Mountain named for pioneer surveyor

Mount Gerry Andrews is part of the Trachyte Mountain Range in the Kootenay Land District.

Mount Gerry Andrews is part of the Trachyte Mountain Range in the Kootenay Land District.

VICTORIA – Gerald Smedley Andrews pioneered the use of aerial photography for mapping and forestry in the province, and now his name is a permanent part of the B.C. map.

A 2,205-metre peak in the Flathead region of the Kootenays has been named Mount Gerry Andrews, the latest in a series of honours for B.C.’s longest-serving surveyor general. Andrews died in 2005, after serving as B.C.’s surveyor general and director of mapping and provincial boundaries commissioner from 1951 to 1968.

“Gerry was a legendary and iconic figure in our field,” said Mike Thomson, B.C.’s current surveyor general. “His leadership and mentorship has helped create one of the most talented groups of land surveyors in the world.”

A teacher, engineer and forester as well as a surveyor, Andrews began his career in 1930. He supervised surveys for the province in Nimkish Forest, Kitimat, the Okanagan, Kootenays and the Rocky Mountain Trench.

Andrews rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while serving in the Canadian Army during World War II. He improved aerial cameras and used photos of waves to derive water depth for beach landings at Normandy, and was later inducted into the Order of the British Empire.

Andrews was named to the Order of B.C. in 1990.

“I can’t think of a more fitting tribute for a man whose life work was spent mapping the intricacies of our province than ensuring his name lives on in the maps he helped build,” said Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson, who made the announcement at a surveyors’ convention in Victoria Thursday.

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