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SPEIRS, Alexander Stephenson

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SpeirsAlexander

Alex passed away in his hometown of North Bay on August 2nd, 2022. Though sickness made his last few week’s challenging he enjoyed life right up to his very last day with his good humour and positive spirit, never one to miss an opportunity to crack a joke.

He was born in Bellshill, a small coal mining town in the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. As a young boy he demonstrated he was meant for great things with his incredible knack for learning languages, his outgoing personality, and his love for meeting people. After completing a 5 year apprenticeship and graduating as a mining technician from the Glasgow Royal College of Science and Technology he was ready to take on the World… and so he did

From ‘coal dust’ to ‘diamonds in the rough’ the world became his playground; leaving the coal mines in Scotland he travelled to construct the Darbandikhan Hydro Electric Project in Iraq, work in the gold mines in northern Quebec, help build Creighton No. 9 the deepest mine shaft in the world outside of South Africa, venturing far north to construct the Black Angel Mine in Greenland and the Nanasivik Mine in Baffin Island, contract mining at the Copper Mountain Mine in the highlands in Irían Jaya, consult at the Olympic Dam Mine in Australia, and many places in between. He started his illustrious career in the Canadian Far North and appropriately finished his career in the North as a member of the Team that built the Aber Diamond Mine in Lac de Gras, one of the first diamond mines in Canada. Alex worked tirelessly until his mid-seventies having lived in 6 countries and leaving his mark whilst working and visiting another 60 countries along the way.

Alex served as a director on the North Bay Hydro Board, was an active member of the North Bay Rotary Club, a founding member of the CIM North Bay Gateway Branch he received the CIM Distinguished Service Award in 2021. One of the highlights of his career was being made a member of the Russian Academy of Mining Science for his contribution to mining in Russia. An honour few non-Russian’s have ever received.

Alex was an avid soccer fan or ‘football’ as he referred to it, “is a sport played with feet and not hands”. He travelled to attend three World Cup events and three European Cup tournaments. He would say, “that he had made it in life, if he attended a World Cup” and he definitely did considerably more than that! He was a diehard Ranger fan and often raged “the Scot’s invented the game to make up for all their disappointing performances”.

As an immigrant to Canada in the late 1950’s, he knew what it meant to be given an opportunity, some words of encouragement, a smile and to be treated fairly. As a result, all the people that entered his life were encouraged to do remarkable things and his greatest legacy was the opportunities he gave to each. Alex you will truly be missed!

His achievements were witnessed by his loving wife Betty whom was always at his side, supporting him and the family. Betty accompanied Alex throughout his career and wherever life took Alex she was sure to follow. In time, their love for one another only grew and became most evident in the final years, each caring for and loving one another until this year, their 65th year of marriage.   Alex will be dearly missed by Betty (Campbell), his children Graham (Alexandra), Ian and Karen (Sean) and lovingly remembered by his grandchildren Alexandra (Ali), Jessie-Ann and Carrie-Ann, his sister Eileen, and his family throughout Scotland. The family truly appreciates and would like to thank his friends, Doctors, nurses, health care workers, health care technician’s that cared for and supported him over the years to make his life that little bit better.

A funeral service will be held at the Trinity United Church, 111 McIntyre St. East, on Sunday August 14th at 1 pm. A celebration of life gathering for friends and family will immediately follow the service.

In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Alexander to the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation would be gratefully acknowledged by his family.