SIR HUGH FLETCHER: WHO WAS HE ANYWAY?
The Fletcher Club (Jennie Byron) recently compiled an attractive poster on the man after whom the club is named. Here we have extracted some of the interesting information about him.
Sir Hugh Fletcher was born in London, England, on 9th December 1848. He immigrated to Canada with his father when he was 12 years old. The son of a mining engineer, he obtained his education at the University of Toronto in 1870, receiving prizes and awards in modern languages, natural science, and general proficiency. His first practical experience in Geology was from his father's work in the gold mines at Tangier, Nova Scotia.
Hugh Fletcher spent most of his career, from 1876 until 1909, on coal measures in Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia. His work, which also included the survey of the counties of Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough, Kings, Hants, and a portion of Halifax, is chararcterised by detail and accuracy. He worked closely with E.R. Faribault and between them they produced seventy one-mile map sheets as well as plans and sections at scales of up to one inch equaling 500 feet. His map of the Wolfville area (Kings and Hants counties) was produced in 1911, and clearly shows the main units still recognized today - the North Mountain Basalt, the Triassic redbeds of the valley floor, the Horton Group, the Halifax Group (which he labeled "Slate Division"), and the South Mountain Batholith.
Fletcher aimed at mapping all of Nova Scotia to combine all of his career's work in one report. However before he could achieve his ultimate goals, "he died, as he would have chosen, in harness, and amid the hills of his well-loved Nova Scotia" (Brock, 1909, The Canadian Mining Journal).
The Fletcher Geology Club was formed in 1950, in affiliation with the N.S. Mining Society. The club received its name because of Fletcher's major contribution to the understanding of Nova Scotian and Cape Breton Island geology. His attention to detail is reflected in the quality of his maps.
Sir Hugh Fletcher is a good role model for the students of today. His sense of responsibility, professionalism, and ability to stand firm in his beliefs are admirable characteristics in a person, and thus the Fletcher Geology Club has striven to be the embodiment of these characteristics and instill them within its members.
[Jennie's poster is also available for download.]