John Carling Fraser Memorial Scholarship & Bursary

Richard and Grace Fraser have established this memorial bursary fund in honour of their son, John Carling Fraser, a Masters Degree student in the Biology Department, who died suddenly in September 2003.

John Fraser grew up in Surrey, B.C.  He graduated from North Surrey Secondary School in 1995, then attended the University of Victoria where he earned an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 2000.  He worked in various biology labs for two years and then returned to UVic as a graduate student. He died unexpectedly of natural causes at the age of 26 in September 2003.  At the time of his death he was a Masters Degree student in the Biology Department.

John was particularly interested in microbiology His Honours BSc thesis involved research on a virus that attacked an insect pest, the Western Hemlock Looper.  The long-term goal of this research was to produce a biological pesticide.  As a UVic lab employee and as a graduate student he worked with bacteria that produce hydrogen. This research was aimed at using bacteria to produce hydrogen on a large scale to provide fuel for industry and automobiles.

John liked to fix things.  At North Surrey Secondary School, he spent several hours a week after school in the chemistry lab, cleaning equipment and helping to set up experiments.  He also helped maintain and repair tools and machines in the metalwork shop.  He continued this interest at UVic.  In his biology lab he gained the reputation of being the man who could make equipment work.

John was very fond of the outdoors.  He liked hiking, camping, and fishing.  He joined the Boy Scout Movement (Scouts Canada) when he was 14 years old.  He was an active member of the 6th west Whalley Venturer Company and also a leader with the Beavers and Cubs.  When he moved to Victoria to attend university, he joined the Victoria Rover Crew (the 18 to 25 year-olds in Scouts Canada) and also served as a leader in various Cub, Scout, and Venturer groups.  At the time of his death he was the Assistant Regional Commissioner for Scouts in the Victoria Region.  His hiking activities with his scout troop earned him a Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award.

He had a deep belief in freedom, equality, and human rights. While at North Surrey Secondary School, he was active in the Spartans Against Apartheid Club.  At university he worked for his beliefs as a member of Amnesty International, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and the New Democratic Party.  He was also active in student politics at UVic.  For three years he represented the science students as their elected member on the UVic.  For three years he represented the science students as their elected member on the University Senate. He spoke out strongly on issues such as increased tuition fees.  He urged the university not to accept money from nor bestow honours upon individuals and companies who were accused of violating human rights in third-world countries.

The John Carling Fraser Memorial Scholarships and Bursaries were established by John’s family and friends to encourage students to pursue both academic excellence and community service.

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