Member Biography

John G. Bellamy

(1919.12.05 – 2002.07.18)
Commission #100

John, in all probability, surveyed more mineral claims in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan than any other surveyor. His first mineral claim was surveyed and signed by himself in 1950 with his last in 1968. In this relatively short period of time he evidently accumulated enough wealth to retire and enjoy life.

Other than a few pipeline surveys, the Trans-Canada in Manitoba, and some subdivision surveys his entire career was in the North on mineral claim and various other surveys. It was while I was involved on northern surveys that I came to know John. His field camps were well maintained with his staff primarily aboriginal from the north.

In Manitoba, survey plans had to be witnessed by a Notary Public or another Manitoba Land Surveyor. John and I would exchange signatures on each other's plans. An example of John's true northern exposure was on a trip with John to a "Canadian Institute of Surveying" convention at the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa, Ontario. We both dressed in casual suits but John insisted on moccasins for footwear.

John was born in Abbey, Saskatchewan, on December 5, 1919, the son of Major and Mrs. Bellamy (an only child). Major Bellamy served in the Boar and First World Wars, and died in 1976 at the age of 100.

Prior to joining up in 1939, John spent two years at the University of Saskatchewan in Civil Engineering. He served overseas in World War II under George E.G.Webber, D.L.S; M.L.S; S.L.S; A.L.S. with the Royal Canadian Engineers for five years. In 1946 he articled to Mr. Webber in Manitoba, doing mineral claims in the north and with the Surveys Department, Province of Manitoba. Upon obtaining his commissions as a Manitoba and Saskatchewan Land Surveyor (#100) in 1950, he went into private practice, working out of his own apartment block on Avenue H in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

When John applied to the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors' Association to write his exams he requested, from the curriculum, a book covering the examination on "Highway, Drainage, Irrigation and Water Power Engineering". However, the Registrar at the University of Saskatchewan informed him that they did not have said book and that he should apply to our Association. They also were out of said book so they borrowed one from D. Handford, student, on the condition that John return it within one week. At the time John was up North so I can only surmise that he never received the book, passed the exam and eventually returned the book to Don (SLS).

In 1949, I had the same problem trying to obtain books from the University.

John's mineral claim work centred around Uranium City, Saskatchewan (Eldorado), Lynn Lake, Thompson and Snow Lake, Manitoba.

He was a life member of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.

John was a hard worker who loved and lived life as he wished, preferably camp life to city life and admitted he was hard on himself. He and I along with our Manitoba cronies, Clare Brock (deceased) and Gordon Goldsworthy (deceased) would have the odd drink when we got together at annual general meetings His home in Saskatoon was merely a mailing address whether he was in the south or in the north.

John loved the Caribbean and when he retired, he sailed among the islands every winter, even though he was threatened by pirates the odd time and used his own guns to drive them off. In the summer he travelled in his van and camped right up to the end. In recent years, he also spent time in southern California. He maintained a section of farmland that I assume was near Abbey, Saskatchewan. He was a good friend to me and he enjoyed life to it's fullest. He may not have had social skills, by some people's standards, but he was a true and trustworthy person for the many years that I knew him.

John passed away in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on July 18, 2002. A memorial tea to celebrate John's life was held in the Park Funeral Chapel in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Wednesday July 3 1st, 2002.

By J.H. Webb, SLS (Life Member) – SLSA Newsletter, Fall, 2002