Member Biography

A.I. Bereskin

Abram Isaac Bereskin

(1903.04.28 – 1997.02.03)
Commission #091

Abram Issac “Abe” Bereskin, former SLS, DLS passed away on Monday, February 3, 1997 at the Rekai Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Abe was born in Propoisk, Russia on April 28, 1903. He attended public and high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba and obtained a B. Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1929. For the period 1926 to 1931 he was an instrument man on surveys for Topographical Surveys of Canada during the summer and carried out office work at Ottawa during the winters. In May of 1931 he obtained his commission as a “Surveyor of Dominion Lands”. For the next seven years he was involved with miscellaneous minor surveys in Manitoba, and with municipal engineering for the Town of Transcona and the City of Winnipeg. From April until September of 1939 he was the Precise Leveller and Assistant Chief, Geodetic Service of Canada involved with precise level surveys for the Hudson Bay Railway from Gillam to the Port of Churchill.

In February of 1940, Abe volunteered for military service and, after less than two months in training in Halifax, qualified as Lieutenant Engineer (Surveys), Geographical Section General Staff. From April 1941 to February 1946 he served overseas as instructor in surveys and photogrammetry with 1 Corps. Fld. Survey Coy. RCE, Office i/c construction 5 Cdn. Construction Coy RCE, and Capt. and Adjutanat to H.Q. Cdn. Constructional Engineers.

Upon his return to Canada, he served for two months as an assistant in the restoration of township surveys in the Swan River area of Manitoba. On April 5, 1946, he was appointed Controller of Surveys with the Department of Natural Resources for the Province of Saskatchewan and, in August of that year, he wrote his Professional Examinations for admission to the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors’ Association and was granted commission #91.

Abe held the position of Controller of Surveys until his retirement in 1968. In that capacity he was credited with conceiving the practice of naming lakes in Northern Saskatchewan in memory of Saskatchewan people who fell in the World Wars and was honoured for his service to the Province by having a lake named after him.

During his carreer as as Saskatchewan Land Surveyor, Abe supervised an number of articled pupils including Max Viminitz (1947), George Nelson Bennet (1948), Raymond Christian Hovdebo (1950), Alard Berend Ages (1953), John Schwerin (1964) and Armin Coors (1967).

He was also a member in several other professional associations included the Association of Professional Engineers of Saskatchewan, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Surveying and Photogrammetry, the American Association of Photogrammetry, and the Community Planning Association of Canada.

Abe has been described as “a gentle, poetic man, with deep convictions and firm resolve”. He is survived by his wife Sonia and sons Daniel and David.