E.J. (Jim) Clark

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Speech by E.J. Clark on the occasion of accepting honorary life membership in the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association.

A life membership does not come lightly. It takes 35 years (at least), so you see I've been waiting a long time for this opportunity to say thank you to the Council and particularly, the members of this Association.

I know it is expected to say something profound and even meaningful at a time like this; frankly the most profound thing I can think of at this moment is I wish it had happened 35 years ago. Just think of the money saved in membership fees alone.

I truly believe the most significant factor in being a surveyor has been the friendships and camaraderie developed with other surveyors. I have found them (surveyors) to be honest in all dealings, whether it's a survey we are discussing or a business deal; usually a hand shake is all that is required. You can trust a surveyor. Maybe it's his background or maybe it's some of his training, or perhaps it's due to the trust the public must put in him. In any event, I believe if I had to single out one facet of a professional practice, it's the trust we share with each other.


Advice for the New and Young Surveyors

1. We are all entrepreneurs, as such, entrepreneurship is the only way to survive through good and bad times.

2. Be patient and understanding of a client's needs, be sure the client is fully satisfied, do not become agitated over a transaction.

3. If a client complains about high fees, ask how much he can afford, then tell him how much you can offer in return. Don't let a client go, repeat clients get very special attention.

4. It's a competitive world. Don't get frustrated with hard work, but one must take rest and reduce stress. If you are successful, you will not feel the pressures as much.

5. Motivation to staff and client.

6. Go the extra mile; better do more than is expected; spend an extra hour in the field.

7. Supply your client with a smile and lots of communication. Explain how the job is going, who all the approving authorities are, etc. Bring him/her into the job picture (diary ahead). Some of these jobs go on for months with large gaps of time between approval and the final plan.

8. Keep a window open to all opportunities. Don't become lost completely in our own technical forest. We stand to become too insular in our own makeup.

9. Develop new skills or interests continually, play the violin, learn French, take up Chinese cooking, sharpen your wits.

10. Be community minded, be a hockey coach, join the ladies aid society, be interested in others.

11. Join a church.

12. Upgrade your own professional qualifications.


To Our Association and Profession

Be sure to assist in the development of our province and country. We are trained for this task, not only physically, but with some verbal dialogue too. This could be a very tall order, but what is wrong with taking a stand on political views and expressing them to our MPs or MLAs?

Remember, we are leaders and society looks to us for leadership. Thank you and good surveying to you all.


On the occasion of his nomination for Council, 1983

  • Born Feb. 5, 1928 Victoria, BC
  • Public and high schools, Edmonton, Calgary, Pouce Coupe, BC and Vancouver
  • Various short courses in Aerial Photogrammetry, Appraising, etc.
  • Graduate, Surveying and Drafting, Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, (now SAIT), 1949
  • Alberta Land Surveyor Commission, 1955
  • Saskatchewan Land Surveyor Commission, 1960
  • Dominion Land Surveyor Commission, 1964
  • Graduate, Town and Regional Planning, University of Toronto, 1965
  • Articled to L.E. Harris, ALS; H.J. Pritchard, ALS, 1950-1955
  • Senior Instructor, Surveying and Drafting, Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, Calgary, 1950-1955
  • President, Clark Swanby & Associates Ltd.
  • Past President of ALSA, 1961
  • Member, ALS Examining Committee
  • At one time or another, a member of most ALS committees
  • Member, Alberta and Saskatchewan Branches of CIP
  • Member, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Ranchmens' Club, Glenmore Racquet Club, Community Planning Association of Alberta
  • Director, Canadian Red Cross (Alberta, NWT), Community Planning Association of Alberta, Sooner
  • Petroleum Ltd. (Oklahoma, USA)
  • Enjoys, music, art, sailing, tennis, flying (qualified pilot), and skiing