The History of John Blackadar
As we researched the life of John Blackadar, we discovered he was an individual with many intriguing stories. In this article, we’ll take you through some of those tales and give you some background information about him.
As UMC Conference Secretary, his role requires him to manage a variety of pieces and keep them aligned. While this task can be demanding, it also provides him with rewards that are both challenging and satisfying, according to him.
Early Life and Education
He was the oldest of nine children born to William Blackadar and Harriet Dugwell in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. As a boy, his family moved frequently.
His father was an astute businessman, owning numerous local newspapers. Additionally, he constructed a substantial estate that brought him a comfortable fortune.
He was highly active in politics, supporting the Liberal party both federally and provincially, while being vocal against protective tariffs and the National Policy.
He was an acclaimed political writer and editor, contributing most of The Recorder’s editorials on controversial topics like confederation. Additionally, his columnist work, known as “Doesticks,” appeared regularly in Saturday pages of the paper.
John Blackadar was a highly esteemed figure within the nuclear science community. A graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, he joined Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1999 as a postdoctoral research associate.
He was a pioneer in the development of isotope detecting detectors for nuclear reactors. He earned his Ph.D. from LANL in 1999 and served on its technical staff until 2006 when he retired.
He made history by becoming the first person to kayak Turnback Canyon, often compared to climbing Everest by those in his path. With an insatiable thirst for adventure and no fear of failure, he never shied away from a challenge – whether that meant racing against himself or searching for the highest grade on a whitewater river.
Achievements and Honors
John Blackadar’s most renowned accomplishment was publishing the Acadian Recorder, a newspaper that reflected his liberal perspective and impartial view on current events. For his efforts, John earned numerous awards.
Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to serving the community and society in various capacities. He served on the Boards of Directors for both Acadian Historical Association and Pictou County Chamber of Commerce.
He was an accomplished author, with his book Never Turn Back: A Life in Whitewater Sport being widely acclaimed as one of the finest adventure books ever published. It chronicles Dr. Walt Blackadar’s daring voyage down Turnback Canyon on Canada and Alaska’s remote Alsek River at age 65 – when most athletes would long since retired.
Blackadar’s life was full of incredible experiences. He possessed great courage, which enabled him to overcome some of life’s toughest challenges.
He was an internationally-renowned doctor and role model, revolutionizing paddling’s image from competition to outdoor recreation and exploration.
He published numerous books and was a major figure in the Canadian paddlesports community. In one of its most remarkable feats, he ran through Turnback Canyon on the Alsek River alone – an achievement likened by Sports Illustrated to climbing Everest for the first time.