Honorary Memberships were given as early as 1961. These were the main vehicle for identifying exemplary service to the BC Museums Association. Recipients over the years are:
Provincial Parks Branch (1949-1975), Heritage Conservation Branch (1976-1983) serving as planner and coordinator for natural and human heritage parks and sites, edited Museum Round-Up (1967-1972) that led to his receiving the American Association for State & Local History Award of Merit in 1971. At the time of becoming an honorary member, he was President of the Canadian Museums Association (1973-1974)
Director, BC Provincial Museum – persuaded W.A.C. Bennett to build a new provincial museum as the province’s own cooperative project for the federal government’s 1967 centennial celebration. He and Willard Ireland organized the first meeting of BC museum workers in 1957, formally called “Short Course on Museum Management”. The formation of the BCMA was approved at the 3rd Annual Seminar in 1959 with Cliff Carl as the first President.
Provincial Archivist and Librarian who toured through the province extensively, creating awareness and appreciation for the province’s history, formed the BCMA with Drs. Clifford Carl and Wilson Duff. Willard knew that there would be provincial government financial support for worthy community projects and he could think of no better expenditure than those related to the heritage of respective communities. His enthusiasm bolstered the four provincial celebrations marking Centennials in 1958, 1966, 1967, and 1971. Chairman of the Provincial Historical Sites Advisory Board (1974 on), President of the BCMA (1971-1973). “Willard exerted a major role in the establishment, nourishment, and growth of the BCMA.” -Bob Broadland, Museum Roundup-No. 193, November-December 1995
Curator of Anthropology, BC Provincial Museum (1951-1965), Associate Professor/Professor of Anthropology, UBC (1965 on), planning committee for the new Vancouver Museum, consultant to the National Museum of Man, Ottawa. His publications were classics in the field – contributions to the study of First Nations cultures that added considerably to the development of museums around the province. He was recognized as one of the leaders I the “redefinition of ethnological materials as fine arts” within the early Canadian museum community. Wilson along with Willard Ireland and Dr. Clifford Carl, provided the impetus for the formation of the BCMA, and served as the Associations third President from 1963-1964 and was active in encouraging native participation in the Association.