Tribute to a friend

Harry Parker joined the CRIRSCO committee in March 2007 and according to the quarterly report to members he was “a welcome addition to CRIRSCO both because he increased the US representation to two and also because of his wide-ranging industry experience, particularly in the field of mineral resource and reserve audits.”

I first met him at the annual meeting held in London late in 2007 and it was obvious that Harry did bring years of experience gained in all parts of the world, however he was a modest man of few words and never saw it necessary to tell everybody about his undoubted skills and experience. In Beijing in 2009 in a presentation to a large audience he casually quoted 4 or 5 mines which he had worked on in China in the previous 30 years.

Through the years, wives attended the CRIRSCO meeting and my Tereza and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Sue on several occasions starting with the meeting in Moscow in 2010. Harry never failed to ask after Tereza whenever we met.

Through the years we attended a total of 13 consecutive CRIRSCO meetings and various other conferences and events on behalf of CRIRSCO. On most occasions when the business was over, we would be exposed to the traditional tourist shops. Silver in Peru, emeralds in Columbia, pottery in Turkey and India; Harry always seemed to buy more than anybody else often having to ship it back to the USA; but always for some member of the family. The best was in Mongolia where he bought two Rocking Horses for his grandsons which obviously had to be wrapped and shipped back home.

A couple of memories stand out; when in China after a two day mine visit, coming back through Beijing international airport Harry’s signature suspender braces became detached from his trousers so Tereza had to quickly pull up his trousers and reconnect the braces.

In a large workshop in Mongolia in 2014 Harry was taking his customary snooze whilst I was giving a presentation on environmental and social issues relative to reporting resources and reserves. When I was asked a particularly difficult question from the audience, I thought now I have got him and referred the question to Mr Parker. No problem he gave a grunt, shook his head and proceeded to answer the question.

The third occasion was when Harry and I along with others visited Turkey to help them with their quest to join CRIRSCO. After the business was completed, we were taken on a trip to Cappadocia where we visited the Kaymakli Underground City. The tunnels between chambers were as small as 1.5 m high and wide so one had to crouch and waddle which did not suit Harry, however he was determined to do it. Waiting for him coming through the tunnel I could here a series of grunts as he inched his way through culminating almost in him popping like a cork into the chamber. What we would have done if he had got stuck, I do not know. Anyway, he made it!

Since 2014 I have had the pleasure of working with Harry, Ian Goddard and Peter Stoker revising the CRIRSCO Template 2013. Harry brought his vast experience in Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource reporting and his knowledge of the 2017 SME Guide to the group and was always available to discuss even the smallest detail. It was only when we were almost complete, and Harry was ill that he told us he had “bigger things to think about”.

Harry worked tirelessly to bring new members into CRIRSCO and was instrumental in bringing Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Turkey and India into the committee. It was largely due to him that membership of CRIRSCO went from 5 to 13 members in a period of 12 years.

We will never forget the night in 2014 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia when he was awarded a prestigious Geologist of the Year award and the whole of the CRIRSCO Committee, fuelled by vodka, serenaded him on stage with the Mongolian Miners song, a song which he would play back to us whenever he got the opportunity. During his many years working with CRIRSCO it was always a source of embarrassment to Harry that in the USA the country which he represented the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) resisted adopting the principles of the SME Guide and the CRIRSCO Template. Harry worked tirelessly with the SME Resources and Reserve Committee lobbying the SEC officials over many years to bring about change. It therefore made him justifiably very proud when the SEC issued Regulation S-K 1300 in December 2018 and it was most fitting that the last CRIRSCO meeting which he attended was held in Washington; he had achieved his objective; the job was done.

Harry made an enormous contribution to the spread of a common understanding of International Reporting Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves throughout the world and on his way, he made lots of friends. We are going to miss him.

Roger Dixon
CRIRSCO Representative
South Africa.