Submitted by Greg Kruger
Sergeant, Columbia-Kootenay Zone

On July 5, 2021, current and retired Conservation Officers from the East Kootenays, Columbia Valley Royal Canadian Mounted Police, National Park Warden Service, along with local dignitary’s, the Lake Windermere District and Canal Flats Wilderness Club members, and community members attended Portage Park in Canal Flats and the Windermere Cemetery to honour Game Warden Dennis Greenwood. 

Warden Greenwood was murdered in Canal Flats 91 years ago on that date. He was shot point blank in front of the Canal Flats Post Office by a man that he had previously charged for poaching deer. Dennis regained consciousness only once after being shot, asking to see his daughters, and would die less than an hour after the fatal gunshot. Dennis Greenwood saw service in World War 1 with the Royal Artillery. After the war, he and his wife, Mary, settled into the village of Canal Flats, where he became a member of the B.C. Provincial Police force. In 1925, he was one of the few from that force selected for game protection work. Writing of Greenwood’s ability as a Provincial Game Warden, a local newspaper article stated:

“Able and diplomatic in the discharge of his duties, courteous and in every way a gentleman, Mr. Greenwood had right from the start won the respect, admiration and affection of all with whom he came in contact.”

Two days after the murder, Dennis Greenwood was laid to rest in the military section of the Windermere Cemetery. People came from all over to pay their last respects to a man who had been held in high regard. On the funeral day, there was a fire in downtown Canal Flats that destroyed three businesses: Frenchie’s Poolroom, Johnson’s Store and Weston’s Store. The fire made rapid headway because the bulk of the population of the village was at Greenwood’s funeral. Finally, a crew from the CPR sawmill was able to mobilize and fight the fire and save the stock from Johnson’s store.

Dennis Greenwood was 37 years old. His memory still resounds within the Village of Canal Flats. Generational residents have had this story passed down to them throughout the years. Most fondly know the prominent mountain that can be viewed to the west of the community as “MOUNT GREENWOOD”, a tribute to this distinguished man. Forever Rest in Peace Game Warden Dennis Greenwood. Your explementary service to this Province and Country will never be forgotten.

A commemorative plaque has been installed on a boulder in Portage Park in downtown Canal Flats across the street from the site of the murder. A new head stone to commemorate his life and tell this tragic story has been placed at his gravesite in the Windermere Cemetery. The installations of a new headstone and plaque were made possible by a number of contributors, including B.C. Conservation Officer Service, Society of B.C. Conservation Officers, Village of Canal Flats, Canal Flats Wilderness Club, Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club, East Kootenay Wildlife Association, Columbia Basin Trust-Heritage BC Program, Kootenay Monument Installations, RSSS Quarries, and retired Conservation Officer, Mr. Ben Mitchell-Banks.

Provincial Member of Legislative Assembly Doug Clovechok, Regional District of East Kootenay Director Susan Clovechok, Canal Flats Mayor Karl Sterzer, District of Invermere Mayor Al Miller, and Dennis Greenwood’s grandson, Patrick Dunae, all gave presentations honoring Warden Greenwood’s life and service in protecting the fish and wildlife for the people of British Columbia.