Tributes to Patricia Sheahan and the Sheahan Diamond Literature Reference Compilation
In May 2022 Patricia Sheahan received news that has forced her to stop compiling and publishing her monthly collection of diamond related references which she sent as a pdf by email to her list of diamond people and which I made available online via the KRO Diamond Resource Center. She explains it in her July 8, 2022 letter. This tribute page has been set up to allow people who know her or followed her work to share their appreciation, tribute or anecdotes. Send them to John Kaiser by email - [email protected] - and he will add them to this tribute page with the most recent ones displayed at the top.
August 24, 2022
Tribute by Barbara Scott-Smith
Pat has been a great friend to me and to so many others in the kimberlite and diamond exploration and mining business as well as academia. She takes care of the 'kimberlite family' by being supportive and caring in our personal, professional and business lives. And for my career, it seems like Pat has always been there. I would also like to re-iterate Graham's tribute for her community-minded spirit. I hope others choose to follow in her footsteps. She inspires us all.
Pat is continually positive and enthusiastic. She looks for opportunities and is then proactive at encouraging or making different things happen. This led to the many achievements and awards covered very well here by other contributors. Congratulations on a great career Pat.
It has been such a pleasure to share many times and adventures together with Pat in different parts of the world. One moment that comes to mind is during the 6th International Kimberlite Conference in Novosibirsk in 1995. During a free time Roger Mitchell, Bram Janse, Pat, Sue O'Reilly, Bill Griffin (left to right) and I were trying to see some sights when we got caught in a huge downpour resulting in this less than glamorous but fun moment! We certainly have had lots of fun times over the years.
Pat you are one of the best. Thank you for being who you are, for being there for us as well as for your incredible and long-lasting contribution to the diamond business. We wish Pat our very best through these challenging times.
July 22, 2022
Tribute by Graham Pearson
The diamond exploration and kimberlite academic communities are saddened by the retirement of Pat Sheahan and deeply sympathize with Pat in her struggle with cancer. Pat has provided an immense service to both communities over many years, both efficiently and effectively compiling and distributing literature and organizing endless PDAC diamond exploration sessions. Few have been as strong an advocate of kimberlite-related research, and she has helped to foster research progress in the mould begun by the International Kimberlite Conferences. Pat has strived always for the open distribution of information to the benefit of all and we pay tribute to her for that community-minded spirit. She is in our thoughts as she battles her illness.
D. Graham Pearson Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences University of Alberta
July 20, 2022
Tribute by Buddy Doyle
I echo all the words being said here, Pat is an Icon to all those that venture into diamond exploration and mining. She has been a steady rock in an industry that has seen many faces. I have relied on your work to keep me informed since the eighties.
You are a connector and a bridge builder, that has been key to making diamond exploration feel like a community. Not an easy task in this competitive game.
As others have said, you are always the smile and a source of knowledge at any conference and gathering. I think grace is a poorly appreciated quality in this day and age. If my children were to ask me, "what is grace?" I would point them your way, and say, " look at that person... that person has grace".
I am certain you are handling the tough news of this diagnosis the same way. My thoughts and hopes are with you.
Buddy Doyle Vice President, Exploration Arctic Star Exploration Company
July 20, 2022
Tribute by Dr. Maya Kopylova
I was deeply saddened to learn about Pat's illness and retirement. We crossed paths with Pat multiple times at Canadian and international conferences, and every time I admired her zest for life, her optimism and outgoing attitude, her excellent memory and resourcefulness. Our EOAS Department, the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at UBC and a BC geological community appreciated her generous donation of the Pat Sheahan Library on Diamonds and Metals to MDRU back in the 2000s. For her newsletter, Pat diligently monitored new developments in diamond research, scoured conference websites for Abstracts and proactively requested any info on upcoming diamond-related sessions and short courses.
Lots of Pat's colleagues have praised her for her professional achievements and public service at PDAC, but here I'd like to draw attention to another invaluable facet of her personality. She was an extraordinary character and a trailblazer; she was a brave pioneer expanding our professional life in many new directions. She once told us how she used to be the only female geological engineer in a Faculty Club back in the 80s, and how she made herself welcome in that setting. She was never shy to go up to others and introduce herself, and eventually, her charm and charisma would help her gain an equal footing in these male-dominated fields. She was invited to Organizing Committees and Boards of Directors, thus being a role model for young female professionals. She brought with her that special touch of "soft power" - a female perspective that made her unique contribution to the business world so valuable. It is because of her and many other fearless female professionals of the 70s and 80s that the fields of geology and engineering have now been greatly expanded to women. Thank you, Pat, for your courage. You've done a service to future generations of female geologists!
