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About

Bernie Guichon graduated with a BSA in 1950. One of his recollections of student days was an incident that happened in

“The early Spring of ’47/48. The Animal Husbandry Department had some long yearling steers on special feed, under the two Doctors Wood. The steers were all pretty waspy (wild), (must have come from Northern BC, Nicola cattle were always gentle,) even though they were basically Hereford. They were also poorly dehorned. One steer with part of one horn must have been playing about as penned steers do and partly broke off his horn. (This would be extremely painful as when one hits the wrong nail with a hammer). Anyhow, somehow he got out of the pen, out of the complex, and took off along SW Marine Drive toward Vancouver. In the class besides myself was a student, Gordie Dudley, with a motor cycle. We grabbed a rope and having no horses, took chase by motor-cycle. Half way to UBC gates the steer went down a trail to the Fraser river flats. Too steep for the bike, Gordie and I after it on foot. We got it cornered among the driftwood, it was pretty played out by this time. We roped it and made a makeshift halter with the rope and proceeded to lead, entice, and prod him back up the trail to Marine Drive. There we threw him down and hog-tied him. I stayed with him while Gordie went back to the UBC farm, “borrowed” a farm tractor from the Ag Mech Lab, hooked up a stonebolt (farm sled) and came back to us on Marine Drive. There we loaded all 1000 lbs of steer on the stonebolt and took him back to the barn and pens. There we were met by Dr Stan Wood and helped sedate him and then operate to remove the broken horn, which also eased the intense pain. Gord and I got no medals, but many thanks for saving the steer. According to Dr Wood, it was the first time an escaped animal had been recovered safely, as normally it would have been shot by the RCMP.”

Another recollection was the hard winter of 1949/50.

“January 1950 was some kind of a record for snow and cold in the Vancouver area. At UBC it did not get above 0oC, for three solid weeks. You wouldn’t believe the snowfall, day after day, and night, with wind and snow drifts. UBC had snowplow-mounted trucks and hired extra drivers to keep the roads in reasonable shape. But it was the paths and walkways from and to and between the buildings which after a day or two were becoming impassible. The University was about to close, unheard of by 19,000 students and the staff. What to do??

President MacKenzie sent out the word and Professor J R W Young, Head of the Ag Mech Department responded. We had a couple of farm tractors with blades in the Ag Mech/Eng lab, on loan for study from equipment dealers, if I remember right, a Ford/Ferguson and a Massy/Harris. Anyhow, there were enough of us Aggie/Mech students to keep these small machines going round the clock, thereby keeping the walkways and paths clear till the rains came. Dr MacKenzie did not have to close the University (and I have always thought he had a soft spot in his heart for us Aggies).”

Following graduation Mr Guichon worked in the BC Interior forest and ranching industries building roads, trails and dams for irrigation projects. In 1953, he joined Massey Harris Engineering Department in Toronto as a field engineer, and a year later migrated to the oil and gas pipeline industry, specializing in location, land and right-of-way and environment , of linear developments (mainly gas and oil pipelines) across Canada. In 1961 Bernie moved back to BC from Alberta, and in 1964 headed up the Land Division of Westcoast Transmission, now Westcoast Energy Inc. and affiliated companies.

Bernie retired in 1988 from Westcoast, formed his own linear development consulting company, Bernie’s Land Service, and still keeps active in the industry.

Mr. Guichon married in 1954 and raised a daughter and three sons. Daughter Trudy is also a UBC Grad with her RN and BAScN. Bernie lost his first wife to cancer, but has remarried and still lives happily in North Vancouver, BC.

R Blair 2002

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