Friends of Hydrography

Friends of Hydrography

Canada Flag


Home > People


Or... Os... Ow...

Anthony David (Tony) O'Connor

    1940 - 2008

Tony was born in Dublin Ireland on 24 December 1940 to mother Doris Tiffany O'Connor and father Joseph David O'Connor. He was the oldest of a family of 5 children - Maureen, Valerie, Susan and Kevin.   (from Memorial Service 30 Sept 2008)

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Tony O'Connor was educated at Ryhope Grammar School in England and served as a navigating officer in the British Merchant Marine and after eight years at sea he returned to school to study surveying. In 1965 he was appointed river sounding surveyor for the Tyne Improvement Commission. He earned a Diploma of Land Surveying from the South Shields Marine and Technical College before emigrating to Canada in 1967 to join the CHS. During the next fifteen years, further hydrographic experience was gained in surveying the west coast of Canada and in the Arctic, culminating as the Hydrographer in Charge of CSS Hudson during surveys in the Northwest Passage.

In 1982, he resigned from the CHS to join the private sector, establishing and managing the hydrographic office of Terra Surveys Ltd. where he worked in Africa and the Middle East as well as North America. He returned to CHS in 1985 to take up his position as Regional Director, Hydrography, at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, B.C. He has maintained contact with the Middle East, most recently providing hydrographic advice on behalf of Canada to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Tony holds a commission as a Canada Lands Surveyor and is a licensed ship's officer. He has been on the faculty of Humber and Camosun Colleges and on the faculty advisory board of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He is a Past President of both the Canadian Institute of Geomatics and the Canadian Hydrographic Association.

On 28th April 1998, he was appointed Dominion Hydrographer/Director General of the CHS, succeeding Steve MacPhee, who has retired..

Sources: The Canadian Surveyor, September 1981, p. 344.
Geomatica, Autumn 1993, p. 339.
Geomatica, Autumn 1994, p. 382.
International Hydrographic Bulletin, July 1998, p. 371.

From obituary, The Ottawa Citizen, 28 Sept 2008:
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Anthony (Tony) O'Connor Wednsday September 24, 2008 at the age of 67. Tony was born in Dublin, Ireland, raised in Seaham Harbour, England and migrated to Canada in 1967, a country he loved so very much. Tony's career extended from the British Merchant Navy to Dominion Hydrographer of Canada, Canadian Hydrographic Service, and he spent many happy years at sea on the "Willie J". Tony loved the North and explored it when he was Hydrographer-in-Charge and Chief Scientist on board C.S.S. Hudson for the major cruise to the Beauford \sea and Northwest Passage.

   1967 - Hydrographer (Tech 2) - New Staff Member - CSS Wm J, Stewart- BC Coast, various locations
1968 - Hydrographer (Tech 2) - Wm J Stewart - BC Coast, various locations
1969 - Hydrographer (ESS 4) - Wm J Stewart - Prince Rupert vicinity, Strait of Georgia, BC  (11 Aug to 10 Oct)
1970 - Senior Assistant (ESS 5) - Wm J Stewart - B.C. various locations
1973 - HIC, Richardson - Revisory Surveys throughout BC

A. O'Halloran

   1966 - Joined CHS
1967 - transferred to compilation from drafting - Ottawa


Charles O’Reilly

Charles O’Reilly graduated in 1975 with a B.Sc. (Honors) in Geology and Physics from Dalhousie university.  He worked for three years in exploration geophysics for Texaco and Union Oil in Alberta.  In 1978, he joined CHS where he has been working in the Tides, Currents and Water levels Section to the present.  His current position is Chief of Tidal Analysis and Predictions.
Source: 1998 Canadian Hydrographic Conference Proceedings, p. 9.

Captain John Orlebar, R.N.

