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The Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors

1954 - 2004

The Association was formed through an Act of the Legislative Assembly, assented to April 12th, 1954. This private act laid down the foundation for the Association as a self regulating body. It was the culmination of but only a few months of meetings, planning, and drafting of legislation, a process which began only in September 1953. Actually, the debates on the merits of an Association go back to 1950, and renewed in 1953.

The first organizational meeting with many of the province's Land Surveyors was held on November 16th, 1953, which resulted in an agreement and commitment to work towards a self regulating body. Prior to 1954, the profession of Land Surveying in NB was under the direction, in terms of education and registration, of the then Department of Lands and Mines. That Department provided full support for research and administrative work as the path to self regulation was pursued in 1953 and 1954.

The first Annual General Meeting of the Association was held in Fredericton on January 13 and 14th, 1954. While the Association had yet to receive its official charter, it was nonetheless formed and they billed this January meeting as the Association's "first". Following this pattern, the recently held January 2003 AGM has been billed as our 50th. A detailed report on the first AGM and the progress which ensued in the winter and spring of 1954 was made by Willis Roberts, the Association's first President, to the then Canadian Institute of Surveying and Mapping in its November 1954 Journal.

Those land surveyors who in 1954 formed the Association were known as Charter Members, 86 in number. At the January 2003 AGM, a presentation honouring the work of Charters was made to six of the remaning members who were able to accept our invitation to attend as special guests.

Stepping back in History, the Profession of Land Surveying can mark its roots in the first days of the formation of the province, 1784. It was then that NB was carved out of the province of Nova Scotia. One of the first challenges for the new province was to assist the many thousand Empire Loyalists to obtain grants to land for farming and development. The role of the Surveyor General was critical to the orderly development of the province The first Surveyor General was George Sproule, who served from 1784 to 1817.

The task of undertaking surveys and preparing plans and reports was done by Deputy Land Surveyors who typically had experience and background in the military. The name "Deputy Land Surveyor" was used until 1950. Under the Land Surveyors Act, chapter 161, April 1950, the new term "New Brunswick Land Surveyor" was used for any new surveyor.

The first legislation respecting land surveying in New Brunswick was passed in 1874. This act dealt primarily with the education standards of persons wishing to become land surveyors. The act established a Board of Examiners, whose tasks were to set examinations, interview candidates, and also test their equipment (compasses and chains). Minutes of the first meeting of the Board of Examiners are recorded in the minute book of the Board from 1875 to 1935, which is now housed in the Association office.

In addition to the documents linked above, we have compiled some other pertinent historical documents in celebration of the Association's 50th Anniversary:

© 2010 The Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors