R.J. (Bob) Fulton

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By Ken Allred and Dick Bassil, on the occasion of the presentation of the Professional Recognition Award to Bob Fulton, 1997

Robert John Fulton is a true professional.


  • Born in Regina; raised in Rockyford, Alberta.
  • Avid mountain trekker, total respect for nature, enjoys winter camping, tennis, car rallying.


  • Graduated with Distinction from SAIT in 1961; Land Survey Technology.
  • Received Canadian Western Natural Gas Scholarship.
  • Vice-president, Survey Club.


  • Articled to George Walker, ALS
  • Received ALS Commission on October 28, 1963.
  • Served on ALSA Council from 1970-1972 and 1982-1986.
  • ALSA President in 1984-1985.
  • Received ALSA President's Award in 1992, with the comment, "you can always rely on Robert J. Fulton"
  • Articled Pupils (at least nine): Lorne Vanderford, Judy Morrison, John Byrne, Ross Woolgar, Barry Fleece, Brian Wetter, Paul Westersund, Purdy Smith and Paul Densmore.
  • Served on virtually every committee of the ALSA.
  • Authored original Manual of Good Practice in 1989.
  • Served on the Committee for the Rewrite of the Surveys Act.
  • Was one of the initiators of the Real Property Report.
  • Has been involved in several reviews of condominium legislation.
  • Researched and been involved in the debate on title insurance.


  • Grader operator - M.D of Rockyford
  • Walker & Newby in Edmonton (1961-1968) and Calgary from 1968-1993 (partner since 1966)
  • Matai Surveys -1993-1994.
  • Established Fulton & Associates in 1994.

But so much for the background - let's back up these facts with a few stories about the real Bob Fulton.


SAIT Astronomy Class - our Astronomy instructor was attempting a problem on the blackboard when Bob said, "that's not right." The instructor said, "if you can do better-come on up and show us." Bob promptly came up and solved the problem correctly.

Ken Berg

One Halloween it seems Bob was playing mother, pushing his Safeway cart into numerous bars, the Safeway cart being the baby carriage for none other than that other "social moderate" Ken Berg, who was wearing only a diaper. As the story goes, several bars would not allow "mother" to bring their babies into the bar, and promptly evicted them.

We were working in Fort McMurray back when the only transportation in was bi-weekly on the old NAR (Northern Alberta Railway) or the winter road. The job was finished early so Bob decided they would come out by the winter road. The only problem was the train still beat them.

Norm Suvan

Bob was a classic rookie and in his first year (with Walker & Newby) I thought this tall slender kid would never make it as a surveyor, as he was continually looking over his shoulder for a possible bear attack (of course we always managed to plant the proper seeds). In the winter, we could not get him to stop shivering no matter how many clothes he put on, and he would virtually bump the instrument with his nose because he shook so badly.

One time we flew to Atikimeg to do a site survey for the Northlands School Division and stayed as guests of the local nuns in their residence. We also had to do a water intake profile survey, and as Bob chopped four or five holes in the ice, the natives came right behind pulling jack fish out of each hole. That was the same trip when Ken Berg broke through the ice of the sewage lagoon and Bob isolated Ken and his clothing from the rest of the crew for the duration of the day while he aired out.

We spent a lot of time around Rimbey in the early 60s and of course, we took in the country dances. We had a hard time getting Bob to interact with the locals, but one night he surprised us with his version of the Rockyford two step.

George Walker: (from the ALSA records)

  • July 1962: has served one year of articles - capable student.
  • October 1963: Discharge from articles.
  • Very capable student.
  • Willing to take instruction and apply himself.
  • High degree of honesty and integrity, and moderation in all social contacts.

Dick Bassil

To some of us in the Association, Bob is more than a colleague, fellow committee member, or fellow worker. Bob is one of those people that we all seek out in surrounding ourselves with good friends. He can always be relied upon to give sound and objective advice on most any subject.

Bob's time management skills ensured that work and home life were well balanced. Time with family, friends, for the most part in the outdoors, are important to Bob.

His relaxation time usually included something that was a challenge or on the competitive side.

He is challenged with the difficulties and somewhat dangerous activity of high altitude hiking. At times, this meant roping Joan and his young family together to traverse a glacier laced with hidden crevasses.

His car rallying in the early years as a professional surveyor, were on the competitive side. Using the "family car" - usually a rally model - he would compete in the 24 hour rally, relying on a navigator and a curta calculator. Check points timed to the second were relaxation to Bob.

Many of you have been "challenged" by Bob to a tennis match. Squeezing a set in during a coffee break at an AGM would not be unusual.

Camping trips with Bob meant some brief periods around the campfire and the rest of the time hiking on some trail or up some mountain "to get a better look."

His deep respect for nature in everything he did makes one wonder if he ever did clear a cut line!

Bob was, and is, physically strong. Those of us who batched together during school and early work years have recollections of many tussles and wrestling matches. No one wanted Bob to get a head lock with his strength. We finally discovered that one little elbow shot to the nose would finish him - his nose would bleed for hours.

Judy Morrison

"He gave me a break as a woman and took me on as an articled pupil, but he treated me just the same as one of the guys - so professional - a great person to be articled to - he always stretched you to the limit."

He loved words. He writes a really good report. He introduced me to Nanavut (mountain tip sticking out of a glacier), and penultimate, and many others.

I think Judy's kind words capture the essence of our friend Bob Fulton-so professional.

Bob always shows initiative - there is virtually never an annual meeting that goes by without at least one very well thought motion proposed by RJF. You always knew that when Bob spoke at a meeting, he had done his homework. In fact any meeting, whether its with surveyors, developers, lawyers, or whomever - when Bob speaks, people pay attention because they know that the words will be meaningful and packed with wisdom.

Whenever there was a really tough job in the Association, which nobody had the time to deal with, Bob always came through and pulled it off. He is not averse to large tasks, or controversial tasks. To him, they were all just a challenge-a challenge that he tackled with diligence and a high level of performance, commitment, and knowledge - a true professional.

We'd just like to conclude with a few lines of verse, which I believe sum up all of our thoughts about Bob Fulton, compliments of Fredda Leiman.

About Bob

He has earned the respect of all that he's met.

They admire the very high standards He's set.

On Board and Committee - he's done what he could.

Though he'd rather be taking a walk in the wood!

So Robert J. Fulton - Salute! from your peers!

In 2005, Bob Fulton retired as an active Alberta Land Surveyor after 43 years of service to the profession.