• Sept. 1835 - (as a Lieut.) joined Bayfield as an assistant.
• 1843 - as a Commander, Assistant to Bayfield, surveyed Charlottetown.
• 1852-57 - surveyed Bras d'Or Lake (chart 4354)
• Jan. 1, 1857 - appointed to command H.M. Newfoundland Survey
• 1857 - surveyed Necum Teuch Harbour, N.S. (chart 4355)
• 1857 - surveyed Beaver harbour, N.S. (chart 43646)
• 1859 – H.M.S. LADY LE MARCHANT, survey of Labrador Coast.
• 1860-61 - surveys of C. Ray to Garia Bay (chart BA 2143)
• 1860-63 - OIC of survey Bay Bulls to Placentia, Nfld (chart BA 2915)
• 1861 - surveyed Popes Head to Charles Island, N.S. (chart 4353)
• 1861-62 - surveys of La Poile & Roti Bays, S Nfld. (chart BA 2142)
• 1864 - surveyed Trinity Bay, Nfld. & 2nd Atlantic cable
• 1864 - retired after 30 years field service
• 1867 - as a Commander, assistant to Bayfield, surveyed C. Sable to Canso (chart (BA 729, 730)
• 1867 – as a Commander, surveyed Cape Canso to Sambro I (chart BA729)
• 1893-96 – surveyed Codroy Road to Cow Head, Nfld. (chart BA283)
• 1860-63 – surveyed Placentia to Burin Hbr., Nfld. (chart BA290)
• 1860-63 - OIC of survey Bay Bulls to Placentia, Nfld. (chart BA 2915)
• 1861 - surveyed Popes Head to Charles Island, N.S. (chart 4353)
• 1861-62 - surveys of La Poile & Roti Bays, S Nfld. (chart BA 2142)
• 1864 - surveyed Trinity Bay, Nfld. & 2nd Atlantic cable
• 1864 - retired after 30 years field service
• surveys of Nova Scotia coast.

M.R. Oro

   1958 - Hydrographic Assistant, USCGC Storis - Western Arctic

H. (Enrique) Ortiz

• graduate in Civil Engineering
• 1907-08 - Lake of Two Mountains survey.
• 1909-10 - Lower St. Lawrence survey

John O'Shea

John was one of the founding members of CHA. He joined the CHS as a hydrographer in 1960 after working with the Ontario Government doing legal surveys. John worked on surveys in almost every part of Central Region, including Georgian Bay, James Bay, lake Winnipeg, lake of the Woods, Red River, The Ottawa River and the St. Lawrence River. He was also HIC in the western Arctic on the Polar Continental Shelf Project.

John joined the Planning Office in Ottawa in 1971. He didn't spend all of his time there though. In 1971, he was on a Coast Guard icebreaker in Victoria Strait and M'Clintock Channel. In 1976, he was off to Senegal for a three month offshore survey on the Baffin. His fluency in French came in handy in 1978 during his one year secondment to Quebec City as Acting Regional Hydrographer where he helped establish the new Quebec regional office.

John moved on to the position of Technical Assistant to the Dominion Hydrographer in 1985 and served both Steve MacPhee and Ross Douglas.

Source: Lighthouse, Spring 1993, pp. 45-6.

• 1960 - classification in 1960: Tech Off
• 1961 – Survey at Byng Inlet
1964 - Hydrographer -CSS Acadia - PEI, NS, Nfld - (from Ottawa)
1966 - Hydrographer - Trent-Severn Waterway Survey, Ont
1967 - Senior Assistant - Lake of the Woods, Ont and Red River, Man surveys
1968 - Senior Assistant - St. Lawrence River Survey, Ont and Que 
1969 - Hydrographer in Charge - Range surveys - Monreal to Three Rivers
1974 - (Annual Report) Head of Planning and Coordination Unit

Capt. H.C. Otter, R.N.

• 1857 - Boulton served under him, HMS PORCUPINE
•1858 - surveyed Bull Arm, Nfld. for Atlantic cable (HMS PORCUPINE)

John Ough

   1954 - Joined CHS
- spent time on Theron, Fort Frances, Kapuskasing, CGS d'Iberville, US Coast Guard Cutter Bramble, HMCS Nootka and Baffin.
1959 - Retired from CHS and joined National Film Board till 1972.

Francis Owen, R.N.

• 1800 – Master, H.M.S. AGINCOURT
• 1800 – surveyed St. John’s harbour, Nfld.

Capt. William FitzWilliam  Owen, R.N.


• 1815-16 - surveys of Lakes Ontario and Erie
• 1843 - surveying in Bay of Fundy. Tied his survey to Bayfield's at Pictou.
• 1844 - surveyed Port St. Andrews (N.B.) (chart 4332)
• 1847 - surveyed Campobello Island, N.B. (chart 4373)
• 1848 - surveyed Passamaquoddy Bay & St. Croix River (chart 4331)
• 1857 - surveyed Letang Harbour, N.B. (chart 4313)
• later Vice Admiral
• Owen Channel & Owen Island, Manitoulin named after him (White, p. 60)
• Owen Sound named after his brother, Admiral Sir Edward William Campbell Rich Owen, KCB (1771-1849)