cropped-Neville-Mayers.jpg

Education

UBC, 1931, BSc, Agriculture
UBC, 1932, MSc, Plant Pathology

About

Neville Mayers was born in Vancouver, BC in 1908 and obtained a BSA (Major in Crop Husbandry) in 1931. He continued with graduate studies at UBC, graduating with a MSA (Plant Pathology) in 1932. Following UBC, Neville received an appointment with the Canada Department of Agriculture at the Dominion Laboratory of Plant Pathology at Saanichton, BC, and continued in that position until 1935. During that time, he carried out seed potato certification in several areas of the Province and a plant disease survey of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. He published two scientific papers on the biology of Rhizoctonia solant Kuhn (1934) and was a member of the Canadian Society of Technical Agriculturists (CSTA), which later became the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC).

In 1935, Neville inaugurated and managed the insecticide, fungicide and herbicide department for Buckerfield’s Ltd. In 1946, he returned to the CDA with the Vancouver office (Plant Protection Division) where he carried out seed potato certification. In 1955, he was appointed Officer in Charge of seed potato production in BC.

When the “Golden Nematode” was discovered on the Saanich Peninsula in Vancouver Island in 1965, Neville was appointed Program Manager for the containment and eradication of this pest. He returned to the Vancouver Office in 1966 as Officer In Charge of the Plant Protection Division. At that time the Plant Protection Division was responsible for: 1. The inspection of imported plants for disease and insect pests; 2. Ship inspection for the presence of insects, which could contaminate or infect Canadian grain shipments; 3. Plant disease and insect surveys; and 4. Seed Potato Certification for BC. When the Research Branch of the CDA, stationed at UBC, made a world breakthrough in the elimination of latent virus in potatoes, Mr Mayers co-operated with Dr N S Wright in setting up a program for the multiplication and production of virus-free seed potato stocks. While with the CDA, Neville served one term as President of the Vancouver Branch of the BCIA.

He was BC representative to the Western Plant Board which included representatives from all the Western States. In 1967 he was honoured in being one of seven BC agrologists to receive the Centennial Medal for “Service to the Nation.” After retiring in 1970, Mr Mayers carried out a study for Buckerfield’s Ltd. on the potential market for pelleted seed for seeding areas on which vegetation had been destroyed or reduced by the construction of oil and gas pipelines, transmission lines, roads and highways including logging roads, overgrazing, clear-cut logging or other causes. He also carried out the inspection of imported potatoes for the presence of bacterial ring rot, on behalf of the BC Department of Agriculture.

In 1938, Mr Mayers married Myrtle Dickson and had three children, Janette, Dorothy and James. In 1980, he moved to Qualicum Beach where he now resides.

R Blair and C R Nichols, 2003

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