N.R. (Norm) Mattson

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Norm Mattson, ALS
Known for ALSA President (1979), Professional Recognition Award (1996)

By Bill Hunter, on the occasion of the presentation of the Professional Recognition Award to Norm Mattson, 1996

President Roosevelt once stated that every man owes part of his time and knowledge to his chosen profession or occupation. Norm Mattson followed this advice and dedicated countless hours to Association affairs.

It is not my intention today to single out one particular event or circumstance that led to this event. It just happens, like watching cream rise to the surface in a bottle of milk, or like accretion; imperceptible with the impact obvious over a period of time.

Our bilingual Alberta-born recipient contends he is not that old. Since he might be sensitive about his age, I will not reveal it. I will inform you that he has been an Alberta Land Surveyor for one half of his life and that he is two years younger than Rudolf (the reindeer, not Valentino).

It is difficult to pick up an ALS News or annual report without finding a report, commentary, speech, lecture, or a motion by him; at all times demonstrating his keen interest and dedication to the profession of surveying. He has developed an uncanny ability to sift the wheat from the chaff; possibly related to spending long hours on a combine contemplating its inner workings. In any regard, a necessary attribute when serving on hearings or meetings. Most important, this man at all times manages to keep the best interest of the public in mind and is quick to remind fellow members on committees this interest must be held paramount in all Association activities.

As you are all aware, the work of our Association is intended to be done by committees. Only those who dedicate their time to this work (and their wife's) can appreciate how demanding this can be; it is enough to make your hair curl. As our recipient later found out, this affliction was only to be temporary.

Our recipient has always found the time to do more than his share of work. He has participated on most of the Association committees and most of the special committees from time to time. He has served our Association in the capacity of regional chairman, councillor, vice-president, president, and past-president - all with distinction.

He has also served as chairman of the Discipline Committee and numerous discipline hearings. It is my personal opinion his finest hour was the time spent on the Practice Review Board, in particular his dedication of time and effort in developing the terms of reference for Systematic Practice Review.

Others equally appreciate his involvement in legalizing survey companies, the rewrite of the Surveys Act, or university education for surveyors, to mention a few. I had the privilege of travelling across Canada in the tracks of our recipient to the other provincial land survey association meetings, three years after he did. Believe me, he and his wife were still fondly remembered by all those he met. They not only served the Association well but were, and still are, great ambassadors of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association, the Province of Alberta, and the Country of Canada.

It is this recipient's regular and continuous participation in Association affairs and his pleasant willingness to undertake any task requested of him that makes his contribution to our Association extraordinary and him, well worthy and deserving of this recognition.