Jack Holloway died in Sidney, BC on April 16, 1975.
He was born in 1909 in Bristol, England. Jack graduated from the University of Bristol with B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in civil engineering and immigrated to Alberta in 1930. There he took on the chores of chainman and instrumentman on a DPW highway construction crew, incidentally getting an axe head embedded in his back after too hefty a swing.
In 1934, he qualified as a Dominion Land Surveyor and in 1935 became an Alberta Land Surveyor. For two years, he was surveyor to the Land Titles Office in Edmonton. In 1938, he was appointed assistant Director of Surveys and town planning. In 1947 he became director of these branches. At about the same time, he acquired the additional duties of chairman of the Provincial Parks Board, member of the Prairie Provinces Rural Housing Advisory Commission, member and later chairman of the Geographic Board of Alberta and part-time chairman of the Civil Service Commission. In 1962, he became a member of the Town Planning Institute of Canada.
In 1949, in collaboration with Professor H. Spence-Sales of McGill University, Jack studied metro planning problems in Alberta, devised a system of regional and municipal planning districts and thereby evolved the first type of regional planning and the most progressive and forward-looking Planning Act on the North American Continent. He was then appointed the charter chairman, Edmonton District Planning Commission.
Concurrently with these arduous duties, Jack was also Alberta Boundary Commissioner on the Alberta-BC and Alberta-NWT boundary commissions involving the surveying of 450 miles of provincial boundaries. These activities were still not sufficient to occupy his time, talent and energies; he was also chairman provincial Planning Board, vice-president of the Civil Service Association of Alberta, secretary-treasurer and registrar of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association, 1949-1967, of which he became president in 1949 and a life member in 1970.
Having divested himself of the directorship of the surveys, Planning and Parks Board, he became, in turn, assistant clerk to the Legislative Assembly, chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Public Service Commissioner and chairman of the Classification Appeal Board with the rank of Deputy Minister. Following his retirement from government service in August 1965, due to ill health, he was a partner in the town planning firm of Makale Holloway and Associates Ltd. until his full retirement to Sidney, BC, two years later.
During Jack's long, productive and all-encompassing stewardship of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association, he was the initiator and driving force behind modernizing the Surveys Act, the Land Surveyors Act, the Planning Act and had considerable input into revisions to the Land Titles Act and the Expropriations Act. He was well known and highly respected in surveying circles across Canada and wrote at least nine articles for The Canadian Surveyor on various topics including "The Discovery of the Longitude," "Northern Alberta Oil Sands and their Development" and particularly “The Principles of Evidence," which has become a classic in its field and required reading for a proper understanding of the "Surveyor and the Law." Jack had a lucid polished literary style and a well developed sense of humor. In his younger days, he was a regular contributor to Punch in London, England. He wrote a history of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association and wrote articles and gave lectures on town planning.
Amid all this activity and myriad official, honorary and self-imposed obligations, Jack remained serene and unperturbed by any crisis always worked in a calm, unhurried way, always had time to listen to a person's troubles and problems and always seemed to come up with a solution; his output and achievements were prodigious, exceptional and much appreciated. His powers of concentration were legion. During an annual land surveyors meeting in the midst of a noisy stag party, he would write up the minutes, formulate resolutions, suggest statute revisions, compose a balance sheet, draft letters, then get back into the swing of things.
Jack produced a massive, in-depth study of the qualification requirements for land surveyors compiled from a thorough research of all provincial associations; this document ran to fifty pages. He suggested a means to make reciprocity a meaningful goal and proposed a basic training program for surveyors. He devised an ingenious pay scale for civil servants, planned the new towns of Devon, Lodgepole and Sherwood Park, and produced regional studies establishing a secondary highway system for Alberta. In short, he had an insatiable appetite for hard work and his output equalled a small army of ordinary mortals.
One cannot imagine he had any spare time for relaxation. But again, one would be underestimating his capacity for hard work. His acre-plot on the outskirts of Edmonton provided a setting for physical activity, a much needed safety valve - 7,000 gladiolus bulbs carefully planted and preserved each season, a new garage, concrete walks and driveways, all self-made, contributed to a beautiful, large, well-kept and most colourful garden. In addition, Jack amassed a collection of antique Packards, which were carefully preserved and proved to be a valuable asset. With his 24 hour-a-day schedule, he needed an understanding family and his success as an administrator was in no small measure due to his wife Joyce, who as a confidante was very much involved in Jack's high speed, non-stop activities. Our Alberta Association holds an annual golf tournament in his honor; the game is played in strict accordance with rules intricately and meticulously worked out by Jack. At the end of each event, the stewards repair for drinks in the clubhouse and with HP65s calculate the scores; one thing is certain -the best player never wins!
When Jack finally retired to the coast in failing health, he once again did not take the easy way. He bought a raw sea-front lot with saline soil, built an excellent house with his own hands, and tacked on a nine-car garage for his car museum. He worked the soil until it produced his beloved flowers, especially roses, and was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society. He was unhappy with the frequent restrictions on the use of water and occasionally, with a certain nostalgia, wished that the vast expanse of sea water outside his front window was a field of ripe, billowing prairie wheat.
Yes, Jack was a powerful, continuous operating human dynamo, an intellectual giant encased in a small though tough physical shell. His achievements were many, profound and lasting.