2016

Laxman M. Amaratunga, a retired professor of engineering at Laurentian University, passed away May 16, 2016. Known as “Dr. Lucky,” he joined CIM in 1982, two years after immigrating to Canada, and was a CIM Fellow and CIM Life Member. Laxman also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mineral Processors society (CMP).

Clinton D. A. Dahlstrom passed away Jan. 16, 2015. He was a CIM member since 1951 and a CIM Life Member.

Alan Lawrence French passed away on Dec. 16, 2015, at the age of 81. Alan operated mining equipment company Canun International, and was president of the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export (CAMESE). He joined CIM in 1985 and became a Life Member in 2011.

Robert Gannicott, one of the pioneers and champions of Canada’s diamond industry, passed away at the age of 69 on Aug. 3, 2016, in London, England. He is best known for his work at Dominion Diamond Corp., where he worked from 1992 until his death. He was CEO until 2015, overseeing key deals including the purchase and then sale of the Harry Winston diamond retail business and the acquisition of the Ekati mine near Diavik. (For a full obituary, see “Dominion Diamond co-founder Robert Gannicott dead at 69” in the September/October 2016 issue of CIM Magazine.)

Peter H. Grimley passed away in Orangeville, Ontario, on June 1, 2016, at the age of 83. He joined CIM in 1970 and was a CIM Life Member.

Victor F. Harrison, a CIM member since 1954, passed away in Ottawa on March 15, 2015, at the age of 96. He spent his career working for Energy, Mines and Resources Canada (now Natural Resources Canada). Victor was a CIM Life Member.

Walter Arthur Kropp passed away April 17, 2016. He was a CIM member since 2003.

Serge Lévesque passed away at the age of 59 on April 9, 2016, in Quebec City. His last role was director of technical services at Stratum Group. Prior to that he worked at Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd and Langlois mine. He joined CIM in 1978.

Richard H. Lloyd passed away April 13, 2015. He was a CIM Life Member, having joined CIM in 1965.

Albert Roy MacLean, a CIM Life Member, passed away at the age of 88 on Jan. 26, 2016, in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Roy began his career as a mining engineer at Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation and was employed for over 40 years with DEVCO, retiring in 1992. He co-founded the Men of the Deeps, North America’s only coal miners’ chorus. Albert joined CIM in 1951.

Jean-Pierre Major passed away in Laval, Quebec, on Dec. 12, 2015, at the age of 75. He was a CIM member since 2010.

Robert Gorden McElhanney passed away in Linhaven, Ontario, in his 99th year on Oct. 11, 2015. Robert served as a Flight Lieutenant in the RCAF from 1942 to 1945, before working at Dorr Oliver in Canada and the United States, retiring as a senior vice-present of the international divisions. He was a CIM Life Member, joining CIM in 1940.

Hugh James McQueen, CIM Life Member, passed away on Dec. 17, 2015, in Montreal. Born in 1933, he taught engineering at Montreal’s Concordia University for 47 years, where he published hundreds of research papers and initiated a program of courses on the social and ethical aspects of engineering. He joined CIM in 1962.

Ken Meikle, a CIM member since 1982, passed away in August 2016.

Lawrence (Larry) Meyer passed away at the age of 58 in Toronto on Sept. 17, 2015. Larry worked at Parts HeadQuarters for over 25 years, eventually becoming both partner and vice-president. He became a member of CIM in 1994.

Donald M. Morrison, a CIM member since 1959, passed away on Aug. 14, 2016. He was a CIM Life Member.

Terrence (Terry) Mulligan passed away on Nov. 6, 2016, at the age of 83. Terry served as the president and CEO of the Mining Suppliers Association of BC for 22 years. He became a CIM member in 1958 and was a CIM Life Member.

Frank Petkovich passed away in Sudbury, Ontario, on Oct. 26, 2016. He entered the mining industry as a research metallurgist for Falconbridge Nickel Mines, where he ended up working for 34 years, rising to the level of management. He was a CIM Life Member, first joining in 1956.

Anant Prasad, CIM Life Member, passed away on July 6, 2016, at the age of 80. Anant worked with geotechnical engineering firm Terracon for 14 years and retired in 2015 as the company’s vice-president of HSE and HR. He also served in senior technical and managerial roles at Imperial Oil, Kaiser Resources, the province of Alberta, and the Iron Ore Company of Canada. He joined CIM in 1967.

Harold E. Rudd, CIM Life Member, passed away at the age of 101 in Toronto on Jan. 31, 2016. After a stint with the Canadian Army in WWII, which took him to England, he worked at Macleod Cockshutt Gold Mines for many years before working for Patino NV Mines, serving as president from 1976 until 1980. After retirement, Harold worked as a mining consultant for Watts, Griffis and McOuat. He joined CIM in 1948.

