J.W. (Jack) Hill
Born May 10,
in Kirkby Lonsdale, England, Jack died at the Saanich Peninsula
Hospital in North Saanich, B.C. on February 16,
He was pre-deceased by wives Sonja (1977),
and Emily (1998);
survived by children Christina, Duncan, Celina (Charles) and
Alexander (Edith); sisters Celina and Jane; and nieces and
Following completion of matriculation and a higher school
certificate in England, Jack passed the open civil service
examinations and then served as a mapping assistant in His
Majesty's Land Registry on a project to convert the established conveyancing and deed registry system to the Torrens System.
He served in the British Army from
in Europe and North Africa. His military service included
surveys and computations to transform geographical values to
rectangular coordinates for various grid systems in Algeria,
Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Sicily, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Germany,
using mechanical calculators.
Following the war, he returned to the Land Registry for two
years, then worked as a surveyor in Iran for the Anglo Iranian
He immigrated to Canada in
with his wife and two small children and found employment as the
computations director in the office of the Director of Surveys
in Edmonton. He articled to C.W. Lester,
DLS, ALS, and received his commission as an Alberta
Land Surveyor on June 13,
and as a Dominion (Canada) Lands Surveyor in March
After two years in private practice, Jack joined Triad Oil as
chief surveyor in
As such, he successfully lobbied the Alberta Mines and Minerals
Department for funds to provide survey control in the Foothills
area and worked with the Director of Surveys and other surveyors
to establish the Foothills Survey Control Network.
He also initiated action by the Canadian Petroleum Association,
the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association and the Director of
Surveys to establish the wellsite regulations.
he was appointed Canadian technical advisor to government
officials in British Honduras. Over the next four years, he
advised on survey methods, legislation, education and training,
and aerial photography as well as serving as emissary for the
Governor of British Honduras to the Governor of Jamaica.
On completion of his consultancy in Belize, Jack worked for a
year in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on computer applications of
subdivision calculations and electronic plotting.
He returned to Edmonton in
and joined Canadian Engineering Surveys until forming his own
practice (Control Land Surveys) in
He turned his practice over to his partner in
and retired in
after a long and distinguished career.
Jack made many contributions to the surveying profession through
his involvement on committees and the Council of the Alberta
Land Surveyors' Association. He was a member of the Oilfield
the Legislation Committee (1967-1977),
the Discipline Committee (1967-1977),
the Planning Committee (1967-1977),
and Council (1959-1960
Jack served as vice-president (1974-1975)
and president (1975-1976).
Among Jack's many initiatives was the coordination of activities
to establish the J.H. Holloway
Scholarship Foundation. During his term as president in
his leadership of Council conceived the vision of a
self-sustaining capital based scholarship fund to support the
fledging survey science program at the University of Alberta.
Jack was a founding Director of the J.H. Holloway Scholarship Foundation and its first and only
president until he suffered ill health late in
Members and related industries responded to fundraising
motivated by Jack through the intervening years that saw
prosperity and recession, the introduction of the surveying
engineering program at the University of Calgary, and NAIT and
SAlT transfer students participating in the scholarship program.
He was awarded the Professional Recognition Award in
and was made an Honorary Life Member that year. He was a Fellow
and Life Member of the American Congress on Surveying and
Mapping, a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society - London, a
member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and a member
of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.
- ALSA President,
- Honorary Life Member,