A teacher, an engineer, a forester, a land surveyor and a writer, Gerry Andrews is truly one of British Columbia’s great trail blazers.
Born in Winnipeg, educated in Vancouver, Toronto, Oxford, England and Dresden, Germany, Gerry commenced his career as a school master at Big Bar Creek and Kelly Lake in 1922. Teaching gave way to land surveying in 1930. He was Chief of Party, Flathead Forest Survey – 1930; Tranquille and Niskonlith Survey – 1931; Shuswap Forest Survey – 1932.
He initiated the use of air photography in 1931 and supervised air surveys for the Province in Nimkish Forest, Kitimat, Okanagan, the Kootenays and the Rocky Mt. Trench.
Mr. Andrews’ career as a surveyor was interrupted by distinguished war service overseas between 1940 and 1946 wherein he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He developed improved air cameras for the Canadian Army and undertook depth soundings of Normandy beaches by wave velocities determined from air photos. His army service took him on liaison missions to some eighteen countries and he was awarded an M.B.E.
Returning to British Columbia, between 1946 and 1950 he served as Chief Air Survey Engineer for B.C.; and as B.C. Surveyor General & Director of Mapping and Provincial Boundaries Commissioner from 1952 to 1968.
He has acted as a consultant to several countries including the Mekong River studies in 1958.
A keen historian of British Columbia, Gerry Andrews is the author of some 50 publications, and continues to write articles for the B.C. Historical Society.
Among many honours and awards, he received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of B.C. and, in 1988, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Victoria.
Gerry Andrews: truly one of British Columbia’s great pioneers.