Member Biography


A.S. Weekes

Abel Seneca Weekes

(1866.02.17 - 1936.04.25)
OLS, DLS, SLS, ALS
Commission #022
(1910.06.10)

ABEL S. WEEKES, VETERAN C.N.R. OFFICIAL DIES
Was For Many Years Chief Land Surveyor of Western Lines

Land surveyors of Western Canada, former associates in the Canadian National railway, and many other friends and also relatives gathered in Thomson's funeral chapel today to pay final tribute to Abel Seneca Weekes, retired chief land surveyor for the Western lines of the Canadian National Railway who died Saturday at his home, 61 Maryland St. in his 70th year. Rev. W.E. Donnelly conducted the simple and impressive funeral rites.

Burial was in Brookside cemetery. Pallbearers were: E. C. Brown, W. F. Bannister, J. Walker, and J. H. Burd, of the C.N.R. survey debt., and J. V. Dillabough and H. H. Sparling also of the railway.

Mr. Weekes was born on a farm in Moss township near Glencoe Ont., Feb. 17, 1866. He served his apprenticeship in land surveying in Glencoe, then worked for a period as surveyor in Northern Ontario. From 1887 to 1890, be was employed by Code and Robertson, surveying firm of Clinton, Ont.

Worked as Prospector

For three years after he came to Western Canada in 1894, Mr. Weekes worked as land surveyor and prospector in various parts of the prairie provinces. In 1897, he and Albert Schaefer built a boat in the upper Mackenzie river and tortuously worked their way up the river. The young man spent the next five years mining, trading, and seafaring in the north country, then Weekes returned home leaving his companion in the Yukon.

On Nov. 21, 1904 Abel Weekes began work for the Canadian Northern Railway as a surveyor along with his friend the late Thomas Turnbull who later became head of the maintenance of ways dept. for the Western lines. On the formation of the C.N.R., in 1919, he was made chief land surveyor for Western Canada.

Lived at Edmonton

Previously he had lived at Edmonton, and in that year took up residence in Winnipeg. He retired from the railway on his birthday, Feb, 17, 1931.

Mr. Weekes was a member of the Dominion Land Surveyors' Association, and the Ontario L.S.A., a member of the executive of the Alberta L.S.A., and president of the Saskatchewan L.S.A. He was also a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He attended Young United church.

Surviving are his widow who was Anna Whiteford, of Ireland, and whom he married in Winnipeg ten years ago, a son, William James, of Outpost Island, Great Slake Lake; five daughters Miriam, Betty, Frances, Mary and Ruth, at home; two sisters, Mrs. (Rev.) G. J. Kerr, Lambeth, Ont., and Mrs. Wm. N. Leonard, Delhi, Ont., and five brothers, Dr. W. J. Weekes and Nelson Weekes, London, Ont.; Thomas Albert, Edmonton; Alfred W., Strome, Alta.; and Herbert. M., near Glencoe, Ont. Mr. Weekes' first Wife, who was Miriam Millicent Smith, of Bothwell, Ont., whom he married in 1906, died in April, 1925.

Winnipeg Tribune, April 29, 1936

(See also biography on Alberta Land Surveyors Association web site. )