A Tribute to Harry McWatters

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I remember meeting Harry for the first time at a wine and food event. He stood at a table talking to me, a relative nobody in the room, for quite a while. A year later I was working for his company and met him again to film an interview. I said “nice to meet you,” assuming that he wouldn’t recall our first encounter — standard fare in the wine industry. “No, we’ve met,” he recalled, “at Gold Medal Plates last year.”

Harry was never the one looking around the room for someone more important to talk to. When he gave you his time, he did so generously, and with sage advice and wisdom. He was sharp, often bullish in his endeavours, and driven by constant evolution of his craft and business. Most of all, he had a big heart, and was there for his people in ways that he himself may not have realized.

I had the good fortune to know Harry McWatters in what would be the last years of his life, but he carried those years with a youthful spirit. Like everyone that knew him I have many stories from along the way — seemingly small encounters in my day-to-day that will continue to have a big impact. His contributions to the BC wine industry are immeasurable, and those of us involved today owe him a debt of gratitude.

Rest in peace Harry. You will be missed.

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