Alan was born May 26, 1933 in Winnipeg, MB, and passed away at home in Vancouver, BC on January 9, 2018. Al is remembered as an honest, supportive and caring family man. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 62 years, Maureen (Laird); daughters Kathleen (Neil), Susan (Kelly), and Sharon (Carl); grandchildren Nicole, Michelle, Laura, Marc, Emma, Karl, Matt and Dylan; and great-grandchildren Jadynne, Owen, Reilly and Leah.Read More
Al graduated from UBC in Geological Engineering in 1957 and continued in his profession until retiring in 2003. His first position as a geologist was with United Keno Hill Mines in Calumet, Yukon and, after a short time at Texada Mines, returned to United Keno Hill Mines as Chief Geologist. In 1966, Al and Bob Cathro took a “gamble” and formed Archer Cathro & Associates Ltd, opening a consulting office in Whitehorse which specialized in Yukon mineral exploration and engineering. Archer Cathro is still going strong after 50+ years, both in Whitehorse and Vancouver. Al was always proud that their firm was one of the first to hire female geologists at a time when many would not. In the late 1960s, Al discovered a large copper and gold deposit in the Casino area which led to the company’s first big contracts and established Archer Cathro as an industry leader. During slumps in the mining industry, Al had innovative ideas to keep the company continuing. Archer Cathro began compiling a mineral inventory database for the Yukon starting in 1972, which was later purchased by the Yukon Government to become the foundation for the current Yukon MINFILE database. During further slow periods in the 1980s, the company conducted high-grade silver mining in the Keno Hill district, which led to the discovery of extremely rare silver crystals formed in ice. The frozen silver was donated to the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa in 1990. Archer Cathro recognized the scenic value of the Tombstone Mountains and, in 1994, voluntarily forfeited its Tombstone mineral claims to help with the creation of the Tombstone Territorial Park. In 1998 Al was a recipient of the H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award for excellence in prospecting and exploration and, in 2002, Archer Cathro was inducted into the Yukon Prospectors’ Hall of Fame by the Yukon Prospectors’ Association. After retiring, Al continued to enjoy golfing in Whistler and vacationing in Maui. Family get- togethers were one of the most important and enjoyable parts of Al’s well-lived life. His numerous stories about his adventures as a geologist in the Yukon will long be remembered by his family.