T. (Tak) Okamura

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By Ken Allred, on the occasion of the presentation of Honorary Life Membership to Tak Okamura, 2002

Tak Okamura received his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor on November 9, 1960 and was active for 36 years.

Mr. Okamura graduated from SAIT in construction & drafting technology and from the University of Alberta in civil engineering. He was also a member of APEGGA.

Tak articled to Harold Brown and, together, they formed the firm of Brown Okamura in Lethbridge. Tak did numerous legal surveys in southern Alberta involving subdivisions, rights-of- way, roads, and control surveys. He also served on many committees including the Special Committee on the Survey System and the Special Committee on Incorporation.

In 1972, he served as President of the Association. That year, the Association formed a special committee on the Land Surveyors Act. The special committee prepared a brief to be presented to a provincial legislative committee on professions and occupations, chaired by Catherine Chichuk, MLA. The Association also prepared a draft amendment, in cooperation with the Director of Surveys office, on amendments to the Surveys Act and Survey Control Regulations.

Tak and Jan organized what I believe was the only ALSA annual general meeting to be held in Lethbridge.

His other interests include skiing, golfing, curling, and auto restoration. He was with the Kinsmen Club of Lethbridge for a number of years and was Director, vice-president and president of the Gyro Club.

Mr. Okamura addressed the luncheon as follows:

I was pleasantly surprised and honoured when President Ken called to inform me that an honourary life membership was being bestowed upon me by the Council of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association. When I look at the names of the present Honorary Life Members, I am overwhelmed and humbled to be included in this illustrious group. It is indeed an honour that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

It seems so long ago that I first stood before this Association some forty-two years ago when I received my certificate, registration #263, signed by the then President Wally Youngs and Registrar Ted Rippon commissioning me as an Alberta Land Surveyor. On the other hand, my years of retirement have flown by so quickly, it is hard to believe that it has been ten years since I last signed a legal plan or document as an ALS. I still pop in occasionally to my former company and get up to date with information on Association affairs from Dave Williams and Bob Baker. I do regret not being able to attend any annual general meetings of this Association since my retirement as indeed, it was a real pleasure today, to meet and get re-acquainted with so many members of this Association that I have not seen for the past ten years.

I recall, with fond memories, Council meetings in the Association office in the old Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre in the late sixties and early seventies. After a hectic day dealing with Association affairs, there is always the mad, hairy ride to the old municipal airport to try to catch the plane after the meeting-being driven there by one of the local Council members or by the kilted, race driver, Secretary-Treasurer Bob Baker.

I recall that at only the second AGM (by the way there were two) ever held in Lethbridge during my term as president having a potential resolution on the floor proposed by Skinny Bright which, if it was passed, would have meant a non-confidence vote of the Council resulting in a possible dissolution of the entire Council. Fortunately, after a brief recess and discussion with Skinny, the resolution was withdrawn. Skinny certainly kept us on our toes during the annual meeting.