Carnarvon man rose to highest ranks of UN
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | Jan. 31, 2019|
Although Bradnee Chambers travelled the world for his work with the United Nations, his namesake Road and 12 Mile Lake held a special place in his heart, according to his brother-in-law, Bill Kulas.
Chambers’ brothers, Tim and Frank, flew to Germany before the Christmas holidays to bring Bradnee home. He passed away Jan. 23, following a short illness.
At the time of his death, he had risen through the ranks to become the executive secretary of the United Nations’ Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
The CMS issued a press release the day he died, citing it a “tragic loss for CMS and the United Nations.”
They added that Bradnee dedicated his entire academic and professional life to advancing environmental issues.
“He was convinced that global environmental problems must be addressed through stronger international environmental law and governance – a conviction that guided his work throughout his career.”
The press release said Bradnee will be remembered dearly by all of his colleagues in Bonn. It said he was a strong leader with a clear vision; a kind and cheerful manager who always kept his door open to all staff; and a generous and warm-hearted colleague.
Closer to home, his Minden family is also paying tribute to Bradnee.
Kulas is married to Chambers’ sister, Ginger and spoke to The Highlander on behalf of the family.
Bradnee grew up near Carnarvon and went to Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.
Kulas said his brother-in-law was well read, “and determined to assist mankind in every way possible, and to make a difference.”
He said he was humble and never boasted about his meetings with world leaders. “He was a very caring and considerate person and he treated everyone the same.”
Bradnee loved his Scottish family heritage, Kulas said. The Chambers family were one of the first settlers in the Carnarvon area.
He recalled how Bradnee loved sitting at the dock and watching the sunsets anytime he came home for a visit.
But Kulas said Bradnee wanted to travel and explore the world and not leave any stone unturned. “He wanted to know everything about how the rest of the world functioned. His aunt, Jean Bate (Chambers) played a big role in supporting and pushing him to continue with his educational goals.”
Kulas said Bradnee fell ill during a UN meeting in New York City last summer. He was hospitalized at the Cornell Presbyterian Hospital where he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He came home to 12 Mile Lake to recuperate. He then decided to have major surgery in September at the world renowned Charity Hospital in Berlin.
Bill and Ginger spent more than six weeks with him after surgery. However, after chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he suffered some major setbacks.
“His wish was to come home to be with family over Christmas and New years.” That’s when Tim and Frank brought him home.
“I guess he knew that this would be his last journey,” Kulas said.
He added as difficult as the loss has been, it has made a very close family even closer, and they have wonderful memories to cherish together.
He said the family is so proud of what Bradlee accomplished.
“Truly a role model for all of us. A small town boy who struggled in high school with below average grades who just persevered and proved to many people that hard work and perseverance can take one to new heights and achievements.”
Chambers had been executive secretary of the CMS since 2013, leading two successful conferences. He began his work with the UN in 1994. He also wrote numerous books and articles.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.