My Path to the Dundas Valley
My Path to the Dundas Valley offers a wealth of anecdotes as it retraces Thomas Beckett's 92 years on this planet, including as a lawyer and judge, but few match his starring role in stopping politicians from bulldozing Hamilton's biggest nature preserve.
That role started to take root shortly after he was elected to Ancaster Township council in 1957, when he helped create a conservation authority for the Spencer Creek watershed. The fledgling organization began a string of land acquisitions that blossomed after Hamilton got on board in 1966 and Beckett became chair of the renamed Hamilton Region Conservation Authority. Under his leadership, it created conservation areas at Valens, Beverly Swamp, Crooks' Hollow, Christie Lake, Tews Falls, Copetown Bog, Tiffany Falls, Mount Albion, Borer's Falls, Devil's Punch Bowl and the Dundas Valley.
Thomas Beckett's path had many other interesting turns, including a daring infiltration of a 1965 Ku Klux Klan meeting in North Carolina and an intriguing link to the Kennedy assassination.
The Conservation Authority and environment remain close to Beckett's heart, as he continues to worry about the influence of corporate donors on the former and what lies ahead as politicians dither on climate change.
A fascinating story about nature conservation in Hamilton and the people responsible for maintaining some of the beauty of the place.
(Portions of this summary written by Richard Leitner, Hamilton Community News)
Price: $17.80 (GST included)
Paperback: 221 pages