This page was last edited Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The people that appear on this page have been given special recognition as individuals who were a large part of Cassiar. Donations to this website have been made in their honour
Wilfrid "Bill" Plumb, Bill was Cassiar's Chief Geologist from 1958-1974. He contributed greatly to
the mineral exploration of the north and his vast knowledge and sharp mind
made many contributions to the Cassiar website as well. Bill authored his
Wilfrid Norman (Bill) Plumb Obituary
Bill was a typical Western Canadian of the 20th Century. He had a full, adventurist, happy life.
He was born on September 29, 1915 at North Battleford, Sask. of immigrant English parents: mother Joyce Parkhouse from Plymouth and father Wilfred Ernest Plumb from Birmingham. His early education was obtained in North Battleford and Saskatoon, where he graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate with senior matriculation in 1933. In Saskatoon he worked as a grocery clerk during the Great Depression, took a typewriting course, joined the NPAM signals, where he learned the Morse code and, as a teen-ager, explored the surrounding countryside by bicycle with friends.
In 1937, at the age of 21, he moved to Vancouver, where he worked as an office clerk in the new Hotel Vancouver, joined a mountaineering club and enjoyed the next 3 years climbing, hiking, skiing and swimming in the ocean.
In 1940 he joined the Canadian army and, after basic training, went overseas, where he spent the next 5 ˝ years in the UK, Sicily, Italy, Belgium and Holland with the First Armoured Brigade Signals, RCCS, reaching the rank of Lance Sergeant and becoming a Signal Office superintendent for the Brigade. Following discharge in October, 1945, he was awarded the British Empire Medal for meritorious performance of duties.
Opting for a rehabilitation grant under Veteran’s Affairs, he attended UBC, graduating in 1950, at age 35, with a BASc in Geological Engineering. Eight years of field experience followed, including one summer with the GSC in the Yukon, two years as junior engineer at Torbrit Silver Mines at Alice Arm, B.C., four years as mine geologist at Giant Mascot Mines, Spillimacheen, in the Columbia Valley, and two years in geological exploration with Henry Hill & Associates evaluating mineral deposits in B.C. and the Yukon.
In 1958 he became Chief Geologist for Cassiar Asbestos Corporation, where he met and married his wife, Barbara, and together they raised two daughters, Sharon and Linda. During 16 years of exploration there, he was involved with the exploration and development to production of the Clinton Creek asbestos mine, 60 miles west of Dawson, Yukon in1968.
Moving with his family to Regina and Saskatoon in 1974, he spent 9 years exploring for uranium as a development officer and geologist with Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation, which later became Cameco, the world’s leading uranium producer.
Instead of retiring, at age 67 he moved to Vancouver to become Information Officer with B.C. & Yukon Chamber of Mines where, amongst other duties, he conducted prospecting and placer mining courses for three years.
His last move, with his wife Barbara, was to Kelowna in 1987, where he conducted prospecting courses for the Kelowna Prospectors for three seasons and enjoyed retirement until his death at age 92, on February 23, 2008.
His fascination with the natural world flowed through his career in mining in BC, the Yukon, and Saskatchewan, including his favourite post as Chief Geologist for Cassiar Asbestos Corporation. He finished his career as Information Officer at the BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines in Vancouver. During retirement in Kelowna he taught prospecting courses and continued his lifelong quest for learning.
He was loyal to his profession, his family, and his ideals, and inspired all who knew him with his optimism and determination to enjoy life to the fullest. Bill will be greatly missed.
2005, with his rock collection
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