R.A.F. (Ross) Tate

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Ross Tate, ALS
Known for ALSA President (1971-1972), Honorary Life Member (2001)

By Larry Pals, on the occasion of the presentation of Honorary Life Membership to Ross Tate, 2001

Ross Alexander Francis Tate received his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on June 4, 1963 and was an active member for twenty-three years. He also held commissions as a Manitoba Land Surveyor, a Saskatchewan Land Surveyor and a Dominion Land Surveyor. His first job in surveying was to complete a survey of the Manitoba/Ontario boundary. Over the next few years, he worked on baseline surveys, township subdivision surveys, lot surveys and provincial parks and with Canadian National Railways, he retraced a lot of rail lines in southern Manitoba. When CN opened a new district office in Edmonton, we had the good fortune to get to know Ross Tate. In 1972, he left CN and joined Public Works Canada as Manager of Surveys. His work there entailed surveys for RCMP sites in various towns, communication towers and many other surveys required by federal government departments.

If you think his work life kept him busy, you also have to bear in mind that he served on twenty-four Association committees during his twenty-three year career as an Alberta Land Surveyor. This does not include time he served on Council and his year as President of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association in 1971-1972.

Mr. Tate addressed the audience as follows:

It is a great honour to get something like this. It makes me a little bit humble and a little sure that I have accomplished something when I hear that I served on twenty-four committees. I don't remember any of them. I also have certain misgivings as I feel that there might be other people in the Association that deserve this honour as much as I.

I can remember that when I started surveying I articled to Mr. Ed Gauer who was the Assistant Director of Surveys in Manitoba. I got to know him very well because he and I left Winnipeg about the middle of December, flown up to Gods Lake to the end of the boundary line and were stuck in a tent by ourselves for two weeks. So I got to know my master fairly well. I have never regretted being a surveyor. I have seen a lot of things, done a lot of things, met a lot of characters and a lot of good people.

I honestly think that anybody becoming a surveyor has chosen the best profession going.