George Schmidt was a mining engineer graduate of the UAF School of Mineral Engineering. George’s father was also a mining engineer and George was born in a mining camp in Honduras and grew up in Chile. He was in the army in WWII where he was, among other things, a truck driver and crossed the Rhine on a pontoon bridge as part of Patton’s 3rd Army. After the war, George came to Alaska and got his degree. He worked for USSR&M (Alaska Gold) and then went to work for the BLM. While with the BLM, he worked in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Washington DC, where he was responsible for the BLM 3809 regulations and other regulatory issues affecting mining. He was also a certified mineral examiner for review of Patent Applications. After retiring from the BLM, George was a consummate volunteer for the Alaska Miners Association, the Resource Development Council (RDC), and AMEREF – now Alaska Resource Education (ARE). He wrote more than 30 book reviews that were published in the Alaska Miner, and assisted numerous times in reviewing proposed regulations, mining law issue, etc.
George always wore a suit and tie. He had a huge selection of ties. His favorite was the New Zealand mole wearing a hardhat and lamp and it was the most unique. Many people commented on this tie and tried to talk him out of it. He also had a large assortment of tie clasps.
George sold more ARE raffle tickets than anyone. Whether at AMA breakfast meetings, RDC meetings, or most other occasions, George was always there and ready to sell ARE raffle tickets. George was also a gentleman and a great friend. The annual raffle and silent and live auction at the fall AMA conference are named after George in recognition of his years of dedication to ARE.
For many years at the AMA Annual Convention the framed tie, tie clasp, and picture were auctioned off with the proceeds going to ARE. In 2017, the George Schmidt Memorial Tie Award was created to recognize contributions in mining by an organization operating in Alaska. This award is given annually at the AMA banquet.