S.M. (Syd) Loeppky

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Syd Loeppky, ALS
Known for ALSA President (1990-1991), Professional Recognition Award (1993-1994), Award of Excellence (2002), Honorary Life Member (2008)

On the occasion of receiving honorary life membership, 2008

President Ron Hall addressed the awards luncheon as follows:

Last year, the Association received a letter from John Horn, ALS (Ret.). We get a phone call or a letter from John at least once a year and it is always special. This letter read:

“It has come to my attention, through ALS News, that the aforementioned Mr. Loeppky, is or soon will be officially retired. I have known Syd Loeppky for a good number of years and during that time have seen him donate countless hours of time and effort towards the improvement and running of our Association. His record of his time and effort are on file. I hereby propose he be made an honorary life member.” Council agreed wholeheartedly. Thank you John Horn.

For those of you who don’t know Syd, he received his diploma in survey technology from SAIT in 1965 and, after articling to Jack Lamb, Ron Stothers and Skinny Bright, received his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on August 19, 1970.

He has served on many ALSA committees throughout his career, serving as president in 1990-1991.

Syd received the Association’s Professional Recognition Award in 1994 and received the Geomatics Award of Excellence in May 2002, on behalf of Stantec Geomatics Ltd - for the Renaissance Project at the Calgary North Hill Shopping Centre; being a multi-phased condominium development.

Syd is the recipient of the President’s Award and the Maple Leaf Award (CHBA), 1986 and received the SAIT Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993 for his contributions to industry.

Outside of the land surveying community, Syd has been involved in many different development projects and other initiatives.

Syd, in this introduction I mentioned a number of your professional accomplishments. Before we actually give you your honorary life membership, I think it is only fitting that we find out more about you personally.

President Ron Hall called upon Syd Loeppky’s daughter, Lona Loeppky-Hickman, who addressed the awards luncheon as follows:

With the kind permission of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association, it is my pleasure and, indeed, my honour today to be able to address you. I would like to congratulate all the members of the Association here today on your 100th anniversary and wish you continued success.

I would like to pay tribute to a person who has been truly an inspiration in my life, my father, Mr. Syd Loeppky. Those of you sitting here at this moment will have the rare opportunity to witness my father in a moment of surprise. He had no idea I was to be speaking here today.

I am certain that a great many of you here today are aware of the many awards and accolades that he has received over the years. As his daughter, I have the unique and special privilege of knowing the man behind those awards. These awards do not only speak of his outstanding contributions to his profession, but to the high regard which he has learned from his family, friends and colleagues over the years.

A man of many passions, my father has always been enthusiastic about everything he does, whether in business or leisure activities. He has a true love of his craft, that of land surveying and I have many fond memories of his surveying stories and adventures. When travelling, he never misses an opportunity to seek out and photograph survey monuments and brass caps and talk about how it’s done best in Alberta.

Indeed, all of us possess numerous character traits. Those familiar to us, would often describe us differently when asked about our moral fibre.

I venture you would find a common thread in my father—those qualities that are so imbedded in his nature, that they affect his every action. He strives to be the best always and in every task that he performs. He has interwoven a thread of strong integrity and acumen for excellence throughout his character which does not command but asks for our respect.

My father is a true businessman in every sense of the word, but those of us close to him know him for his generosity and his fun-loving sense of humor. I recall one Christmas, when we headed in to work together and realized, to our shock and dismay, that the office had been burglarized. The entire front office was a shambles—paper everywhere, furniture upturned and our beloved Santa Claus figurine was missing. What I failed to immediately grasp however, was that the shoe prints on the floor were actually cut out of paper. A ransom note we received later that day demanded we collect food for the food bank to which my father rallied our support. Lo and behold, our beloved St. Nick was eventually returned safely. The value of charity had new meaning for many of us that year, thanks to a very kind-hearted kidnapper. Indeed, on many occasions since, I’ve asked my father about the identity of the kidnapper and he has always been able to claim ignorance with a straight face.

My father has made a profound and deep impact in the lives of others as a result of his readiness to share his knowledge, experience and wisdom.

There was a time that I came to work for him and I can honestly say that I have never experienced a more difficult or more rewarding job. One afternoon, he assigned me the unusual job of researching the meaning of Julius Caesar’s famous quote “veni vidi vici.” He pinned the principle on the bulletin board above his desk and often referred to the adage. Not until some years later did I come to understand the motto, “I came, I saw, I conquered,” was not intended for him, but for me.

Always leading by example, he has allowed me and others the privilege of learning from someone who is not afraid to fail. He is always open to lending a helping hand, willing to listen and counsel and not above learning something new himself.

Excellence is something that my father has always demanded for himself but encouraged in others. I have never been more proud of my father than I am today. His entrepreneurial spirit, generosity, gentle humour and wisdom are indeed, all part of his makeup. The common thread being the standard of distinction that many could only hope to achieve.

Speaking before you today, I hope that I have somewhat honoured his legacy of excellence. I would like to congratulate everyone receiving awards today and Dad, congratulations on your life-time membership award. I cannot think of anyone more deserving.

Mr. Loeppky addressed the luncheon as follows:

I had a big speech made up but I think thank you needs to be really expressed and thank you to Lona, that was amazing. I had a whole bunch of little adages I was going to say, especially this morning with that the future is all about and GPS. I was going to say that one of the most important pieces of equipment in the truck is the shovel. It isn’t battery operated so you still need to find the wooden post.

My goodness, I’m overwhelmed and I’m truly honoured. Thank you all.