With deepest regrets and sadness I have to inform you all that on 30th of December, 2016 our esteemed colleague, friend and mentor Captain Ieuan Lampshire-Jones sailed away peacefully to Fiddler’s Green at the age 94. Captain Jones was one of the original founding members of the Association of Marine Surveyors of British Columbia and he has played a crucial and supporting role in the amalgamation process between AMSBC and the International Institute of Marine Surveying and in subsequent formation of the IIMS Canada Regional Branch.
Captain Jones was born in a small village in Wales (Aberarth), Captain Jones followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great grandfather by choosing a career at sea. “You had three choices: farmer, preacher or seaman,” said Jones. He joined his first merchant ship, the Lottie Rolfe (part of the Swansea Shipping Company’s fleet) in November, 1939. Recalling his first Christmas away from home in the city of Le Havre on the Normandy Coast, Captain Jones described a lavish reception hosted by the British Consulate that was interrupted by bombs being dropped by “Gerry”.
For his participation in the Second World War, Captain Jones received a total of eight medals (six campaigns and two service):
- 1939 – 1945 War Service Star;
- Battle of the Atlantic Star with Clasp denoting participation in D-Day landings at Juno Beach, Normandy;
- North Africa Invasion Star;
- Pacific Ocean Service Star;
- Burma Invasion Star;
- Italy Invasion Star;
- 1939 – 1945 Defence Medal; and
- 1939 – 1945 World War II Civilian Medal.
Following the war, Captain Jones stayed at sea for two more years (switching from coastal to deepsea shipping to finish off his sea-time requirements) before attending the Department of Marine Studies at the University of Wales; the Southshields Marine & Technical College; and the City of London Polytechnical School of Navigation. It was then back to sea throughout the 1950s and 1960s and finally landing in Vancouver in January 1969 to open up a field office for SGS Supervision Services.
As the Senior Principal Surveyor and Manager, Marine for Gen-Testing Laboratories, Captain Jones built a formidable reputation for his expertise in marine surveying. The job involved the inspection of ships coming into Vancouver and, if in good order, providing cleanliness certificates; acquiring test samples; supervising loading; and final displacement surveys. Projects also included pre-purchase surveys and both on-hire and off-hire surveys for ship charterers.
Covering a territory that included the entire Pacific Northwest (from Northern California up to Alaska) as well as the Yukon, Greenland and Canadian High Arctic, Captain Jones was often an integral part of ship loading operations, especially for new terminals. He was even called upon to provide piloting through the fjords of Greenland (the Marmorilik Fjords) for Cominco to watch for — and avoid — ‘growlers’ (bits of ice broken away from icebergs).
As an industry leader, Captain Jones and four others founded the Association of Marine Surveyors of BC (AMSBC) in 1969. He was an honorary member of the AMSBC as well as the member of the Company of Master Mariners and the Welsh Society.
When asked about trends he’d seen throughout his career, Captain Jones was quick to note that most problems, especially throughout the 1970s, related to cleanliness of the cargo hold and competency of the crew. “Less crew and time pressures were increasingly becoming issues,” said Captain Jones. “Vessels that used to be in port for eight to 10 days were now being turned around in three to four days. Ships in the 15,000 tonne-range would have 40 crew onboard and today, a ship of 70,000 tonnes would be lucky to have 17 people onboard.”
He also noted that onboard technology has, to an extent, played a role in changing the work of the marine surveyor. “Some ships have a system that tells you how much ballast there is or what the draft is but it’s not perfect and you can’t rely on it. You still have to follow the traditional methods of surveying and while there’s been no change in the kinds of calculations taken, the method to reach the calculation has changed due to technology.” And even though some ships now have systems that can check ballast or draft, the onboard system is only helpful as a backup for double-checking calculations.
While officially retired in 1988, Captain Jones was active in the shipping industry as a consultant and has even given presentations to high school children to stir their interests in both the mining and shipping industries.
Captain Jones left in deep sadness his wife Margaret Philomena (who was an active member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force), his three daughters, two grandsons, two grand-daughters and one great grand-daughter. His son succumbed to lung cancer in 1994 but had followed in the family tradition of going to sea.
Rest In Peace Captain Jones, thank you for your service, You will be truly missed.
On behalf of the International Institute of Marine Surveying of Canada
Captain Andrew Frank Korek