Civil Engineer

Beecher Fiennes Badnall C.E. 1926-2003

1926- 2003

Table Mountain from Bishpscourt  Grounds 1913Beecher Fiennes (Mick) Badnall B.Sc, F.S.A.I.Civ. Eng., was born in Cape Town on 25th.December 1926 and died on Vancouver Island on 26th.July 2003. He was the son of Gilbert Fiennes and Aileen Badnall and a great grandson of the Venerable Hopkins Badnall, Archdeacon of Cape Town. His second name was that of one of his ancestors  through whom he was related to William of Wykeham. but he preferred to be known as "Mick"

Mick grew up in Cape Town. He was educated at Bishop’s School. (1938-1945) and on leaving (January 1945), joined the navy, being one of the last to do so.  In 1946, he entered the University of Cape Town  to study civil engineering, graduating in 1948. His professional career began in 1949, in England, where he worked  for the civil engineering consultancy -Coode, Vaughan-Lee & Gwyther,  in  which his great uncle Maurice Fitzgerald Wilson had been a partner. The British Petroleum Company's Kent Oil Refinery was one of the projects that he worked (1951) before returning to South Africa in 1952. Elected a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (UK) in 1968,  Mick joined the South African Institute of Civil Engineers and became a Fellow of the latter in 1989.  From 1973 until 1984 Mick was Director of Engineering Services for African Housing in Port Elizabeth -birthplace of his great grandmother.

He had many interests outside civil engineering. His love of  singing, particularly oratorios, was a life long one, inherited from his mother and honed in the school choir. He had a strong bass voice and before moving to Canada, always belonged to a choir.  Other interests, particularly in recent years, included astronomy, family history and discussing the second World War with friends who shared his interest.

Mick and Elizabeth married in 1953 established a home and raising a family.   In 1990, they  moved to Canada  to be nearer their children and for economic reasons, settling in Vancouver

Tall and well built, with a generous and friendly nature that more than matched his size, Mick had a very positive attitude to life and a  marked and subtle sense of humour.   An outgoing, much travelled man, who in retirement undertook round the world journeys to visit his scattered family and friends, he soon appreciated the benefits of e-mail and communicated regularly them by this means.  Health problems  led to  several operations in 2000 but with the loving care and support of his wife and daughters he recovered well. However, towards the end of 2001, as he and his wife were planning another round the world series of visits, the onset of a rare form of  Motor Neurone Disease was diagnosed. Typically, he went ahead with that arduous journey visiting Australia, South Africa and the UK.  Although his MND progressed unrelentingly, Mick continued to live as normal a life as he possibly could, aided and nursed by his wife and family. When communication by e-mail with friends and relatives around the world became difficult and frustrating, he obtained voice operated software so that he could continue doing this when he could no longer use the keyboard. After many months of extreme discomfort and totally paralysed, he died on the Saturday 26th July, with his family near him. 

The service in celebration of his life was held in the Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist, Cobble Hill, B.C. on the 2nd August 2003 at 2.30pm with Mick's friend the Reverend Canon Horace McClelland officiating. A memorial service was also held in St. Thomas's Church, Rondebosch,  South Africa.