History takes flight

The life of a legendary general surveyor living on through the written word of Jay Sherwood in, Furrow’s in the Sky.

Christina Millington

Omineca Express

The life of a legendary general surveyor living on through the written word of Jay Sherwood in, Furrow’s in the Sky.

A rural school teacher, a forester, a soldier and a surveyor, Gerry Andrews, born in Winnipeg in 1903, pioneered a career through his vision of aerial photography for mapping and forestry reconnaissance in BC – the longest position held as a surveyor.

Andrews took surveying to the air in 1931, as it was an accurate observation of the surroundings they were required to survey and couldn’t gain access to by land.

During the June 11 book launch at the Vanderhoof Public Library, Jay Sherwood showcased his fifth book chronicling the life of Andrews and his accomplishments to those interested in the vast history he pioneered over the course of his lifetime of 102 years – he passed away December 2005.

Sherwood, once a surveyor and president of the Nechako Valley Historical Society and now a retired teacher living in Vancouver, as dedicated his time researching and chronicling the lives of many accomplished British Columbian surveyors.

This is where his interest in Frank Swannell, a surveyor out of Victoria, surfaced and introduced the life of Andrews through his research of Swannell – whom received the government contract to survey the Nechako Valley in 1908.

As a Lieutenant Colonel for the Canadian Army during World War 2, Andrews acquired a vision to improve air cameras and creatively developed depth soundings of Normandy beaches by wave movements that would be recognized in air photos.

Andrews was awarded an M.B.E. (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in recognition of his successes.

After serving his duty, Andrews served as chief air survey engineer for BC until 1950 and as BC’s surveyor general and director of mapping and provincial boundaries commissioner from 1951 to 1968.

Apart from his accomplished resume, Andrews was a historian and authored more than 50 publications.

Mount Gerry Andrews, located in the Flathead region, east of Howell Creek in the Kootenay Land District, will serve as a permanent monument honouring the visionary surveyor.

A reminder of the work Andrews accomplished during his career that began in 1930.

Sherwood expressed the life of Andrews with a common interest for surveying which emanates through Sherwood’s work.

Sherwood takes Furrow’s in the Sky around Northern BC this June educating British Columbians on a piece of history that has been serving northern BC since the early 1900s.

 

 

 

 

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