Arthur Schwartz passed away Nov. 15, 2015. He joined CIM in 1966 and was a CIM Life Member.

B. P. Wallace, a CIM member since 1964, passed away on Nov. 14, 2015. He was a CIM Life Member.

John Oliver Wheeler passed away on May 24, 2015, in West Vancouver, at the age of 90. John joined CIM in 1966 and was a Life Member. He had a long and rewarding career with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), mapping mountain ranges in Yukon and British Columbia for 25 years. He served as Deputy Director General of the GSC, and compiled the Geological Map of North America as an emeritus research scientist.

– Compiled by Tom DiNardo and Cecilia Keating

David Robertson, a giant of geology

David S. RobertsonDavid S. Robertson, a well-respected geologist and CIM Past President (1993-1994), passed away Oct. 27, 2016, in Toronto.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on March 3, 1924, David graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1946 with a degree in physical chemistry and geology and went on to receive his PhD in geology from Columbia University in 1949. After graduating, he became an assistant professor at the University of Virginia.

David moved to Sudbury, Ontario, in 1951 to run the geological research laboratory of Inco. Then in 1953, he moved to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was in charge of a post-WWII Marshall Plan mapping initiative. He returned to Canada in 1955 and joined the consulting firm GMX Corporation, of which he became the president in 1958. During his time with GMX, he led an exploration team that discovered numerous uranium deposits in Elliot Lake, Ontario.

In 1965, David founded David Robertson & Associates, a mining consulting practice based in Toronto with offices around the world. His firm became well-known for its work in uranium and potash.

David retired from the firm in 1987. For the next 20 years, he continued working as an independent consultant and served on the boards of junior and senior mining companies. He was the founding chairman of Ashton Mining of Canada and Meridian Gold.

David was a towering figure in the mining industry. In 2014, he was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He was also particularly involved in CIM, serving as CIM President from 1993 to 1994 and eventually becoming a CIM Life Member.

“For me, Dr. Robertson was a strong inspiration and also a great source of validation in my early years at CIM,” said executive director Jean Vavrek. “He continued to stay connected and provide feedback and encouragement until recent years.”

David is survived by his daughters Jennifer, Joanna (Tony) and Julia (James), and grandchildren Colin, Alexandra, Gemma, Lachlan, AJ and Graeme. He is also leaving behind his younger brother George, nieces Susan (Frank) and Pam (Bruce), and grandniece and grandnephew, Lauren and Thomas.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in David’s memory to the CIM Foundation for the David S. Robertson Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact Deborah Sauvé at 514-939-2710 ext. 1334 or dsauve@cim.org.

– Tom DiNardo

Lud Strah, a founding father of CMP

Ludwig (Lud) StrahLudwig (Lud) Strah passed away at the Temiskaming Hospital on Oct. 26, 2016, at the age of 83. He was born in 1933 and raised in Rouyn-Noranda, where his father worked for Noranda. Lud prepared himself for a career in mining by graduating from the Haileybury School of Mines (HSM) in 1953 and obtaining his Professional Engineer designation in 1971.

He started out as a miner and then as a shift boss at the Quemont mine in Quebec and then moved to Elliot Lake, Ontario, to work as an engineer for Denison Mines. After brief stints with Siscoe mines and Sorel Steel, he took a position with Mine Equipment Ltd. as a sales representative, which provided an opportunity to learn about mining operations countrywide. In the late 1960s he acquired Lecky Machinery and NorLecky Manufacturing, and in 1970 formed Continental Mine Equipment Ltd.

Lud always considered involvement in CIM an important element in career development. At the national level, he assisted Bernard Coulombe on efforts to increase membership and was an active member of the Haileybury CIM branch. He was one of the founders of the Canadian Mineral Processors society (CMP) and was a faithful participant at its annual conference. Lud was also a strong supporter of HSM, where he was a founding member of its alumni association and established a scholarship in the name of Continental Mining Equipment.

My last encounter with Lud and his wife Patricia was last year when they came to our home for Christmas dinner. After the meal, I happened to ask if he could name three people who were particularly helpful in establishing his career. Without hesitation he named Alex Ballachey of Quemont, David Rankin of Mine Equipment and Oswald Walli of HSM.

Lud will be especially missed by his dear wife Patricia, his lovely children Nancy Gorman and Michael Strah, along with his precious grandchildren Rachel Sillers and Almita Strah, and his brother-in-law Bob Leng.

– Don Worth, FCIM

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