HALIFAX — Family members of a Canadian mining executive who was kidnapped and killed by gunmen in western Africa said at his funeral Wednesday that his murder was senseless, but they also recognize he died while pursuing the work he was passionate about.
Officials in the Burkina Faso government have said the body of Kirk Woodman of Halifax was found with bullet wounds on Jan. 16 in Oudalan province, in the northern Sahel region.
The exploration geologist with Vancouver-based Progress Minerals Inc. had been kidnapped the night before by armed gunmen who’d entered a mining camp in Tiabongou, some distance away.
About 400 people attended the 55-year-old man’s funeral at Knox United Church in the suburb of Lower Sackville, despite difficult driving conditions on ice-covered roads.
Matt Woodman, the geologist’s son, described an attentive father who led Scouts Canada groups, coached minor hockey and couldn’t resist pulling the family car over on a busy highway to examine rock outcrops. He told the gathering that his father would go away for weeks at a time to work on the gold exploration projects that led to several mines in Africa.
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