The title seem unusual in my blog…………!
Rob Zwick, and Engineering friend just reminded me that he had worked in Prince Rupert at one time at Columbia Cellulose Co Ltd, Pulp Mill. He says that he met this Draftsman who talked about a “Russian Engineer” that once worked at the interesting operation back in 1963 – 65.
My memory lane opened up and found thoughts came forth of this quite man that methodically worked at his drafting board as the rest of us favored the coffee urn just behind him and swapped stories that were mostly true.
After introducing myself and hearing his name, I asked whether that was a Russian origin as the Engineering office at that time was a “United Nations” of recent immigrants from Holland, Germany, England, Scotland, Estonia, Sweden and other European countries. The Human Resources acquisition of four (4) freshly-graduate Engineers from the four (4) Western Provinces was almost a cultural shock as we were constantly talking and excited about applying our education to a struggling and badly maintained pulp mill. All the “veterans” were more reserved and curious about these “new guys”!
So Petrov, where is that from, I urged Metodi to converse as I was very interested.
“Bulgarian!” was the short answer and stopped there.
I was trained as a Chemical Engineer and graduated as a Civil and I was told that they also liked my long family construction background as the company was into an upgrading mode as well as a possible new pulp mill and I was to be groomed for this possibility.
My boss called me in and gave me a Mechanical Project Engineering assignment. “I am not sure I will be able to do this justice.” I observed after hearing the brief description of the problem and the desired resolution.
“I will designate Metodi as your Draftsman. Just follow his direction and the result will be very practical and functional. You will do well!” as he shooed me out of the door as he had a desk full of files.
I reviewed the information that I had on the subject and then I went into the Plant and had a look at the current operation to acquaint myself before I went to see Metodi.
“It looks like you and I are to get this project to a successful conclusion. I am concerned that I have no clue what the next step should be in this process,” I was very concerned about my contribution to this partnership.
Metodi’s face lit up and he smiled like I had not witnessed in the three (3) months since I arrived at the Mill. That is when he took the time to confide in me as follows:
I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer with a Master’s degree in Bulgaria. When the Germans invaded Bulgaria, I was “conscripted” and taken to Germany to work on their projects. Deadlines were almost impossible to meet and there was always the threat of penalty that he seemed nervous even now to explain but I could see his lips tremble at the thought. The stress was so severe that my ability to make decisions and have confidence in my work deteriorated rapidly until I was unable to make decisions on my work as it was always altered by my German Superiors.
“I was able to finally escape and now I am still have difficulty making Engineering decisions even though I know what should be done. You sign my drawing and I will be just fine. I will explain everything to you and you will be able to take the project ti fruition.”
So started a friendly professional association that blossomed into a friendship when I was invited to his home and met his German spouse.
Dated March 01, 2018 at 1040 hours TBC Elmer Verigin
Pause for a needed interruption
So the project went well and the combination was well respected by our boss who placed us together on many other projects when I was in the office.
Metodi had many friends at PR and building house was a challenge with the shallow overburden on bed rock. The solution was concrete piers to anchors in bedrock and a reinforced concrete beam over the piers that made a good foundation. Metodi would do the drawings and I designed the reinforced concrete foundations. It was a great “moonlighting” activity that provided us good “beer money”.
I understand that Motodi did qualify for Professional Engineering status and retired in the Okanagan but I was unable to see him after our great time at PR.
Thank you Metodi!
Elmer 1200 noon Match 01, 2018