D.N. (David) Marquardt

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David Marquardt, ALS
Known for Outstanding Service Award, 2012

By Jim Halliday on the occasion of the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award, 2008

It is my privilege today to make the presentation for the ALSA Outstanding Service Award. The description for this award is for outstanding service or contribution to society. It goes on to say that this service does not necessarily have to relate to the profession of surveying but it really implies exemplary service or contribution in any manner for the benefit of society.

In my humble opinion, today’s nominee qualifies equally for recognition within the survey profession as well as externally for his service to society. The Outstanding Service Award was established by Council in 1977 and has only been awarded 11 times since its inception. This tells me that Council is very serious in its consideration of nominations for the award, and rightfully so. Our nominee this year will join a distinguished group of recipients that include: Bob Baker, Tom Holt, Bob McCutcheon, Buck Olsen, Ken Pawson, Jerry Rasmuson, Ted Rippon, Marlin Sexauer, George Walker, and Wally Youngs. He’s gonna fit right in.

It’s difficult to keep dancing around the identity of the recipient so I’m going to cut right to the chase. Our nominee for the Outstanding Service Award is Alberta Land Surveyor #610, David Norman Marquardt. David is an original Albertan, he was born in Edmonton, but has had the opportunity to spend some of his time in various parts of Canada and the world, being born into a military family. He graduated from high school in North Bay, Ontario before returning to Alberta and the U of A where he studied Physical Education. David subsequently contemplated a career change (to our benefit) as he went on to graduate from SAIT’s Survey Technology Program in 1983. He pursued his qualification to article through the Western Canadian Board of Examiners continuing on to article with Don George, Terry Hudema, and Jim Stuart. David received his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on April 19, 1994.

As David has contributed greatly to our Association as well as Society in general, I will speak briefly to both. Upon receiving his commission, David immediately became involved in Association affairs. His contributions, so far are:

  • Professional Development Committee, 1993-1994
  • Convention and Social Committee, 1995-1996
  • Statutory Boundary Tribunal, 2001-2002

He currently volunteers for the Boundary Panel and the Legislation Ad Hoc Committee.

In addition, David has been a frequent contributor to ALS News with articles such as: The Digital Camera, Bush or Prairie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Office, It Was Just a Site Survey, A Surveyor’s Prayer.

The propensity to submit material for publication is reflective of Dave’s strong mentoring qualities. He is always one the first to volunteer for participation in “mock orals” to prepare articling students for their qualifying exams. But, perhaps the ultimate “goodwill” initiative that he has undertaken relative to the Association is his effort to re-name the trophy for the annual North-South hockey game to “The Brassard Cup” in memory of Jules Brassard. A well-placed effort, to be sure.

Aside from Association work, I can pass along a few of the things that David has contributed in an effort to benefit society.

David and his family attend a church in Okotoks that was in need of structural repair. David volunteered his survey expertise as a contribution to the project. As a result of that work David was asked to sit on the church vestry, which he gladly did for a term of five years. David has also participated in presentations to the church men’s group and in the delivery of sermons at the church. David and his wife Dana, in addition to their three children, have expanded their family with the adoption of two daughters from Haitian orphanages. Enquiries into adopting a third child from Haiti have thus far been unsuccessful primarily due to political conditions in that country. David has participated in, and provided his survey expertise to two missions to assist orphanage development in Trinidad in 2004 and in Haiti in 2007. Both these projects have been documented in his ALS News articles. This past February, David traveled to Rwanda to assist with the development of a reconciliation centre in Kigali.

More locally, there was a time when Dave’s son was younger, that he volunteered in the Jr. Forest Wardens youth organization. Personally, I think his involvement may have been shortened by the fact he couldn’t prevent his own son from stabbing himself in the forehead with his pocket knife.

Other volunteer efforts Dave became involved with were: the Blue Brona Christian Camp in the Kananaskis area, to help them define some boundaries, the Turner Valley base of “Youth with a Mission” to help with some boundary questions, the Millarville Community Church to help with the move of a church to a new site, and serving as Master of Ceremonies for numerous fund raising dinners to support church causes in Chile, Belize and Mexico.

Along with his family, David has welcomed nine exchange students into his home from countries such as Japan, Italy, Brazil and Mexico. The terms have lasted in excess of ten months.

David has contributed his time and effort to the adoption charity, God’s Littlest Angels, an organization to which Dana serves on the Board of Directors.

It is obvious that Dave has the full support of his family in his convictions and efforts to contribute to society. One of the most significant things a person can do to better society is to pass on his beliefs and knowledge through leadership and teaching.

We can easily recognize Dave’s contributions to our company and the Association by his willingness to mentor those around him, but his leadership efforts may be most exemplified by the fact that he included his daughter Ashley on his past mission to Rwanda.

David was deeply moved by his time in Rwanda, and in a recent conversation revealed that he will be returning there for another project in the very near future. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the recent history of Rwanda will understand the internal fortitude it must take for a foreigner to stand on their soil.

When he returns, I’m sure he’ll be looking forward to trying to connect again with an acquaintance he made on his last trip—a 35 year old student, who goes by the name of Peter, who affectionately took to calling David “Dad.” It seems when he’s not busy adopting someone, they try to adopt him!

In closing I would like to quote from one of David’s own articles—words that so clearly illustrate his attitude to those around him and the world we live in.

A Surveyor’s Prayer When my surveying days are done, I pray that my boots show the wear and tear of the many miles I have traveled, Yet my footsteps show how softly I have trod.

David, I don’t think that 366 surveyors could have said it any better.

Mr. Marquardt addressed the luncheon as follows:

I am absolutely blown away. This is a total surprise. I love what I do as a surveyor.

Years ago, when I was just an articling student, I read an article by Ken Pawson about his various travels in Antarctica and New Guinea and I thought, wouldn’t it be just great if I could ever have the chance to do something like that.

I have so many people to thank. The first is the lady off to my right here (Dana) who has been an absolutely incredible driving force in our marriage and our life. Thank you to all the people who have affected me in some way, shape or form as a land surveyor: Don George, Terry Hudema, Jim Halliday and many others.

As land surveyors, we are some of the best in the world. I have found that out in my travels in talking with other engineers and land surveyors and I encourage you, all you new students, to keep up your involvement with this organization, but to also look outside this organization because it’s a big world out there. Your talents and your expertise could be used just about anywhere. If I can do it, you can do it too.

Thank you very much Jim. You guys were pretty sneaky about this. Thank you and God bless.