J.D. Rice

From Alberta's Land Surveying History
Jump to: navigation, search
Doug Rice, ALS
Known for Mayor of Westlock

“He was a good guy, very non-authoritarian and a very practical kind of mayor.” Bruce Lennon (former mayor of Westlock)

Doug Rice, a member of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association from 1961 until 1986, divided his career between the irrigation industry working for the PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) in Saskatchewan, Lethbridge and Westlock and later a small private practice in and around Westlock.

Doug was born in Quebec and later moved to Ontario where he completed high school. He joined the Canadian Navy in 1943 serving as a telegrapher for three years. Later he moved to British Columbia attending the University of British Columbia but, liking the outdoors, he moved to Saskatchewan taking a job on irrigation surveys under Murray Skelton, SLS. Later he worked under C.H. Biddell, ALS, SLS, DLS (who he articled under) on the Saskatchewan River Dam. They then moved to Lethbridge working on the St. Mary’s River Development Project and the Bow River Project.

In the 1960s he had the opportunity to move to Westlock to manage PFRA operations in Northern Alberta. Upon retirement from the PFRA in 1981 he opened a small practice in Westlock specializing in rural and urban subdivisions.

Doug provided a unique photograph of an irrigation survey shot from inside a large irrigation tunnel which was used in the ALSA Career Boards in the late 1970s and assisted in talks to students in the Westlock region which were focused around that set of career boards.

Doug was very involved in the community of Westlock serving on Town Council for twelve years including six years as mayor. In an oral history interview of Doug in 2001, he commented how his experience as a land surveyor was very valuable to him in his service on municipal council because of his understanding of cadastral systems and municipal infrastructure.

Doug is survived by his wife Doreen in St. Albert and five daughters and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

G.K. Allred, ALS (Hon. Life)