W.A. (Bill) Wolley-Dod

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Bill Woolley-Dod, ALS
Known for ALSA President (1958), Professional Recognition Award (1981), Honorary Life Membership (1989)

Bill Wolley-Dod passed away at the age of 74 years at the Dr. Vernon Fanning Centre in Calgary on August 29, 2002 after a long battle with diabetes which he had endured for years.

He obtained his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor in 1952. He also held commissions as a Saskatchewan Land Surveyor and Canada Lands Surveyor.

Bill served as President of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association in 1958 and was awarded Honorary Life Membership in 1989. He received the Association's Professional Recognition Award in 1981.

Bill was actively involved in the surveying profession provincially, nationally, and internationally. He represented Canada at a number of professional gatherings throughout the United States, Accra and Ghana.

Bill was a principal of the firm of Wolley-Dod & MacCrimmon Surveys Ltd., Land Surveyors and Professional Engineers, until his retirement in 1988. He became a life member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta in 1991.

Bill served as Master of Glenbow Masonic Lodge No. 184, A.F. and A.M. G.R.A. in 1995 and 1996 and remained active in the Lodge following his year in office. His many interests included an active role in numismatics and he served on the executives of the local and national associations.

As a surveyor, I will remember him as such:

  • a man who gave freely of his time to students wishing to join the profession as is evidenced by the months that he spent on certification boards for entry to the ranks of the Alberta Society of Surveying and Mapping Technologies, an organization closely affiliated with our own;
  • a man who was a student of astronomy, and who assisted many, including myself, in understanding the complexities of the celestial sphere;
  • a man who could get to the crux of a survey problem and come up with a solution;
  • a man who believed that the records of his surveys were an integral part of the overall fabric which governed property boundaries and, as such, were open to inspection and or assistance, if requested, to any fellow surveyor who approached him; and
  • a man whose name appears on more plans of survey in what was the South Alberta Land Registration District than anyone I know of (with the obvious exception of Allan Spence)!

We will remember his renditions of Grandma's lye soap, his dexterity with a ukelele and the piano. One of his "performances" was made to an empty house. He and I were looking for survey monuments on the boundaries of a school section in the Brooks area. The school house had been left unlocked and had, in one corner of its single room, an upright piano! I would suggest that Tommy Dorsey's Boogie- Woogie was played for the first time in that particular setting.

Bill and I "started" with Bob McCutcheon at about the same time - he joined the firm in 1951, and I first met him when I returned to Bob's Calgary operation from the Chinchaga River Country in the spring of that year.

President McWilliam's message of condolence in the September issue of ALS News said it best. "Never did I see the man even contemplate compromising his ethics in favour of the easy solution." I would say Amen to that.

Bill was born in Calgary on July 14th, 1928, a date which he liked to refer to as Bastille Day, perhaps in reminiscence of his days at the University of British Columbia.

M.A. MacCrimmon, ALS