Member Biography

William Ronald Dabbs

Commission #178


  • Born in Castor, Alberta in September 1935
  • Attended Castor public and high school
  • Attended the University of Alberta (one-and-a-half years of teacher education and two years of engineering)


  • After completing articles, attended the University of New Brunswick in 1960 for the start of his survey engineering degree and graduated in 1963


  • Worked for City of Edmonton for a year-and-a-half as a surveyor's assistant and crew chief - worked on Groat Road and bridge plus engineering surveys
  • After two years of engineering, articled to Dave Usher for his Dominion Land Surveyor commission
  • Helped pioneer Tellurometer surveys
  • Wrote Dominion Land Surveyor, Alberta Land Surveyor and Saskatchewan Land Surveyor exams while at the University of New Brunswick
  • Spent four years with Midwest Surveys
  • Started Dabbs Control Surveys
  • Helped pioneer monument control surveys in the Maritimes through branch office in Prince Edward Island
  • Obtained Prince Edward Island Land Surveyor commission
  • Helped pioneer wellsite location surveys of the East Coast via satellite for Mobil
  • Merged with McElhanney Surveys Vancouver and became their Alberta and East Coast offices
  • Joined All-West Surveys as employee and eventually became president and majority owner. Mr. Dabbs was with All-West for thirty years

Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association

  • Bill took his knowledge and expertise in surveying and business to help the Association: he served on various committees and served two terms on Council. He served as secretary-treasurer at a time when the Association was expanding its financial areas. He went on to be vice-president and president. He received the Professional Recognition Award in 2000.

Saskatchewan Land Surveyors' Association

  • Obtained SLS commission #178 in on August 12, 1963
  • Retired as SLS 2005.01.15

Other Accomplishments

  • Helped promote and establish the survey engineering program at the University of Calgary
  • First survey engineer in Western Canada and was responsible for several others settling in the West
  • During his survey career, he always prided himself, through the companies he owned, as using the latest and most modern equipment

Bill Dabbs fully retired in 2003.

When he presented the Professional Recognition Award to Bill Dabbs, Tony Melton said, “There are three types of people in society: those that make it happen, those that watch it happen and those that ask what happened. In today's program, we now turn our attention towards a person that makes it happen.”

Adapted from SLSA web site

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