David Townsend

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David Townsend, ALS
Known for ALSA President (1928, 1933, 1937), Honorary Life Member (1949)

David Townsend was born at Mount Vernon, Ontario and moved to Calgary in 1908. He was employed with the Canadian Pacific Railway for more than 40 years, retiring as chief surveyor.

Upon his employment with the Canadian Pacific Railway Mr. Townsend obtained other Land Surveyor Commissions: Saskatchewan Land Surveyor # 25 in 1910, Alberta Land Surveyor #58 in 1911 and his Manitoba Commission # 51 in 1914. I noted a reference that Mr. Townsend was an associate member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, now the Engineering Institute of Canada, however I do not have any information as to which University he attended. I assume it was a university in Eastern Canada, circa 1905.

Mr. Townsend was President of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association in 1928, 1933 and again in 1937. He also served as President of the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association in 1925 and was also made a Life Member in 1944.

A write-up in the Canadian Pacific Railway staff bulletin June 5, 1943 (material obtained from Mr. R.C. Kennell, Manager, CPR Heritage Services):

One of those who helped survey the Calgary district in the early days, David T. Townsend, Chief Surveyor for the Company’s Department of Natural Resources, Calgary, since 1912, retired April 30th after 36 years with the company. Among western towns which Mr. Townsend surveyed were Outlook, Kerrobert, Coronation, Empress, Assiniboia and Shaunavan. After experience with the “Niagara, St.Catherine and Toronto Railway” in 1906 along with obtaining his Commissions as an Ontario Land Surveyor # 383 in 1906 and his Dominion in 1907, he was employed by the Company as a townsite surveyor in Winnipeg. He became Chief Surveyor for the Company in 1912.

The write-up also noted that after 36 years of service, the CPR presented Mr. Townsend with a Gladstone bag and flowers for Mrs. Townsend.

He passed away, at the age of 90 in 1968 and buried in the Union Cemetery, Calgary. His wife, Florence predeceased him, in 1961 and to my knowledge they had one daughter.

J.H. Webb, SLS (L.M.) retired