John Tompson (1914 – 2003) was always inventing, constructing, repairing, creating.
For example, he’d make bowls from any size of tree trunk! This bowl was made from a large fallen Douglas Fir from the Green Timbers Inaugural Plantation. He started making small bowls on his self-built wood lathe, powered by the water wheel he created on the Bear Creek. John worked in the 30s re-planting the Green Timbers Forest and caring for evergreen seedlings at Green Timbers Nursery.
In the war years, he worked at Hamilton Bridge as a machinist, building supply ships for the Canadian military.
Later 1940s and during the 1950s, he had his own business, the Bear Creek Box Factory, making celery crates for Chinese farmers in Cloverdale and Mud Bay areas.
Later 1950s and until his 1982 retirement (aged 68), he worked at Durand Machine Works in New Westminster, which was one reason the family moved there in 1958.
After his retirement, he stayed busy on his long iron machine lathe turning wooden verandah posts for heritage homes, producing dozens of metal pieces for factories, replacing specific parts for classic cars or steam engines (for the steam tractors for BC Transportation Museum and the SSMaster). Friends with everyone, always helpful, a loving husband and father.
See more on www.surreyhistory.ca under Tompson Family.