Howard Balfour
Deer Harbor Community Club, Board President


 

We’re going to do things a little different this week.

We had the pleasure of getting to know Howard Barbour while taking his portrait at the Deer Harbor Community Club (DHCC) this week, so we thought we’d just share a little of what we learned rather than our standard Q&A.

Howard is 78 years old. He lives in Deer Harbor with his wife, and he’s also the President of the DHCC.

Howard was born and raised in southern England. He has a degree in Agriculture and a Master of Agriculture Education. Following university, Howard worked in agriculture in the UK for several years which culminated with him as a dairy herd manager. After that, he spent the next 22 years teaching agriculture—seven in Scotland & England and another 15 in Oregon after he arrived in the States in 1977. Not surprisingly, he and Vern Coffelt has a notable friendship. When Howard’s agriculture magazines arrived on Orcas from the UK, he would share them with Vern, and they would talk about the articles.

After Oregon, Howard traveled to Artic Alaska for nine years to teach shop, art, a little English, and whatever else needed to be taught. Artic Alaska is also known as Far North Alaska. Most of the communities in this area have no highways and can only be reached by aircraft or snowmobile in good weather.

Howard has been a Board Member of DHCC for 15 years. DHCC also owns the Deer Harbor Post Office which was purchased on July 8, 2009. The DHCC was built in 1905 by John & Wylie Sanders, and it has been listed on the Washington Heritage Register since 2001. It served as the Deer Harbor Community School until 1925. At one point, it accommodated over 75 students from Orcas, Crane, Double, and McConnell Islands. The school merged with the Eastsound School District in 1925. In 1927, the building was purchased for $150 by the Deer Harbor Community Club. Membership donations go toward building upkeep, maintenance, and repairs.

Beyond his service at DHCC, Howard’s been an avid volunteer in the community. He was a Funhouse mentor for a year. He’s been a volunteer at Sail Orcas for 5 years, a Senior Center Hearts & Hands Program volunteer for 10 years, on the OPALCO Governance Board for 4 years, an Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count Organizer & Participant for 20 years, and their Seabird Surveyor for 3 years.

Wow, Howard. We’re super impressed by all the various ways you support the Orcas Island community. Thank you, Howard. We appreciate you.


 

Visit the Deer Harbor Community Club to learn more. Reach out to them if you would like to get involved.

If you would like to learn about other volunteer opportunities on Orcas, please email Ed. He would love to get together for tea/coffee to chat about your interests.