Dr. Maya G. Kopylova Professor, Diamond Exploration Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Ocean Science
July 18, 2022
Tribute by Tania R. Marshall
I knew of the Sheahan Scanning Services from when I started out in the diamond exploration game back in the late 1980s. But it was only in 1993, when I attended my first PDAC that we actually met. We were introduced by a mutual friend, one Professor Desmond Pretorius, from the Economic Geology Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand. From the first day, Pat took me into her home, and we became friends, even if most of the time it was very long distance friendship and I am a terrible writer. Pat knows everyone in the diamond business and made it her mission to introduce me to as many as possible over the years -- helping me to navigate the International Kimberlite Conferences, to find references on alluvial deposits and, later, to even help me source speakers for various South African diamond conferences through her amazing network.
But even more than a colleague, Pat has been a friend, a confidant and even a pillar of support through the years. Thank you so much for your friendship -- it means so much to me. Continue to be strong and proactive. Wishing you and your family well in these difficult days.
Tania R Marshall Geological Consultant (Explorations Unlimited) South Africa
July 15, 2022
Tribute by Bob Bishop
This note will no doubt join a long list of others reacting to news of your cancer diagnosis, and to all those who know you wishing you well and hoping for a miracle. I was very sad to hear of your news, but it does seem that the older we all get, the more such news comes our way.
John Kaiser did a very nice job summarizing the invaluable contributions you have made to the resource space, most notably to the diamond sector. The duration and constancy of your commitment to that cause is hard to fathom, and all who have benefited from your tireless work owe you a huge debt of gratitude. Apart from your efforts on behalf of diamond research, I've always looked forward to seeing your happy face seated at a PDAC luncheon table that I was always too happy to join. It became a ritual that I always looked forward to, and you were central to the reason I always sought out that spot, if luck would have it, seated right next to you!
Pat, apart from what you've done for the diamond community, you've always been able to help me when I've had questions, a point of research to be clarified, or contact details required to further pursue a subject. Thank you for that; your generosity of spirit should serve as an example to all who've had the benefit of knowing you and your work. While your "runway" may not be as long as it used to be, I hope you still have many good days ahead of you.
Be well-or at least as well as your circumstances allow. I'm not a prayerful person, but in your case I'm going to make an exception.
Robert Bishop Retired Editor and Publisher of the Gold Mining Stock Report
July 15, 2022
Tribute by Derek Fullerton
I was the President of Exmin Corporation, a company devoted to exploring the United States for diamonds. From the early days of Exmin's existence in the early 1980s, we, along with many other companies benefitted greatly from Pat's valuable library search of articles directed towards diamond exploration targets both new and old. Work in some areas would have been difficult or even impossible without Pat's library of useful knowledge.
The geological community will continue to benefit from Pat's living legacy gift of countless research articles for the use of present and future explorationists and researchers. Thank you for being who you are.
We wish you well Pat, in these difficult days.
July 15, 2022
Tribute by Jennifer Pell
I first met Pat in about 1993 and since that time she has been a fantastic friend and mentor to me. We have gone to many International Kimberlite conferences together, attending field trips and having great times. People that attend the conferences know that we love socializing together. Pat is a great dancer and is known for tearing up the dance floor at the famous Prospector's and Developer's Assoc. of Canada (PDAC) conference gala in Toronto. She introduced me to almost everybody in the diamond industry as she knows who's in the zoo. Pat has organized a diamond session at the PDAC conference every year since 1993 and her attention to detail is inspiring. I have been lucky to be her cochair for at least 10 years. Pat takes great pride in trying to facilitate communication between industry, academia and government people involved in diamond/kimberlite work. The annual PDAC diamond session and her monthly newsletter have been instrumental in that. I sure appreciate all that Pat has done for me and others professionally, but more than anything I value our friendship.
July 9, 2022
Tribute by Howard Coopersmith
Pat Sheahan -- feeding the habit
We in the diamond business, exploration/mining/academia alike, are information hogs. We are obsessed with information, collecting all the papers, books, articles, news, data that we can. We read, and file and organize, build data bases and analyze. It's more than a habit, it's an addiction. We can't help ourselves and we can never get enough, always in fear of missing something. This topic is enough for a treatise, but not here, today. I started out living in the university library, thumbing through journals and periodicals, abstract books, whatever. I photocopied everything. Yes, this was well before the common use of computers, and certainly before the internet.
