Bob Wright

Bob Wright

Oak Bay icon Bob Wright dies at 82

Philanthropist and fisherman leaves a large tourism legacy

A larger-than-life Oak Bay resident has died.

Oak Bay Marine Group founder Bob Wright died in Victoria yesterday (April 17) at age 82 after a brief hospital stay.

Raised in Edmonton, Wright began his working life in the newspaper industry there at the Edmonton Bulletin.

The self-proclaimed gumboot fisherman was soon lured to Victoria by the promise of great hunting and fishing. It was his love of the outdoors and fishing that led him to start a fishing charter business, now the Oak Bay Marine Group of Companies which now includes 25 businesses in Victoria, the U.S. and the Bahamas.

Wright was one of the first commissioners for Canada on the Pacific Salmon Treaty; he earned the gold trophy marketing award from Industry, Science and Technology Canada for business excellence; the B.C. Ambassador for Tourism award and the Leadership award from the B.C. Marine Trades Association, among numerous others. In 2011 he was inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame.

Being a successful businessman was not enough for Wright, whose commitment to both the community and the environment extended into an $11 million donation to UVic for scientific research on climate change and the creation of the Bob Wright Centre for Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Wright leaves behind his beloved wife, Yun Kloihofer and three children from previous marriages.