G.Z. Pinder

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George Pinder was born at Salford, England and came to Edmonton in 1907 and to Calgary in 1930. He was a captain and one of the original members of C Company, 49th Battalion, Edmonton during World War I, and was wounded and won the M.C. at Ypres. After his recovery, he was an adjutant of the Convalescent Hospital at Edmonton, Ogden, and Frank, Alberta.

He was a land surveyor with the Alberta and Dominion governments until entering private practice in 1933 until his retirement.

He was president of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association in 1947 and made an honorary life member in 1957.

He passed away May 28, 1967.

His son, Tom Pinder, wrote the following letter to the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association in 1982:

He was born in 1881 in Salford, near Manchester, England, went to Bedford Grammar School and loved rugby; we was a good enough player to be on the Manchester team and played in some international matches. He worked for a time for Manchester Electric, then came to Canada in, I think, 1908. He was in Montreal for a short time, then bought a ticket to Edmonton with what money he had left and said farewell to Montreal by giving his bowler hat a drop-kick in the middle of one of the main streets there!

He went out on township work each year up to World War I; I believe he got his DLS before the War when one could qualify without university training. An old friend of his, “Olie” Rowbotham, in Edmonton, told me a few stories about Dad’s winter activities which Dad didn’t mention. Apparently, a group of them used to spend quite a bit of time at the Corona Hotel, and one of their main sports was chasing each other with soda siphons, the idea being to squirt it down the other fellow’s neck when he wasn’t looking. Dad also distinguished himself at a rather dull play once; in between two of the acts, he blew his nose very loudly; everybody applauded so he stood up, bowed – and did it again!

Early in the War, Dad joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, the 49th Battalion, and got his commission as a captain. He was wounded at Ypres, was sent home and married my mother, Kate Bourchier, of Edmonton, in 1916. I was born in 1917 and she died in 1918. Soon after that, Dad went back to England with me in tow intending to stay there; he lasted a year-and-a-half; couldn’t stand it any longer and came back out to Edmonton. My aunt at the Coast took me in and Dad used to come and visit at Christmas most years but not all.

I don’t know what year he started surveying for the Alberta government but it was somewhere around the mid-1920s, I think.

In 1930, he was married to Anne Kemmis, of Pincher Creek; they moved to Calgary to live and I came back home from the Coast, from my Aunt’s to live with them. For the years 1930-1932, my stepmother and I spent the summer in camp wherever Dad happened to be, and I still remember careering across the prairie in that springless old Chev one-ton truck…

Come 1933, when the Alberta government cut out almost all surveys, Dad got the chop along with nearly everyone else and the best thing they could offer him was a job in charge of pick-and-shovel men at 45 cents an hour. In 1934, he and my stepmother bought five acres just south of Calgary, expanded the small house that was on it, and lived there till he passed away in 1967.

My stepmother, an excellent horsewoman, started a riding school which she ran for about twenty years and Dad concentrated on gardening, taking on surveys when they came along. He would never do surveys in Calgary on his own but he used to help out H.H. Moore in jobs in the city; I remember one day his telling us that with his 70 years and H.H. Moore’s 80 years, their combined ages were a century and a half!