August 11, 2006

Friends, family mourn death of parks officer

Rev. Methusalah Kunuk speaks to a tearful crowd at the memorial service of Philip Robinson on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Iqaluit’s Anglican Parish Hall. Robinson, 26, died in a climbing accident while descending Mt. Thor in Auyuittuq National Park on July 25. (PHOTO BY JOHN THOMPSON)

Friends and family of Philip Robinson, a parks officer who died two weeks ago during a climbing accident in Auyuittuq National Park, gathered to pay their respects on Saturday, Aug. 5 in Iqaluit’s Anglican Parish Hall.

Robinson was remembered during the tearful ceremony, where sobbing at times drowned out the choir, for living his life full of passion, especially while outdoors.

“I want to live the rest of my life the way he taught me,” said his father, Bryan.

Robinson, 26, was rapelling down the face of Mt. Thor — the longest sheer vertical drop on the planet —with a group of American climbers at the time of the accident.

Robinson often spoke of how he loved Mt. Thor, and wanted to climb the mountain one day, said one family friend at the ceremony.

“He has captured Thor.”

A second memorial ceremony was planned in Pangnirtung on Monday, August 7. Robinson’s ashes were buried in both Iqaluit and Pangnirtung.