CSEG Foundation

Christopher John Derek Elms (1945 - 1981)

Christopher John Derek Elms Chris was born in 1945, the only child of George Harold and Joan Elms, formerly of Mijas, Spain. His father, a Mosquito Wing Commander, was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Chris attended several schools across Canada, completing high school at Shawnigan Lake, B.C. Chris studied engineering physics at the University of British Columbia and graduated in 1969. He worked as a geophysicist for Shell Oil Company and later in a company with Mr. Theo Pezarro. He loved his work and was respected by his peers. Chris was a longtime member of the CSEG.

Chris married Corine Mah Poy in 1970 and was welcomed into an extended family. Chris and Corine skied, hiked and travelled extensively. In 1978, they built a home that attracted considerable attention: the "dome home” in Altadore, Calgary. Chris was an intellectual and analytical reader who was interested in everything from history to science fiction. He loved to debate and to argue his point of view. Friends such as Peter Fitzgerald Moore, H. David Matthews, Jim Gillespie and Ron Eade nurtured his interests, challenged his opinions and shared his love of the outdoors. Chris was a keen outdoor enthusiast, hiker, skier and mountaineer. He was a member of the Alpine Club of Canada who volunteered as a Backcountry Ski Patrol and paid close attention to the conditions. 

Chris died in an avalanche on Mount Bourgeau in Banff National Park on February 22, 1981 while skiing with his friend and colleague, David Lumley. Chris was deeply mourned by his wife, his parents, family, friends and colleagues. A memorial fund contributed to the development of a winter safety film for backcountry recreation and to a CSEG Memorial Scholarship Fund.