In Memoriam: John Wesley Neill
Vancouver, British Columbia
John Wesley Neill passed away in Victoria, British Columbia, July 1999 at age 83. A Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, he was known as the patriarch of landscape architecture in British Columbia.
After service in World War II as a tank commander, Neill came to the University of British Columbia as the campus landscape architect and professor of ornamental horticulture and floriculture. His knowledge of the genus Rhododendron was extensive and played an important role in providing the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington, with the best forms of species in England and Scotland. Through Neill, the campus nursery allowed university horticultural staff members Evelyn Jack and Nick Weesjes to propagate and grow on hundreds of the best species forms. The campus nursery also provided Neill with rhododendrons not available elsewhere for landscaping new buildings and developments on campus. Many of these large specimens were later dug and moved to the UBC Asian Garden - a living legacy to John Wesley Neill.