Clarke Gourlay, founder of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Morningstar Farm, passed away on June 29, 2019 in a hiking accident in Strathcona Provincial Park. - File photo

Clarke Gourlay, founder of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Morningstar Farm, passed away on June 29, 2019 in a hiking accident in Strathcona Provincial Park. - File photo

Founder of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks dies in mountaineering accident

Farmer, politician was hiking in Vancouver Island’s Strathcona Park

Clarke Gourlay, founder of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Morningstar Farm, and Regional District of Nanaimo Area G (French Creek) director, has died.

Gourlay was involved in a mountaineering accident on Saturday, June 29 in Strathcona Provincial Park.

“He fell from quite a distance from Mount Donner in Strathcona Park,” said Nancy Gourlay, Clarke’s wife. “We are all of course shocked and saddened by this.”

A tribute post on the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery Facebook page states Clarke lost his life in a hiking accident in Strathcona Park, where he loved to pursue his passion for mountaineering.

Nancy said a board is set up at the farm (403 Lowry Rd.) if people wish to go by and share their memories and comments of Clarke.

“In lieu of flowers, donations to the Campbell River Search and Rescue would be appreciated,” Nancy said.

RELATED: Parksville family climbs highest mountain peak in North America

In October 2018 Clarke was elected as RDN Director of Area G, where he was a resident for more than 18 years.

“[Clarke] will be remembered dearly by the innumerable people he reached in his many circles and he is survived by his wife of 30 years, Nancy Gourlay, his mother Dorothy Gourlay, his sons Kevin Gourlay, John Gourlay and Raymond (& Rebecca) Gourlay, and his grandchildren Kieran and Dahlia,” reads the Facebook post.

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