Member Biography

P.N. Ellegood

Paul Nash Ellegood

Commission #272

I was born in the town of Gagetown, in New Brunswick on October 11,1943. My grandparents operated the Hotel there, and since I was a twin, (twin sister) and we both weighed in at over seven pounds, my mother wasn’t doing much walking for a couple of weeks prior to our delivery. Since my Grandmother Hatto had 15 children of her own, I guess the decision by my Mum to go where the experience was, was a no-brainer.

The Ellegoods were United Empire Loyalists and arrived in New Brunswick from St. Anne County in Virginia, Virginia Beach area. The property they settled on was an original Land Grant by the King of England in return for the property lost through confiscation in Virginia following the American Revolution.

We spent the first two years of life living with my Dad’s parents in Dumfries where my Dad shared in the farm work, and eventually we moved to Pokiok Falls where I attended grades one through three at Pokiok elementary before we moved to the other side of the river, Lower Southampton, and there I attended the Cronkhite School for grades four through six. These were one room school houses, one teacher for all six grades, heated by wood stoves and the toilets were outhouses. In later years in high school it was a great ruse to tip over the outhouses at Halloween and then get the next day off from school to go around and set them all up again.

Following the completion of grade six, all the smaller one room schools in the surrounding area, about a 15 mile radius, sent their students to the Lower Southampton Regional High School for grades seven through 12, and later to add the grade sixes as well. I mention this, as when I was in grade 12, my wife, Margo, was in grade six in this school, and no, we didn’t date back then, not until we re-met in Edmonton in 1974. The enrolment at the high school for all six grades was about 200 students. My graduation class was 20 students in total, including my twin, and our cousin, whose mother, my Dad’s sister, was my home room teacher and my Dad drove the school bus.

I spent my long weekends and summer holidays while going to school on my grandparents farm, and by the time I was big enough to lift a full harness and reach high enough to put the horse collars on, I was able to drive the team of horses for mowing, raking, and other chores that the horses were used for on the farm. We got the tractor in about 1956, and my first driving experience was from a tractor seat. My favourite memories when growing up were on the farm, and the long hours spent with my Grandfather, Charly.

Following completion of high school I attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, enrolled in Surveying Engineering, now called Geomatics. When I was in second year at UNB, my parents moved in to Fredericton, and I was able to move back home and complete university living with my parents. I was fortunate enough to find employment with the New Brunswick Government, Control Surveys Section of Lands and Mines for summer employment starting after grade 11, and this work enabled me to gain lots of survey experience while attending university. I did spend one summer working for the Survey Department at UNB doing gravity surveys, and perhaps this was part of the reason for my initial career choice as a Geophysicist with British American Oil in Calgary in 1966. This lasted 3 years. Then on a chance meeting with Bill Dabbs, who I knew from UNB, I switched to start my career in surveying with Dabbs Control Surveys in 1969. I articled to Bill Dabbs and obtained my Professional Engineering status, APEGGA, in August of 1970 and my Alberta Land Surveyor’s commission, number 350, on August 21st, 1970. My early work was mostly in the Oil industry, scattered about Alberta and Saskatchewan although I did get a full summer's work on the Sabine Peninsula of Melville Island in 1969. I also worked on a coal exploration project in the Yahatinda area west of Sundre, and a survey project at ground zero of a bomb test site in Suffield, Alberta. I worked with “Dabbs” until 1971, when my first marriage ended, (Hazel Bloom of Condie, Saskatchewan) and I moved to Edmonton and started employment with Francl & Associates Consulting Engineers, managing the Survey Department. While working with Francl, I completed the requirements for my Dominion Land Surveyor’s commission number 939 (now CLS) on April 21st, 1973.

I left this employment to set up Diversified Survey Consultants in Spruce Grove in 1973, which was bought out by McElhanney Surveying and Engineering Ltd. in 1974, and I became the Edmonton Branch Manager for them, once again working with Bill Dabbs, who by then had sold Dabbs Control Surveys to McElhanney as well, and was their Alberta Manager.

I remarried in July of 1975 to Margo Brown who I noted earlier was from our old school area in New Brunswick. I left this position in 1977 when Margo and I decided to take a working holiday to New Zealand, and found work down-under working as the Assistant Field Engineer with Mandeno Chitty & Bell, Consulting Engineers, working on the Ruahihi Hydro-electric project, based out of Tauranga, on the North Island. This was a six month position followed by about seven months of travel as we made our way back to Canada. Our travels included Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, followed by an overland bus tour from Kathmandu, Nepal to London, a 75 day adventure that included many misadventures such as a curfew to a Hotel in Amritsar while differing Sikh factions battled in the streets, a bus accident in Pakistan requiring a new bus from London to come meet us, a full Russian backed coup in Kabul, Afghanistan that had Russian MiGs dropping bombs on us for a night, and a riot in Isfahan in southern Iran related to the installation of the Khomeini Regime. Nevertheless, we did make it back to Canada in one piece in September of 1978, both of us back at our university graduation weight levels, and restarted our careers in Alberta. Actually, I restarted mine, and Margo got started on our family, the first of which was to arrive in may of 1979 and the second son in September of 1980.

I restarted my survey career in Edmonton with Co-ordinate Surveys Ltd., working mainly in Land Development side of the survey industry, mostly industrial subdivisions and country residential development. I was transferred to take over the Calgary office in 1982. Land development hit a major downturn in 1984 and the decision was made to close the Calgary office. I elected to stay in Calgary and found employment with Nortech Surveys Ltd., and worked on oil patch type survey work as well as a stint in the Rockies working on the approach work for the CPR Roger’s Pass tunnel, a major project of Nortech at that time, being 1983-84.

In the fall of 1984, an opportunity came along to become a partner in CanAlta Land Surveys, a small firm engaged in oil patch surveys, and it was here where the opportunity came to pursue my Saskatchewan Land Surveyor’s commission, completing the requirements on July 31st,1986, for commission number 272. When partnership problems occurred in 1990, I left to set up Caltech Surveys Ltd., from which I retired in 2002 when we then employed a staff of over 100, and had just acquired a small survey firm in Unity, Saskatchewan.

I really enjoyed my career in surveying and recommend this type of work to everyone who will listen. I have maintained my retired membership in all three associations as well as a life membership in APEGGA, and if we ever get tired of spring travelling, may make a few annual meetings to check out the new and old members. I thoroughly enjoy reading both ALS News and The Corner Post, and try to keep up with all the new developments in our industry.

We have a family of four; three sons and one daughter. They are as follows:

  • Charles Roe, born in 1968, is a Chemical Engineer from Montana State and lives in Airdire, working in Calgary. Charly is married to Sarah and has three children, Keaton, Cooper and Haley.
  • Shannon Kennedy, born in 1972, has a degree in Communications, lives and works in Holland.
  • Nicholas Ellegood, born in 1979, has his first degree in Commerce from the University of Calgary and then completed his law degree at UBC in Vancouver. He lives and works in Vancouver.
  • Jacob Ellegood, born in 1980 has his first degree in physics from University of Lethbridge, and will complete his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at U of A in Edmonton this fall, 2007. He is married to Jennifer.

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