Mountenay William Du Val

Mountenay William Du Val, (b at Île Bonaventure, Qué 30 Jan 1883; d at Mont-Joli, Qué 22 Feb 1960) and Matilda Clara Du Val, née Mauger (b at Île Bonaventure, Qué 4 Oct 1884; d at Montréal 13 Dec 1954). The Du Vals were both of Channel Island and Irish background and were raised at ILE BONAVENTURE.

Du Val, Mountenay William

Mountenay William Du Val, (b at Île Bonaventure, Qué 30 Jan 1883; d at Mont-Joli, Qué 22 Feb 1960) and Matilda Clara Du Val, née Mauger (b at Île Bonaventure, Qué 4 Oct 1884; d at Montréal 13 Dec 1954). The Du Vals were both of Channel Island and Irish background and were raised at ILE BONAVENTURE. Matilda was educated in New York and was deeply influenced by CHRISTIAN SCIENCE and wildlife conservation movements. On a visit to her birthplace in July 1911, she became engaged to William Du Val; they married 23 January 1912.

William Du Val began looking after the island's many varieties of birds on his own in 1912. By 1920, he and his wife were "looking after" some 7000 birds. On 23 March 1920 William began as honorary warden; he was later a game warden, on a part-time salary. "Looking after the birds" consisted of counting and banding gannets, providing occasional veterinarian first aid and nurture, discouraging poaching, and educating the public. Visitors and publicists became aware of the hardships of this courageous couple during a time when wildlife preservation was in its infancy. William Du Val supported his family by a water tour of the bird colonies in a craft he built, piloted while giving lectures to his passengers. In 1947 the post of game officer was created for Du Val; he retired within 2 years of the death of his wife.