E.I. (Ev) Carefoot

From Alberta's Land Surveying History
Jump to: navigation, search

Ev was born and raised near Waskatenau, Alberta on a farm that was homesteaded by his father in 1910. He finished high school about the time the Battle of Britain was getting underway and spent the next 5 1/2 years with the RCAF where VE Day found Ev just outside Hanover.

Following his discharge, Ev entered the University of Alberta and obtained a degree in civil engineering with the renowned "Class of 1950." He joined UMA and spent much of the next 5 years on the development of RCAF bases and helped to choose the site for CFB Cold Lake. Somehow he also found time to prepare for and pass the Alberta Land Surveyor's exams. Ev was registered as an ALS in 1953.

Ev joined Associated Engineering Services Ltd in May 1955 as a municipal engineer. In his first years with the company he was heavily involved in the design and construction of the Griesbach Barracks.

Ev was always a keen outdoorsman and, in fact, spent two of his university summers exploring and mountaineering in the Yukon, laying in control triangulation nets from mountaintop to mountaintop with the Department of Mines and Resources. A lot of this sort of thing is now done with speed and convenience by helicopter. Things were different in the late forties. The standard conveyance was the pack horse, and crews were out for weeks at a time. Also, the horses took the gear only as far as the base of the mountain. How would you guess it got to the top?

When the early 1960s brought accelerated development of communities in the foothills of the Rockies, in the Yukon and the Mackenzie Valley, Ev's outdoor interests and his first-hand experience in some of Canada's remote north lands were a natural match. He contributed heavily to the early development of such communities as Grande Cache, High Level, Edzo (NWT), and Faro (Yukon), and there are few communities in northern Alberta, the Yukon and the western NWT where he has not been involved in some endeavour. His projects included site and route selection and site development, water supply, treatment, storage and distribution, sewage collection, treatment and disposal, roads, airports, buildings, dams. His travels have taken him to the north slope of Alaska, throughout the western provinces and territories, to the Arctic Islands, Baffin Island and through a number of communities in Greenland.

Travelling with Ev to these out-of-the-way places is rumoured to be enjoyable but exhausting. It is reported that the pace that Ev sets through the bush on his site selection ventures must have worn down the hooves of many a good pack horse. Long hours don't slow him down, either. Many times he has been seen, by the pale light of the midnight sun, sometimes many remote miles beyond any contemplated development, diligently and skillfully collecting baseline data which some day may be useful in assessing the possible impact of some future project on the region's sports fishing resources.

Source: Associated Engineering Services Ltd corporate newsletter, August 1980, on the occasion of Ev Carefoot’s 25th anniversary with AESL.