Look in the direction you want to go

Gift sets emerging scientists up for success

Michael Martindale at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

Michael Martindale’s motto in life was “look in the direction you want to go.” In honour of his passing in 2020, his wife Sandra (Sandy) Martindale has established the Michael W Martindale and Sandra P Martindale Fund at the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Michael’s love of the outdoors, the ocean, and marine life began at an early age. Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., he was introduced to boating and maritime life by his adoptive father, Bob Young.
Michael grew up fishing with his family on their various boats and at Schooner Cove, north of Nanaimo, as well as spending time at the beach near his home at Cadboro Bay. Furthering his education on salmon, long-time family friend Bill Cross introduced him to salmon conservation at the volunteer-led Goldstream Hatchery near Victoria.

Pat Young with son Michael Martindale

“Michael was a wharf rat at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and became a junior member at age 12,” says Sandy Martindale, noting how he learned to sail and worked there during his teen years. While studying at Camosun College, Michael paid for his education by working on a small commercial fishing boat off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

After finishing school, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona to pursue a career in real estate development, and met Sandy in 1982. They married shortly thereafter, and Michael began sharing his passion for the ocean with her at once by embarking on a sailing honeymoon on his family’s steel-hulled sailboat in the Gulf Islands. The trip included circumnavigating Salt Spring Island where they would later make their second home.

Together, Michael and Sandy spent as much time as possible sailing either near La Jolla, CA or Salt Spring Island, B.C., inviting their many friends to join on their adventures. He was particularly fascinated with whales in both California and B.C. From their home on Salt Spring, he would head out on his Boston whaler searching for resident or transient killer whales.

He loved whales, salmon, and the ocean equally, and recognized their interdependence.

Michael also helped organize local fishing derbies with proceeds coming to PSF. Learning about the work of PSF’s science teams inspired Sandy to make a generous donation of $100,000 USD
that establishes a special fund for university students to work on salmon-related topics.

Since PSF’s inception, more than 45 post-secondary students have conducted studies with PSF’s research teams.

Thanks to Sandy’s vision of honouring Michael in a significant way, PSF will be able to attract more emerging “salmon champions” through funds that help enhance their education and contribute to salmon research at the same time.

“So much of this knowledge can be shared to help others,” she says. “We are all in this together.”

PSF welcomes further contributions to help grow this special fund. If you would like to contribute, please visit www.psf.ca/martindalefund or contact Margaret Buttner, Manager, Development at 604-664-7664 or mbuttner@psf.ca

Michael Martindale’s love for fishing started at about six-years-old when he began jigging for cod on the docks of local marinas.