Adele Poynter, a community leader, environmental advocate, and author, passed away in St. John's on June 30, 2016 at the age of 60 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Professionally, Adele had many achievements, principally in natural resources and economics. She held B.Sc.(Hon) in Geology from Memorial University and a Master's in Resource Management from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She started out working for Gulf Oil in Calgary and returned to Newfoundland to work for the province's Petroleum Directorate, before being appointed a commissioner with the Economic Recovery Commission in 1990 by then-Premier Clyde Wells. Passionate about the environment, one of her proudest achievements while at the ERC was the establishment of the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador - an organization that continues to provide environmental education to hundreds of students in projects throughout the province.
When the commission's work ended, Adele worked as a consultant for several years before returning to her roots in Geology as the Executive Director of the Johnson Geo Centre - a position that combined her talents as a geologist and corporate leader and allowed her to spread her enthusiasm for the history and geology of Newfoundland.
Adele's personal interests were numerous and diverse. She loved the ski hill, the tennis court, making jewelry and singing in choirs, while passionately debating political-economic policies for Newfoundland or serving on national environmental boards such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada. An avid traveler, Adele was particularly fond of France and the Basque country, which is her mother's ancestral home.
Equally as numerous and diverse were her friends - Adele had a passionate personality, a big heart and a sharp sense of humour that drew people to her. She took great pride in being a mother and was devoted to her three children, Alexander, Patrick, and Kate. Adele constantly strived to instill her own sense of adventure and positive outlook on the world in each of her children.
Adele's industrious and caring nature are perhaps best exemplified in her final project, Dancing in a Jar, a book about her father's early life in St. Lawrence on the south coast of Newfoundland. This was the culmination of years of research and reflections on her heritage. As Adele concluded: "The trick of finding joy is to carry it with you, even when life is not going to plan."