David Swallow NIELSEN

David Swallow Nielsen

Apri 21st, 1921 –

February 20th, 2011

David Swallow Nielsen was born April 21, 1921 in Hull England the first child of Gustaf Severin and Margaret Nielsen. He spent his teenage years enduring the Great Depression. The family moved to Bridlington Yorkshire after the first aerial bombardment of Hull in WWII. He attended the public school Hymers College for Boys and later Loughborough College studying civil engineering graduating in 1943.

He was enlisted in the Royal Engineers and the Black Watch, and was shipped to Asia to participate in General Wingates second expedition in Burma. For 6 months he was entrenched deep behind the Japanese Front operating as a commando (Chindit) disrupting and destroying Japanese convoys and bridges. He was promoted to Captain during operations. At the end of the war he spent 2 years in India training Indian troops.

He returned to Britain in 1947 and rebuilt a large water reservoir. In 1951 he was married to Kathleen at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Stafford. They honeymooned in Norway. They moved to Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in 1952 to build the Dar es Salaam airport and then drill and build fresh water piping systems in Dodoma, Central Province. Kathleen worked for the police force. Had their first baby (Graham) in July 1955 and left Africa by 1956.

They immigrated to Canada and he worked for Ranier Pulp and Paper at Port Alice and Squamish (Wood fiber) as a project engineer. Their second child (Mike) was born in 1957 in North Vancouver. Employed by CBA Engineering he designed and built the foundations for the Port Mann Bridge. He was administrative engineer for the construction of the Arrow Lakes Dam.

He was employed by CIDA to assist foreign countries to drill and pipe fresh water in Indonesia and Belize. He returned to Canada to redesign and build 4 large new water pressure reducing stations for fresh water supply to the City of Vancouver and fresh water systems for Musqueum Native reservation.

He was President of the Dunbar Homeowners Association to protest and block the single family homes in place of 4 storey apartment blocks in large areas of Point Grey, Vancouver. In a long and bitter battle with the city the homeowners blocked the plan and the area is now one of Vancouver’s exclusive and Green areas. Moved to Campbell River in 1989 where he loved to fish and kibitz with the locals in the pubs.

Inspired by Winston Churchill, he, too, was a person who refused to be bullied by foreign armies, politicians, undemocratic or corrupt process. His skills and contributions have likely been appreciated by many thousands of people who never even knew him.

A Celebration to Honour the Life of David Swallow Nielsen will be held on Friday March 4th 2011 at the Royal Canadian Legion, 301-11th Avenue, Campbell River, BC V9W 4G2 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. If friends so desire messages for the family may be left at www.suttonsfuneralhome.com


Campbell River Funeral Home

“In Care of Arrangements”



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