C.H. Weir

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Charlie Weir, ALS
Known for ALSA President (1957), Professional Recognition Award (1978), Honorary Life Member (1989)

On the occasion of the presentation of the Professional Recognition Award to Charlie Weir, 1978 and updated in 2013

Charles Henry Weir was born in Edmonton in 1925 but was raised on a 320 acre wheat farm two miles from the Alberta village of Lougheed. In June 1943, at the age of 17, he graduated from Grade 11 and, in October of that year, joined the RCAF. He trained as a navigator in Edmonton, Regina, Portage la Prairie, and Charlottetown, and was sent overseas just as the war ended. He was discharged as a sergeant in 1945 and returned to school, attending the pre-matriculation school in Red Deer, and later the University of Alberta. He graduated in 1950 with a B.Sc. in civil engineering and received the First Class Standing Award. He returned to the University in the fall of 1950 and, during the following year, wrote his thesis on the steam curing of concrete. He was awarded a master's degree in civil engineering in 1952.

During his university years, Charlie worked for two summers with the Alberta Department of Highways and for two summers with A.G. Stewart. He articled to A.G. Stewart and qualified as an Alberta Land Surveyor in 1951. He also qualified as a Dominion Land Surveyor in 1951 and as an SLS in 1952. Upon graduation, he was employed by Stewart, Little & Stewart, and was made a partner in the firm in 1952. Charlie has been manager and senior partner for the past fifteen years as well as a director of affiliated companies. Charlie's personal practice experience leads the services offered by his company: legal surveying, control surveys, engineering and construction surveying, town planning, consulting engineers on roads and drainage, development consultants, photogrammetry and aerial surveys.

Charlie has been active continuously in the affairs of the Association for the past 26 years. He has provided exemplary service on one or more committees since 1951: member of Council 1952 to 1955, 1958 and 1959: Vice-president 1956: President 1957: Historical and Biographical Committee, member 1960 to 1967, Chairman 1968 to 1973; Planning Committee member 1958, 1964, 1967, 1968, Chairman 1969 and 1970; Committee on the Future, Chairman 1971 and 1972; University Education 1974 and 1976; Committee on Incorporation 1977. Charlie has also had charge of the Association photo album, its organization and updating since 1967. He has also been active on a number of committees in the professional engineers association in Alberta. His most significant contribution being the preparation of report and representation of that association at the federal government task force hearings on surveying and mapping in Canada.

He has been a member of the Canadian Institute of Surveying (CIS) for 25 years, and became provincial councillor for Alberta in 1962. He was chairman of the organizing group of the Edmonton branch and first chairman of the Edmonton branch of the CIS. He was also chairman of the Publicity and Exhibits Committee for the 1968 annual meeting which was held in Edmonton (the first to be held outside of Ottawa) and, because of its success, was the forerunner of later CIS annual meetings held from coast to coast.

He was again provincial councillor for the CIS from 1968 to 1971 and was elected second vice-president in 1971, first vice-president in 1972, and president in 1973. During this latter period, he was chairman of the Constitution Committee, chairman of the DLS Affairs Committee, chairman of the Special Committee on Dominion Land Survey Qualifications. In 1973, Charlie received the Alberta Government Achievement Award in surveying following nomination by the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association and the CIS Edmonton Branch.

The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) was founded in 1878. It is a federation of survey organizations in more than 41 countries with correspondents in some 12 other countries. Charlie has been actively involved with FIG since 1972. He was Head of Canadian Delegation to meetings of this organization to Tel Aviv, Israel in 1972 and Canberra, Australia, in 1973. He represented FIG Commissions #1 (professional practice) and #2 (Education) in Washington, D.C. in 1975. In 1976, he represented FIG itself at the United Nations Conference on Human Settlement following chairmanship of FIG Habitat Task Force which prepared the Settlement report. This report, printed in seven languages was presented by Charlie to the UN Government Habitat Conference and the NGO Habitat Forum in Vancouver in May, 1976. In 1977, he went as a member of the Canadian delegation to FIG Congress in Stockholm. Sweden. In 1978, he is working with Commission #5 (survey instruments and methods). As well as these special reports and Canadian delegations to Congress he has been Canadian correspondent for Commission #1 (professional practice) from 1972 to date.

The work of a surveyor touches and uses other technologies. Charlie holds membership with the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping, the American Society of Photogrammetry, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Community Planning Association of Canada, and the American Right-of-Way Association. He has served the latter as an international director and on the Edmonton Branch executive. Since 1973, he has been a member of the Canadian Petroleum Association, Survey and Mapping Committee. In 1976, he was General Chairman of "Users Conference on Provincial Coordinates." This was a conference to formulate a coordinate policy for use in information systems and modernization of land data systems in Alberta.

Beyond these professional and technical accomplishments, he manages membership in his Edmonton Community League, church and city service club. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce shares some of his time along with the Northwest Chamber of Mines.

In addition to his professional involvement, Charlie is also very active in the Masonic Organization. In 1973, he was general chairman of a major gathering of Knights Templar from across Canada and the United States, the 90th annual assembly, which was held in Edmonton.

Truly these many professional and technical achievements are a mark of this one man and are a result of personal time management. It leads us to question as to whether he retires in the evening, but we can suppose Charlie has burned the midnight oil from time to time. Effort and timely scheduling can achieve many goals and transmit ideas into action. Charlie has been instrumental in initiating and launching professional and educational goals on an international, national and provincial level to the benefit of all surveyors and related disciplines. The presentation of this award was to recognize this.

Charlie Weir has indeed remained active with the many professional organizations to which he belongs, including APEGGA and FIG, and was chairman of the FIG International Symposium on Land Information Sytems held in Edmonton in 1984. He has written extensively on land information systems and and the corridor concept through the 1980s, and even after retirement chaired the Ministerial Advisory Commitee on Survey, Mapping & Land Related Information Systems. He has continued to garner awards in recognition of his contribution to his profession and is an Honorary Life Member of both the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association and the Association of Canada Land Surveyors.

Charlie passed away September 24, 2012.