J.W. (Jack) Hill
Born May 10, 1918 in Kirkby Lonsdale, England, Jack died at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital in North Saanich, B.C. on February 16, 1999. He was pre-deceased by wives Sonja (1977), Peggy (1995), and Emily (1998); survived by children Christina, Duncan, Celina (Charles) and Alexander (Edith); sisters Celina and Jane; and nieces and nephews.
Following completion of matriculation and a higher school certificate in England, Jack passed the open civil service examinations and then served as a mapping assistant in His Majesty's Land Registry on a project to convert the established conveyancing and deed registry system to the Torrens System.
He served in the British Army from 1939 to 1946 in Europe and North Africa. His military service included surveys and computations to transform geographical values to rectangular coordinates for various grid systems in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sicily, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Germany, using mechanical calculators.
Following the war, he returned to the Land Registry for two years, then worked as a surveyor in Iran for the Anglo Iranian Oil Company.
He immigrated to Canada in 1950 with his wife and two small children and found employment as the computations director in the office of the Director of Surveys in Edmonton. He articled to C.W. Lester, DLS, ALS, and received his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on June 13, 1953, and as a Dominion (Canada) Lands Surveyor in March 1954.
After two years in private practice, Jack joined Triad Oil as chief surveyor in 1955. As such, he successfully lobbied the Alberta Mines and Minerals Department for funds to provide survey control in the Foothills area and worked with the Director of Surveys and other surveyors to establish the Foothills Survey Control Network.
He also initiated action by the Canadian Petroleum Association, the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association and the Director of Surveys to establish the wellsite regulations.
In 1960, he was appointed Canadian technical advisor to government officials in British Honduras. Over the next four years, he advised on survey methods, legislation, education and training, and aerial photography as well as serving as emissary for the Governor of British Honduras to the Governor of Jamaica.
On completion of his consultancy in Belize, Jack worked for a year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on computer applications of subdivision calculations and electronic plotting.
He returned to Edmonton in 1965 and joined Canadian Engineering Surveys until forming his own practice (Control Land Surveys) in 1968. He turned his practice over to his partner in 1983 and retired in 1984 after a long and distinguished career.
Jack made many contributions to the surveying profession through his involvement on committees and the Council of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association. He was a member of the Oilfield Committee (1956-1967), the Legislation Committee (1967-1977), the Discipline Committee (1967-1977), the Planning Committee (1967-1977), and Council (1959-1960 and 1972-1977). Jack served as vice-president (1974-1975) and president (1975-1976).
Among Jack's many initiatives was the coordination of activities to establish the J.H. Holloway Scholarship Foundation. During his term as president in 1975, his leadership of Council conceived the vision of a self-sustaining capital based scholarship fund to support the fledging survey science program at the University of Alberta. Jack was a founding Director of the J.H. Holloway Scholarship Foundation and its first and only president until he suffered ill health late in 1997. Members and related industries responded to fundraising motivated by Jack through the intervening years that saw prosperity and recession, the introduction of the surveying engineering program at the University of Calgary, and NAIT and SAlT transfer students participating in the scholarship program.
He was awarded the Professional Recognition Award in 1988 and was made an Honorary Life Member that year. He was a Fellow and Life Member of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society - London, a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and a member of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.