Then a miracle happened. I met Pat Sheahan and some time later she started publishing her Scanning Service -- Diamonds! While I still did my own research, and sometimes found items that she missed (of which I always sent a copy to her), a monthly highlight was the receipt of her Service and I couldn't wait to devour it and send Pat my requests for copies of many papers. Pat became my source for information, my enabler, my friend.
I know that I am not alone in my admiration for Pat's Scanning Service and how it changed our lives and the industry. While some grumbled about paying for this service, and claimed that they could do it for themselves, they secretly coveted receipt of the monthly edition!
I will not repeat the history of this Service, how it evolved, or the many accolades that Pat deservedly received. Yes, the Service changed my life and career, but knowing Pat as a colleague and Friend is the real life changer.
I first met Pat at a Symposium on Alkalic Rocks and Kimberlites, part of the GSA South-Central Section meeting in April 1985 in Arkansas. You can get Pat's version of the story, but she was stalking me as we were competitors at the time, she with Selection Trust/BP Minerals and I with Cominco. This "chance" meeting was the start of decades of friendship, collaboration, business interests, professional meetings, children and grandkids. And Pat coerced me into presenting many talks, including at the infamous 1993 PDAC Diamonds Short Course. I cherish these times and the many mutual friendships and professional relationships that ensued from our bond.
Again, my relationship with Pat was not unique. She knew everybody! Her bonds, interests and accomplishments are widespread throughout the mining industry, Toronto and beyond, even diamonds and beyond!
Pat, your contributions to the mining industry and the lives of those that you touched are without comparison.
Howard Coopersmith Consultant in Economic Geology -- Diamonds Fort Collins, Colorado USA
July 2, 2022
Tribute by Brooke Clements
I first learned of Pat Sheahan's work in the 1980s, before the internet was in wide use. I was working as an exploration geologist for Exmin Corporation based in Bloomington, Indiana. Our mission was to assess the entire United States for its diamond potential and research was an integral part of our work. Our research geologist, Unni Rowell, who ultimately became friends with Pat, would scour the monthly Konsult newsletter, for references that might help our work. At that time it was a paid service and the newsletter arrived by mail each month.
I met Pat in 1993 at my first PDAC conference in Toronto. Diamonds had just been discovered in the NWT and it seemed everyone in Canada wanted to be a diamond geologist. To assist people in learning all the secrets of the trade, Pat organized an unbelievable short course on her own, with experts from the industry giving talks. Maybe the first time that the diamond exploration industry "came out of the closet" regarding diamond exploration technology. The environment was crazy and the course was anything but short. It was oversubscribed and the room was packed to overflowing. All of the talks went over time and questions were allowed; some of them from left field. It went on well into the evening on Saturday night when people gathered over kegs of beer in the lobby to discuss the day's proceedings.
1993 was also the first of Pat's annual PDAC conference diamond sessions. The session, always held on a Monday, is unique and diamond people from all over the world gathered to listen to great talks and tell war stories. She was a chair of the session every year until 2021. I've attended every session since 1998 and am proud to be taking over for her starting in 2022, but those are big shoes to fill.
The internet lessened people's needs for a paid literature search service. But Pat continued scouring the internet and communicating with academic and industry colleagues to put together a compilation every month that includes papers and news from throughout the world related to diamonds, kimberlites and lamproites and anything remotely associated with them. She distributes her newsletter to anyone that wants it free of charge.
With the help of John Kaiser at Kaiser Research Online, there is now a searchable database with all of the references identified by Pat over the decades. In 2018, Pat and John asked me to provide comments on a few papers cited in the newsletter each month with an eye towards what might be of interest to industry. That has been a pleasure and it has helped me fully appreciate the scale of Pat's work.
I have enjoyed socializing and collaborating with Pat over the last few decades and I look forward to continuing that. We've shared drinks at every International Kimberlite Conference since 1998. Her work has meant a lot to me and I admire her passion and enthusiasm for the diamond industry. The compilation of her literature searches at Kaiser Research Online will be a spectacular resource for the diamond industry and researchers for generations to come.
Brooke Clements President and CEO Craton Minerals Ltd.