R.M. (Bob) Pollock

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Robert Marshall (Bob) Pollock was born and raised in Calgary and educated in the Calgary public school system. After graduation from high school, he secured a position with Alberta Government Telephones (AGT) as an inside worker and life was good. While employed at AGT, he met and courted a fine lady named Barbara Severson from Scarville Iowa; also employed at AGT. They met in June of 1953, were engaged at Christmas 1953, and married in July of 1954. They raised a family of six daughters; Karen, Heather, Lorna, Roberta, Colleen and Susan and, at the time of his death, Bob was grandfather to eleven grandchildren. Bob felt confined by his office work at AGT and opted to work outdoors in the land surveying industry.

Bob was able to secure articles under Jack Lamb ALS commencing on May 24th 1956. R.M. (Bob) Pollock was registered as an Alberta Land Surveyor on February 1, 1961 after serving his articles under John A. (Jack) Lamb ALS and completing the required professional examinations. Bob practiced in Calgary with the firm of Strong, Lamb and Nelson Ltd. (later Stanley and Associates Ltd.) as well as a couple of ventures as a sole practitioner through the period from 1961 until 1979.

During this time, Bob was involved in many of the major residential subdivision developments in Southern Alberta as the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta enjoyed unprecedented economic growth. Bob Pollock's affidavits may be found on many of the legal plans of subdivision within the communities of Brentwood, Hawkwood, Dalhousie, Edgemont, Beddington, Woodbine and Airdrie. At Strong, Lamb and Nelson, Bob laboured alongside such stalwarts in the industry as Skinny Bright, ALS, Frank Halahuric, ALS and Ross Woolgar, ALS.

Bob found time to article four students. Two of these, Dennis G. Clayton and J.M. Starchuk, completed their articles and examinations and became Alberta Land Surveyors. Students and employees found Bob to be a serious surveyor dedicated to high standards of quality and performance. Despite the distractions of a new and growing family, long hours on the job, tutoring articled students, and parental community obligations, Bob found time to study for and write the Dominion Land Surveyors' examinations and was registered as #884 on April 5th, 1963.

The duties of a corporate land surveyor involved in major land development projects within the City of Calgary were intense, tiring, and often frustrating. Bob resigned from his corporate position in April of 1979 and moved the family residence to Carstairs, Alberta. R.M. Pollock and Associates opened an office in Olds, Alberta at the same time. Bob appreciated the slower pace of the rural and small town environment and enjoyed providing his personal style of land surveying and subdivision services to the Town of Olds and the surrounding communities for 14 years until he retired in June of 1993.

At some point in time during the early 1990s, Bob and Barbara found themselves as "empty nesters" with diverging interests and, by mutual agreement, went their separate ways. Bob and Barbara remained good friends and participated in joint family affairs until his death.

Immediately upon retirement, Bob disposed of the Carstairs home and relocated to the family cabin in the interior of Southern British Columbia on Kootenay Lake between Balfour and Nelson. There he would spend his summers, relaxing and playing bridge with the local experts. The cabin and the locale were not particularly suited to winter occupancy. Bob searched out offshore winter holiday retreats not commonly associated with the mainstream tourist destinations and spent parts of successive winters in Cuba, Mexico, Thailand and finally, the Philippines. When not winter-holidaying offshore he would enjoy the hospitality of any one of his six daughters that resided in the Calgary area.

Bob was a kind man, with a sense of compassion for those less fortunate. During his return trips to the same holiday locations in Cuba, he often filled one of his suitcases with bounty from summer garage sales. Old screwdrivers, hammers, small tools, running shoes, eyeglasses, soap and perfume samples were treasured gifts for the local Cubans. He reported that his generosity was appreciated by the locals. However, the airport customs officials were not impressed!

A surveyor's legacy is often considered to be the survey plans, notes of record, his reputation amongst his colleagues, and his marks left on the ground. Bob's included his loving family.

Robert Marshall Pollock's remains were memorialized by a service held at the United Church in Carstairs Alberta on February 17th, 2000. Grandson Tyrone Harrison, aged 10 years, wrote a poem eulogising Grandpa Bob. These are the closing lines:


"When I look at a picture,

I know he's not there.

But when I look to heaven,

that is when I know where. "


John Deyholos, ALS