George Gilbert, who grew up in Wells during the town’s peak mining days, died in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2008. He was 82.
Born in Vancouver in 1925, he moved with his family to Wells in 1934, the year it was established. He took to the outdoors at any early age: hunting, fishing, climbing and prospecting. After finishing school he joined the air force in the latter stages of World War II, serving two years.
Returning to the Cariboo in 1946, he worked at various mining and guiding jobs before joining Cariboo Gold Quartz fulltime. CGQ was the major mining firm operating in Wells and George remained with the company for 20 years, eventually attaining the position of manager.
During the 1940s and 50s, he spent his weekends and vacations tramping through the Cariboo Mountains, or building camps and cabins around the Bowron Lakes chain in the days before it became a provincial park. His early mapping of the area provided the basis for the parks map still in use today.
When CGQ closed in 1967, George moved to Whitehorse, first with Newmont Mining, then with the federal government’s mining section, where he served as the Yukon’s chief placer inspector. He retired in 1989.
In 1999, his notes and photos from his years in the bush formed the basis for a book, which was published under the title “Kicked by a Dead Moose.”
George is survived by his son Mark (Katti), their children Tania and Colin of Kamloops; his daughter Dolly Robertson (Phil) of Whitehorse; his sister Joan Hughes (Ellis) of Kelowna; his sister Louise Gilbert of Quesnel; his brother Art (Donna) Gilbert of Quesnel; and his longtime friend and former wife Eileen (Gary) Seale, also of Quesnel.
A graveside service conducted
by the Yukon Order of Pioneers was held Feb. 22 in Whitehorse, followed by a memorial
gathering at a downtown hotel.
For anyone interested,
donations to the Cancer Society can be made in George’s name.