Perry 'Pip' Stairs
Not sure how many here, if any, had the pleasure of meeting Perry, but for those who may have, I'm sorry to say that I have just learned that Perry passed away a few days ago from an unknown ailment.
Perry was one of the last of the old-school boiler makers and has worked on almost every locomotive in Western Canada, as well as some in the north-western US and many traction engines, power plants and other equipment.
Three weeks ago, he was in Victoria helping me install five new tubes in our Sawyer-Massey traction engine. Perry's knowlege of steam power, boilers and related equipment was vast; he could set up a locomotive's driving gear as easily as he could roll in a new flue, and if he told the inspector that 'That's the right way to do it', it was a wise inspector who listened and learned!
Perry's passing means a huge loss to the historic steam community in western Canada, and his talent will be sorely missed by many organizations. Rest in peace my friend!