Our grassroots group was first organized as a Steering Group under the name Gabriola Anchor Rage. In September of 2015 we incorporated as a Society under the name Gabriolans Against Freighter Anchorages Society (GAFA). The GAFA Society are group of volunteers committed to one common objective – to stop the designation of anchorages off Gabriola’s shoreline. The following provides a short biography of our Board of Directors.
Prior to moving to Gabriola, Franz was a teacher for electrical engineering in Germany. Starting in 1995 he worked for ten years in Shanghai as the representative of a German Non-Governmental Organization to manage and coordinate Sino-EU training centres and universities for teachers and students in China.
In 2005 Franz, with his wife Gini, immigrated to Canada. He now works as a consultant for international organizations. He volunteers with Cats Alive on Gabriola and also volunteers with ETRA, a therapeutic riding group that offers horseback riding for disabled people. After having lived in Nanoose Bay for 16 years, Franz and Gini moved to Gabriola Island to enjoy Gabriola’s unique beauty and caring community.
Chris Straw is retired after a 29 year career in Radio Broadcasting. He currently spends his time as an amateur photographer and mixed media artist and is an active community volunteer. Chris and his wife have been property owners on Gabriola Island for 15 years and have been island residents for nearly 10 years.
Prior to coming to Canada in 2005, Gini was a teacher in Germany. When she and her husband Franz moved to Shanghai in 1995, Gini became the Vice Principal for the German and French International School in Shanghai. After immigrating to Canada in 2005, Gini volunteered with various animal charities like the North Island Wildlife Rescue Centre in Errington (NIWRA) and GROWLS Gabriola. She also volunteers and is a board member at ETRA, a therapeutic riding group serving people with disabilities. Gini owns her own travel business and organizes study trips for international teachers and students.
Janet has lived in British Columbia for forty years, emigrating from England. She is a retired Occupational Therapist having worked in Vancouver in Rehabilitation and Community Health fields. Janet and husband Walter are retired and for the last 5 years are happy and proud to call Gabriola Island their home. She is a keen sailor, traveller and an avid gardener. She has coordinated the South Community Gardens on Gabriola for the past 3 years and is also involved with GROWLS (Gabriola Rescue of Wildlife Society). She is deeply concerned about environmental issues, especially the impact of inevitable oil spill and pollutants to our coast line and sea life if commercial vessels are allowed to anchor off Gabriola Island’s shores
Prior to moving to Gabriola Island, Pam worked in health care in Canada and the United States. Pam retired in 2008 and lives on Gabriola Island full time with her husband Ted. Both Ted and Pam are passionate about the beauty, tranquility and unique marine and shoreline ecosystems that are the heart of the Gulf Island experience including Gabriola Island. And are committed to helping to preserve and protect these precious ecosystems and natural beauty for all to enjoy now and in the future.