Comox Valley author pens book of travel and historical interest

Letters of a Pioneer Oil Geologist – a True Life Story…” recounts explorer’s experience

A box of old handwritten letters, many 100 years old, has given rise to a new book called Letters of a Pioneer Oil Geologist – a True Life Story – 1884-1978.

This book is an authentic story of one of British Petroleum’s early oil explorer’s experience on four continents. The letters, written by S. Lister James to his family in England, created a graphic bridge of communication between them, a means of keeping their close family bonds over the span of 20 years.

The letters became a lucid and unique historical description of the rough and challenging conditions that faced geologists in the early days of oil exploration. Also, the book gives an example of the characteristics required to sustain consistent dedication to the work.

As a talented writer, Lister James wrote from the heart, keeping his family in touch with his whereabouts, describing the people, their customs, the wildlife and scenery, and giving glimpses of historic events, including accompanying Winston Churchill’s Admiralty Commission as geologist responsible for recording and map-making.

The book is authored by Lister James’s youngest daughter, E. Ann Berens, a member of the Comox Valley Writers’ Society.

“Writing this book has been a wonderful journey of getting to know my father as a young man,” said Berens.

For anyone interested in travel, adventure, history, and in the development of an interesting character through 20 years of oil exploration, it is a fascinating read.

Berens will introduce and launch her book on Friday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at Anderton Gardens, in the tent area, behind the nursery.

COVID distancing will be observed and the wearing of masks encouraged, refreshments served and books signed.


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