Richard Sterling Finnie, 1906-1987


  • Anne Finnie



Biographies, History, Geography, Expeditions, Roads, Public relations, Petroleum industry, Industries, Design and construction, Motion pictures, Finnie, Richard Sterling, 1906-1987, Construction industry, Canadian Arctic, Arctic regions, Alaska Highway, Alaska/British Columbia/Yukon


Richard Sterling Finnie ... died at his home of February 2, 1987, at the age of 80. Highlights of Richard Finnie's early career, which led to his recognition as an authority on the geography and history of the Arctic and northern Canada, were five seaborne expeditions to the eastern Canadian Arctic, the first flight made over the North Magnetic Pole and around King William Island, a year living among the Copper Eskimos, the first direct flight from Norman Wells to Whitehorse and two years as northern adviser and documentary film maker with the civilian contractors and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the building of the Alaska Highway and its related Canol Project. ... Finnie produced The Alaska Highway, a film that has come to be regarded as a unique documentary of this historic project. Finnie retired as official historian and film producer for Bechtel Corporation in 1968, after 25 years covering in word and picture Bechtel's international construction projects. ... he produced more than 60 films in sound and color, often being his own cameraman as well as writer, director, soundman and narrator. ... After Finnie retired, he continued an active life, lecturing and publishing on the Northwest and Yukon territories. ... Finnie was a fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, honorary member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers and emeritus fellow of the Explorer's Club of New York and co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter, of which he was chairman for a decade. He also was a life member of the California Academy of Sciences and an active member of the New Orleans Jazz Club of northern California. ...