C.W. (Wally) Youngs

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Wally Young, ALS
YoungsCW.JPG
Director of Surveys (1963-1982), ALSA President (1960)
Known for Honorary Life Member (1989)

By Dave Usher, on the occasion of the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award to Wally Youngs, 1981

Wally, as we all know him was born at Didsbury, Alberta and grew up on his parents' farm on NE1/4 Sec. 14-31-3-5. On completion of high school in 1947 he got his first introduction to surveying working as a rodman and instrumentman for Paul Hargrove, ALS in the Department of Public Works. Since that time Wally has devoted his total energies and his whole career to the Public Service of Alberta, and by so doing I submit that he has made an "outstanding contribution to society."

Paul Hargrove, the surveyor that Wally worked for, belonged to the old school of land surveyors - he carefully supervised all his own field work in person, he was meticulous in everything he did, and was extremely proud of his profession -and it was under Paul's tutelage, supervision and influence that Charles Walton Youngs served his term of articles and later qualified as an Alberta Land Surveyor in 1953. Wally pursued his studies further, and received his commission as a Dominion Land Surveyor in 1955.

The former Director of Surveys, Carl Lester, must have been very much impressed with the abilities of Paul Hargrove's student because as soon as Wally received his Alberta Land Surveyors' Commission in 1953, he was appointed Assistant Director of Surveys. Subsequently, when Mr. Lester retired in 1964, Wally was appointed Director of Surveys which position he still holds.

Throughout Wally's career as Director of Surveys, he has also given freely of his time, talents and energy to many other activities and organizations in the surveying and mapping field. The Alberta Land Surveyors' Association has benefited from his continuing contributions. He served as a member of Council from 1956 to 1962. He was vice-president in 1959 and president in 1960. He has served on virtually every committee, but in particular he has contributed continuing invaluable assistance to the Association in connection with changes in legislation affecting land surveyors, and in all matters respecting the education and qualification of land surveyors.

He served for many years as member and chairman of the Examinations Committee. He was very active and instrumental in the development of the University of Calgary degree program in Surveying Engineering, and in particular in enlisting the support of the Government for that program.

Wally has contributed in many ways to the Canadian Institute of Surveying. He was Chairman of the Edmonton Branch and served as Alberta provincial councillor on the CIS Council from 1964 to 1967. Recently the CIS was awarded the holding of the 1986 Congress of the International Federation of Surveyors or FIG. In this regard Wally is now the Secretary of the CIS 1986 FIG Advisory Committee, and he has accepted a full time appointment as Secretary-General of FIG for the years 1985, 1986 and 1987.

Education for surveyors has long been of interest to Wally. He served as a member of the University of Alberta Board of Examiners for Professional Examinations. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for the Department of Surveying Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. He has served since 1979 as a member of the Advisory Committee for the University of Calgary Division of Surveying Engineering. He was a member of the NAIT Survey Technology Advisory Committee.

In his capacity as Director of Surveys, Wally has served and is still serving on many governmental committees and boards, both at the provincial and federal levels. He is a member of the Geographical Names Board of Alberta. He is a member of Sector 5.05 of the Federal Metric Commission. He was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Photogammetric Research. He is a member of the Sub-Committee on Control Surveys established by the National Advisory Committee on Control Surveys and Mapping. As Director of Surveys, he has served on the Canadian Council on Surveying and Mapping since 1964. He was a member of the Provincial Task Force on Urbanization. He is currently a member of the Steering Committee on Land Related Information Systems for the Province of Alberta.

Wally has been a most valued and respected member of the Provincial Planning Board since 1964, and was appointed vice-chairman in 1978. He has served as boundary commissioner for Alberta since 1964 and still serves on both the Alberta-BC Boundary Commission and the Alberta-NWT Boundary Commission.

In addition to being Director of Surveys in Alberta Transportation, Wally was also responsible for all right of way buying by the Department from 1964 until the Property Service Branch was created in 1979.

Due in large part to Wally's initiative, and effective April 1st, 1981, all surveying and mapping functions of the Government of Alberta will be coordinated by a new organization called the Alberta Bureau of Surveying and Mapping in the Alberta Department of Energy and Natural Resources, and Wally has been appointed the executive director of this new organization.

Mr. President, I have outlined some of Wally's achievements in the field of surveying and mapping, but it is my observation that these could not have been achieved without the loyal support, assistance and encouragement of his wife Doreen. Wally and Doreen were married in 1953.

Mr. President, Wally Youngs as Director of Surveys for Alberta has made an outstanding contribution to the people of Alberta. As long ago as 1956, 25 years ago, Wally presented a paper to this annual meeting entitled "A Proposed Triangulation Net for The City of Edmonton," and in many respects this could be considered to be the beginnings of the development of the Alberta Survey Control system. Through Wally's consistent and dedicated efforts to upgrade and improve surveying and mapping within Alberta, we now have surveying and mapping programs and capabilities which are second to none. As a corollary to these surveying and mapping programs, and again largely through Wally's efforts, Alberta has embarked on the development of a comprehensive Land Related Information System, which will be without equal anywhere, and will be of invaluable assistance to the people of Alberta in the orderly planning and development of their province.

On a more personal note, Mr. President, while doing the research for the presentation I had occasion to talk to a number of Wally's co-workers, and I would like to share with you just a few of the things they said about him.


One of his immediate superiors in Transportation:

"Wally always keeps his Branch up to date."

"He has the absolute confidence of his peers in the Alberta Government. "

"He is absolutely trustworthy."


One of the other members of the Provincial Planning Board:

"Wally is highly regarded by his fellow Board members; he is a fair and balanced thinker and always concerned that the Board do its job for the greater public interest, but not without compassion for the individual, and over the years he has contributed a great deal of time and effort to all areas of the Board's function."


Another former employee of Alberta Transportation:

"His qualities, which are ever present. are honesty, integrity, modesty and patience (which is never ending). I guess the greatest compliment I could pay him is that he lives like a Christian - he serves his fellow man."