Charles George Graeme Johnstone was born June 1, 1927 in Horsham, Sussex, the only child of Irene and Reginald Johnstone. He earned a Degree in Agriculture from Sidney Sussex University. He moved to Courtenay on Vancouver Island to the Cliffe family farm. He next moved to Cobble Hill where he used his training on a dairy farm. There he met his future wife Lisbeth English. After their marriage they moved to England where Graeme managed three dairy herds, and enlarged his family with the birth of his first child Christina. He moved back to Cobble in 1957 and resumed his career as a herdsman.
Graeme started his long involvement with 4H while he was in Cobble Hill, where his son Michael was born at Duncan in 1959. The next home for the family was found in Prince George in 1965 where Graeme worked as a dairy specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture for 7 years. The family moved to Victoria in 1971 when Graeme became the Dairy Field Supervisor for the area. 1972 saw a move to Smithers to take up the role of District Agriculturalist where he was noted for his involvement with 4H, and his role with the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair. Graeme was active as District Agriculturalist until his retirement in 1992. He was president of the Fall Fair for many years and was instrumental in moving the fair down to its current location by the river. He continued his involvement to the current day, helping with his practical, hands-on management.
Graeme also became an evaluator of fairs for the province, did arable land assessments for Agricultural Leases, and was a Director on the Northwest Premium Meat Board. He was a founding member of the Hereford Breeders’ Association and continued as a honorary member until his death. He was also made a life member of the B.V. Cattlemen’s association in 1992.
This pilot of 26 years’ experience managed the Air Search and Rescue for the northwest region, organizing crews and doing the training. In between all of these ventures, he acted as a contractor for weed control from Moricetown west to Prince Rupert and North to the Yukon border. He spent 30 of his 83 discouraging invasive plants. His working partner was his daughter Chris Johnstone.
Graeme lost his beloved Lisbeth in 2002, but was comforted by having his daughter Christina and his son Michael living nearby. He also had the support of his two little companions, Tutter and Scruffy.
Graeme died quietly at home with his son Michael at his side, on April 27, 2011 at age 83.
A memorial service will be held at the Smithers Canadian Reformed Church on Upper Viewmont near Highway 16, at 1:00 on Saturday, May the 28. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the BV District 4H, care of any BV Credit Union.