Willem Botha was the President of the Calgary Camera Club in 2013 until his untimely death in May 2014.
Originally from South Africa , Dr. Botha was a professor and researcher in Geophysics, presiding at universities and leading business explorations around the world.
Willem’s love of photography followed him on his global adventures. By 1980s, Willem had achieved a Diamond star rating in the Nature Division of the PSA based on more than 1000 salon acceptances of more than 300 photographs. He was rated as one of the 10 most successful nature exhibitors in the PSA’s “Who’s Who in Nature Photography” for three consecutive years. He won 17 Best Authentic Wildlife medals and was invited as a guest speaker at the 1979 PSA convention in Los Angeles where he received a standing ovation for a 40 minutes presentation on the Rocky Mountains.
For the Calgary Camera Club 2013-2014, Willem became the first “Photographer of the Year “ posthumously.
Willem lived a life filled with adventure driven by an intense curiosity about nature science and history. His love for discovering and learning was equaled only by his passion for sharing and teaching. Through his dedication, enthusiasm and easy manner, he inspired those around him to try harder, enjoy more and worry less.
Members of Calgary Camera Club renamed the “Photographer of the Year” award and created “The Willem Botha Memorial Trophy” in honour of Willem’s contribution and guidance within the Calgary Camera Club.