Robert Daniel McCaw

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R.D. McCaw, ALS
Known for President, Corporation of Land Surveyors of the Province of British Columbia (1934)

R.D. McCaw was born May 24th, 1884, at Welland, Ontario, and died at Victoria, BC, on August 22nd, 1941 He was the eldest of four sons of John and Fannie Armstrong McCaw. His father was an early merchant and an elder in the Presbyterian Church at Welland. His grandfather, Daniel McCaw, was of old Scottish Covenanter stock.

His early education was in the public and high schools at Welland, also taking a correspondence course from an institute in the USA. He received his Ontario commission February 16th , 1907, and then entered into partnership with the late George Ross in the practice or surveying at Welland till 1909. Early in 1909 he received his DLS Commission, and the same year, because the climate of Ontario did not agree with him, the partnership with Mr. Ross was dissolved and he was given work under Arthur O. Wheeler on examination of lands-in the Railway Belt in British Columbia, with headquarters at Calgary. While there, he became an Alberta Land Surveyor. In 1910, on Mr. Wheeler's resignation from the Department of the Interior, he was placed in charge of the work in the Railway Belt. In 1911 he left this work to go on land surveys in Northern British Columbia under Mr. Wheeler, who was then located at Sidney, Vancouver Island.

In 1912, Mr. McCaw received his BCLS Commission and became a member of the firm of Wheeler, Campbell and McCaw. He was then engaged in road location on the West Coast of Vancouver Island for the Public Works Department at Victoria during the years 1912 and 1913.

In 1913, he made a photo-topographical survey along the route of the Banff-Windermere Highway for the Public Works Department of BC. In 1914, the firm of Wheeler, Campbell and McCaw was dissolved, and in May of that year Mr. McCaw began to make photo-topographical survey for the Surveys Branch of the Department of Lands of the Province of British Columbia. He was the first to make such surveys for the Department.

On April 1st, 1929, he was appointed a member of the permanent provincial civil service. From May 1914 to just prior to his death, he had mapped topographically the Okanagan Valley, parts of Shuswap Valley, the Similkameen Valley, the Nicola Valley, parts of the Skagit River Valley, portion of Cariboo District north of Quesnel Lake, and other parts of Cariboo District.

In 1935 and 1936, Mr. McCaw was working on Vancouver Island and the West Coast; in 1937 and 1938 he was on the Finlay River, and in 1939 was again on Vancouver Island, and worked around Alberni in 1940 and 1941.

He was on the Board of Management of the Corporation of British Columbia Land Surveyors in 1931 and 1932, vice-president in 1933, president in 1934, and an ex-officio member in 1935. On March 28th, 1913, Mr. McCaw married, at Winnipeg, Miss Ethel Madge McConnell, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward McConnell of Lakeview, Ontario.

Association of Ontario Land Surveyors Committee on Biography