1933: James D. Baker, P.Eng.


A native of Kent, England, James Baker came to Canada in his teens and landed his first job in Winnipeg as a troubleshooter for Bell Telephones.

He relocated to Calgary in 1903 and held positions of construction crew foreman, switchboard installer and maintenance inspector with the company. In 1910 he became plant manager for the southern district of Alberta Government Telephones, which had bought the Alberta division of Bell Telephones three years earlier.

For 37 years Baker remained with the provincial telephone department, moving to Edmonton in 1913 and advancing from construction engineer to general plant superintendent. In 1929 he became the department's deputy minister, a position he held for 14 years. His only break in service came during the First World War when he served in France for three years with the Canadian Signal Corps, retiring with the rank of captain.

A member of council in 1925 and 1926, Baker was elected association vice-president with the Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta (APEA; now The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta) in 1932 and president the following year. He was also president of the Telephone Association of Canada in 1936 and a member of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He passed away in 1943.