Tom Kierans turns 100

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Renowned engineer Tom Kierans turned 100 years old today. He is pictured here in a file photo from 2005 or 2006 taken in front of Mile One Centre in St. John's.

A renowned engineer in this province is celebrating a milestone birthday today.

Tom Kierans, who has worked on the Churchill Falls hydropower project and advocated for a fixed-link between Newfoundland and Labrador, is now 100 years old.

Born in Montreal and a graduate of McGill University with a degree in mining engineering in 1939, Kierans moved to St. John’s in the early 1950s.

Asked what it’s like to reach the triple-digits in age, Kierans said he felt no different than he did the day before his birthday.

“When you’re going up to 100, it’s like climbing a teeter-totter ... You get to the 100s, and suddenly the teeter-totter is on the downside again,” he joked.

Kierans spent his early years as a prospector, working by bush aircraft and canoe across the country. He was responsible for underground design work at the Churchill Falls site and became a professor of engineering at Memorial University in 1973.

Upon his retirement at MUN, Kierans became the director of the Alexander Graham Bell Institute at the University of Cape Breton.

Aside from pushing hard for a fixed-link to connect the island to Labrador — a project he feels passionate about to this day — Kierans was the mind behind the proposed Rock Arena in St. John’s.

The stadium would have been built within the Southside Hills. The City of St. John’s eventually decided to instead build Mile One Centre.

For more on Kierans’ special day, read Thursday’s edition of The Telegram.

Organizations: McGill University, Alexander Graham Bell Institute, University of Cape Breton.Aside

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Montreal

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Recent comments

  • Craig Martin
    February 13, 2013 - 16:18

    Bought me my first Heineken and we looked at ladies together while working of course.

  • PJ Stamp
    February 13, 2013 - 13:06

    An extraordinary gentleman. His intelligence, energy, creativity and passion for progress are unmatched. Beyond that, he is a very thoughtful, warm, unassuming individual. Best wishes for still more productive years ahead.

  • terry whelan
    February 13, 2013 - 12:36

    A man ahead of his time with regard to the Rock Arena within the Southside Hills. He had more vision than the entire council of that day. You were right Tom. What a wonderful age. Happy Birthday on your century.