and currently with Fraser Brown.

 As I was reducing my consulting business significantly in the spring of 2011 a new group was just staring in Guelph with the goal of “connecting kids to nature through photography.” This appealed to my love of photography and enjoying the natural world.

I volunteered to help with delivering workshops to elementary school classes and to March Break and summer camps. The new group “Focus on Nature” also needed to incorporate and obtain charitable status from Revenue Canada. I was able to help create an organization with a suitable constitution and bylaws and achieve incorporation and charitable status. I have served as President of this organization twice.

 Around 2014 the Guelph Hiking Trail Club surveyed the members to ask about interests in different types of events. There was an interest in nature photography, and I offered to put together some photo hikes with a focus on nature photography. These turned out to be quite popular and I have been offering these types of hikes on a regular basis since then as well as occasional regular hikes.

 Over many years I have sung in a number of community choirs and show groups that have performed concerts and shows for the community and in local seniors’ residences, etc. As part of those groups, I have also served on the board of all but one of these choirs.

 Through an organization called Skills for Change I have helped several science and engineering immigrants with their search for employment in Canada.

 For a number of years, I was a part of a team at the local Volunteer Center (PIN) that delivered board training for new and prospective board members for local non-profit organizations.

The Guelph Hiking Trail Club would like to thank Bob for his many contributions to our community! We look forward to seeing member photos from his upcoming photo hikes and photo sculpture event.

To view photo's on Bob's past Photo Hikes from home page select "Hikes/Events" then "Photo Hikes".



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