Born in Haarlem, Holland, Emmal worked in a sawmill until being drafted into the Dutch Air Force. He later moved to Vancouver with hopes of finding work in a sawmill on False Creek, only to find it burned down on the day of his arrival. In need of work, he made a living as a tree planter on Vancouver Island. Forced to leave the woods due to back problems, he found a job as an appraiser with the B.C. Assessment Authority, then with the Federal Government as a valuation officer for Public Works. The Timbercruisers is his self-published autobiography.

[BCBW 2003]