Almost every day in the 16 years since his retirement, A.E. Griffith Bates, Jr., or "Mr. Bates" as we all knew him, faithfully came to work at Greenpeace. But his work was all volunteer. Mr. Bates was a former systems analyst for the Defense Mapping Agency and a Korean War veteran.
He worked in the back rooms of Greenpeace, organizing thousands of irreplaceable photographs and archival documents, and in the Finance Department. He also participated in many Greenpeace demonstrations over the years.
Although he shunned any recognition for his work, last November Mr. Bates reluctantly accepted the 5th Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award from Public Citizen.
This award was created to honor those who are not recognized for their behind-the-scenes work and contributions. By then he was too ill to attend the ceremony in person, but his sister accepted the award on his behalf.
Mr. Bates logged more than 25,000 hours of volunteer time here at Greenpeace. But what's even more impressive are the many things Mr. Bates taught us along the way. His Spartan lifestyle and selfless devotion to things outside himself gave new meaning to our motto, "Stepping lightly on the Earth."
In addition to his volunteer work at Greenpeace, he left the organization a bequest through his estate. He was a truly generous man, in every aspect. We miss him dearly and will remember him always.
Thank you, Mr. Bates, from all of us at Greenpeace.
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