John Angus Macdonald

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John Angus Macdonald was born at Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia on April 24, 1892. He received his early education at Sherbrooke Public School and graduated from Dalhousie University with a B.A. in 1912. In 1913 he received his diploma in engineering from Dalhousie. During the summer months from 1913 to 1915 he served as student assistant with the Topographical Division of the Geological Survey, Department of Mines. In the fall of 1915, he enlisted in the First Canadian Siege Battery, RCA, and served overseas from October, 1915, to May, 1919. He received his discharge on May 13, 1919.

Immediately after discharge, Mr. Macdonald worked for a short period with the Highways Department of Nova Scotia and then resumed his studies, at Nova Scotia Technical College, graduating with the degree of B.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 1920.

After graduation, he worked for a short period with the Maritime Telephone Company and then spent a year in South America, where he was engaged in surveying for mining interests in Bolivia and Peru. Returning to Canada in 1921, he served for a year on the staff of Nova Scotia Technical College, during which time he set and marked papers for provincial land surveyors' examinations.

In August, 1922, Mr. Macdonald joined the staff of the Topographical Division of the Geological Survey, and he continued with this division, through all its reorganizations and changes of name, to the time of his retirement. He was engaged in field surveys in eastern Canada, Alberta and British Columbia until 1951, when he set up and headed the Map Inspection Section of the Topographical Survey Division, Surveys and Mapping Branch, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. In 1952, he became the first head of the newly formed Map Inspection and Editing Section.

Mr. Macdonald married the former Katherine Manson, of Sherbrooke, a school teacher. He had one son, Ian, an assistant trade commissioner with the Department of Trade and Commerce, and one daughter, Kathleen, wife of J.B. Bingeman, M.Sc., Ph.D. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.

On April 8, 1959, J.A. Macdonald, B.A., B.Sc., retired from his post as chief of the Map Inspection and Editing Section of the Topographical Survey Division, Surveys and Mapping Branch, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, Ottawa. During one field season a member of his staff kept a record of the mountains climbed by Mr. Macdonald in the course of his work, and the climbs totalled an impressive 200,000 feet. This is believed to be a record for one season's work, although no other figures exist to prove it.

Source: The Canadian Surveyor, July 1959