John Graham finally found the town he’d settle down in when he came to Merritt over 30 years ago.

“I’ve lived all kinds of places, but I’ve never lived anywhere nearly as long as I’ve been here,” Graham said with a laugh.

“This is my home now,” he said.

Graham, 67, was born in Brandon, Man., but Merritt is the place he’s made a name for himself, working as a local land surveyor for many years.

Now, Graham has decided to retire.

He said there were several reasons he chose to call it quits from the land surveying game, but the main reason was because of the changes in land surveying technology.

Graham said given the required upgrades to equipment used in his line of work, the expense and task of learning the new technology wouldn’t have been worth committing to at his age.

Graham said he chose to pursue a career in land surveying because he wanted a job that combined mathematics with being outdoors and active.

“I’ve always been keen on math, and keen on being outside and being physical,” Graham said.

He had worked as a school teacher for five years before he found himself working in a gas plant in Fort Nelson, which is when he had the idea to become a land surveyor. He then went to school for two years and graduated from BCIT with his certificate in surveying technology, he said.

After schooling came the job hunt and Graham, preferring smaller towns, applied for a job opening he found in Merritt, and began working for his predecessor, Garry Howarth.

At 35, Graham moved to the Nicola Valley where he would lay roots with his wife Sheryl and their three children.

“I think it’s just the people you meet and the friends you make,” Graham said in regards to settling in Merritt.

In 1992, he took over his predecessor’s business and began Graham & Associates B.C. and Canada Land Surveyors.

However, his “associates” were the people who worked for him who weren’t land surveyors, Graham said with a laugh.

“Just sounded better,” he said.

Now it would appear as though history is repeating itself as Underhill Geometrics Ltd. has taken over Graham’s business.

“He was a dedicated, professional land surveyor,” Underhill Geometrics senior partner Ivan Royan said of Graham.