Member Biography

S. Harding

Sidney Harding

(1881.01.27 – ?.?.?)
Commission #066

My first job in private practice was my association with Sidney Harding S.L.S. the day after I received my commission on June 30, 1949. I teamed up with Sidney on July 1, 1949 until February 1950. I was also with Sidney when we surveyed subdivisions and restored some of the boundaries for the Prince Albert National Park along with two boundaries of the Montreal Indian Reserve in 1949. Incidentally Mr. Murray Skelton was a chain man with us on these projects

At age 74 in 1955 Sidney was involved in opening the 18th baseline, about 70 miles north of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and camped along highway number 4, 30 miles from the closest settlement at Flotten Lake. Here is part of his letter to the then secretary treasurer of our association Mr. Max Viminitz SLS on March 8, 1955.

There is quite a lot of timber on the line to be cut and we are utilizing 4 motorized saws and about a dozen men. The surveying of the line is the smallest part of the work. This is a primitive life and has not the convenience of an office in town, so that this part of my job is liable to become neglected. One consolation is that variety is the spice of life and for this reason, l shall probably enjoy the comforts of town more, through having this experience.

Born January 27th, 1881 at Greenwich, England with his early education at the Roan School in Greenwich. He evidently came to Canada in his early years and must have had prior knowledge of Engineering practices. Between 1902 and 1904 he worked as a chain man and instrument man under Mr. L.R. Ord, Dominion Land Surveyor, from Toronto doing location work on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1906 he became a resident Engineer with the railway until 1917. While with the railway Sidney articled under Mr. E.C. Brown SLS, MLS, ALS, DLS, from 1913 to 1917 and obtained his Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Commission number 66 in 1917.

From 1918 to 1919 he worked for the S.E. Junkins Engineering firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. His work involved Hydro-Electric power plant investigations and rail road construction in British Columbia.

During his early years he qualified as a professional Engineer through home study and not through a University.

Mr. Harding then came back to Saskatchewan and was with the “Parsons Engineering Company” in Regina on land surveys. Mr. J.L.R. Parsons, DLS, OLS, SLS, owned the firm and was the first President of the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association.

In 1922 Sidney moved to Punnichy, Saskatchewan where he was engaged in private practice until 1944 when he moved back to Regina, continued in private practice until his retirement in 1962 at the age of 81.

During the 1939-45 war years it was tough to get tires for your car, however the Government of the day saw fit to issue tires to those workers who required the tires for their work. A letter from our Association in 1944 to the Wartime Prices and Trade Board in Regina said in part:

His work is of such a nature as to require the use by him of an automobile, and if his present tires are in need of replacement, I recommend that he be authorized to purchase new tires.

Being honoured as President of the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association in 1934 and in 1957 he was awarded a life member of the association. Mr. Harding also became a life member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Saskatchewan, the Engineering Institute of Canada and The Canadian Institute of Surveying.

Upon his retirement Sidney moved to Long Beach, California to be near his two sons, Clay H. Harding and Howard Lionel Harding. His last known address, in 1974, was 3960 Thunderbird Drive, S.E. Seal Beach, California 90740 at the grand age of 93. It is noted that he was living with one of his sons in 1978 and passed away in May 1979 at age 98.

There are two interesting documents in Mr. Harding's file at our association office. The diary covering our work at Prince Albert National Park and the Montreal Indian Reserve in 1949. The other paper was a synopsis of the Riel Rebellion of 1885 that Sidney delivered at our 47th annual general meeting.

Mr. Harding was a life member of the Regina Astronomical Society and the Leisure World Toastmasters club in California. When I worked with Sidney his philosophy was that of a “Technocrat”, one who advocates control of industrial resources by technologists and engineers. We had many a discussion over this theory.

Mr. Harding's name is perpetuated under the survey firm of Harding, Boss and McLeod in Regina, Saskatchewan.

I can honestly say that it was Sidney who taught us what hard work was all about.

By J.H. Webb, SLS (LM), CLS, Winter, 2002