Finlayson honoured by Governor-General

September 08, 2005, vol. 34, no. 1
By Marianne Meadahl

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Retired entomologist Thelma Finlayson, who at 91 continues to counsel SFU students, has been chosen to become a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to science and voluntary service.

Finlayson retired from SFU 26 years ago with an impressive career in pest management, helping to establish a graduate program in the field at the university.

But she has continued to make the trek to campus ever since that retirement - not for science, but for students. Finlayson is a special adviser to students experiencing academic difficulty. “I'm just thrilled to pieces,” she says of the honour. “I'm just doing my job the best I can. I love doing this work. There is a need for it.”

Finlayson has no plans to stop her two-day a week commitment. “I'll keep doing this for as long as they let me,” she says.

Finlayson spent 30 years working with the federal department of agriculture in Ontario, before coming to SFU in 1967. Her research focused on larval taxonomy, specializing in the use of parasites as natural ways of controlling forest and agricultural pests. Her work and reputation led to two species of insects being named for her. She retired in 1979 and received an honorary degree from SFU in 1996. She is also an honorary life member of the Entomological Society of B.C. and a fellow of the Entomological Society of Canada.

Finlayson is one of 82 new appointments announced by Canada's Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson. The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service.

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