B.M. (Bjorn) Rustad
Bjorn Magnus Rustad was born on February 5, 1928 in Norway. He lost a battle with cancer and passed away on May 24, 1994 in the Peace River Hospital.
Bjorn arrived in Canada from Lillehammer, Norway in 1950. He articled under Knox F. McCusker, ALS, DLS and George Palsen, ALS, DLS. He obtained his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on May 29, 1957 and was bestowed with an honorary life membership with the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association in 1985.
His early surveying experience in Alberta was conducting township surveys in the Grande Prairie, Spirit River and Peace River regions, and also working on the Alberta/British Columbia boundary, sixth meridian, and the Northwest Territories boundary with Knox F. McCusker and George Palsen.
Most of his surveying career was spent conducting baseline, control meridian, and township surveys in northern Alberta while employed by the Director of Surveys office for the Province of Alberta. Although he conducted other types of surveys in northern Alberta he considered anything other than conducting prime surveys as merely something to do while waiting for the frost to set in. Prime surveys were not conducted from motels or from the office; they were done with large crews out of tent camps during the sum mer and mobile trailer units pulled behind cats curing the winter. The usual mode of transportation was walking, supplemented by horseback or dog teams kept in camp for emergencies. Rustad enjoyed the isolation and excelled in this tough work. He developed a good understanding of human nature and a good sense of humour which served him well during his career.
Bjorn was not very well known by his first or second names. He was simply known as "Rustad," or by his initials, "B.M." by his friends and colleagues. He was a quiet, fair, knowledgeable, and well disciplined man that went about his projects with a passion for perfection and deep respect for budgets and deadlines. Through his own nature, he expected and demanded top performance from all members of his survey party and was very successful in extracting the last bit of energy from his crews on a daily basis. Anyone that worked for Rustad can vouch that the weather was never so bad or an injury so severe to qualify for missing a day's work.
He enjoyed the great outdoors immensely and never missed an opportunity to drop a fishing line into all waters crossed. He spent some late evenings and early mornings goose hunting in the Fort Vermillion area and, although he enjoyed this sport, very little damage was done to the goose population. During his later years, he managed to spend the winters in Florida and the summers in his home at the confluence of the Peace and Smoky rivers.
He served as principal for Leo E. Raessler, Wm. R. Hunter, Ross O. Metcalfe, and Brad S. Sawchuk.
This great surveyor and gentle man will be missed by his former students, his colleagues, friends, and two sisters, Torbjorg Owen, and Mona Lund in Norway.
Wm. R. Hunter, ALS