Dinner was a delight of banter, stories and paleontological debates. Dr. Danner had a keen mind and a sharp wit. The world lost a truly beautiful soul when he passed away in 2012.
Wilbert R. Danner began teaching geology at UBC in 1954 and established the Beer-Pop Can-Bottle Deposit Refund Award in 1989 using proceeds from the return of bottles and cans collected on weekly scavenging treks on UBC’s Vancouver Campus.
Danner’s office was often full of cans ready to be taken to the recycling depot. He raised $46,000 from collected bottles and cans to support students before he passed away in 2012. He chose to name it the Beer-Pop Can-Bottle Deposit Refund Award to show that, over time, even small contributions can have a big impact.
“Ted taught UBC’s introductory geology course for many years,” says geologist and entrepreneur Ross Beaty, a former student of Danner and executor of his estate. “He was a quirky, enthusiastic professor who inspired many students to go into geoscience. What a wonderful legacy he’s now left for UBC and future generations of geologists.”
Danner’s bequest endows $320,000 for the Beer-Pop Can-Bottle Deposit Refund Award, which provides two awards annually to geology students who have demonstrated aptitude in fieldwork. Another $320,000 funds the newly established Ted Danner Memorial Entrance Bursary in Geology, provided to a student entering UBC enrolled in at least one geology course.
The estate also includes Danner’s extensive mineral collection, which now resides at UBC’s Pacific Museum of the Earth. It contains more than 2,000 specimens and is worth more than $500,000.
Beyond his annual award, Dr. Danner left a legacy in those he taught and mentored. Ted had a great fondness for the geology & fossils of the Chilliwack Group. A wonderful orator, Dr. Danner liked to reminisce about the Devonian quarry at Doaks Creek. He enjoyed hiking through the Late Mississippian limestone exposures on the east side of Red Mountain, where large crinoid columnals, corals and brachiopods have been found, sometimes partly silicified, on the weathered surfaces of the limestones and shales.
Further up the west side of Red Mountain at the Kendle Quarry there are Late Mississippian exposures where you can find fragments of brachiopods & goniatites. Dr. Danner would often tell the tale of Reginald A. Daly who published a series of maps in 1912 of areas along the International Boundary where he found fusulinids in the Chilliwack Valley. It seems the markers Daly originally mapped have been slowly tipping to the south, with Canada gaining a small advantage over the United States each year.