R.J. (Reg) Watson

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R.J. Watson, ALS
President, 1974
Known for Founding father of Stewart Weir

Reginald James Watson passed away on October 16, 2014 at the age of 81. Reg was born in Pincher Creek, Alberta in 1924 and is survived by his best friend and partner Esther Johnston and his two daughters Leslie and Megan.

Reginald Watson, better known as R.J. Watson, graduated from the University of Alberta in 1958 with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He articled to Charlie Weir and earned his Alberta Land Surveyor commission #255 in 1959 and then became a partner of Stewart, Weir, Stewart & Watson in 1964. Reg served as President of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association in 1974 and was on Council in 1968, 1970 - 1973. His articled students included Frank Meashaw, Irwin Maltais, Bob Bayda and Bill Teskey.

In a telephone interview in the Fall of 2011, Reg fondly remembered some of the projects he enjoyed working on the most during his career. For him “one of the most interesting projects was the Imperial Oil arctic pipeline test section at Inuvik,” explaining that, with a crew, he would fly to Inuvik once a month to test the performance of the pipeline in the permafrost and the arctic weather conditions.

Although Reg used the chain and transit during most of his career, he was one of the early pioneers to introduce a total station for subdivision layout. His projects included many subdivision surveys for the City of Edmonton communities of Millwoods and Riverbend and also the towns of Wetaskiwin and Leduc. In the early 1990s, he worked on control surveys in the area of Brooks for the County of Newell. The Caroline Sulpher Pipeline was the last project he worked on before retiring from Stewart Weir in 1992.

My earliest memory of working with Reg was his patience and unique computer programming style. Using the first version of AutoCad and a COGO program written by Reg, I struggled for days while he patiently looked over my shoulder offering encouragement. During his 33 year career with Stewart Weir, Reg was a pioneer with new computer technology often writing programs to improve the operability of CAD and field survey equipment.

Reg retired to his farm near Sundre where he was very active in the community and a dedicated Olds Grizzly hockey fan. In retirement he was regularly seen playing golf nearby and taking long walks with his dog.

R.J. Watson will always be known as a founding father of Stewart Weir.

Paul Dixon, ALS